The K-Cup Challenge: Green Mountain FTO Espresso Blend Extra Bold
Qwowi’s sample of Green Mountain Fair Trade Organic Espresso Blend Extra Bold K-Cups (for Keurig Brewers of course) was provided by our friends at, you guessed it, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. It seems like forever since we’ve reviewed any Green Mountain Coffee. The gap speaks not only to the number of sponsors helping me out with the project, but also the incredible selection of coffee available for Keurig home and office brewers. I’ve sampled about a dozen varieties so far, which means this project is still very much in its infancy, but overall, I’ve been very satisfied with the quality that, in my mind anyway, is synonymous with the Green Mountain Name.
The Description (Ripped from the Green Mountain Website)
Specially crafted to create a rich, sweet espresso. Excellent as a drip coffee too!
Tasting Notes (Also shamelessly ripped from the Green Mountain site)
A Fair Trade, Organic coffee blend.
This dark-roast blend offers a resonant, pungent aroma with great range and complexity: smoke, toast, chocolate, a hint of flowers and vanilla. In the cup you’ll find a full body, highlighted hints of chocolate and dried fruit.
What it Says on the Box
Deep, dark and dynamically rich with toasty aromatics.
Give Green Mountain points for nailing the aroma in the description. Toasty is right. Perhaps a bit smoky as well, with definite hints of dark cocoa. Not as pungent as some, but by no means is the aroma weak.
Drinking it Black
Most surprising to me, when drinking Green Mountain Espresso Blend black, was the lack of bite. For an extra bold, dark roast, I was expecting it to be much heavier. Some have suggested this blend is weak. While I disagree with that assessment, I will say it’s not as rich as other extra bolds I’ve sampled.
Flavor-wise, it shares characteristics with other dark roasts, but again, it’s not nearly as thick or heavy. There’s a smoky, nutty flavor with a dark chocolate finish that I find common to many of the dark varieties. Acidity is fairly mild as well.
As I’ve pretty much come to expect from Green Mountain coffees, the blend is absolutely without bitterness, and I didn’t have any trouble drinking it black. It sits well in the stomach, and doesn’t cause any problems (I assume you know what I mean)
With Cream and Sugar
Oh how sweet it is. Mix in a little bit of light and sweet, and the Espresso Blend jumps to life. The chocolate notes are amplified, along with the flavor of sweet creamy caramel. The coffee itself maintains its consistency, so you still feel like you’re drinking coffee, not one of those froo-froo whipped sissy drinks served up by the mermaids in green.
Green Mountain Espresso Blend is a bit of a K-Cup enigma to me. It seems lost, and out of place among the various breakfast blends, and other morning jump starts. I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t drink it in the morning, but Green Mountain Espresso Blend is a man about town. It craves the night, and would do very well as an after dinner coffee; perhaps alongside a rich chocolaty dessert (I do love a good lava cake).
Secondarily, Green Mountain Espresso Blend is an absolute star when mixed with Green Mountain Hot Chocolate K-Cups. Because it works so well in that capacity, Espresso Blend has become the single most popular K-Cup in my house (my wife can’t stop making herself blended mocha). It’s a very happy mix. Incidentally, “happy” is the last of the 7 dwarfs. If you’re bored and want to check back through my last 6 reviews, you’ll see I’ve mentioned them all…anything to keep myself amused.
Finally, and this is just a hunch as I haven’t gotten around to trying it for myself; because of the natural caramel flavors, and general sweetness of the blend, dollars to (Rachel Ray free) donuts, I’d be willing to bet it’s very tasty when served over ice.
You can help keep the K-Cup Challenge going by supporting my sponsors (Green Mountain Coffee Roasters). At the Green Mountain Website you can purchase not only the Fair Trade Organic Espresso Blend Extra Bold I’ve written about here, any of the complete lineup of Keurig Brewers. You can also Save $2 on Every Box when you join their Café EXPRESS program.
While you’re here, check out the growing list of K-Cup reviews in my K-Cup Challenge.