Review: Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Vanilla Latte T-Discs for Tassimo
As we've been seeing with the recent Tea Bar & King of Joe T-Discs, Kraft decided it would be best to develop new in-house brands vs. trying to continue importing foreign T-Discs from other countries. While we wish they would have concentrated more on the latter, we're still glad that they're cranking out new products instead of sitting around doing nothing. Today we take a look at another new in-house brand with their Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Vanilla Latte T-Discs.
Brewing these T-Discs resulted in mild sweet vanilla notes during brewing along with some of the characteristic buttermilk notes from the creamer. We were hoping for a stronger aroma, but since it was being concentrated into a 2oz espresso shot, it's no wonder it didn't have time to fill the room. Flavor fared a bit better as we detected light tinges of vanilla quickly followed by some of the espresso notes, then a bit more vanilla flavors and a sweet buttermilk finish with the creamer at the bottom. As we neared the end of the cup, the sweet buttermilk flavor of the creamer became more intense as the vanilla flavors started disappearing.
As was clearly noted on the packaging, these T-Discs are SWEET and so much so that some people may find them a bit too sweet. Thankfully, we didn't detect any chemical notes in the sweetness and it seemed more like a natural sugar taste, so we liked that. Acidity was slightly present but got mostly washed out by the creamer. You could tell there were some slight bites of acidity around the edges, but nothing overly strong here.
Body was nicely layered with a light frothy layer on top followed by shades of beige in the middle and white creamer on the bottom but sadly, no gigantic whipped cream dollop on top despite what was pictured on the packaging (seriously Kraft, enough with the cheesy marketing tactics). Mouth feel was smooth overall but took on more of a milky feel instead of being creamy. We didn't mind as we thought it made for something different. Finish was clean with mild vanilla notes in the aftertaste.
- Aroma - 8 - Mild notes of vanilla followed by buttermilk aromas in the creamer. We were hoping for a stronger vanilla scent.
- Acidity - 6 - Barely present at all but we did detect some bite from the espresso around the edges. Mostly washed-out by the creamer but this likely aided in pushing the core vanilla notes forward in the flavor.
- Body - 9 - A light layer of froth with light beige notes in the middle followed by white on the bottom. Classic latte appearance minus the ridiculously overdone cream dollop pictured on the packaging.
- Flavor - 7 - A mix of layered flavors with very mild vanilla notes on top followed by some of the espresso notes which gave way to more mild vanilla flavors finished with sweet buttermilk notes of the creamer which became stronger & sweeter as we neared the end of the cup. Might be a bit too sweet for some folks.
- Mouth Feel - 8 - Smooth overall but had a milky texture this time around instead of a more substantial creamy feel. Made for a change of pace and something different than what we're used to. Clean finish followed by mild vanilla notes in the aftertaste.
- Coffee Drinker - If you enjoy vanilla flavored drinks and prefer things on the sweeter end of the scale, you'll likely enjoy this. People who don't want loads of sweet sugary notes should probably look elsewhere.
Overall Rating: 88 - Good
The first thing you notice when you open the packaging is that these T-Discs have gone back to the old method of flavoring the espresso instead of flavoring the milk creamer. We think this was a mistake on Kraft's behalf since we've said it before and we'll say it again... the flavor is in the creamer, not the coffee. Stop and think about it for a second... which do you think will impart the vanilla flavor better? 6oz of creamer or 2oz of espresso? 80% of the cup contains creamer, so obviously if the creamer were vanilla flavored, you'd notice it a lot more.
While you do definitely get SOME vanilla flavor out of these T-Discs, we think Kraft should have flavored the creamer vs. the espresso. Kraft already started changing things in Europe since a quick look at the Carte Noire Caramel Latte Macchiato T-Discs show that the creamer was flavored while the espresso was left as-is without flavoring. The difference was night & day. You started by getting the main espresso flavor up top and then BAM... loads of caramel afterwards. Here, we get slight bursts of vanilla and then just the sweet sugary notes of the creamer afterwards... no further vanilla to be found.
We'll give Kraft the benefit of the doubt... maybe they're still experimenting to see which combinations produce the best results & maybe they're using Europe as a test market before they make similar changes to T-Discs this side of the pond. Only time will tell, but we hope they make up their minds sooner rather than later.
Corner Coffeehouse Sweet Vanilla Latte T-Discs work in all Tassimo brewers (read our review of the Tassimo T65 here) and are available in 16-packs (8 espresso + 8 creamer) for $11.99 USD at CoffeeCow.com and are also available in Canada for $11.99 CAD at ECSCoffee.com
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to thank Coffee Cow for sending us samples for the purpose of this review.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 16, 2012 6:10 AM