June 30, 2008

Review: Nabob Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo

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Our Canadian correspondent S.H. has a another insightful review of Canadian T-Discs for Tassimo...

Nabob has 3 different espresso-based T-Disc flavors on the Canadian market... Espresso, Latte & Cappuccino. The 2 latter varieties both use the same espresso disc I'm reviewing here today with the only difference being the milk discs they include in their packaging. I'll have a review of the Nabob Latte T-Disc soon, but for now I wanted to start off with the most basic of the 3 selections.

One thing which seems to be consistent with Nabob's coffee has been to "expect the unexpected" (maybe they should use that as their new slogan?). Their Café Crema T-Disc surprised me with its mellow taste and bittersweet finish, so much so that I thought it compared well with their 100% Columbian in these regards. I figured to expect the same from their Espresso but once again, I had a unique experience awaiting me.

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You start off with the usual dark roast aroma which is characteristic for most espressos. As the body builds, a medium crema rises to cover a black espresso shot. I had been expecting a mellow to medium taste despite the dark aroma but was surprised to find a rather heavy acidic bite followed by a bold, almost burnt taste. The acid had a tendency to overtake the flavor, something which I hadn't been prepared for at first. I decided to try another cup a few hours later but opted to add a pinch of sugar and take some dark chocolate wafers as an accompanying side-dish in an attempt to offset the acidity. This worked much better and yielded a more enjoyable experience.

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As with most of the other espresso T-Discs offered by Carte Noire & Mastro Lorenzo, Nabob's espresso disc yields the average 1.5 to 2 ounce shot. Due to its strong acidity, you can even add up to an extra ounce of water without diluting the taste too much. A decent crema layer (sugar sinks within 3-4 seconds) helps seal in the flavor for a little while until it eventually dissipates. Oddly enough, despite its strong taste, you can take more than 1 cup throughout a day without getting excessively wired. Everyone's tolerances are different, but I've been able to drink up to 3 cups in one day without any problems (Try doing that with a traditional espresso and you'll be staring at the ceiling all night)

  • Aroma - 8 - Definitely a dark roast, a bit lighter than traditional European espressos.
  • Acidity - 8 -A little too strong, yet not as intense as some brands.
  • Body - 8 - Dark body, medium crema cap, very dark color.
  • Flavor - 5 - Bold, almost burnt taste yet the acid overpowers it at most times. Bitter aftertaste. Adding sugar or picking a good side-dish goes a long way in improving the final experience.
  • Mouth Feel - 5 - Smooth at first until the acid & aftertaste kick in
  • Coffee Drinker - Suited best for dark coffee drinkers who enjoy a shot of energy in the afternoon or after dinner without being wired the rest of the night. Die-hard espresso enthusiasts may not consider this coffee strong enough.

Overall Rating: 84 - Average

I'll have to admit that my favorite espresso T-Disc would be Carte Noire's but Nabob's comes in a close 3rd or 4th on my list once I've made the proper adjustments to suit my flavor preferences. Unfortunately, we don't have that many espresso T-Disc varieties here in Canada so I can't really compare it to much else at the moment. Overall, this is a respectable, very affordable effort on Nabob's behalf which most dark espresso drinkers might appreciate.

The Nabob Espresso T-Discs will work in your Braun Tassimo TA1200 or TA1400 models as well as the new Bosch models which are slated for launch this September. Pricing is $2.99 CAD for 8 discs at most Linens-n-Things stores across Canada or via the Canadian Tassimo eShop. This T-Disc flavor is not currently available on the American market.

Read how we review and rate single serve coffee and other single serve coffee beverages here.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at June 30, 2008 6:02 AM

Recent Comments

The coffee discs are exploding in the machine. What a mess!!! It has happened 4x this week. Only on the espresso, the latte has been OK, though last month I had a problem with that too, the machine couldn't read the code, because the foil was indented. I think that was isolated to the same package.


Posted by: Vera Wade at January 7, 2014 7:32 PM

The bar code on Nabob Tassimo breakfast blend pods overfills the cup resulting in a spill of coffee on the counter.


Posted by: Howard Geddes at October 16, 2009 9:42 AM
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