The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has joined the Keurig Family. That's right the same company that makes the CBTL Kaldi (check out our CBTL section for more info) and other single serve coffee and espresso machines will be adding K-Cups to their line up in Spring 2014. We're not sure if this affects CBTL's own line of single serve coffee makers and coffees, but the Keurig K-Cup line up just got stronger regardless. Green Mountain continues to be able to get premium roasters into the K-Cup line up, and we are a bit confused on why they can't sign up CBTL for VUE packs for the VUE brewer, but perhaps that news will follow in 2014. Full release after the jump.
Only the white & black are available in the bundle, but for us that's not a deal breaker. You can read our review of the CBTL Americano here which is similar and both machines will prepare all of the hot beverages offered by CBTL.
Over at SingleServeEspresso.com there's news Coffee Bean, Tea and Leaf has rolled out their line of single serve coffee and espresso machines at Target, Macy's and Dillard's with the moniker - "One Touch. One Perfect Cup". We recently featured a review of the CBTL Americano and really liked it, so it's good news another single serve coffee maker of it's caliber is more widely available.
CBTL has introduced the Americano single serve coffee, espresso, and hot beverage system recently, and it's packed with features you'll love in a single serve coffee maker. We received the CBTL system from them (thanks for sending) a few weeks ago and have been using it daily since. The machine look and feel is modern, and there's even an adjustable cup stand that just makes sense when you make coffee, espresso, and also hot chocolate with such a machine. We also really love the fact you can use a really tall travel mug to make coffee to go.
We're very excited that CBTL has sent over their Americano single serve coffee and espresso maker to review. We've had it out of the box for just over a few hours and so far - awesome. We've received a sampler box of flavors to try out, and we'll also compare it to the other Kaldi CBTL machine we've been using over the past 3-4 months.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s latest addition to its line of single-serve beverage systems is the CBTL Americano machine. The CBTL Americano machine lets you recreate your favorite espresso, coffee, tea and specialty beverages from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf easily, at the touch of a button, at home.
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. The Americano comes in red, black, white and silver, and is initially available only at Bed Bath & Beyond stores and online, and will soon be available at CBTL.com.
All the systems worked flawlessly with one exception. The FrancisFrancis X8 developed a pump problem almost immediately. One email to Illy though and they immediately shipped out a replacement unit as well as a FedEx Return Label. It took two days for shipping and the FedEx delivery person picked up the old one. Service was fast, sure and the replacement machine has worked perfectly.
Click image for a larger chart...
Which one to chose depends on your individual priorities.
If counter space is the biggest issue, then the Nespresso machines have the smallest foot print, followed by the CBTL Caffitaly Contata, the Illy FrancisFrancis X8 and the Lavazza LB 1010 is the largest, about the same footprint as my cutting board. The Nespresso is also the lightest of all, by a considerable margin.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is one of the oldest of the California Specialty Coffee chains and may even be said to have been the one that started it all. It is a world wide franchise today but still reminds me of its California roots. As I mentioned in the introduction, it is based around the Caffitaly open standard capsule so that the coffees reflect the individual roasters, in this case the coffees and teas of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
I moved out to California not very long after the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opened their first stores. Having grown up on the East Coast I had vision of California but it took a while for the reality to set in. One of my first hints that California might be more than expected was the nightly weather reports. Not report, but reports. There were five different and distinct weather reports every day, Beach, Valley, Low Desert, High Desert and Mountains.
We recently received the Kalda single serve coffee, tea, and espresso machine from CBTL, but wanted to also tell you about the Contata machine that is a bit more compact and a bit different in the aesthetic design than Kaldi.
What's interesting is the the color difference and how the Contata which is only 1 inch less deep really does look different. Also if you prefer black over a bright blue coffee, tea, and espresso machine on your counter the Contata may be for you. The Contata is also $20 cheaper at $129 versus the Kaldi for $149.
Whichever you choose they both have the full feature set below. Personally we like the Kaldi because it's just so bright and round, and we do like the Contata but that sleek black smaller design is currently filled by our Nespresso Essenza.
Both the Kaldi and the Contata Single Serve Coffee, Tea, and Espresso Machines feature:
Coffee Bean Tea and Leaf has sent over their CBTL hot tea, coffee, and espresso system to review. The system features coffees from the CaffiItaly system, and the machine design is both modern and interesting. The CBTL system uses a twin pressure system that puts out 15 bars of pressure to make pre-portioned espresso, coffee and tea. The machine also will accommodate a variety of cup sizes, and the large capsule drawer will fit 10 used capsules.
We also received their milk frother, which allows you to make cappuccinos and lattes paired with the various coffee and espresso offerings. They also offer a two flavored powders from vanilla to dutch chocolate to make a mocha or flavored drink.
Espresso and Coffee varieties of the CBTL CaffiItaly system include:
Premium Decaf Espresso
Viennese Brew Coffee
French Brew Coffee
House Brew Coffee
House Brew Decaf Coffee
Tea varieties of the CBTL CaffiItaly system include:
English Breakfast Tea
Tropical Passion Tea
Moroccan Mint Tea
We'll have a full review soon. Thanks again to CBTL for sending us the CBTL system and beverages to review.
We're very excited to tell you about a new player to the world of single serve coffee, tea, and espresso - The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Single serve beverage systems have arrived. The Contata and the Kaldi models, offer automatic beverage proportioning and a unique twin pressure system to ensure consistency of taste and to capture the aroma, texture and flavor of a perfect cup of espresso, coffee, or tea. There is also a detached frother available as well.
Both systems feature easy capsule insertion and automatic ejection, a large capsule drawer that holds up to 10 used capsules and an energy saving function. The Contata is available in Gray/Black and is priced at $129.95. The Kaldi, with an ultra-sleek design, is available in Metallic Red, Metallic Blue/Silver and Metallic White/Silver and priced at $149.95.
The single serve capsules are packaged 10 per box with a retail price of $5.50. Flavors include four espressos, four coffees and four teas: Italian Espresso; Continental Espresso; Premium Espresso; Premium Decaf Espresso; Viennese Brew; French Brew; House Brew; House Decaf Brew; Chai Tea; English Breakfast Tea; Tropical Passion Tea; and Moroccan Mint Tea. In addition, exclusive powders - the French Deluxe™ Vanilla and Special Dutch™ Chocolate - are sold in single serve sachets.
We'll be trying to wrangle one of these for a review soon.
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