Review: Tim Hortons Latte T-Discs for Tassimo
A few years ago when Tim's first started selling lattes and cappuccinos in their coffee shops, the big thing they kept pushing in its ad campaigns were that the drinks were made with premium espresso. Well, after our rather dismal experience with the President's Choice Cappuccino T-Discs, we're hoping Tim's wouldn't allow Kraft to produce their namesake products with anything other than premium ingredients.
Brewing these T-Discs resulted in buttery aromas from the milk creamer blending with strong smoky & oily notes from the espresso while also revealing some faint cereal notes hiding underneath. At first we thought that Kraft had decided to use a European milk creamer T-Disc for this drink until we realized it had a buttermilk aroma. Closer inspection revealed that these are just the same latte creamer T-Discs with a new foil label. Acidity was surprisingly balanced given the propensity for espresso to be on the heartier side of the acidity scale. It helped the milk creamer flavors flow throughout the drink without masking anything up yet it was strong enough to keep things from going dull.
Flavor was more what we've been used to over the years with Tassimo latte & cappuccino drinks as the first things you notice are the smoky & oily tastes in the espresso quickly followed by the same usual buttermilk flavors in the milk creamer coming up from the bottom of the cup. This time though, we'd have to say that overall, this tasted more like a medium-strength European style latte which we'd see from Jacobs or maybe even Kenco, so that caught us a bit off-guard.
It's also been a while since we've had a straight-up plain latte at a Tim Hortons coffee shop, but we can state right off the bat that this doesn't taste like what you'd get in-store solely due to the buttermilk nature of Tassimo's proprietary milk creamer T-Discs. After all, when was the last time you've seen a latte prepared in a national coffee shop using buttermilk? We think we'd have an easier time finding soy milk at a diner than seeing places like Tim's or Starbucks using buttermilk lattes on their menus.
This is the main reason why, even though we don't mind putting up with it, we wish Kraft would just ditch the buttermilk creamer altogether and go with the slightly sweeter milk-flavored creamer they've been using in their European latte & cappuccino T-Discs making it the default creamer used world-wide. Ah well, maybe someday. Thankfully, we didn't detect much sour notes in the espresso, so this drink was at least drinkable vs. what we experienced with President's Choice (we're still having nightmares).
Body was a pleasant shade of beige with a nicely layered effect that ended up having what can only be described as fingers streaking down the espresso layer and into the bottom milk layer. It almost created a small snowy forest-like landscape the closer we looked at it. The froth layer on top was pretty respectable as well. Mouth feel was velvety smooth & creamy throughout with a mildly sour finish and smoky aftertaste. While there's obviously no need to add cream, we're sure adding a little sugar wouldn't hurt things here if one decided to do so.
- Aroma - 10 - Buttery aromas from the milk creamer kick things off quickly followed by strong smoky & oily notes from the espresso which also yielded some faint cereal notes lurking underneath.
- Acidity - 10 - Surprisingly well-balanced despite the strong oily notes in the aroma. It helped pushed the flavors of the creamer forward without covering them up. Strong enough to prevent things from falling flat or going dull.
- Body - 10 - Pleasant shade of beige with a nicely layered effect which had fingers running down into the milk layer creating a snowy forest-like landscape. While we think it was just a fluke with the mug, we still enjoyed it anyway.
- Flavor - 9 - Smoky & oily notes of the espresso come through first quickly followed by the usual buttermilk taste of the milk creamer. Minus one point simply because we're getting tired of buttermilk flavors in North American creamer T-Discs.
- Mouth Feel - 10 - Smooth & creamy throughout with a mild sour finish that had a smoky aftertaste. Should hold up well to a bit of added sugar.
- Coffee Drinker - While the die-hard European latte fans might find this one a bit on the lighter/milder side of things, we think it's still a rather enjoyable drink overall... providing you don't mind the buttermilk taste of the North American creamer which Kraft insist on using this side of the pond.
Overall Rating: 99 - Excellent
We're sure many people would agree that like us, they never thought they'd see the day that Tim Hortons coffee would be available in single serve coffee format. Others were almost certain that Keurig would score Tim's K-Cups instead of Kraft securing the deal, but research shows the decision was ultimately Tim Hortons' own and they decided to go with the Tassimo since it was far outselling Keurig machines in Canada (so now you know the story behind the decision).
Regardless of the format, the odyssey just seemed to drag on and on and on forever until final products were released within the past several weeks. Was it worth the seemingly endless wait? Well, if the saying holds true, then good things really did come to those who were patient enough to wait it out.
A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review. We would also like to note that we purchased these T-Discs on our own for the purpose of this review.
Tim Hortons Latte T-Discs work in all Tassimo brewers (dual barcodes for home & professional models are on the discs) and are available in 16-packs (8 espresso + 8 milk) for $10.99 CAD and USD via Tassimo.ca or TassimoDirect.com. You can also buy these T-Discs at all participating Tim Hortons coffee shop locations across Canada & USA.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at November 14, 2012 7:28 AM