March 17, 2015

Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups Review

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We hadn’t heard of Williams Fresh Cafe before and that’s because it’s a Canadian cafe chain which appears to be operating solely out of Ontario. A big of digging around on the company’s website revealed that Williams got its start in 1993 when the company opened their first location in Stratford, Ontario and named it Williams Coffee Pub. After several years of growth, they decided to rebrand in 2009 as Williams Fresh Cafe and started offering freshly made menu items & coffee in a warm & inviting fast casual cafeatmosphere. The chain now has 35 locations across Ontario and recently decided to enter the single serve market by introducing their coffee in Real Cup format in their cafes and having it distributed throughout the rest of Canada by ECS Coffee. As a result, today we’re checking out their Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups. 

Brewing these Real Cups resulted in an mild earthy aroma of cocoa with smoky hickory hints underneath tinged with very light spicy notes. Flavor was comprised of a nice sweet & smoky mix which gave us the impression of a medium-bold blend. We noticed some slight brown sugar notes up front upon first sip which quickly gave way to a blend of molasses and dark cocoa flavors topped with more smoky hickory notes near the end of each sip. We’ve never been to a Williams Fresh Cafe location before, so we can’t confirm or deny wether this coffee comes close to what’d you’d get served in the cafe, but compared to other medium & medium bold coffees on the market, it holds its own. 

Acidity was on the lighter side with only a slight sour note present throughout the cup. Body yielded deep shades of reddish-orange when held to a light source. Mouth feel was smooth & substantial enough to keep us satisfied. We got a bit of a light syrupy feel which gave way to a sweet & smoky finish with lingering dark chocolate notes in the aftertaste. Compared to Canada’s coffee kingpin, Tim Hortons, we can see how this would fit a step above as it’s not as overly sour as a usual Tims but nowhere as intensely burnt as a Starbucks. It fills a niche in between the 2 and we can see how it would likely pair well with a variety of items on the cafe’s menu.

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  • Aroma – 8 – Mild earthy aromas of cocoa with smoky hickory hints lying underneath become tinged with very light spicy notes.  
  • Acidity – 9 – On the lighter side with only a slight sour note throughout the cup. It helped us discover some of the milder flavors present in the blend. 
  • Body – 8 – Deep reddish-orange shades are present when held to a light source.
  • Flavor – 10 – A nice sweet & smoky mix is present here & reminded us of a medium-bold blend. What set things slightly apart from the norm was the presence of some slight brown sugar notes up front. This is the first time in a long while we can remember tasting this in a coffee. This quickly gave way to a blend of molasses & dark cocoa flavors topped with more smoky hickory notes at the end of each sip. 
  • Mouth Feel – 9 – Smooth & substantial enough to keep us happy. We noticed a bit of a light syrupy feel which gave way to a sweet & smoky finish with lingering dark chocolate notes in the aftertaste.
  • Coffee Drinker – If you’re looking for something slightly stronger than a classic diner-style coffee yet you don’t want anything as strongly burnt as a Starbucks, then this likely fits the bill and should be suited to your tastes. The closest thing we could compare it to is a blend of donut shop coffee & diner coffee. Donuts at breakfast? That’s GOT to be a thing somewhere… right? 

Overall Rating: 94 – Exceptional

While digging around the company’s site, we couldn’t help but notice they also offer a bold fair trade organic coffee at their cafes in addition to this signature blend. Could we possibly see this other coffee show up in Real Cup format someday? Time will tell, but we’d definitely like to try it out should that ever occur. As for this signature blend, we rather enjoyed it and found it made for a nice balance compared to what their Canadian competitors have to offer. 

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We like it when a relatively unknown small competitor appears on the single serve scene since it tends to shake things up somewhat, especially if their product outshines the more commonly known larger brand names. If the food items in their cafes are as well-crafted as this coffee, then our only regret is that we don’t have one of their cafes located nearby. If you happen to visit a Williams Fresh Cafe location or have Canadian friends/relatives willing to ship you some samples, we’d definitely recommend giving these Real Cups a try.  

Williams Fresh Cafe Signature Blend Real Cups work in all Keurig K-Cup Brewers BUT NOT Keurig 2.0 and are available at Williams Fresh Cafe locations across Ontario and online via ECSCoffee.com in Canada. These Real Cups are not currently available in USA. Please also note that Real 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 some samples of these Real Cups for the purpose of this review.

Read More in: K Cup Reviews | Keurig & K-Cups | Reviews

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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 17, 2015 7:35 AM
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