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Green Mountain Coffee K-Cup Flavors, Ranked

Green Mountain coffee varieties
Green Mountain coffee varieties - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Coffee is an essential, inescapable, and completely nonnegotiable part of many people's mornings (and potentially afternoons and late nights, too). If you need a little extra energy, you know where to find it: the caffeine in your cup of coffee. Sometimes, you find yourself pouring another cup of coffee even when you don't really need it; you just want it because its bitter yet smooth taste slowly but surely grows on you. Eventually you're indifferent about the flavor, and then before you know it, it's the best part of your day. That's one of the many magical qualities of coffee.

In a world where coffee shops are one of the most important destinations in any city and Starbucks is a household name, it goes without saying that there are innumerable different ways to consume coffee, and innumerable different kinds to choose from. One of the easiest and most convenient methods for preparing your morning cup is using a Keurig.

A Keurig is a coffee maker that uses pods of ground coffee, called K-Cups, and filters water through each pod to create a fully powered brew at the push of a button. It's worth noting that you can recycle used K-Cup pods, an added bonus to using a Keurig rather than contributing yet another cup to the landfill. One brand that makes consistently good K-Cups is Green Mountain, so we decided to taste and rank a wide assortment of their products to find our favorite.

Read more: 26 Coffee Hacks You Need To Know For A Better Cup

14. Colombia Select

Green Mountain Colombia Select coffee
Green Mountain Colombia Select coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The Colombia Select blend is a classic medium roast. Many coffee brands feature Colombian blends, so it came as no surprise that we would be trying one from Green Mountain. Unfortunately, it wasn't the best we've ever tried. Even though this is a single-origin medium roast, it tasted thin and watery. We also could not detect any specific flavor notes or profiles beneath the basic taste of regular black coffee.

For a simple coffee experience, it's just fine — only it was a little underwhelming in comparison to so many other great options that we tried from Green Mountain. But hey, the silver lining is that the Colombia Select blend makes a great choice if you primarily want to be tasting the flavor of your favorite creamer, since the taste of coffee won't stand out. In addition to favorite coffee brands, we have favorite coffee creamer brands to recommend.

13. Nantucket Blend

Green Mountain Nantucket Blend coffee
Green Mountain Nantucket Blend coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Sometimes you don't want your coffee to taste like anything except coffee. Bells and whistles, sweeteners, "notes of x, y, and z" — all of it can take a back seat to the experience of a good, basic cup of coffee. That's what the Nantucket Blend does best.

This is a coffee for anyone. It's an agreeable medium roast, neither too bright nor too dark, devoid of bitterness or pungency. There is a complex, carefully selected flavor undercurrent to this blend, but when it all comes together in your mug, it just tastes pleasantly cohesive. We found it to be an ideal standard choice for a weekday morning.

This mellow coffee is a great co-star to some simple, dippable cookies. And since the best cookies are homemade, we would love to share our old-fashioned butter cookies recipe. You'd be hard-pressed to find a better accompaniment to this cup of coffee.

12. French Vanilla

Green Mountain French Vanilla coffee
Green Mountain French Vanilla coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Vanilla is a universal flavor for a reason. From ice cream to cake to coffee creamer, vanilla has become synonymous with "basic" — so if you are curious about trying a flavored coffee that isn't going to completely overpower the coffee taste, vanilla is your most basic bet. And since Green Mountain is a safe bet for quality K-Cup coffee, you're in good hands with their French Vanilla.

This was a very nice French Vanilla coffee in that it didn't taste even remotely artificial. Granted, that also means that it doesn't taste ridiculously strong or sweet; if you're hoping that these K-Cups will make you feel like you're drinking a Starbucks vanilla latte, think again. Sweetness and silkiness is still the job of a creamer, not the coffee itself. But that's what we enjoyed about this blend. You can find rare middle ground (pun intended) between strong black coffee and sweet, creamy vanilla drinks.

What about this coffee is French? We're not sure where this variety falls amid the difference between vanilla and French vanilla, but we'll take the fancy name. It tastes great either way.

11. Chocolate Dipped Pistachio

Green Mountain pistachio coffee
Green Mountain pistachio coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

We clearly tried many Green Mountain coffees to accomplish this ranking, but we were most looking forward to sampling a sip of the creative Chocolate Dipped Pistachio. Hazelnut coffee is a standard flavor for coffee beans, almost as common as vanilla, and we have seen other nuts advertised on packages before — but this was the first we had seen of pistachio.

Anytime chocolate is involved in coffee, you expect the end result will taste something like a mocha. But actually, the chocolate flavor in this variety was under the radar. In fact, it was a little hard to find, so we determined that the chocolate element probably just contributed to making the coffee taste a little more cocoa-forward and silky smooth. The same went for the pistachio taste; rather than experiencing the fragrant, buttery flavor of pistachios, we just got a light hint of general nutty flavor.

If this variety had been advertised as "Chocolate Dusted Almond" rather than Chocolate Dipped Pistachio, we wouldn't have known the difference. But this still a nice coffee, with some light notes of chocolate and nuts that are subtle and intriguing.

10. Hazelnut

Green Mountain hazelnut coffee
Green Mountain hazelnut coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Hazelnut coffee, like vanilla, is a go-to for flavored-coffee lovers. Green Mountain's blend is nothing too out of the ordinary, but still a nice, smooth blend. Note that this variety is artificially flavored, rather than created with real hazelnuts. Don't hold it against the brand, though, since pretty much only artisanal coffee roasters go the all-natural route.

If you have never tried hazelnut coffee, or have little experience with hazelnuts (they aren't as commonplace in cooking or nut butters as, say, peanuts or almonds), they are small, round, slightly buttery nuts with a slightly sweet yet smoky taste. Maybe you've tried Nutella; just take out the chocolate flavor, and the taste you have is hazelnut. When preparing coffee from these K-Cups, you can try adding some chocolate creamer for a Nutella-inspired beverage.

If the complex notes in this cup of coffee kick off a lifelong love of anything hazelnut, challenge yourself to explore some lesser-known ways to incorporate the flavor into your food. For example, this elegant hazelnut cream pasta recipe will absolutely blow you away.

9. Wild Mountain Blueberry

Green Mountain blueberry coffee
Green Mountain blueberry coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

If you prefer to undercut the slightly bitter, slightly controversial taste of pure coffee with a flavored bean, we completely understand. It also just changes things up once in a while if your regular coffee routine is getting stale, and nobody wants stale coffee. But be warned — for better or worse, Wild Mountain Blueberry Green Mountain Coffee is a wild pick.

Blueberries and coffee might not instantly go together, but before you run in the other direction, consider the impeccable morning experience of eating a fresh, fluffy, bakery-style blueberry muffin alongside a cup of your favorite coffee shop brew. It's just one of those simple joys in life. And we got a solid iteration of that joy with minimal effort thanks to this little K-Cup.

There isn't just a hint of fruity berries here, but a bold, juicy, unapologetic tribute to blueberries. It's strong. Make of that what you will: It's either going to be an absolute treat or an absolute threat, and we'll let you decide.

8. Half-Caff

Green Mountain Half-Caff coffee
Green Mountain Half-Caff coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Many people strongly insist that decaf coffee is pointless. Why have coffee if you can't have the caffeine? The spike of energy can be exactly what one person needs from a cup of coffee, and exactly what another person needs to avoid. But in between the two extremes is an ingenious creation: Half-Caff coffee. It's everything you love about the smooth taste of medium roast coffee, but you get two cups for the caffeine of one. Excellent.

Maybe you want a second cup of coffee but really shouldn't go overboard, or maybe you're desperate for a little boost without going too far. Whatever the occasion, this Half-Caff can be your saving grace. It tastes almost as strong and savory as a fully caffeinated cup, but goes a little easier on your system.

Of course, if you want decaf, Green Mountain offers K-Cups for that, too. There's something for everyone and everyone's caffeine needs, particularly those who strive to strike a balance between just-right and too much in their lives. If you want to learn more about this, read up on the maximum amount of caffeine you can safely consume each day.

7. Horizon Blend

Green Mountain Horizon Blend coffee
Green Mountain Horizon Blend coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The Horizon Blend is crafted under the watchful eye of famed actor and director Kevin Costner. Sometimes affiliations with celebrities bring out the absolute worst in a brand, but we are not going to name names. This time, however, the collaboration brings us a lovely dark roast coffee with nothing to hide.

Horizon Blend isn't as pointed, brash, and unapologetic as other dark roasts. You don't necessarily have to be a black-coffee curmudgeon to enjoy this one. It's bold, yes, but also smooth and easy to drink. It's advertised as a bit earthy and smoky, and even if we didn't detect that specifically, we don't doubt that those hints created a full-bodied brew. We very much enjoyed it.

If you're looking for a basic dark roast coffee that isn't too challenging, you will probably enjoy this one as much as we did. Another idea: If you are considering branching out into dark roast coffees instead of gentler, brighter light or medium roasts, the Horizon Blend is an excellent jumping-off point.

6. Caramel Vanilla Cream

Green Mountain caramel vanilla coffee
Green Mountain caramel vanilla coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

In our opinion, Green Mountain's Caramel Vanilla Cream is about as pleasant and unproblematic as a cup of coffee can be. It doesn't taste like straight caramel, nor straight vanilla, nor is it full of coffee creamer — but the flavor of the beans borrows from each element to create a mild, mellow, sweet, and soothing blend.

We really enjoyed how this coffee isn't in-your-face dessert adjacent, even though the name does evoke visions of an ice cream sundae with caramel sauce. Nope, it's just a coffee that hides all of its darker qualities under a trio of sunnier ones. Get a caramel macchiato if that's what you want, get a vanilla latte if that's your thing, but make yourself a cup of Caramel Vanilla Cream if you want black coffee that's going to put a little smile on your face. Naturally, we're imagining eating this with a little treat like a slice of salted caramel ... what are you waiting for? Try it.

5. Dark Magic

Green Mountain Dark Magic coffee
Green Mountain Dark Magic coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

This particular cup of coffee was everything we were looking for in a dark roast. It's incredibly rich and has a certain amount of texture that felt unusual when drinking coffee that came out of a K-Cup. We would have sworn it was the result of freshly ground beans that were brewed in a French press, or another device allowing traces of the beans to slip into the cup. A slight chocolate taste was detectable, but beyond that, there were not as many specific flavor notes. That was due to the fact that Dark Magic mostly just tasted intensely dark.

If you're a Keurig skeptic who believes that the coffee maker could never brew something strong enough for your liking, this is the flavor for you — especially if you purchase a Keurig that has an optional "strong" setting (which probably will soon become mandatory). It is definitely one of the more, if not the most, bitter Green Mountain coffee blends that we tried, but sometimes that's exactly what you need to get through the day. Besides, it holds up extra well against a splash of half-and-half or your favorite creamer.

4. Breakfast Blend

Green Mountain Breakfast Blend coffee
Green Mountain Breakfast Blend coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The Breakfast Blend might sound like the most boring coffee on this list. Coffee that's described as coffee that you drink at breakfast? Okay, then. But don't go too far, because this sprightly brew ended up being one of our favorites. It's Dark Magic's polar opposite in that it's a nice light roast as opposed to a bold dark roast.

Ironically, light roasts like this Breakfast Blend may sometimes taste stronger than dark roasts, since all those "notes" that you hear coffee snobs talk about emerge loud and clear when you're enjoying them. And you can pick up a decaf version of this blend if you want all the amazing taste of coffee in the morning, but without the caffeine rush.

Many people are turned off by the bitterness and acidity of coffee. This Breakfast Blend does its best to eradicate any sour note and just leave the good stuff. This coffee is smooth and not too pungent, while also sporting floral and nutty notes. It's a really, really good way to start the day, and definitely a standout light roast K-Cup on the market — whether you decide to go with the caffeinated or decaf version. We like it so much that we'll probably keep one of each version on hand, so we can have two cups in the morning without bouncing off the walls.

3. Brown Sugar Crumble

Green Mountain brown sugar coffee
Green Mountain brown sugar coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

The Green Mountain coffee flavor Brown Sugar Crumble tastes a lot like it claims it will on the box. Actually, there is a difference — it tastes like a whole lot more. It's better than we ever expected it would be. Out of all the flavored coffee varieties from this brand (counting out roasts like Horizon Blend, Nantucket Blend, or Breakfast Blend), this one was the near-unanimous favorite.

It's all too easy for anything with "cinnamon" in the name to taste like someone just shook spice from the jar onto prepared food or beverages, and called it good (when usually it is not, in fact, good). But this K-Cup flavor tastes far more complex and well-thought-out than that. Instead, we got the sense that we were drinking a homemade coffee cake, with a heavy emphasis on the coffee. It's just so good.

The best part is that even though the brown sugar is definitely noticeable, the coffee doesn't taste too sweet. There is a distinct savory, toasty flavor that keeps it from veering into cloying territory. After all, coffee cake is meant for breakfast, not for dessert.

2. Sumatra Reserve

Green Mountain Sumatra Reserve coffee
Green Mountain Sumatra Reserve coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Among most recreational coffee drinkers, few people would likely notice a drastic difference in taste between the Nantucket and Colombian K-Cup blends, but a connoisseur might just happen to detect it. Both the Nantucket and Colombian are nice, more-than-decent medium roast coffees. However, if you really savor your coffee, you always notice some extra tasting notes that stand out. The Sumatra Reserve instantly impressed us with an enticing aroma and extra-gorgeous mahogany hue, but the flavor was what we were after — and it didn't disappoint.

This is one of the smoothest K-Cup coffees we have ever tried. There's a luscious, almost syrupy mouthfeel that stood out, plus notes of chestnut and chocolate. Many of the Green Mountain coffee options on this list tasted far beyond what we thought a Keurig was capable of, but this Sumatra Reserve coffee in particular was suspiciously high-quality. It was a surprise favorite.

1. Cinnamon Honey Drizzle

Green Mountain cinnamon honey coffee
Green Mountain cinnamon honey coffee - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

One of the newer additions to the Green Mountain coffee lineup is the Cinnamon Honey Drizzle ... and remind us, how were we drinking our coffee before this taste test? It feels like so long ago. Lately, all we've been wanting to drink is this. Maybe it's because this is such a light, bright, fresh take on coffee that completely delivers on flavor while still tasting like good coffee. This flavor might get old, but it certainly hasn't yet.

The first thing we liked about this coffee was the lovely, pleasant aroma as it brewed. Honey and cinnamon go together like, well, peanut butter and jelly. Honey creates a complex, golden, in-depth sweetness much more than regular white sugar. Also, while cinnamon isn't a sweetener, it so often gets paired with brown sugar or honey that the taste of cinnamon can trick you into thinking that you're eating something sugary.

All that to say, this coffee is still regular black coffee when you make it in the Keurig, but it tastes like we have put in subtle drops of a sweet honey-cinnamon syrup — not enough to detract from the coffee, but enough to notice and love. It's very springy and moreish.

Methodology

Green Mountain coffee varieties
Green Mountain coffee varieties - Judy Moreno/Tasting Table

Green Mountain was kind enough to share a few of their picks with us to try, so we started with those. Then we went out to a local grocery store to fill in the gaps. All in all, we ended up with a solid lineup of 14 Green Mountain K-Cup coffee flavors to taste. We prepared them all in the Keurig and drank them black for the purest flavor experience. Then came the hard part: ranking them.

We were definitely a little extra-caffeinated over the course of completing this list, but it was worth it. From dark roast to light roast, from Caramel Vanilla Cream to Dark Magic, Green Mountain offers myriad options for every palate, preference, and personality. Though everyone's tastes are going to be a bit different, we did our best to form objective opinions and bring you a compilation that will lead you towards your new favorite cup of coffee.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.