December 16, 2014

Tootsie Roll & Junior Mints Hot Cocoa Single Cups Review

01 TR JM

It’s been a while since we’ve seen anything that truly piqued our interest in the single serve market and when we noticed the recent appearance of various chocolate candy inspired hot cocoas from brands such as Sugar Babies, Charleston Chew, Tootsie Roll & Junior Mints, we at first thought this was a severely early April Fools joke. That is until we started noticing more and more online retailers starting to carry them. Holy cow… these were actually REAL products! We immediately set about trying to procure various flavors only to find out that they were sold out almost everywhere (argh! why didn’t we believe these were real when they were announced?!?). We did however manage to secure a few samples of the Tootsie Roll & Junior Mint Hot Cocoa Single Cups and that’s what we’ll be checking out today. 

All the aforementioned brands of Single Cups are essentially from the same company/distributor, so we thought we’d do a 2-in-1 review and try both flavors at once (well, that plus we honestly couldn’t wait to try both in 1 sitting… candy-based hot cocoa? Are you frickin kidding?!? We want!). So, we’re sure everyone is more than familiar with Tootsie Roll candies… the Halloween staples which have a unique somewhat malt-chocolatey taste have been around since 1896 and you either love em or hate em (we obviously love em) as they really are an acquired taste for the rare few people who’ve never tried them before. As for Junior Mints, who can forget the iconic Seinfeld episode where Jerry & Kramer damn near killed a guy with one during open-chest surgery (seriously, check the clip, it’s hilariously messed-up). We hear they can be quite refreshing and they’ve been around since 1949 when they were introduced by Tootsie Roll Industries (the company which manufactures the above noted candy brands).

02 TR Brew

We start things off today with the Tootsie Roll Hot Cocoa Single Cups which are labeled as a premium creamy hot chocolateand after tasting it, we have to admit, it fits that moniker perfectly. Manufactured & Distributed by Two Rivers Coffee LLC (you may know them by their more popular name of Brooklyn Bean Roastery), the company successfully melded dairy-based ingredients and the iconic flavor of Tootsie Roll candies into a rich, creamy hot cocoa which is spot-on with the Tootsie Roll flavor we’ve grown up on over the years. This really is essentially a Tootsie Roll infused hot cocoa beyond any shadow of a doubt. The aroma isn’t really pronounced during brewing as it just smells like your average hot cocoa, but the flavor is unmistakably Tootsie Roll. 

03 TR Result

Overall score: 98 - Excellent (We’re only removing 2 points due to lack of aroma)

04 JM Brew

We continue things by checking out the Junior Mints Hot Cocoa Single Cups which are also labeled as a premium creamy hot chocolate. Again, this is indeed the case as we are treated to more dairy-based ingredients blended with the signature chocolate & mint cream taste of Junior Mints. Aroma yielded a mild minty scent blended with cocoa notes throughout. We were surprised at how once again, the iconic flavor of the candy was more or less closely reproduced in this hot cocoa format. You might as well have made Kramer dump half a box of Junior Mints in a cup of Cafe Escapes Milk Chocolate Hot Cocoa instead. Yes, note how we said milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate… that’s the only minor gripe we have since the candies are made with dark chocolate, not milk chocolate and as a result, there was a missed opportunity to match the flavor exactly. Nitpick aside, the creamy mint taste is well-executed throughout with the sweeter side of the flavor coming up front and the cooling mint sensation quickly following on the back end. Honestly, the sensation is almost identical to eating the actual candies. Simply outstanding! Body/appearance is your average mix of hot cocoa colors with shades of light brown while mouth feel is again silky smooth & creamy. 

05 JM Result

Overall score: 99 - Excellent (This one earns an extra point as we got mint in the aroma & got an even mintier cooling sensation after each sip. The omission of dark chocolate is the only thing which prevents it from scoring 100).

We were a bit reluctant to try these out at first since we didn’t know if they were a gimmick product which wouldn’t taste anything like the namesake candies plus we had no idea if these were officially licensed products from Tootsie Roll Industries or if they were knock-offs which some random company put together. Once we did our research and saw that Brooklyn Bean Roastery were behind these products, we knew we’d be getting a quality item and sure enough, taste-wise, they knocked these Single Cups out of the park. Our only regret is that we only managed to secure a few samples of each (had we known they’d be this good, we’d have asked for a box of each). 

Before we end this review, we do however want to remind our readers that these hot cocoa Single Cups came packed with a bit more cocoa powder than usual and as a result, we had some remaining cocoa sludge (mmmm… cocoa sludge) left in the bottom of each Single Cup after brewing. The extra powder also starting gumming-up the piercing needle on our Keurig brewer and we had to run a short water cycle after brewing in order to ensure that it wouldn’t become blocked completely. As with any milk or cocoa based product, always run a water cycle to help clean-out the piercing needles once you’re done brewing… we can’t stress this enough regardless of the brewer you’re using. 

As for these Single Cups themselves? We think we’ve just found the perfect companion items to hand out to parents next Halloween along with the namesake candy versions. If you’re still on the fence about this one, give these a try… if you like the candies these are based on, you’re sure to love these hot cocoa versions as well.

Tootsie Roll & Junior Mints Hot Cocoa Single Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers BUT NOT Keurig 2.0 and are available in everything from 12-packs to massive 40-packs online and at various retailers across USA. Canadians can also order these Single Cups in 12-packs online via ECSCoffee.com. Please also note that Single Cups will NOT work without using adapters in 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 December 16, 2014 7:50 AM
Recent Comments

I agree! The Junior Mints K cup is the best hot cocoa drink available. I keep zapping in and out of two Walmarts here locally in Orlando every day to get my hands on a box. I've only succeeded once - ONCE. As soon as it hits the shelf, it's gone. My family loves it. I just searched google to find where I could get my hands on a box other than Walmart... Found your review. Excellent review


Posted by: Batman at November 18, 2016 5:27 PM

Yeah these taste awful. I don't know how they got these scores.


Posted by: Tom at December 30, 2014 11:09 AM

Ive been reading your reviews for a very long time and this time I have to disagree completely. when i first tasted these cups I thought it was water and sugar with a little coloring. The cocoa tastes like the sugar was washed with old cocoa in a sink. it is not pleasant. not the childhood memories I expected. The cup was full and not the creamyness expected. It was more like a packet you get at the gas station. Major #fail

I havent read a negative review in your site, and I know there are some pretty awful products out there. Keep it real.


Posted by: Maria Luzunaris at December 23, 2014 10:38 AM
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