August 23, 2012
We decided it was time to review something which has long been missing for the Tassimo machine... iced teas. Today we check out the new Tassimo Tea Bar Peach Iced Tea T-Discs. Much like the King of Joe series, Tassimo Tea Bar appears to be a new in-house brand that Kraft created for the Tassimo. Since this is the first time the Tassimo has seen iced teas, we were interested to see how things would play out.
Brewing these T-Discs resulted in sweet, rich peach aromas quickly filling the room and there was no mistaking that you were brewing a peach flavored drink, plus you could also smell some of the black tea aromas in the background as well. Spot on so far. Flavor is where things went a bit sideways. The first thing you notice is the artificial sweetener taste which is almost to the point of being chemical-tasting. Then, once that dissipates, you finally get the peach flavoring and then the black tea notes buried underneath. We were a bit taken aback by the chemical taste which we were NOT expecting, so we checked out the packaging and found the culprit... sucralose, which is more commonly known as Splenda. Things improved a bit once the ice melted and diluted the drink, but we could still taste remnants of the sucralose anyway.
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February 23, 2012
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!
Continue reading: "Review: Carte Noire Long Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo"
January 12, 2012
The Canadian T-Disc retail scene has been... well, let's just say "unappealing" for the past number of years with only a few minor updates here and there in an mild effort to match what was already being sold in American retail stores. As is usually the case, competition is good and with Starbucks jumping the sinking ship over to Keurig, Kraft finally got the swift kick in the arse it needed to inspire a massive campaign that at long last introduced brand new T-Disc flavors across many countries.
Unfortunately, the powers that be at Kraft still refuse to abandon their country-centric methodology and certain brands remain "geo-blocked" only for sale in their respective countries of origin. It's too bad to see that in an effort to save their sinking ship, they chose to retain the boat anchor that had been weighing them down instead. All gripes aside, our Canadian Correspondent, SH, received a shipment of the new Canadian T-Disc flavors recently and provided us today with the first of many reviews by covering the new Carte Noire Americano T-Discs.
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March 26, 2010
Nabob uses a combination of their espresso T-Discs and the usual latte milk creamer T-Discs which are common among most latte varieties such as those offered by Maxwell House & Gevalia... only this time, they've decided to follow suit and give people a healthier choice with their own Nabob Skinny Latte T-Discs. These have apparently just been released on the Canadian market within the past few weeks.
The skinny latte creamer is now composed of skim milk concentrate which Nabob claims has 56% fewer calories than their regular latte creamer (packaging shows 35 calories total & 0g of fat). We found it lost most of its buttery taste and seemed more akin to evaporated skim milk. As we've reported in the past, we don't personally dislike the taste of the original creamers, but thought Kraft still had some room for improvement. The same holds even more true with this "skinny" version, but more on that later.
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March 4, 2010
After our recent battle with a frozen downspout, we didn't quite feel like getting a coffee buzz once back inside the house, so instead, we started craving some good old-fashioned hot chocolate. This got us to thinking, it's been ages since we reviewed any hot chocolate T-Discs for the Tassimo system and there hasn't been anything available to our liking... until the introduction of Milka Hot Chocolate T-discs on tassimo.com several months ago.
More common to the European market than on "this side of the pond", Milka Hot Chocolate is a combination of chocolate syrup T-Discs blended with European milk creamer T-Discs. The goal is to create a creamier version of hot chocolate than what we're used to with the Tassimo system. We've tried to enjoy the only other option, Suchard T-Discs, through their original version to their larger creamer-sized version and back to their recent "European Recipe" version, but they're just too watery for our liking and left a lot to be desired.
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October 26, 2009
We’ve been sampling some of the European T-Discs which started appearing on www.tassimo.com these past few months and decided to continue our tour of Europe with one of Austria’s preferred brands of coffee: Jacobs. As a result, today we’ll be reviewing the new Jacobs Monarch T-Discs which you’ll see are not that different from their previous Kroenung T-Discs.
Upon brewing, faint hints of caramel start to emerge from your typical aroma of medium-roasted Arabica beans. Billed as having an irresistible “verwohnaroma” (aroma) with “citrusy notes”, we can’t say we found any of that present except for the taste which had the characteristics of your average medium roast with the exception of the faintest caramel notes and, we could be mistaken here, perhaps a tiny hint of lemon as well. It seems most European T-Discs have profiles that are becoming more and more identical, so we had a bit of a difficult time differentiating this T-Disc from its Kroenung counterpart or other competitors such as Kenco’s medium roast and Carte Noire’s Petit Dejeuner had it not been for some key factors such as acidity and aroma.
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September 25, 2009
As we've reported in the past, Carte Noire is quickly becoming one of France's preferred coffee brands and have always sourced the finest Arabica beans available worldwide. They also produce our 2nd favorite espresso T-Disc, so when we heard they were starting to introduce various single-origin flavors in Europe, we quickly ordered their Carte Noire Kenya T-Discs... the first one available "ce côté de l'étang" (this side of the pond) as the French would say.
Upon brewing, we were greeted with a unique mix of aromas which included predominantly dark chocolate with faint hints of molasses (what is it with coffee companies and dark chocolate lately?). The taste was just as unexpected with notes of what can only be described as bittersweet Baker's dark chocolate that contained at least 80% cocoa. Wow, talk about "exotic"... this caught us off guard and left our taste buds rather confused.
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February 23, 2009
Nabob's latest Tassimo option is their new 12oz Breakfast Blend T-Discs which, according to the packaging, contains more than 30% Rainforest Alliance Certified content... something the company has been trying to achieve with all its discs recently, so hats off to them in that aspect. Any 16oz travel mug or coffee cup/glass should be enough to hold all 12 ounces (we chose a Bodum 16oz Pavina series double-wall glass) and needless to say, we were happy that the Bosch Tassimo didn't leak a small pond of water on the cup stand during the brew cycle (Braun users, we feel your pangs of annoyance as you'll surely be reaching for the paper towels).
Unlike the small variety of "morning blend" 12oz T-discs available on the American market, Canada had yet to see any 12oz discs until now and since Nabob is quickly becoming a top choice amongst coffee drinkers North of the border, we suppose it was only fitting that Nabob be the brand which was chosen to introduce this new size format (although we keep hoping to see a Dunkin Donuts or Tim Hortons disc on the horizon).
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February 4, 2009
A quick view of the company's website reveals that Kenco was originally known as the Kenya Coffee Company which got its start in 1921 when they setup a shop in Mayfair (a district in the West end of London). They started selling roast & ground coffee locally from the shop although most of their sales were via mail orders through advertisements in magazines such as Tatler, Country Life and The Times. They would later be bought after the Second World War and diversified into several coffee shops across the UK by Gardiner Merchant, a food merchant company next door to the original shop. The name of the company was later changed to Kenco in 1962 when they stopped acquiring most of their beans from Kenya. The company would go on to change hands many times throughout the coming decades having such owners as Cadbury, Premier Foods and General Mills.
Before we start, it should be noted that this variety of T-Disc comes in 2 different types of packaging. Some of the older Braun-style packages still have "Classic Blend" listed as the flavor while newer versions (as well as the current Bosch-style packages) now list "Medium Roast". This had always been a bit confusing since the older packages still listed "Medium Roast" on the foil of each disc and left us wondering if we were getting 2 different kinds of coffees. Well, you can rest assured you're getting the SAME coffee out of either package (despite Kraft still listing "Classic Blend" on their Tassimo site).
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December 18, 2008
Mastro Lorenzo embraces the Italian culture where fine espressos and crema coffees were born and are part of daily life. Unfortunately, a quick search on their French website did not yield any further information regarding the company's history. We've tried a few of their different T-Disc varieties over the past several months and have found that their aroma and flavor always seem superior to their competitors. Such is the case once again with their espresso T-Disc.
From the moment you first start brewing your first cup, you'll notice the intense scent of fine Italian espresso will soon fill the room. Close your eyes and you might think you're sitting at café instead of your kitchen. Give the cup a light swirl and let the nose develop… you'll smell the initial burst of acidic bitterness but you'll also notice slight notes of chocolate hiding underneath. Not surprising, these hints of chocolate are also present in the taste and the acid lends an almost citrus-like quality. Kraft describes this coffee as being 100% pure Arabica, but we can't help but wonder if they mixed-in a few Robusta beans without telling anyone.
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