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.
Continue reading: "Review: Carte Noire Americano T-Discs for Tassimo"
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Nabob Skinny Latte T-Discs for Tassimo"
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Milka Hot Chocolate T-Discs for Tassimo"
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Jacobs Monarch T-Discs for Tassimo"
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Carte Noire Kenya T-Discs for Tassimo"
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).
Continue reading: "Review: Nabob Breakfast Blend 12oz T-Discs for Tassimo"
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).
Continue reading: "Review: Kenco Medium Roast T-Discs for Tassimo"
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.
Continue reading: "Review: Mastro Lorenzo Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo"
December 4, 2008
A quick Google translation of the official company website will reveal that Jacobs coffee first got its start in 1895 when it was introduced by Johann Jacobs in the town of Bremen, Germany. Johann later opened his first Coffee House in 1907 and created his own roasting facility in its backyard since he knew that each coffee variety, based on the nature & structure of the bean, could impart its own special flavor when roasted. He was also much ahead of his time by offering pre-roasted coffees since until then; it was customary for people to roast green coffee beans at home on a stove top. The Jacobs company suffered many setbacks while weathering both World Wars but managed to pull through. By 1982, they had acquired the Suchard Chocolate company in their portfolio and in 1993, they merged with Kraft General Foods to become the company we know today.
Jacobs uses a combination of their espresso T-Disc and the European shelf-stable latte milk creamer T-Disc (which is common among most latte varieties overseas) to create their latte macchiato. A "macchiato" made with a Tassimo machine is basically a "reverse-latte" where you insert the creamer disc before the espresso disc. This results in a layering of creamer on the bottom, coffee in the middle and creamer froth on the top. The only way you can truly appreciate this effect is by using a clear mug or double-wall glass. You can also stir the contents together to create a regular latte which has a slightly better taste, but for the purpose of this review, we wanted to prepare the drink "as intended" by the manufacturer.
Continue reading: "Review: Jacobs Latte Macchiato T-Discs for Tassimo"
July 23, 2008
Our Canadian correspondent S.H. has a another insightful review of Canadian T-Discs for Tassimo...
Nabob uses a combination of their espresso T-Disc (which I recently reviewed) and the usual shelf-stable latte milk creamer T-Disc which is common among most latte varieties such as Maxwell House Latte & Gevalia Latte.
You first make a shot of espresso...
The latte milk has a somewhat buttery taste and some may even find it tastes like 2% evaporated milk. Some people hate the taste and claim it's "too chemical" while others enjoy it so much they purchase the discs as stand-alones and use them with other coffee T-Discs or by themselves as a form of warm milk. Personally, I don't dislike the taste but I wish Kraft could improve it somehow. I have yet to sample the European creamer discs which come with the Jacobs or Kenco brands so I'm not sure if those would taste any better or worse.
Continue reading: "Review: Nabob Latte T-Discs for Tassimo"