June 13, 2011
Van Houtte have been building-up their flavor library with a variety of unique single-origin and fair trade blends over the years and thanks to a recent acquisition by Green Mountain, new flavors (or variations on existing flavors) are starting to appear on the market. We decided to try one of their latest, Van Houtte Amazonia Blend Fair Trade Organic K-Cups.
Brewing these K-Cups result in typical earthy notes common to your average Arabica, but there’s something else hiding underneath we quite couldn’t figure out… maybe hints of a darker roast?
Continue reading: "Review: Van Houtte Amazonia Blend Fair Trade Organic K-Cups"
June 6, 2011
Today we decided to review something truly unique... an unofficial K-Cup which neither the roaster, distributor nor retail outlet which sells it want to acknowledge in any way. Why can't we find any info online about this flavor? Just what the heck is this dark & mysteriously secretive K-Cup anyway? To answer the 1st question: We have no frickin idea... and it kind of creeps us out. To answer the 2nd question: Caribou Coffee's Obsidian K-Cups (insert X-Files theme here).
Brewing these K-Cups result in deep, woodsy notes with almost floral characteristics. We'd have to say the most predominant aroma was that of smoky molasses tinged with licorice hiding underneath, but the aroma almost seemed as if it kept changing every time we took a sniff.
Continue reading: "Review: Caribou Coffee Obsidian K-Cups - The X-Files of K-Cups"
May 16, 2011
As any Canadian who’s been out to a grocery store will notice lately, Van Houtte have been making a major push into the grocery retail market now that they’ve been acquired by Green Mountain. This is great news since new Van Houtte K-Cup flavors are popping up faster than we can keep track of them. While Americans are used to seeing K-Cup 12-packs everywhere from their grocery stores to Wal-Mart, this is a relatively new concept north of the border. We decided to review one of the last “new” flavors Van Houtte released prior to their acquisition, Van Houtte’s Mocha Java K-Cups.
Brewing these K-Cups result in rich earthy notes underlined with chocolate & faint notes of hickory. Billed as a medium roast, flavor was much on-par with the aroma as we detected faint smoky notes and dark chocolate lingering in the background.
Continue reading: "Review: Van Houtte Mocha Java K-Cups for Keurig Brewers"
May 10, 2011
Today we decided to dig back in the archives and look at a K-Cup which has been LONG overdue of a proper review. How far back, you ask? Hmm… how about one of the first K-Cups that came out with the very first Keurig brewers? Yep, it’s finally time for us to review Newman’s Own Organics Newman’s Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups. Not only does the Newman's Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cup hold a record as being one of the oldest/longest running K-Cup flavors in Keurig’s line-up, it probably also holds the record as having the longest K-Cup name.
Nell Newman decided to partner with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and ever since, they’ve been in charge of sourcing & roasting the coffee beans which go into this coffee. As most of you are probably aware, Newman’s Own coffee is so popular that McDonalds USA decided to make it their official coffee brand several years ago and some locations in the New England area even had a special blend created just for them a few years ago, but enough about history… let’s get on to the review.
Continue reading: "Review: Newman’s Own Organics Newman’s Special Blend Extra Bold K-Cups"
April 26, 2011
Van Houtte have been a Canadian grocery store staple when it came to whole bean & traditional grind coffee, but with the recent Green Mountain acquisition, they've literally exploded their available selections when it comes to the K-Cup format. One existing flavor that saw a resurgence in popularity lately would be the Van Houtte Raspberry Chocolate Truffle K-Cups. While we'll admit that this flavor has been around for a while, it recently saw some really nice new packaging & foil redesigns to further promote sales. We decided to giv'er a try and see what we've been missing.
Brewing Van Houtte Raspberry Chocolate Truffle K-Cups resulted in a HUGE burst of raspberry chocolate aroma even before we pressed the brew button! Whatever bit of air trapped in the K-Cup was released by the brew needle and the scent was so strong, we could smell it from that initial whiff. Hells yeah... this one's gonna be interesting! Sure enough, super strong aromas of ripe raspberries blended with milk chocolate quickly filled the room and had us hooked right off the bat. It was no surprise that several members of the Single Serve Coffee staff started appearing near the brewer only moments afterwards to see what yummy flavor we were making. Simply outstanding aroma here... Van Houtte completely NAILED IT. Bravo
Continue reading: "Review: Van Houtte Raspberry Chocolate Truffle K-Cups"
April 21, 2011
We recently reviewed Green Mountain's Revv K-Cups, so it was only natural for us to follow-up today with the 2nd flavor in the series... Green Mountain Revv Pulse K-Cups. So what's different between Revv & Revv Pulse? Simple... the addition of natural caffeine sources in the form of ginseng & guarana to help boost things up a notch. Unlike manufactured caffeine additives such as the ever popular taurine, ginseng & guarana are entirely natural ingredients. Will this K-Cup get us buzzed like an energy drink or ultimately fall flat? Only one way to find out...
Brewing these K-Cups result in an aroma which is quite similar to the Revv K-Cups, consisting mostly of leathery & smoky notes but with added berry scents coming from the addition of ginseng & guarana.
Continue reading: "Review: Green Mountain Coffee Revv Pulse K-Cups for Keurig"
April 11, 2011
Today we decided to look at Green Mountain Coffee Revv K-Cups. These K-Cups are apparently aimed at the younger teen crowd as an alternative to sugary energy drinks and based on marketing campaigns at ski resorts and other trendy areas, it appears to have gained a positive response. Although it's not explained anywhere on the packaging, this coffee is supposed to pack in twice the amount of caffeine normally found in a K-Cup. Judging by their "More Coffee. More Kick" slogan, we're guessing this is done via making this an extra bold and cramming the K-Cup full of coffee.
Brewing these K-Cups result in strong, almost leathery notes which were hiding hints of earthy smoke underneath.
While not exactly billed as an extra bold, we're willing to bet that's exactly what we have here. This dark roast had seriously strong flavor (although nowhere near as crazy as Coffee People's Jet Fuel) while displaying faint hints of smoky dark chocolate. We wouldn't say things tasted overly "burnt", but be prepared for a punch to the tastebuds nonetheless.
Continue reading: "Review: Green Mountain Coffee Revv K-Cups for Keurig"
April 5, 2011
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Van Houtte Butterscotch Coffee Flavored K-Cups for Keurig"
March 29, 2011
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.
Continue reading: "Review: GMCR Donut House Cinnamon Roll K-Cups"
March 25, 2011
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!
Continue reading: "Review: Green Mountain Naturals Hot Apple Cider K-Cups"