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"
June 30, 2008
Our Canadian correspondent S.H. has a another insightful review of Canadian T-Discs for Tassimo...
Nabob has 3 different espresso-based T-Disc flavors on the Canadian market... Espresso, Latte & Cappuccino. The 2 latter varieties both use the same espresso disc I'm reviewing here today with the only difference being the milk discs they include in their packaging. I'll have a review of the Nabob Latte T-Disc soon, but for now I wanted to start off with the most basic of the 3 selections.
One thing which seems to be consistent with Nabob's coffee has been to "expect the unexpected" (maybe they should use that as their new slogan?). Their Café Crema T-Disc surprised me with its mellow taste and bittersweet finish, so much so that I thought it compared well with their 100% Columbian in these regards. I figured to expect the same from their Espresso but once again, I had a unique experience awaiting me.
Continue reading: "Review: Nabob Espresso T-Discs for Tassimo"
April 8, 2008
Nabob has been one of Canada's premier coffee companies since being founded in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1896. The brand is very well known among many Canadian coffee drinkers for its unique range of roasts which are made primarily with 100% Arabica beans. Nabob decided to follow most American coffee companies & recently joined the Rainforest Alliance to help maintain environmental, social & economic sustainability for their coffee farmers & workers.
Making a cup of the Nabob Café Crema using the Tassimo brewer.
Much like their 100% Columbian, Nabob's Café Crema has a surprisingly light & mellow taste... to the point where it could be considered one of the lightest-tasting cremas available for the Tassimo. Those of you who are hoping for a long-lasting, thick crema cap will be somewhat disappointed as this variety starts off with a very light one which quickly disappears after only a few minutes.
Continue reading: "Review: Nabob Café Crema T-Discs for Tassimo"
December 12, 2007
We've had a chance to sample even more of the Starbucks T Discs for the Tassimo Hot Beverage System. We've been really enjoying the four new T Disc coffee blends, and one of the four that we think leads the pack is the Africa Kitamu. Not only is the Africa Kitamu dark and interesting coffee, it has one of the sweetest flavors we've had in a non-flavored coffee in quite some time.
Continue reading: "Review: Starbucks Africa Kitamu T Discs for Tassimo"