Gevalia Mocha Latte Single Cups for K-Cup Brewers Review
We never thought we’d see the day where Kraft would be going behind enemy lines and creating their own version of K-Cups using their existing coffee brands which they currently also produce for their own Tassimo system in T-Disc format but that’s exactly what occurred (much to Kraft’s delight, we’re sure) when Keurig’s patents expired several months ago. You can now get anything from Maxwell House to Yuban Single Cups which are all compatible with Keurig K-Cup brewers. It makes us wonder if someday we’ll see Keurig making Green Mountain T-Discs for the Tassimo system should Kraft let their own patent expire. The avalanche of T-Disc knock-offs which would result simply boggles the mind and causes our wallets to feel as if they were designed in Cupertino and just earned the Air moniker as we’re certain they’d suddenly feel a whole lot lighter than before.
Still trying to wrap our brains around a Kraft-made K-Cup, we noticed they even decided to improve upon the K-Cup design by creating a new corrugated/expandable outer plastic cup that expands during brewing. They claim this allows for fuller coffee extraction as a greater amount of ground coffee is able to efficiently absorb & disperse more water during the brew process. While it’s been a long-standing argument that Tassimo T-Discs produce stronger coffees than Keurig K-Cups, those who are thinking they can get similar results out of these K-Cup knock-offs might want to sample things if possible or wait until a box goes on sale at their local retailer since we still think the T-Disc versions are stronger in some instances.
Still not satisfied, Kraft has now decided to take things 1 step further and create something that nobody ever thought possible with a K-Cup brewer… frothy drinks. They even created their own promotional website for this new line-up of frothy drinks as well. We were a bit perplexed as to how they’d expect to achieve this since K-Cup brewers don’t have any bar pressure and the existing milk-based K-Cups on the market certainly can’t be labeled as frothy unless your idea of froth is anything more than a stray air bubble breaking the surface of the cup. At roughly $10-12 USD a box for 9 servings (pricing varies by retailer), it makes for a rather expensive thing to try out, but our curiosity just couldn’t stand it any longer which brings us to today’s review of the Gevalia Mocha Latte Single Cups.
The froth is achieved via a 2-step process. You first empty the froth mix powder into your cup, then brew the espresso-style coffee (and we use that term very loosely) over the top. The powder has some sort of chemical reaction when it comes in contact with the coffee and the results can only be described as mixing Pop Rocks with cola, just a less violent result. The powder instantly foams/froths up and once you’ve stirred the final drink, an impressive light layer of froth remains on top of the cup. So how does the final product fare? Let’s find out.
Brewing these Single Cups resulted in aromas of sweet cocoa and espresso much like an actual mocha and seemed spot-on with the real deal. We were surprised that we got actual espresso aromas as we were sure regular coffee was being used in the Single Cup and were quite pleased this wasn’t the case.
The flavor was a rich & indulgent mix of sweet creamy cocoa and a mild espresso flavor underneath. The cocoa flavors took dominance over the coffee flavors and produced surprising results. We still couldn’t believe that simply adding fizzy cocoa powder to a cup could produce such a delicious coffee. Once we worked our way through the sweet cocoa froth layer we noticed some of the milk notes which were advertised on the powder mix packet (they note real milk ingredients are used) as it helped enhance the creamy notes and justified adding the word latte to the namesake. Gevalia have always produced top notch coffees and we’re glad to see they are able to produce equally impressive cocoa powders as well.
Acidity was barely present given the heavy milk & cocoa flavors but we did get some slight bitterness from the espresso lurking underneath which helped with the authentic mocha experience. Body produced nice shades of medium to light brown and the addition of milk ingredients made the shades a bit lighter than an actual mocha but we didn’t really mind given the amazing amount of thick bubbly froth on top once we stirred the final drink. Note to Keurig: maybe add whatever fizzy chemicals Kraft used into your milk creamer Vue Packs in order to achieve real froth from a Vue brewer! Mouth feel was smooth & silky throughout with a light creamy texture aided by the real milk ingredients. There was some left-over cocoa powder at the bottom of the cup, but this was easily mixed into the last final sips for an extra cocoa punch near the end. Finish was sweet and a bit dry from some of the espresso notes in the coffee which gave way to more cocoa notes in the aftertaste.
- Aroma – 10 – Sweet cocoa notes abound during brewing and what the… real espresso aromas too? Color us pleasantly surprised! Final results were spot-on with the real deal.
- Acidity – 9 – Barely present thanks to the heavy milk & cocoa flavors but some slight bitterness from the espresso still shines through from underneath which help gives this coffee an authentic feel to a real mocha.
- Body – 10 – Nice shades of medium to light brown which were made a bit lighter than a regular mocha thanks to the addition of the milk ingredients, however, this category can be summed up in one word: FROTH! Simply amazing results from whatever magical chemicals were added to create the fizzy/frothy effect which resulted in an impressively thick & bubbly froth layer on top. Keurig could learn a few things here in regards to their froth-lacking milk creamer Vue Packs.
- Flavor – 10 – Gevalia calls this a Mocha Latte and that’s exactly what you get. Rich & indulgent cocoa notes up front followed by actual espresso flavors underneath with a creamy milk flavor throughout. Simply outstanding & delicious.
- Mouth Feel – 10 – Silky smooth throughout with a light creamy texture. Sweet finish which was a bit dry due to the espresso notes which gave way to more cocoa notes in the aftertaste. Quite pleasant overall.
- Coffee Drinker – If you like sweet, frothy and indulgently creamy drinks & cocoas, then you should like this one. Suited best for mocha fans who have been longing for a frothy drink out of a Keurig brewer. While it’s not produced in the method you’d expect, the results are fantastic nonetheless.
Overall Rating: 99 – Excellent
This product totally caught us off guard when it was first announced. Never did we expect to get frothy latte drinks from a Keurig K-Cup machine and if we’re being brutally honest here, we might as well call out Keurig and admit that the results produced from a simply fizzy powder puts the results of their milk creamer Vue Packs to shame. We always thought some of the promotial images of latte-based Vue Pack drinks were questionable at best and we think Keurig should take notice of what Kraft have managed to do with the simplistic action of adding a powder mix packet with a Single Cup. It wouldn’t be all that difficult for Keurig to start mixing the same chemical into their milk creamer Vue Packs in order to obtain similar results.
As for these Gevalia Single Cups, we’ll admit that pricing is probably going to be a sticking point given that you’re only getting 9 servings out of a box for almost for $11.99 USD, but if you shop around at other department & grocery stores, you might be able to find slightly cheaper pricing. Given the fact that you’d normally pay $3 to $5 for the real thing at Starbucks, we think Gevalia have managed to produce a rather outstanding product while showing an ingenious and innovative solution in the process. It’s not that much different than what the upcoming Campbell Soup K-Cups will be doing since you first add the noodles & vegetable ingredients from a packet into your mug first, then brew the broth K-Cup over the top and stir to obtain the final cup-o-soup result. We’re glad to see that companies are starting to take innovative approaches towards new products for one of the longest-running single serve coffee machines on the market. Our only lingering question is after frothy drinks and soup, what could possibly be next?
Gevalia Mocha Latte Single Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available at most grocery stores in USA & online at Gevalia.com in 9-packs (9 espresso coffee Single Cups + 9 froth mix powder packets) for $11.99 USD (pricing varies by retailer). These Single Cups are not currently available in Canada. Please also note that Single 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 we purchased a box of these Single Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at January 27, 2014 7:28 AM