May 9, 2013

Review: Club Coffee Venetian Reserve Single Cup Capsules

Review Single Serve CoffeeVenetian reserve

We finish off our review series of Club Coffee Single Cup Capsules today with their Club Coffee Venetian Reserve Single Cup Capsules.

Brewing these Single Cup Capsules resulted in mild oily notes with hints of chocolate underneath. We also detected faint woodsy characteristics as well. Not as strong or complex as we were hoping for but better than nothing. Body was very dark brown in color with deep shades of red when held in front of a light source. Acidity had a good balance and hit us with mild sour bite at first which leveled out afterwards.

Billed as a dark roast, flavor was made up mostly of bittersweet dark chocolate with very faint hickory notes in the background & a strong oily taste underneath if we let things sit too long. Mouth feel took on more of an oily feel but wasn't too overbearing. Aftertaste was sharp & slightly bitter at first with predominant notes of dark chocolate throughout and more oily notes on the finish.

Venetian reserveIMGP4753

  • Aroma - 7 - Mild oily notes almost similar to a Starbucks coffee with hints of chocolate underneath & faint woodsy notes in background. Once again, we were hoping for something more pronounced.
  • Acidity - 8 - Good balance with a mild sour bite at first which leveled out afterwards.
  • Body - 9 - Very dark brown with deep shades of red when held to a light source. Quite consistent with typical dark roasts.
  • Flavor - 7 - Predominantly flavored with bittersweet chocolate notes with hints of hickory in the background. Things started tasting oily if we let them sit too long. Not as complex as we would have liked but decent nonetheless.
  • Mouth Feel - 6 - Took on more of an oily feel overall & while slightly distracting, it wasn't too overbearing. Sharp & slightly bitter aftertaste at first with dark chocolate throughout & more oily notes on the finish.
  • Coffee Drinker - Suited best for casual dark roast drinkers who like dark roasts but don't want anything overbearingly strong. True dark roast fans may find this one to be a bit lighter than what they're used to.

Overall Rating: 87 - Good

Venetian reserveIMGP4754

So, did this dark roast live up to our expectations? Yes & no. Let us explain... it met our hopes of being the strongest flavored coffee in the Club Coffee lineup and in its own rights, it's a decent cup to get things going in the morning but was still a bit lighter than what you get in most dark roast coffees. We feel it could probably handle small amounts of cream & sugar without becoming too diluted and makes for a good enough selection if you're in a rush and don't really care what you grab as you head out the door.

On the flipside though, we were disappointed that aroma was yet again somewhat subdued. All it takes is a quick look at the main competition's offerings to see what we mean. A dark roast is supposed to explode with abundant smoky notes and give us chocolate aromas along with perhaps molasses, spices & rich earthy notes but that just wasn't the case here. It did have oily aromas similar to what you'd find in some Starbucks K-Cups, but overall, it just didn't seem to have the usual punch we're used to.

Would we recommend it? Sure, it's certainly worth a try given the price & as we noted above, it still makes for a good enough cup of coffee at any given time. We just wish things would have been a little bit more consistent with what's already out there from competitors. As we mentioned before in another review, we know that Club Coffee are likely working to expand the lineup with other flavors, so they've still got a chance at getting things in check.

We understand it can be quite difficult for companies to strike the right balance between consistently good light, medium & dark roasts but it IS possible (GMCR's lineup is proof of that), so we're still looking forward to what they might have in store for us in the coming months. As it stands for this current lineup however? The clear winners by far are their Swiss Water Decaf & Inca Trail Single Cup Capsules and would be the 2 flavors we'd most recommend.

Club Coffee Venetian Reserve Single Cup Capsules will work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available in 12-packs for $6.99 CAD at in Canada and at in the USA.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank ECS Coffee Inc. for supplying us with samples for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 9, 2013 5:51 AM
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