April 22, 2014

Folgers Gourmet Selections French Roast K-Cups Review

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It’s been a while since we’ve seen any new K-Cups from Folgers, so we were caught a bit off guard recently when when stumbled across this new flavor on Keurig’s site a few days ago. While it may not be a flavored variety this time around and while it may seem a bit redundant given their Black Silk flavor is already a pretty strong dark roast coffee, we were curious to see what these new Folgers Gourmet Selections French Roast K-Cups would be like. Let’s find out.

Brewing these K-Cups resulted in strong smoky hickory notes with some very mild peppery notes lurking underneath. Oddly enough though, aroma didn’t seem as strong as what we’re used to with typical French Roast coffees. This carried through in the flavor as we also got smoky notes up front blended with dark cocoa and some faint citrus notes as things faded into a peppery finish near the end of each sip. It’s been a while since we had the Black Silk K-Cups but we’re a bit surprised that this flavor is turning out to be a bit lighter than that. Definitely not what we were expecting. Give us a second while we check the packaging again… nope, it says French Roast. Hmmm… strange.

Acidity seemed a bit on the lighter side of things as well and again was not what we were expecting to see here. While whatever bit was present did add some faint citrusy sour notes in the background, there’s nowhere near the level of acidity you’d find in a typical French Roast coffee. To be honest, we’re not quite sure what to make of this. While it doesn’t hinder anything too much, it’s just… not what you’d expect. Body yielded bright sunburst shades of orange, yellow & red much akin to the morning sunrise depicted on the Folgers logo. Mouth feel was leaning more on the watery side vs. your typical oily feel in most French Roasts and if it isn’t obvious by now, this is quite unlike any typical French Roast coffee we’ve had in the past. Things were still smooth, but a lot lighter in consistency than what we were used to. Finish was a bit on the sweet side with some smoky chocolate notes lending a bit of a dry,  astringent aftertaste.

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  • Aroma – 8 – While you get some strong smoky hickory notes and some mild peppery notes underneath, the overall aroma was a lot lighter than what we were expecting for a French Roast coffee. 
  • Acidity – 7 – We did notice some mild citrusy sour notes but again, things were rather on the lighter side and nowhere as strong as what you’d get in a typical French Roast. 
  • Body – 10 – Bright sunburst shades of orange, yellow & red reminded us of a morning sunrise which fit well with the colors/graphics in the Folgers logo.
  • Flavor – 8 – Much like the aroma, we got smoky notes up front blending with dark cocoa which had some peppery notes hiding underneath and some mild citrus notes lurking in the background. Unfortunately, the overall strength of the flavor had us wondering if we’d somehow screwed-up and brewed a medium roast coffee instead of a French Roast. Things were a lot lighter than what we were expecting.
  • Mouth Feel – 6 – Leaning more on the watery side, the overall feel was a lot lighter than what you’d find in a conventional French Roast and didn’t have any of the typical oily characteristics you’d normally get. While it wasn’t hindering anything, we still wish there would have been something more substantial. Finish was a bit sweet with some smoky chocolate notes leading towards a slightly dry & astringent aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – Suited best for medium roast fans who are looking for something slightly stronger or would work well as anintroductory coffee for people who typically wouldn’t drink strong French Roast coffees. If you’re a typical French Roast fan, you’d best check out the Folgers Black Silk K-Cups instead.

Overall Rating: 89 – Good

So… uh… yeah… that was… different? When we envision French Roast coffee, we often have ideas of a super-strong, extra-smoky, charred until the oils come out kind of coffee. Folgers' take on a French Roast coffee can only be described as a few notches lighter than that. While most French Roast fans will likely walk away disappointed, those who prefer lighter strength coffees with a strong smoky taste may have found their perfect match. 

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We’re not quite sure what Folgers were trying to achieve here, but we’ll simply describe it as A beginner’s guide to French Roasts or An introductory course to French Roasts. It could at least serve as a stepping stone for French Roast fans who are trying to get their friends & family to appreciate stronger coffees. Since our family grew up on Folgers, we have no doubt that they’d refuse to at least try a cup if we offered one to them the next time they visit. As for those looking for a more traditional option, we’d recommend trying the stronger Folgers Black Silk K-Cups instead.

Folgers Gourmet Selections French Roast K-Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers and are available via Keurig.com and Amazon.com. These K-Cups can also be shipped to Canada via Keurig.com if Canadians are willing to pay extra shipping fees. 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 note that we purchased a box of these K-Cups on our own for the purpose of this review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 22, 2014 7:41 AM

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