April 5, 2011

Review: Van Houtte Butterscotch Coffee Flavored K-Cups for Keurig

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Companies are often forced to rethink packaging for products which either aren’t performing well or haven’t been grabbing enough attention on store shelves. Van Houtte recently decided to make a few such changes in their line-up, however, they went about it in a questionable way by renaming existing products (Hazelnut is now Vanilla Hazelnut) or putting existing products in new packaging (Old Kilimanjaro K-Cups are now in new packaging that simply says “Kenya” on the box). While this has annoyed us beyond all means, it has served to make us inadvertently purchase flavors we thought we had reviewed only to dig through our archives and realize that we hadn’t even tasted these flavors before. Such is the case with Van Houtte’s Butterscotch K-Cups.

Brewing these K-Cups result in rich notes of buttery caramel with hints of vanilla hiding in the background (at least the aroma was spot-on). Flavor was much the same as strong bursts of caramel & vanilla came forth with a touch of sweetness throughout. We can only assume that the caramel flavors would be further enhanced with a touch of cream.

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March 29, 2011

Review: GMCR Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups

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We embark upon this review with a "better late than never" attitude since yes; we forgot to review Green Mountain's Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups back when they were first released. We really like their Donut House Extra Bold K-Cups and even found that they reminded us a bit of Denny's house blend coffee, so we were anxious to see what this flavored K-Cup would be like.

A sweet aroma of spicy cinnamon quickly fills the room upon brewing with faint buttery notes hiding underneath a complex layer of vanilla frosting. Not exactly as intense of a smell you'd find at a Cinnabon kiosk, but pretty damn close. We call this one spot-on.

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March 25, 2011

Review: Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider K-Cups

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Today we review something which has been long awaited in the single-serve coffee market, not to mention something which is the first of its kind: Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider K-Cups. Ah yes, apple cider... we recall fond moments in our childhood sitting around the fireplace drinking cups of hot mulled apple cider on a cold Winter night or enjoying a nice warm cup after a day outside playing in the snow. While these days, we're recalling not-so-fond moments of shoveling said snow (for what seems like the bazillionth time in a row), we still enjoy a good cup of cider every once in a while. Could this K-Cup live-up to our expectations? Time to find out...

Brewing the Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider K-Cups result in sweet notes of apples & cinnamon, just like we remembered as kids and seeing as how the only other single-serve alternatives on the market are Motts instant-mix apple cider powder packets, we'd say this smells just as good, if not better than those. Flavor was on-par with aroma and blew our taste buds through the roof with lush sweet notes of apple and just the right hint of cinnamon in the background. Wow... just, wow. This was pretty darn close to the real deal! Amazing!

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February 16, 2011

Review: Green Mountain Spicy Eggnog Fair Trade K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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We decided to look back at some recent holiday K-Cups this past season and although it's a few months late, today we're reviewing Green Mountain's Spicy Eggnog Fair Trade K-Cups. This is a seasonal flavor which is usually available in late November/early December but Amazon.com still has some 24-pack boxes in stock at the time of this review. Our readers in Canada will have to wait until December 15, 2011 when SingleCup.ca is slated to get new stock on this flavor.

Brewing these K-Cups yield aromas of sweet eggnog spiced with dashes of nutmeg. Spot-on scents abound here and are the next best thing to warming up a pot of eggnog on the stove at Christmas time. Outstanding proof that the... uh... roasting aroma-therapists? (yeah, sure... let's call them that) at Green Mountain haven't lost their touch.

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January 28, 2011

Review: Wolfgang Puck Vanilla Francaise K-Cups for Keurig Brewers

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Up next in our series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews is their Wolfgang Puck Vanilla Francaise K-Cups. Seeing as how French vanilla seems to be a fairly standard staple flavor in the K-Cup market (just about every roaster, including Van Houtte, have their own version), we were interested to see Chef Puck's interpretation of this classic flavor.

A strong aroma of sweet vanilla & hints of caramel emerge upon brewing. Out of all the French Vanilla K-Cups we've had over the years, we'd have to say the scent was a bit more pronounced than what we were expecting at first glance.

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January 14, 2011

Review: Wolfgang Puck Hawaiian Hazelnut K-Cups for Keurig

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Our Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews continue with their Wolfgang Puck Hawaiian Hazelnut K-Cups. A hazelnut-flavored Kona blend? We’ve got to give props to Chef Puck… he’s got some truly unique coffee flavors to date and we’re really liking what we’re seeing lately.

Light aromas of hazelnut appeared upon brewing with faint notes of vanilla hiding underneath. We were expecting a bit stronger of an aroma but were glad to see the tropical theme was present with the vanilla notes.

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December 31, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups for Keurig K-Cup Brewers

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We forge onwards in our Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews with a flavor that had been piquing our curiosity ever since it was first announced...Wolfgang Puck Jamaica Me Crazy K-Cups. With a name like that, how couldn't one be curious?

Surprising aromas of vanilla & coconut quickly filled the room upon brewing and had the staff quite excited since it brought back fond memories from one of our all-time favorite K-Cups (GMCR's Island Coconut). This was spot-on with the packaging's description, however, we also detected notes of what you'd usually associate with Jamaican beverages... rum!

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December 8, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House K-Cups for Keurig

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Our ongoing series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews continues today with their Wolfgang Puck Vienna Coffee House K-Cups. While billed as a blend that had Chef Wolfgang going back to his Austrian roots, a quick gander at the Wiki article for Vienna coffee reveals that it’s a “traditional cream based coffee beverage made by preparing two shots of strong black espresso in a standard sized coffee cup and infusing the coffee with whipped cream (as a replacement for milk and sugar) until the cup is full. Then the cream is twirled and optionally topped off with chocolate sprinklings”. Hmm… ok, so this K-Cup should possibly taste like an extra bold with hints of cream & chocolate? Let’s find out.

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November 16, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Chef's Reserve Colombian Decaf K-Cups for Keurig

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We continue our series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews with the Wolfgang Puck Chef's Reserve Colombian Decaf K-Cups in today's review. It should be noted that there's actually one major difference between the regular & decaf versions of the Chef Reserve Colombian flavor (no, it's not the obvious lack of caffeine)... the decaf is a medium roast while the regular is a dark roast. We can't recall the last time we saw a K-Cup manufacturer use a different roast for their decaf version, so this should make for some interesting nuances.

Upon brewing, we got a small waft of your typical medium roasts but then it quickly disappeared. We had to stop and check that our Keurig hadn't crapped-out half way through the brew... that's how bizarre it was. Once the brewing was over, we took our time to try and discern any outstanding scents but couldn't really smell anything other than a rather weak standard Arabica scent. There were no dark chocolate notes of the regular Colombian version here, nor any of the earthiness. A really weak & lacking aroma overall.

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October 22, 2010

Review: Wolfgang Puck Breakfast In Bed K-Cups for Keurig

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Next up in our series of Wolfgang Puck K-Cup reviews are the Wolfgang Puck Breakfast In Bed K-Cups for today's review. Labeled as a medium roast, we wondered if Van Houtte decided to name this flavor based on the comforting qualities one finds in their own bed when they wake up each morning. While that remains to be seen, let's just hope this flavor doesn't make us want to hit the snooze button and go back to sleep like their Colombian Decaf did recently.

Upon brewing, typical aromas of Arabica were present, but appeared to border on a light dark roast in regards to earthiness. Flavor was surprisingly the same... which led us to believe this was more of a medium-bold blend than a lighter medium. Will be interesting to see how some of the other K-Cups in the Wolfgang Puck line-up turn out as there's some which are in fact listed as medium-bolds. We detected faint nutty notes in the background along with some mild earthy notes found in the regular Chef's Reserve Colombian we reviewed a while back.

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