March 4, 2013

Review: Martinson Hazelnut Real Cups

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We continue our Martinson Real Cup review series today with their first flavored variety... Martinson Hazelnut Real Cups. It would appear that hazelnut is a staple flavor in the single serve coffee world as just about every company that gets into the market usually goes with either that particular flavor or vanilla as one of their initial flavored coffee varieties. It remains to be seen if this will be like most hazelnut coffees or if anything in particular will set it apart from the masses.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in light hazelnut aromas with hints of vanilla floating around underneath. We also detected very faint smoky notes buried below as well. They were barely noticeable, but still present nonetheless. Flavor was a bit on the sour side as you first notice the acidity's sour bite then a mild blend of hazelnut & vanilla appears underneath. The main flavor was a lot weaker than what we were expecting. We also noticed some smoky notes that appeared near the finish, while you'd think smoky hazelnut would be a unique flavor, we didn't really care for it all that much.

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Speaking of acidity, it was definitely on the stronger side as it was the first thing we noticed upon each sip. This unfortunately, seemed to push the primary flavors to the bottom and only left us thinking that this was a rather sour-tasting coffee. Not exactly what we were expecting. Body was dark brown in color with shades of orange & yellow when held in front of a light source. Mouth feel was borderline on the oily side while finish was again mostly sour with more smoky flavors lingering around in the aftertaste.

  • Aroma - 9 - The sole redeeming quality of this coffee was the aroma. While not as strong as most, it still yielded primary scents of hazelnut with some vanilla notes floating around underneath.
  • Acidity - 2 - This is where things start to fall apart. Acidity was so strong that it pushed the primary flavors to the background and gave everything an overly sour taste and was the main focal point of the coffee.
  • Body - 6 - Dark brown with shades of orange & yellow when held to a light source. A bit darker than usual for a typical hazelnut flavor.
  • Flavor - 2 - Again, the acidity almost washed-out most of the flavor but it did reveal itself after the initial sour hit. Notes of hazelnut and vanilla were present but a lot weaker tasting than what we would have hoped for. We also detected smoky flavors near the finish which didn't seem to fit well with the intended flavor profile overall.
  • Mouth Feel - 2 - Borderline on the oily side with a mostly sour finish and more smoky flavors lingering around in the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker - If you like citrusy or acidic coffees with a lighter touch of flavoring than most flavored coffees, this will likely suit you. If you're looking for a more traditional hazelnut coffee, then you'd best look elsewhere. We've had enough hazelnut coffees in our lifetime to know what they're supposed to taste like, and this wasn't it.

Overall Rating: 71 - Poor

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We were hoping to get an outstanding flavored coffee based on the previous Martinson Real Cups we've reviewed so far, but unfortunately, this coffee stood out for all the wrong reasons. There's a place for acidity in a coffee, but when it comes to flavored coffees the main thing that should shine through is the intended flavors... not any sour notes from the acidity.

We noticed that this particular flavor is not in Martinson's regular ground coffee line up which only leads us to believe it was quickly developed solely for the Real Cup format. We think Martinson should at least consider going back to the drawing board one more time with this one and try toning-down the acidity and eliminating the smoky notes as much as possible. Doing so could vastly improve this coffee and make it a decent flavor in their line up. As it stands, we think we'll stick with their unflavored varieties for the time being.

Martinson Hazelnut Real Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available in Canada in 24-packs for $15.75 CAD or can be purchased individually for $0.89 CAD each at ECSCoffee. These Real Cups are also available in 24-packs for $13.99 USD at CoffeeTitan.com in USA. Please also note that Real Cups will NOT work with Keurig Vue brewers.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that these Real Cups were supplied by ECS Coffee for the purpose of this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 4, 2013 5:55 AM

Recent Comments

Just wanted to give you a heads-up that the Martinson line of single cups for the Keurig K-Cup line is available at Office Depot. They carry several varieties in 24-cup boxes. Pricing was around $12.99/box, making them about as cheap as many online retailers for the same quantity...


Posted by: Scott Holder at March 11, 2013 6:59 AM
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