January 9, 2013

Review: Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider Vue Packs

Review Single Serve CoffeeReviewgreenmountainnaturalshotapplecidervuepacksIMGP4902

Let’s step back a few years ago, when there were many K-Cup flavors that fans had been begging for over and over again. As the years passed and as contracts/agreements between manufacturers & brand owners were made, we slowly started seeing fan demand being answered. Several years ago, nobody would have ever dreamed that Dunkin Donuts coffee would be available in K-Cup format, but now not only do we have that, we have limited edition Dunkins flavors that are exclusivelybeing released in K-Cup format (i.e. Dunkins Mocha). Well, another item that was sorely missed & much demanded in K-Cup format was apple cider.

We’ve seen many companies release a multitude of flavors in instant powder mix format, but we had never seen an apple cider K-Cup before. Again, Green Mountain listened and decided “You know what? If we’re going to make an apple cider K-Cup, screw this powdered artificial stuff… let’s make REAL cider with REAL natural ingredients!” and so, thus was born the new Green Mountain Naturals brand and the world’s first single serve apple cider K-Cup. It became a massive hit, selling-out so quickly & regularly that Green Mountain were forced to change it from a seasonal product to a permanent product and it’s remained a fan favorite ever since.

Fast forward to 2012 and the launch of the Keurig Vue V700 system which brought about the new Vue Pack format. Green Mountain realized it needed to maintain sales of its best-selling K-Cup flavor in a format compatible with this new machine, so they wisely decided to release apple cider as one of the launch flavors for the V700. That brings us to today’s review of the Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider Vue Packs.

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Brewing these Vue Packs resulted in rich notes of sweet apples with bursts of spicy cinnamon throughout which reminded us of freshly baked apple pie or hot cider prepped on a stove top. Flavor was much the same with the slightly sharp bite of the citric acid in the apples up front which quickly give way to a sweet red apple taste spiced with warm burst of cinnamon in the background. Spot-on with real mulled apple cider & pretty much identical to the K-Cup format. We also appreciated the fact that a mix of natural brown sugar and all natural Stevia extract were used in these Vue Packs instead of sucralose. It made for a nice natural sweetness without any chemical taste whatsoever. Things were looking pretty good so far.

Body was an opaque shade of light beige with hints of yellow, but those hints exploded into ghostly shades of bright yellow when held in front of a light source and created a neat look overall. Acidity was very well balanced with the natural citric acid from the apples and the organic malic acid keeping things nice and tart yet not overbearingly sour. Mouth feel was silky smooth and much like the consistency of real apple cider with the texture of a slightly thick apple juice. Finish was clean with a light cinnamon aftertaste. When you’re using the Tea/Other setting to brew these Vue Packs, the Strong button is disabled, so we won’t be using a dual-score for this review.

  • Aroma – 10 – Rich notes of sweet apples with nice hits of spicy cinnamon throughout. We couldn’t help but be reminded of freshly baked apple pie and hot cider prepared on a stove top.
  • Acidity –10 – Very well balanced with the natural citric acid of the apples & the organic malic acid keeping things nicely tart without rendering anything overbearingly sour.
  • Body – 10 – Nice shades of opaque light beige with tinges of yellow. Things quickly take an amazing ghostly glow with bright shades of yellow that reveal themselves when held in front of a light source. Outstanding & (minus the otherworldly glow) very much like real cider.
  • Flavor – 10 – Just like the real deal. A slightly tart bite from the citric acid followed by sweet apples and warm bursts of cinnamon in the background. The use of real brown sugar & natural Stevia extract (instead of sucralose) really help these Vue Packs achieve tasty results.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Again, much like real cider with the consistency of a thick apple juice. Silky smooth throughout with a clean finish that had a light cinnamon aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – Obviously not a coffee, but if you love real cider and enjoyed the K-Cup version, we feel you’ll equally enjoy these Vue Packs. Very highly recommended and a must-have addition to your Vue Pack stash which is sure to be a hit with kids & adults.

Overall Rating: 100 – Excellent

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Overall, we’re glad to see that nothing has changed between formats and that these Keurig Vue Packs are every bit as good as their K-Cup counterparts. Even though the Strong button isn’t available when brewing these Vue Packs under proper settings, we think that’s actually a good thing since we have a feeling it might concentrate the acidity and turn things overly sour or might somehow make things seem improperly blended together in the final cup while giving an off-taste.

We have no doubt that Green Mountain Naturals will also eventually release their new lemonade flavor in Vue Pack format and we’re looking forward to seeing what other flavors they might have scheduled for future release. Rest assured, if they’re anything as good as their apple cider, we’re in for one heck of a treat. Again, like the K-Cups, all the ingredients here are 100% natural. Real apples, real cinnamon, organic acids, real brown sugar & natural Stevia extract… short of buying a jug of real cider, it doesn’t get any better than this. Kudos to Green Mountain for taking this initiative as we think natural ingredients are a step in the right direction & a decision that more companies should at least consider.

Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider Vue Packs are one of the many Keurig Vue Packs available for the Keurig Vue V700 Single Cup Brewing System, and you can also read our full review of the V700 hereKeurig Vue Packs are not compatible with older Keurig K-Cup systems. Pricing is $13.99 USD ($12.59 USD Member Price) for a 16-pack via Keurig.com

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank Green Mountain Coffee for sending us a sample of these Vue Packs for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 9, 2013 7:43 AM

Recent Comments

Pretty damn annoying, eh?

Several reasons abound... anything from the company not wanting to print bilingual packaging/labels (despite all Vue Pack boxes being printed in Canada) to CFIA/Health Canada prohibiting other countries from exporting anything containing milk, fruit or vitamin ingredients into Canada without permits/approval.

At least that's what I keep telling myself when 3/4 of my Keurig.com order gets removed from my cart during checkout. :-/


Posted by: SH at January 15, 2013 10:14 AM

Any idea why these are never available to be shipped to Canada? I'd love to try these but they won't ship out of US!


Posted by: Erin at January 14, 2013 7:18 PM
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