February 10, 2014

Brooklyn Beans Coney Island Caramel Single Cups Review

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We continue our look at recent BBR (Brooklyn Bean Roastery) Single Cups today with a review of their Coney Island Caramel Single Cups. After a pleasant performance from their Cinnamon Subway flavor recently, we were interested to see if the other flavored varieties in their line-up were just as good. BBR can make custom-flavored coffees for anyone who wants to enter the single serve coffee market, so we suspect they have some master coffee roasters who know a thing or two about how to properly flavor coffees. Lets find out if this flavor will have us soaring like a roller coaster or waiting in line for the excitement to start.

Brewing these Single Cups resulted in light aromas of sweet caramel tinged with notes of butter and very faint notes of smoke hiding underneath. While it wasn't as strong as most caramel coffees we've seen in the past, there was still enough aroma present to remove any doubt that this was a caramel coffee. Just the same, we wish the caramel notes would have been stronger.

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Flavor was also fairly light as you get some of the smokey notes up front followed by some light sour touches which are finally capped off with a very mild caramel flavor that contains some mild vanilla notes underneath. Again, nowhere as strong as we were expecting but also not as sour as most caramel coffees we've seen before. While we would have appreciated something with more of a creamy, buttery caramel flavor we'll give it merit for not being a complete sour mess like so many caramel coffees tend to be.

Acidity is where this coffee shines since, as we've noted several times above, most caramel coffees seem to overdo it in this category, but not BBR... They've figured out a way to reduce the acidity to a point where it's still noticeable, but isn't the ONLY thing you notice. This has unfortunately resulted in a loss of aroma & flavor as well... something which takes a serious chunk of points away from a coffee which would have scored a lot higher otherwise. Body yielded nice sunburst shades of orange, yellow & red which played well with the golden hues found in the caramel namesake. Mouth feel seemed rather watery at first but somewhat evened itself out a bit as we worked our way through the cup. Finish was a bit dry with lingering smokey notes and very faint caramel tones in the aftertaste.

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  • Aroma - 6 - Light aromas of sweet caramel tinged with notes of butter and some very faint smokey notes underneath. We wished there would have been a more dominant caramel aroma present, but this wasn't the case. 
  • Acidity - 10 - FINALLY... a caramel coffee which isn't a total sour mess! Unfortunately, aroma & flavor was lost in the process. Still noticeable as you get some sour notes but they're nowhere as strong as other caramel coffees tend to be.  
  • Body - 10 - Nice sunburst shades of orange, yellow & red evoke thoughts of golden caramel from the namesake on the label.
  • Flavor - 6 - As with the aroma, flavor is rather on the weak side. We definitely get some smokey notes up front followed by mild sour touches which are capped off with a very mild caramel flavor that contains some mild vanilla notes hiding underneath. Again, we were hoping for a more pronounced caramel flavor and this left us rather disappointed.
  • Mouth Feel - 7 - Rather watery at first but somewhat evens itself out as we work our way through the cup. We would have liked something with a bit more substance, but given the light nature of this coffee, we're not too surprised.
  • Coffee Drinker - Well, in case you haven't figured it out by now, this coffee is best suited for those who don't normally link overly strong flavored coffees. If you want something with a light flavoring in it, then this one's for you. If you're searching for a strong caramel flavor, you'd best look elsewhere or wait until BBR improve things a bit.

Overall Rating: 89 - Good

We won't lie... we're rather disappointed that this coffee didn't have a more pronounced caramel aroma & flavor, but we can't help but wonder if that would have ended up making the coffee exceedingly sour like so many of the competitors' offerings? Maybe BBR knew this and decided to scale things back and sacrifice a stronger flavor in order to dramatically reduce the coffee's acidity?

We appreciate what they tried to achieve - something we've been asking for ages (a caramel coffee that isn't overly sour) and they have, in fact done just that with this product.  We think most people will agree that if they had to pick between true caramel taste or slightly sour coffee, they'd pick the taste quotient every time. As for this flavor? Close, but it's better suited for those who want light-tasting coffees.

Brooklyn Bean Roastery Coney Island Caramel Single Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available at various retailers in USA in 12-packs for roughly $8.99 USD including Amazon.com. These Single Cups are also available in Canada in 24-packs for $15.99 CAD at ECSCoffee.com. Please also note that K-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 sending us samples of these Single Cups for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at February 10, 2014 5:37 AM

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