April 12, 2012

Review: Starbucks House Blend K-Cups

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We continue our Starbucks K-Cup reviews today with their Starbucks House Blend K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted once again in the signature Starbucks aroma filling the room (we've been seriously considering installing a neon Starbucks logo sign in the Single Serve test kitchens lately). A closer look at the final cup reveals woodsy notes with faint hints of cocoa & hickory hiding underneath.

Body was dark burgundy with tinges of gold on the edges of the cup while notes of red & orange popped through when held in front of a light source. Acidity was not lacking and seemed rather lively with citrusy notes at times. Since this was billed as a medium roast, we were slightly caught off-guard by a jarring bite at the beginning but things mellowed-out and seemed rather balanced afterwards. Once we got used to it, we rather enjoyed it & thought it was well played.


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Flavor yields plenty of smoke in the foreground followed by oily notes which give way to chocolate & faint nutty flavors hiding underneath. There was more smoke in the finish and a faint sweetness throughout with carried over into the aftertaste. Mouth feel was an ever changing mix of oily textures in the beginning, smoothness in the middle and yet more oily notes on the finish. Some people may be put off by this, but we thought it was ok. We also detected a slightly smoky aftertaste. (Can you see a recurring theme here? If this is the medium roast, then the French Roast is gonna be like getting a campfire to the face)


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  • Aroma - 10 - Very reminiscent of the Starbucks shop aroma, a closer look revealed some woodsy notes with very faint traces of cocoa mixed with smoky hickory lurking underneath.
  • Acidity - 9 - Quite lively, almost citrusy at times. You get a sharp bite on the tongue at first, then it mellows into a balanced characteristic throughout. Other than that jarring bite at the beginning, nicely done overall.
  • Body - 9 - Can almost be described as burgundy with hints of gold on the edges. Notes of red & orange appear when held in front of a light source.
  • Flavor - 10 - Lots of smoke up front quickly followed by oily notes that blend into tastes of chocolate. Faint nutty flavors are present with more smoke in the finish. We also detected a faint sweetness throughout the cup which followed through in the aftertaste.
  • Mouth Feel - 7 - A constantly changing struggle between oily & smooth. Starts off oily, changes to smooth in the middle, then ends with oily feel on the finish. Slightly smoky aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker - When compared to the Veranda Blend K-Cups we previously reviewed, these House Blend K-Cups had much more "oomph" in the cup and seemed to satisfy our dark roast desires. If you like a typical dark roast, you'll enjoy this one. This is traditional, no-nonsense Starbucks coffee at its best. Not overbearingly strong, but definitely not a weakling in its own rights.

Overall Rating: 95 - Excellent

So overall, we'd have to say that we really enjoyed this K-Cup. It was slightly stronger than the Veranda Blend and just seemed more satisfying in general. We like dark roasts and by any other measures, this would have fallen in that category, but this is Starbucks... a.k.a. "Charbucks", so they've labeled it as a medium and we all know after trying some of the old T-Discs that things can get much, MUCH more intense and darker than what's shown here. Regardless, we likey and we think most Starbucks fans will enjoy this K-Cup as well. A solid choice for the majority of people & highly recommended.

Starbucks House Blend K-Cups will work in all Keurig brewers and are available in 16-packs for $13.98 USD at Wal-Mart in USA or 10-packs for $10.99 CAD at various grocery stores across Canada. Some Starbucks shops in USA & Canada might also be selling these K-Cups.

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

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

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews | Starbucks Single Serve Coffee

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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 12, 2012 5:43 AM

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