December 5, 2011

Review: Millstone Hazelnut Cream K-Cups

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We continue our Millstone reviews today by checking out their Millstone Hazelnut Cream K-Cups.

Brewing the Millstone Hazelnut Cream K-Cups resulted in creamy hazelnut notes with hints of vanilla when smelled from up close, yet when we brewed one of these K-Cups at work recently, some of our co-workers complained that the nearby corridor smelled as if someone had smoked a cigarette. Wait... what?!? We thought they needed to get their olfactory senses checked since we didn't notice this ourselves and certainly couldn't reproduce the effect at the Single Serve Coffee kitchens here today. Just to be sure, we had a few other staff members walk by the room afterwards and they did not notice anything out of the ordinary either. Jim Morrison was right when he said "People Are Strange".

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Billed as a medium roast, flavor revealed light hazelnut notes which gave way to a melting cream sensation on the finish. Oddly enough, we kept thinking of this as a light roast instead of a medium due to all the light characteristics. Body was medium brown in color with shades of orange & red when held in front of a light source. Acidity was one of the main weak points as it was just too light in our opinion. We tend to like our coffees with more "kick" to help keep things lively and the lack of acidity left things feeling flat. This lead to the second weak point: a rather thin & watery, albeit smooth, mouth feel with little to no discernible aftertaste.

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  • Aroma - 8 - Light creamy hazelnut aromas mingle with faint vanilla notes in the background. Despite what our co-workers think, we certainly did NOT smell any notes of cigarettes here.
  • Acidity - 2 - This is the true weak point of this coffee. There's just barely any acidity and that makes things fall flat to the point of creating a rather dull cup. The flavor's there, but the acidity is what normally makes them "pop" and come alive. That just wasn't present here.
  • Body - 8 - Medium brown with notes of orange & red when held to a light source.
  • Flavor - 7 - Light hazelnut notes with a melting cream sensation on the finish. Could have been a bit stronger and alas, there's where the acidity could have come into play if there had just been more present.
  • Mouth Feel - 4 - Smooth, yet the lack of acidity causes a really watered-down mouth feel to take hold and makes this the second weak point of this coffee.
  • Coffee Drinker - Despite being billed as a medium roast, we feel this one is best suited for light roast fans who prefer low acid flavored coffees.

Overall Rating: 79 - Fair

We rather liked Millstone's Breakfast Blend Fair Trade K-Cups and were hoping that these Hazelnut Cream K-Cups would be much the same, but this unfortunately wasn't the case. We just couldn't get over the lack of acidity and feel that (along with the resulting watery mouth feel) is what killed a major chunk of points this time around. Anytime we run into a string of disappointing K-Cups, we tend to create "wish list" K-Cups in our minds which we'd like to see manufactured in real-life and this was no exception.

We kept wishing we could have taken the acidity from Dunkin Donut's Hazelnut K-Cup and inserted it into this K-Cup while taking Millstone's Hazelnut Cream flavor and inserting it into Dunkin's K-Cup. We feel both could have benefited from a swap like this, but unfortunately, such will likely never come to pass.

All that aside though, while this isn't going to make it on our favorites list, we still think Millstone might have found an often overlooked K-Cup segment... coffee drinkers who can't tolerate high acidity. Folgers recently addressed this issue with their regular grind "Simply Smooth" coffee and we think this could be a flavored K-Cup equivalent. The lack of acidity here could, in theory, be stomach-friendly much like the Folgers version. If you're curious to give this a try, we'd recommend getting a sampler sleeve before you commit to getting a full box.

Millstone Hazelnut Cream K-Cups will work in all Keurig brewers. These K-Cups are not currently available in Canada. You can also get 5 pack samplers of this blend at Keurig.com as well.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.

Read how we review and rate single-serve coffee and other single-serve coffee beverages here.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at December 5, 2011 7:28 AM

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