Taste Test: Cappuccino Crunch, A Coffee Flavored Cereal

 
By 19 November 2012
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Do you start your day off right with a heaping bowl of Cocoa Puffs and a big old pot of coffee? Do you ever wish you could put coffee and Cocoa Puffs together? What’s wrong with you? Can’t you be happy with what you have? Don’t you think you’ve got enough already? Of course you don’t. You want it all.

Thanks to a man named Michael Abrams, now you can have it all, and feast upon a bounty of coffee flavored cereals. That’s right. A family of coffee flavored cereals, all living in perfect harmony beneath the banner of Cappuccino Crunch™.

Abrams is the creator of Cappuccino Crunch™, the first coffee-flavored cereal. He has a food technology degree from Ohio State University, has been in the food industry for thirty years, is Q Grader certified, and grows his own coffee on the slopes of Haleakala Volcano in Maui. So, you know, this project is his calling, basically. He’s the Will Keith Kellogg of coffee.

The cereals are gluten free, hella crunchy, lightly sweetened with cane sugar, and made using 100% arabica coffee. More from the Cappuccino Crunch website:

By not over-sweetening each cereal recipe, and paying detailed attention to a special toasting process, we have succeeded in unlocking an artistic pathway, which acts to raise the levels of gourmet coffee and tea taste and aroma perception in the pallet [sic].

We had the opportunity to taste test all four flavors with an esteemed group of coffee professionals at the Counter Culture training lab in Durham, North Carolina. Let’s take a bite!

Zachary Carlsen, Tim Hill, Katie Carguilo, Lem Butler, and some schmohawk cup Cappuccino Crunch. (Instagram)

In terms of texture the cereals are, as previously stated, “hella crunchy” little teeny pebbles of cereal goodness. In terms of taste, our team of cuppers found flavors that varied on the spectrum from “gnar gnar” to “deloshes”. Did you know there are four different kinds of Cappuccino Crunch? Our tasters tried them all (blind). Let’s break them down:

Cappuccino
$5.99 for an 8oz bag

Cappuccino is the “original” eponymous flavor of Cappuccino Crunch, and thus holds some distinction amongst the four varieties, fusing cereal goodness with hints of vanilla and yes, delicious coffee. Our table noted aromas of maple, vanilla, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, nutmeg, honey grahams, and waffles.

This cereal was beguiling, complicated, and ultimately a let-down. Those sweet and inviting aromatics segued into sad, bitter tasting notes. Our tasters experienced flavors of “cardboard”, “rubber tires”, and “what a Seattle Ferry $1 Cappuccino machine cappuccino tastes like”. As the sample fused with the milk, the bitterness dissipated.

While certainly no thirty minute pleasure trip in a bowl of breakfast cereal, the Cappuccino Flavor is perhaps better suited for a crunchy topping on vanilla ice cream, or a wild addition to some whimsical tiramisu cake.

The Kona Blend
$5.99 for an 8oz bag

The Kona Blend was the least favorite on the table. Sad to say, but this may have been because TKB contains no additional flavorings…just coffee. Unfortunately, our tasters experiences aromas of “cork”, “stale coffee”, and “pencil shavings”. The taste was bitter, baggy, and a disappointment.

Mocha
$5.99 for an 8oz bag

Here’s some good news! Mocha flavor was an all-around crowd-pleaser. It tasted like Cocoa Puffs™, if cocoa puffs contained 35mg of caffeine in every serving. Tasters noted pleasing flavors of chocolate milk, fresh bread, brown sugar, and cocoa.

This could be awesome in baked goods, in ice cream sundaes, and by itself as a day-time caffeinated snack.

Chai Spice
$5.99 for an 8oz bag

This was the hands-down favorite on the table. Totes deloshes. Smells like vanilla, cinnamon, clove, honey, spicy, apples, and pumpkin pie spice. Perfect on its own, delicious in milk, and an all-around crowd-pleaser.  There was a lot of empty bowls of Chai Spice on the tasting table.

Post-cupping shot (Instagram)

In addition to enjoying them in your cereal bowl, you may also have fun and sprinkle each toasty, and crunchy cereal as a topping on your favorite desserts, confections, snacks and beverages.

Overall, we think this new line of cereals are a welcome addition to the our global breakfast zeitgeist, and definitely have a home on the cupping tables of post-irony coffee nerds worldwide. While the Kona Blend and Cappuccino flavors aren’t the greatest, we’re looking forward to the future of flavor possibilities: Gesha Charms? SL-28 Smacks? Caturra Crunch? Macchiatto Pops? The options are endless.

 
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