Friday, January 13, 2012

K-Cup Standoff: Hazelnut

I think that my Keurig Coffeemaker has revolutionized my life in ways that could only be compared to the significance of the Microwave Oven's effects on the American household. You know, excluding all of its negative impacts like increased divorce, cancer, and childhood obesity rates. For someone who loves coffee, but is the only person in her family with a palette advanced enough to enjoy it, besides my toddler of course, it is the perfect way to make coffee.

If you have a Keurig, you know how instantly the vast realm of K-cups can engulf your world. I keep promising myself that I'm going to do the smart thing and buy a reusable K-cup so that I can use my own 12 oz bags of coffee. And I will. Eventually. In the meantime, I'm having way too much fun researching and taste testing the endless varieties of perfectly convenient, all inclusive, 5 seconds to brew, caffeinated K-Cup goodness.

However, I am finding a lot of the reviews to be a little intellectual for my taste, so I decided to dumb it down a little and write my own every now and then. I'm starting with a comparison of two that I enjoyed this week. I do need to make a few disclaimers. My palette may be advanced enough to appreciate coffee, but it's not advanced enough to detect every hint of earthy flavor and inspiration. Plus, even though, I am perfectly capable of enjoying a strong cup of black coffee (especially with some type of chocolate decadence,) I almost always add flavored creamer. But, I do not EVER drink my coffee with "cream and sugar." It's either black, or flavored. So, if you are a black coffee elitist, then my opinion may mean nothing to you. Also, I like my coffee strong, so that impacts my perspective.

The Contestants: Gloria Jeans Hazelnut vs Green Mountain Hazelnut

I read the following reviews:
Gloria Jeans
Green Mountain

Cup Size: 9.25 oz

Flavored Creamer: 2 teaspoons of Coffee-mate's Belgian Chocolate Toffee (which may or not be expired.)

According to the reviews, I expected to prefer the Gloria Jeans variety. But, I did not. End of review. Ok, maybe that's a little too dumbed down. I've tried a few of Gloria Jeans' selections, and I'm not impressed with the strength of their brews. I've found all of them to be a little weak and watered down for my taste, especially when using the 9.25 oz size. However, I think that the times I've used the 7.25 oz, I've liked them much better.

The hazelnut flavor was a little more pronounced in the Gloria Jeans, but the Green Mountain was a better cup of coffee overall. Even on the larger size it had a lot of body and was strong enough that the creamer didn't hide the taste of the coffee, and there was still the hint of hazelnut that rounded out the experience.

Verdict: If you only want the small cup of coffee and you care more about the Hazelnut flavor than the strength of your coffee, then you might prefer the Gloria Jeans. However, if you want the larger size and prefer a good cup of coffee that just happens to have a hazelnut influence my choice is the Green Mountain.

You're Welcome!

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