November 25, 2013

Brown Gold 100% Ethiopian Real Cups Review

Brown Gold Ethiopian Real Cups

We continue our Brown Gold Real Cup review series today by checking out the 4th flavor in their line-up… Brown Gold 100% Ethiopian Real Cups.

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in rich earthy notes tinged with mild oily notes that revealed aromas of dark chocolate, smoke & some very faint hints of cinnamon & floral notes buried underneath. Billed as a dark roast, flavor yielded more robust notes that kicked off with some mild smoke up front followed by bursts of dark chocolate, molasses, bread notes in the background, some faint oily notes from the roasting process and a very mild (i.e. lightly sour) citrus flavor throughout. A very well-rounded performance so far which made for a pleasing experience.

Acidity was amazingly well balanced for a dark roast bold coffee as instead of an overpowering sour note, it was delicate & mild like in some lighter roasted coffees we’ve seen in the past. It created some of the citrusy sour notes in the flavors yet was pleasantly smooth & mild instead of strong & jarring.

Brown Gold Ethiopian Real Cups Brewing

Body was dark brown in color with strong shades of red when held in front of a light source. It reminded us of a fine red wine and since Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, you could almost consider this to be the coffee world’s version of a good Merlot. Mouth feel remained silky smooth thanks to the balanced acidity and did not seem the least bit watery. We were expecting a bit of an oily feel given that this is a dark roast, but were surprised to see only very mild signs of this. Finish was leaning towards the sweeter side with mostly dark chocolate notes throughout the aftertaste.

  • Aroma – 10 – Rich earthy notes up front tinged with mild oily notes that lead into aromas of dark chocolate, smoke along with some very faint hints of cinnamon & floral notes buried underneath.
  • Acidity – 10 – Amazingly well-balanced overall with mild & delicate sour notes instead of anything strong & overbearing. While not common, we’ve seen this in dark roasts before and we love it when that’s the case.
  • Body – 10 – Dark brown in color with some strong shades of red when held in front of a light source. Reminded us of a fine red wine and reinforced the idea of a similarly exceptional coffee being present in the mug.
  • Flavor – 10 – Robust notes all around with smoke & burst of dark chocolate up front followed by flavors of molasses, bread notes in the background, some faint oily notes from the dark roast and a very mild citrusy flavor throughout. Very please mix of flavors overall.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – Silky smooth due to the balanced acidity, not watery at all and only a very mild oily feel in the end. A sweet finish topped things off with an aftertaste comprised mostly of dark chocolate.
  • Coffee Drinker – Suited best for dark roast fans that are looking for something more akin to a bold medium vs. a full-out intensity monster like a Starbucks K-Cup. The smooth & mild acidity should allow novice dark roast fans to break into the world of dark roast coffees and serves as an excellent introductory point for such individuals.

Overall Rating: 100 – Excellent!

Brown Gold Ethiopian Real Cups Cup

While this coffee is nowhere near as intense as an average Starbucks K-Cup, we find it fits the perfect balance between that end of the spectrum and a strong bold medium roast. We’ve admitted in the past that we prefer dark roast coffees, so it should come as no surprise that we thoroughly enjoyed this offering from Brown Gold’s line-up. We could easily see ourselves taking this anytime of the day from mid-morning to late afternoon and wouldn’t mind adding this flavor to our stash of weekly coffees and would not mind serving it to any guests that drop by either.

As we noted in the 100% Peruvian review, there are good ways of implementing acidity (wherein it helps the flavors, helps mouth feel, etc.) and then there are bad ways (wherein it’s so strong you lose most flavors, makes mouth feel watery, etc.). While the Peruvian failed at this task, the Ethiopian excels at it and goes to show how much more pleasing a well-balanced coffee can be. While it hasn’t always been smooth sailing, we’ve noticed an upturn in manufacturers who are taking the time to produce some truly exceptional & outstanding Ethiopian coffees as of late and we’re glad the birthplace of coffee is finally getting the recognition it deserves. This one’s definitely worth a try, to say the least.

Brown Gold 100% Ethiopian Real Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available in Canada at These Real Cups are also available at in the 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 thank ECS Coffee for supplying us with samples of these Real Cups 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 November 25, 2013 7:41 AM
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