December 22, 2011

CBTL Americano Espresso and Coffee Maker Arrives for Review

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The CBTL Americano is a capsule based system that allows you to brew coffee, tea, and of course espresso. The system has its roots in Italy, and so does the coffee, which is packed in Italy. The CBTL machine is based on the Caffitaly capsule system which is offered in several countries. Here in the US, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf has introduced the CBTL Americano machine in the US and is selling it through their website as well as Bed Bath and Beyond.

The CBTL® Americano model features six cup sizes, automatic beverage proportioning for consistency cup after cup, a 50 oz water tank, adjustable drip tray, automatic capsule ejection, used capsule storage, and energy saving features and retails for $149.99.

CBTL® is designed to be used exclusively with The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s array of more than 20 hand-selected premium espresso, coffee, hand-plucked whole-leaf tea, and specialty flavored capsules. With the one-touch milk frother and The Coffee Bean famous French Deluxe™ Vanilla and Special Dutch ® Chocolate powders, you can make your own delicious vanilla lattes, chai tea lattes, cappuccinos and more.

The CBTL Americano just showed up today for review, and we've already brewed up a couple of capsules. We're going to crank out a bunch over the holidays and get back with a full review after the New Year.


More at CBTL Website for the CBTL Americano



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December 11, 2011

Breville Dual Boiler Retro Espresso Machine BES900XL

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I came across a review lately that I wanted to pass along on the Breville Dual boiler Espresso machine. The designers at Breville took this one in a different direction sparing little in an attempt to make sure that the Dual Boiler meets the needs of the high end consumer of espresso.

While many other pump driven espresso machines offer you a single boiler that heats water for brewing to less than boiling then does double duty as a steaming boiler, the Dual Boiler, well you guessed it, doesn't. The dual boiler system gives you instantaneous ability to flip from brewing to steaming and back without any lag, and without any concerns about water temperature and quality. It really doesn't stop there, that's just the beginning. this is an impressive machine.

more after the jump.....

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December 4, 2011

Krups XP4600 Silver Art Collection Espresso Machine; Design Flair Included

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I saw this and thought it was one of the sharper designs to come out of Krups in a while. TheKrups Silver Art Espresso machine (XP4600 model) looks like an amazing machine that has some pretty good stats backing it up to offer a solid cup of espresso any time you want. It has a 15-bar pump with a quick heating thermo-block heater.

The exterior of stainless and chrome with a wooden handle to the portafilter. The reservoir is nearly a quart, with a portafilter that will handle either ground coffee or ESE Espresso pods. The unit is programmable and of course the steam wand will allow for well steamed or well frothed milk.

At Amazon - The Krups XP4600 Silver Art Collection Espresso Machine

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November 27, 2011

Saeco Aroma - Solid Pump Driven Espresso at Home

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There are lots of pump driven espresso machines out there; some are inexpensive and some not. In general, you get what you pay for, and the Saeco Aroma is a little more expensive than your usual entry level machine, but the extra costs come in the way of some durability and high quality components. I have a couple of friends with these and they are going on three years plus with them. Under daily use they are still cranking out high quality espressos. See my mini-review on the Saeco Aroma.

The specs are pretty good but they don’t convey the overall high quality of the device. It’s got a 15 bar pump, a 950 watt stainless steel boiler and the ability to brew from both ground and ESE Pods as a result of the special portafilter inserts that come with the machine.

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August 26, 2011

Bodum Brazil French Press - Splash of Color


BodumOrangeFrenchPress.jpgWith a splash of color, the Bodum Brazil French Press adds a little brightness to the morning, and will go well with the Bodum Pavina porcelain cups and their colored grips that I posted about earlier this week.
This French Press is a "3-cup" size, or about 12-ounces, enough for me to enjoy one mug of stout coffee in the morning.
I have seen these at Target, and in several colors, including Orange, Red, Green, Brown, and Black. They are also available at Amazon.
At Amazon - Bodum Brazil 12-ounce French Press


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May 25, 2011

Mitaca Pod 1 Espresso Machine

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If you are in the market for a new espresso brewer, Illy is hoping that you take a look at this new brewer from Mitaca, the Mitaca Pod 1, available exclusively from Illy. The small machine offers some pretty big machine features - full 18 bars of brewing pressure, a 50+ ounce reservoir, steam wand, and automatic ESE Pod ejection.

The price is $395, and comes with a free set of ESE Pods as well as two Illy cups. If you want to sign up for automatic home delivery of coffee from illy, you can get the machine for $125 with a 12 month commitment to the one per 4 week shipment of Illy Pods.

Available at illy - the Mitaca Pod 1 for purchase alone, of the Mitaca Pod 1 in the Coffee at Home Program

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March 29, 2011

Starbucks Plans New Single Serve Brewer in 2012

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Starbucks is laying out plans for a new single serve brewer in 2012 as a follow-up to the announcement that they are moving into the K-Cup product format.

Claiming that they are expecting a billion dollars a year out of the K-Cup franchise, the coffee maker has big plans for their grocery channel future. no word on the format - pressure brewed like a Nespresso or a low pressure brew like the K-cup format. My hunch is both; why not?

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 23, 2011

CBTL System Brewer- Single Serve Espresso, Coffee and Tea

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A new single serve espresso machine has debuted from a coffee shop retailer with a footprint in several US states and several countries around the world. The CBTL brewing system is a capsule based espresso machine that offers the ability to not only brew espresso, but also regular coffee and tea; four varieties each for a total of twelve capsules currently.

The new line includes two machines the Contata and the Kaldi, which both include a twin pressure system allowing for 15-bar brewing of espresso and a lower pressure, 3.5-bar brewing of tea and coffee. The cups sizes are pre-programmed giving you the option of a short and long espresso or a regular 8-ounce coffee brew size.

The Kaldi (shown above) comes in 3 colors (blue, red and white), and retails for $149, while the Contata (below) comes in the one color and retails for $129.


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CBTL also offers sachets that allow you to spice up your drinks with cocoa and vanilla powder - adding a little change up to the routine.

Full Press Release follows......More at CBTL

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December 1, 2010

Review: Nescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa Espresso Machine

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The Nescafe Dolce Gusto line was recently expanded to increase its appeal and increase the footprint in the US by offering a wider array of features and price points. Ranging from about $89 - $169 the Nescafe Dolce Gusto makers hit a sweet spot of single serve coffee/espresso machines that are easily affordable at the low end for higher quality pump-driven espresso machines. Yes, the Nescafe Dolce Gusto line uses a pump-driven system that develops up to 15-bar of pressure to extract coffee in a very espresso-like manner.

With the pump driven system, and the wide array of espresso based drinks, I wanted to understand how the Nescafe Dolce Gusto stood up to other espresso machines and brewers. We were supplied with the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa machine by Nescafe, which sits at the top of the line of four products: the Piccolo, the Circolo, the Melody, and the Creativa.

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Regular readers are of course familiar with the Nespresso line of brewers, also by Nestle, that offer a wide variety of espresso capsule blends. The Nespresso line comes in above the Dolce Gusto line and is more targeted towards espresso aficionados while the Nescafe Dolce Gusto is targeted at people who want a simpler approach to making coffee house drinks at home.

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November 9, 2010

Review: Nescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa Arrives for Review

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UPDATE: 12/1 - My Review of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa Machine has posted - check it out.

The new re-launch of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Brewer line puts renewed energy behind the consumer focused coffee drink station that packs 15-bar pressure for a more true espresso extraction type brew. Nescafe/Krups provided me with the new Creativa brewer showing off the new capabilities of their top of the line product. The LCD screen allows you to pick your brew, resulting in the right amount of water to be pushed through the capsule; ranging from a short couple of ounces with an espresso to a full eight ounces with an Americano.

Unpacking the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Creativa

Obviously the Creativa comes well padded and wrapped for transit, giving you an easy view of the machine's profile after breaking into the styrofoam outer packaging. Included is a movable tray (with a blue film wrapper - take it off and see the shiny drip tray cover), and a knock-box type spent capsule graveyard container. Fill the back reservoir, plug it in and the unit is ready to go. The directions indicate that several rinses are required before brewing your coffee. The LCD screen gives you a "Rinse" option to make it easy.


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Sampler - Variety Pack of Nescafe Dolce Gusto Capsules

The Creativa comes with a small set of capsules in a variety pack, allowing users to experience a few of the drinks that the Nescafe Dolce Gusto line is capable of brewing. The variety includes an Espresso, Caffe Lungo, Caffe Americano, the dual capsule set of the Cappuccino, Chococcino, and Latte Macchiato. The "Map" on the underside of the lid offers you a guide to brewing the products that will get you going on your way to Dolce Gusto-ness.


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In no time we were brewing a Cappuccino in the machine, milk capsule first, then the coffee shot from 100% all Arabica ground beans.


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We have a large assortment in of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto capsules, the espresso provided by Nescafe, and the rest, I shopped for locally. I will say that not a lot of stores (read "none") have the capsules in stock, or even have slotted them into the shelf plans, except for WalMart, who has taken a position and is selling the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo brewer. I have also searched out online providers like CoffeeWiz who has a full assortment. (This is also where I buy my K-Cups by the case).

I'll report back on the performance of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto and give it a full review. I certainly do not believe that this is targeted at the high end aficionado who is into roasting his or her own beans on a regular basis, but instead as a transition machine for those who are interested in taking their coffee love beyond a cuppa joe.

More at Nescafe Dolce Gusto - their corporate website
Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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