Coffee is a very personal thing and everyone enjoys "their" special brew. Well the folks at Saeco have taken things to a new level and not only offer you the ability to customize your drink, but they also give you the ability to get that drink at the swipe of your finger. The SuperAutomatic espresso drink center can grind, tamp and brew your espresso while steaming your milk to create a great espresso drink, but maybe you want a larger sup, a stronger shot, more or less milk.
The CBTL Americano offers another option for single serve espresso and coffee on a standardized platform that has jumped the ocean from Europe. based on the CaffeItaly platform, this capsule-based machine is a different standardization from other makers, but rests squarely on a firm infrastructure, offered in the US by CBTL.com They sent me this machine right around the holidays, and I have been using it ever since.
The machine line-up is concentrated in a more affordable price range of $139 - $179, as compared to other capsule-based systems. The CBTL Americano offers more brew sizes and a slightly larger footprint on your counter space versus the other models. With a 15-bar pump, and a single and lung setting, the machine is more of an espresso model versus a single serve coffee brewer, but they seem to have a trick up their sleeve in the making of the capsules to that they can create both well enough - more later.
The Americano is available at Bed Bath and Beyond as well as online at CBTL.com and Bed Bath and Beyond. CBTL offers a nice range of four espressos, a small handful of regular coffees, and some tea capsules. They also offer a few select decaf varieties in the mix. Cost is about $0.65 - $0.70 each with is roughly on par with other capsule based systems like Nespresso.
Read on for details on the machine, directed capsules and the espressos after the jump……
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.
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.
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.
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.
With 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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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