April 28, 2014

ECS Coffee Maple Cinnamon French Toast Decaf Single Cups Review

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We all know that folks who enjoy decaf coffees (or those who are required to drink it due to caffeine sensitivity/headaches) are unfortunately a target demographic which has been ignored for far too long. Just because you can drink regular coffee doesn't mean you should have to suffer with bland offerings and unflavored choices. Well, our friends at ECS Coffee Inc. thought so as well and decided to fix the problem with the first specialty flavored DECAF Single Cup on the market. They even created their own cheeky commercial for the flavor (check the video at the bottom of the product page on their site, link at end of review)

Sure, there may be a few flavored decafs on the market, but they're mostly staple flavors like French Vanilla or Hazelnut... they're ok, but... well, kind of meh. Where's the sense of adventure? Where's the innovative combination of various flavors? Why aren't limited edition K-Cups also sold in decaf versions? How about Maple Cinnamon French Toast? Is that adventurous enough of a decaf flavor for ya? Now that we've got your attention, let's put this flavor through its paces and see if ECS have created something worthy of celebration for decaf fans.

Brewing these Single Cups resulted in light aromas of sweet maple infused with cinnamon and immediately brought visions of French toast to our mind's eye. We could even swear that the aroma was stronger than the GMCR version this flavor is inspired by... if so, kudos to ECS for outdoing big green. There's no guesswork involved here as the main notes in the aroma flow through in unmistakeable fashion. Give the cup a swirl and much like a wine, the main aromas keep revealing themselves over and over again. Outstanding. 

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Flavor was a pleasantly similar mix of sweet cinnamon at first sip which seemed to be the dominant note quickly followed by light maple notes underneath. FINALLY! A decaf with real flavor to it! Decaf aficionados indeed have reason to celebrate as they can now enjoy a coffee with oomph in the flavoring vs. mild-flavored or unflavored options. We were still trying to shake the notion that this was a decaf coffee, it just didn't seem logical for a decaf to have so much taste to it. While it may seem that we're gushing like a bunch of toddler beauty pageant moms, rest assured that we are saying it as it is and are completely unbiased in this review. If we say something is amazing or outstanding, it really is 100% just that. You won't believe this is a decaf if you try it out for yourself. 

Once we stopped running around the room yelling omg! omg! omg!, we noticed that the acidity was popping throughout and was strong enough to keep the flavors flying along without giving any chance for things to go flat. It really helped in making this seem more like a regular coffee than a decaf and was the unsung hero of the bunch. Body yielded nice sunburst shades of amber orange & golden yellow which played well with the French toast/maple syrup components in the namesake. Mouth feel was light but smooth overall & didn't seem watery while finish was light & sweet with more bursts of cinnamon in the aftertaste.

  • Aroma - 10 - Light aromas of sweet maple infused with cinnamon immediately made us think of the namesake French Toast on the packaging. We even think the aroma is stronger here than in the GMCR version. Outstanding! 
  • Acidity - 10 - Lively throughout and gives things enough of a pop to keep flavors flowing at full pace without giving a chance for anything to go flat.  
  • Body - 10 - Nice sunburst shades of amber orange & golden yellow pair well with the maple syrup & French toast components in the namesake.
  • Flavor - 10 - An amazing mix of sweet cinnamon taking on the main flavor note quickly followed by light tinges of sweet maple in the background had us floored and in total disbelief that this was a decaf coffee. By far the BEST flavored decaf we've ever had.
  • Mouth Feel - 10 - A bit light but still smooth overall. Finish was light & sweet with more bursts of cinnamon throughout the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker - Well, in case you haven't figured it out by now, this coffee is best suited for those who have always wanted a year-round decaf version of GMCR's Golden French Toast seasonal K-Cups. We think anyone who gives them a try will be amazed and how closely this version compares to the original and decaf fans need look no further for a decaf that has actual FLAVOR for a change. Even if you don't typically drink decaf coffee, you should at least check this one out.

Overall Rating: 100 - Excellent! 

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We can see what ECS were going for here... they wanted to create a decaf clone of GMCR's Golden French Toast seasonal K-Cups and to be honest? They totally nailed it. It may not be an exact replica of the original, but it's pretty damn close and dare we invoke the wrath of the gods upon the green mountains, we think it might even do a better job in the aroma & flavor categories... and this is a frickin DECAF!!! This new decaf flavor not only meets the needs of decaf fans but it also satisfies fans of the GMCR version who want a decaf option at night. Oh yeah, did we mention that this flavor is available YEAR ROUND? How neat is that? No more needing to wait for GMCR's version to come out each year... just grab yourself a box of this decaf version anytime you want to get your french toast fix. 

When ECS set out to create its own in-house Single Cups, the main thing they wanted to do was create cost-effective alternatives for their customers while also providing them the flavors they wanted. A lot of factors went into deciding which flavors to release... everything from customer feedback/comments to the best-selling K-Cups on their site from month to month. Regardless of what led them to create this decaf option, we're certainly glad they opted to recreate what would otherwise be a seasonal flavor. We've been enjoying ECS' in-house options for a while now and we can't wait to see which flavors they'll come out with next. Still on the fence about trying this out? Don't forget that ECS also allows you to buy individual Single Cups at $0.89 cents each... we highly recommend adding a few to your next order as we're sure you won't be disappointed. In conclusion, we're just going to say it: Best flavored decaf Single Cup on the market. 

ECS Coffee Maple Cinnamon French Toast Decaf Single Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers, and are available in 24-packs for $14.99 CAD or individually for $0.89 cents each via ECSCoffee.com. These Single Cups are not currently sold in USA.

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 April 28, 2014 7:33 AM

Recent Comments

Just emailed the company and they said they will ship to the US! So you decaf lovers out there should give them a shout.

"Thank you for the inquiry. We can definitely ship to the US, please send us your full shipping address and give us an idea of what you would like to order and we can follow up with a quote."


Posted by: Jessica at April 29, 2014 10:37 AM

Oh Man,
I was so excited when I read this since my favorite flavor is French Toast and I recently went decaf! And then I saw that it is only available in Canada =( I hope they start delivering to the US or that the US companies realize that there is a big void when it comes to decaf flavors. Thanks for posting this!


Posted by: Jessica at April 29, 2014 6:45 AM
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