February 23, 2012

Review: Carte Noire Long Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo

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We continue our reviews of new Canadian T-Discs today with another entry submitted by our Canadian Correspondent, SH. Today he reviews the recent Carte Noire Long Espresso T-Discs. A "long espresso" is pretty much similar to a "lungo" whereby you use the same amount of coffee at the same extraction level but increase the final amount of drink volume in the cup. As a result, you get a super-sized espresso with all the same amount of kick. Sign us up!

Billed as an "Xtra Bold" on Tassimo’s new strength scale system, brewing these T-Discs resulted in very strong earthy notes at first which gave way to sweet notes of milk chocolate at the forefront of the aroma. This was rather unique since most dark roasts & extra bolds we’ve had in the past always had aromas of dark chocolate instead. Regardless, we liked this change of pace & thought it made for a nice alternative to the norm. Oddly enough, flavor is where we eventually found the dark chocolate notes. We were intrigued… this was like a “sweet & sour” version of coffee in regards to how the aroma was interplaying with the flavor. As we dove deeper into the cup, tastes of cereal notes came to the foreground quickly followed by oily notes of the espresso roast on the finish.


Acidity was more on the strong side of things (as to be expected with an espresso) but it started off mild and quickly built up to full force only on the finish. A rather coy way of luring you in with a false sense of security just before it tries knocking your brain out your ears. Well played, Carte Noire. Body took on the characteristics of a black hole in outer space as no matter which angle or method we tried, light just wouldn’t escape. SUPER pitch black & opaque throughout. Unreal. If anything cried “I’m gonna kick you in the teeth”, this was it. Not only did this coffee smell & taste strong, it looked the part as well. Oh, not to mention, we got a decent amount of crema on top of the cup too.


Mouth feel was surprisingly smooth amidst all the oomph going on in the cup with subtle oily notes on the finish. Overall, we’d have to say this is one of the best “lungos” we’ve ever had from a Tassimo… even compared to when we tried making one with a regular Carte Noire espresso disc a few years back.

  • Aroma – 10 – Very strong earthy notes give way to sweet milk chocolate aromas in the foreground. Wait... what? MILK chocolate? Yep!
  • Acidity – 10 – Quite a feisty one here. Starts off leaving you wondering where it is, then comes out of nowhere in an explosion of smooth & balanced strength throughout. Just the right amount of kick to keep things hopping.
  • Body – 10 – Is there even a color that’s darker than “inside of a black hole”? Dark matter in a cup perhaps? We felt like sticking a picture of Chuck Norris’ face on the side of the cup. That’s how unbelievably mean & strong looking this coffee was. Decent crema topped everything off quite nicely.
  • Flavor – 10 – Ah, so THAT’S where the dark chocolate was hiding. Nice cereal notes also reveal themselves while a subtle oily finish lurks around the back of the cup.
  • Mouth Feel – 10 – How the heck can something so strong be so smooth? Smooth throughout with slight oily notes again on the finish.
  • Coffee Drinker – Do you like espresso? Do you like coffee that has enough kick to blow your taste buds to the next universe? Do you like coffee that’s darker than the furthest recesses of outer space while at the same time NOT tasting like a pile of burning firewood? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this coffee’s for you. Light roast & medium roast drinkers need not apply.

Overall Rating: 100 – Excellent!

We were worried after Carte Noire released their Kenya T-Disc and thought they may be straying off-course as France’s top coffee brand but all fears are quite firmly put to rest with this release. Out of all the espresso-based drinks we’ve had on the Tassimo, this one by far appears to be the best one yet and has secured Carte Noire’s spot on our favorite brands list. We quite enjoyed their regular Espresso T-Discs and these new Long Espresso T-Discs only serve to trump things even further. It should be noted that these T-Discs only produce about 4 or 5oz of coffee, so a 6oz cup should be fine instead of a full-sized mug.

Overall, how can we not give these discs a perfect score? They excelled in every aspect. Carte Noire might as well have labeled the strength as "nuclear" while they were at it. If you’ve got Canadian friends or relatives, you might want to consider asking them to ship you a pack when they get a chance, because for once in a very long while, Canada’s got a T-Disc which Americans will surely want to try and we couldn’t be happier for our readers North of the border. It’s about damn time they get a worthwhile T-Disc on their retail shelves.

Carte Noire Long Espresso T-Discs work in all Tassimo brewers (dual barcodes for home & professional models are on the discs) and are available in 14-packs for $8.49 CAD or lower at various Canadian grocery store chains and online via Tassimo’s Canadian e-Shop at Tassimo.ca. These T-Discs are not currently sold in USA.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that these T-Discs were purchased online for the purpose of this review.

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 February 23, 2012 7:43 AM
Recent Comments

Reading your review as I sip away on the "Carté Noir" and let me tell you, it's everything stated above... And more! A perfect morning starter, "Robust" is understated, just a dark pleasure and a great way to start the day! Cheers from Edmonton, Alberta. Canada.

Posted by: Luke at November 11, 2012 8:52 AM

I’m sitting here sipping my caramel macchiato while reading your review. Now I have a sudden urge to make a run for the border. I really enjoy Carte Noire’s Ristretto and Voluptuoso Corse but those are at home so my macchiato chaser will probably be a Gevalia Dark Italian Roast. I’ve tried the Dolce Gusto lungo in the past but wasn’t a big fan. This Carte Noire sounds amazing.

Posted by: AO at February 23, 2012 8:58 AM
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