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CBTL, Meinl, Ècaffè Caffitaly and Starbucks Verismo capsule

Review Nespresso, Dolce Gusto, Lavazza, CBTL, and other espresso capsules here

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CBTL, Meinl, Ècaffè Caffitaly and Starbucks Verismo capsule

Postby jar » Fri Nov 04, 2011 4:14 pm

CBTL Capsules

CBTL Caffitaly Columbian Coffee
One of the new sources for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Caffitaly system capsules is Bed Bath & Beyond. I recently bought a few boxes of the BB&B CBTL capsules and here are my first impressions. First, the package is 16 capsules to a box rather than the 10 capsule size.

The coffee is pretty full bodied, has a hint of sweet fruit but more kiwi, guava, mango like then berry like. It has good mouthfeel, and a full sweet finish. The label says 100% Colombian Arabica but no additional information as to source. In all, this is a really nice, very pleasant Colombian coffee with no real weak points. At the 8 ounce drop it's good, at a 7 ounce drop it approaches great.

CBTL French Roast Coffee
The CBTL French roast is based on Costa Rica beans that are roasted to what tastes like a just dark range it seems. It is a sweet coffee, medium bodied, flowery fragrance and a hint of citrus. This is a great afternoon or dinner coffee and I like it with cream and a quarter spoonful of sugar. There is nice caramelization present but not even a hint of char.


CBTL Vienesse Coffee
The Vienesse roast is a medium dark roast where carmalization just begins and this is a wonderful example. This one is based on Sumatra beans and IMHO near perfection when it comes to the roast. If you ever wondered what a "honey coffee" was supposed to taste like, here is a great example, sweet, good body with a lingering finish that hints of milk chocolate.

CBTL Costa Rica Coffee
The Costa Rica coffee is another example of a breakfast or doughnut shop coffee, bright, floral, surprisingly complex with a medium body and very smooth lingering finish. The first cup I brewed of this was a 7 ounces. The next was a only 6 ounces and boy what a difference. At 6 ounces it becomes almost chewy and very, very lively and it takes on an almost fruity note.

CBTL House Coffee
The House brew is a blend of Arabica beans from Brazil, Columbia and Costa Rica. It's a light to medium roast, flora and bright, meant as a Breakfast treat. It's complex and medium bodied, sweet and fruity but not tart. There is a honey finish but it does not linger as long as the others.

CBTL Premium espresso
The Premium blend espresso from CBTL is made from 100% Arabica beans from Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, Brazil, and Guatemala. The Sumatra beans are roasted to just before second crack it seems and really add to the complexity of this blend. It gives a nice moderate tiger striped crema, has good mouth feel and is almost chewy. Like all the CBTL espressos so far, it is smooth with a sweet, lingering caramel finish.

CBTL Italian espresso
The Italian espresso from CBTL is a dark roasted sample of beans from Costa Rica. This is a sweet Dark Chocolate espresso and not as complex as the Premium blend, but not over roasted. There is not even a hint of char. There is a hint of bitterness in the initial taste but the finish is sweet and smooth. It makes a surprisingly dense crema for a 100% Arabica espresso.

I particularly enjoy this when I do a short drop into a tiny bit of heavy cream.

CBTL 10% Kona blend coffee
I love Kona coffee and always try to have several different 100% Kona pods available. Well, this is not 100% Kona but it is pretty good. This blend is another light to medium roast I would guess and blended with Central American and South American beans. It is medium bodied and somewhat nutty but with a light fruit note. Compared to other Kona blends I've tried I'd call this one a clear winner.

But it's not as nice as a 100% Kona.


Ècaffè Capsules

Caffè Americano Originale Coffee
The since it was around lunch time I decided to try the Caffè Americano Originale. It is said to be 7.5g of an unnamed blend of Arabica beans, but tastes very much like a Brazil/Costa Rica blend, more sweet than tart, light roast, bright but with good mouth feel. It's surprisingly good and if it had just a hint of chicory I'd think I was sitting by the levee waiting for the rain shower to pass on.

This is a great one for a cafè au lait. I enjoyed mine with a few blue berry tarts fresh out of the oven.

Ècaffè Corposo espresso
This one will appeal to the Nespresso folk, it is a blend of African and Asian Robusto beans with just a hint of Arabica. This one is full bodied, loads of crema, intense; this is the classic vendor cart espresso that you would find in the Market or beside the road as you drive the coast road from San Juan to Mayaguez where you can pause and enjoy a jelly roll at Franco's.

Prezioso espresso
Described as Central and South American Aribica beans. Light body espresso, tawny crema, sweet finish, slight citrus hints. This one is nice but not a great espresso but would make a great base for a cafecito.

Bevanda al Cacao
This is a hot chocolate capsule but in more the Italian tradition than French or Dutch. It is meant for a small drop in the size of a normal shot or maybe a lungo, but certainly not larger. I find it best at about a two ounce drop max.

It is a cocoa base, not overly sweet and with a lingering finish, a surprisingly pleasant drink meant to be sipped, not gulped.

One warning. After using one of these capsules I always flush the system by running a water only shot through and empty the dead soldier bin.

Cremoso espresso
Don't let the name fool you. This is another 100% Arabic from South and Central America so you won't get as heavy a crema as you will from blends using Robusta, but it is still a good espresso.

This is another that will likely appeal to those folk the loved the early Nespresso Grand Crus, it is full bodied, slightly sweet, aromatic with a hint of grain at the finish. I plan to try this one as a lungo in a Cappuccino soon.

Tea in foglie
I gotta admit I love tea and drink it often. There are a few better things in life than a cuppa made from steeped long leaf teas from Assam, or a smoky Lapsang souchong so I did not have very high hopes for tea from a capsule brewed instead of steeped.

Well, even this old dog can learn new tricks.

The Tea in foglie (Italian for tea leaves) brewed a pretty acceptable if unexciting cup of black tea, certainly equal of what you get from the typical tea bag and there was no paper taste. They say it is a Kenyan Black tea but that's about all I know. The resulting cup was fast, as fast as making a cuppa joe, and it is absolutely as good as most any tea bag experience, so when you don't have time to steep loose leaves for five minutes or so, this is a great way to go.

Ècaffè Intenso espresso
Ècaffè describes this capsule as a blend of South American Arabica and Indian Robusto and I'd hazard a guess that it is at least 30-40% Robusto. The espresso is rich, full-bodied, the heaviest crema of any of the Ècaffè espressos yet it brings it all together in a smooth almost velvet lined package. After trying this as a straight shot I had to give this a try as a Cafe au Lait, and there it really shines.

I heated about two ounces of half-n-half with about a half teaspoon of sugar, then added two shots of Intenso to make a 6-7 ounce Cafe au Lait and it was superb.



Meinl Capsules
Capsules in route--Capsules arrived

Julius Meinl is an old Austrian (Vienna) roaster now entering its 150th year. It was founded while America was fighting our Civil War and while Franz Joseph I was Emperor of Austria, King of Bohemia, King of Croatia, Apostolic King of Hungary, King of Galicia and Lodomeria and Grand Duke of Cracow. Coffee has been a tradition in Vienna and the Viennese Coffeehouse the setting for many of the discussions in politics and religion and science that shape the world we live in today. It was a contentious period in Europe as it was here in the US and there had been an assassination attempt of Franz Joseph that nearly succeeded while the assassination of his nephew and heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand, was the precipitous event that lead to WW I. Through it all though the Viennese Coffee House with its tradition of bent wood chairs, newspapers and coffee continued.


Meinl Melange espresso
The first thing you will notice is the floral aroma from this blend. It is a medium light roast, medium bodied, fragrant and citrus fruity. As a straight shot it is the fruit that dominates but when mixed with parts half-n-half the sweet finish stands out. This one really shines as a traditional Vienna Melange, equal parts cream and coffee with a touch of sugar added.

Meinl Kleiner Brauner espresso
Traditionally a Kleiner Brauner is an espresso (Kliener Schwarzer) served with a small pitcher of warmed milk.

The Julius Meinl Kleiner Brauner is a medium roast, sweet and smooth blend, more full bodied than the Melange and with a delicate aroma. Here it seems the beans were allowed to just begin carmalization and so the final taste finishes with a sweet lingering hint of chocolate.

Meinl Mokka espresso
This is a darker roast and seems to be predominately Brazilian beans. It is the most full bodied of the three I've tried so far as well as the darkest roast. It is also the sweetest of the three with the densest crema. Those of you who enjoy a cappuccino will find that a double shot of this makes the perfect base for a large cappuccino.

Meinl Decaf Melange espresso
Okay, this one really surprises me. I seldom do decaf, but every once in awhile I'll fix a decaf just before bed time. Tonight I tried Meinl's decaf Melange and it is really pretty good, very much like the regular Melange, fragrant and fruity. I fixed it as a long drop, about 4 ounces with some hot water and a small amount of creamer. Very, very nice but I need to preheat the cup next time.

Meinl Drinking Chocolate
This is a very Viennese or Dutch milk chocolate capsule, very sweet with good body when limited to a single shot and when added to an espresso fantastic.

Starbucks' Capsules

Starbucks' House Blend Verismo capsule
Work's just fine in Contata and the taste is pretty much typical Starbucks' House blend coffee, a medium roast that seems mostly Central American coffees.

Starbucks' Veranda Blend Verismo capsule
Work's just fine in Contata and the taste is pretty much typical Starbucks' House blend coffee, a light roast that seems mostly Central American coffees.

Starbucks' Verona Blend Verismo capsule
Work's just fine in Contata and the taste is pretty much typical Starbucks' House blend coffee, a dark roast that seems mostly Central American coffees.

If they all sound similar it's because they all are similar. At about a buck a capsule they simply don't come close to what is available from CBTL, Meinl or Ècaffè.
Last edited by jar on Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:27 pm, edited 33 times in total.
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Re: BB&B CBTL Caffitaly system Columbian Coffee

Postby Bekka » Sun Nov 06, 2011 4:33 pm

You describe it well. I don't if I can name the nuances, but I can tell you I'm liking this one a lot too. As well as the Kona for a morning brew, and the Costa Rica.
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CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Mon Nov 21, 2011 6:53 pm

Well the Ècaffè capsules from ECS in Canada showed up today and so I figured I'd step through them over the next few days and give you guys my opinion.

Caffè Americano Originale
The since it was around lunch time I decided to try the Caffè Americano Originale. It is said to be 7.5g of an unnamed blend of Arabica beans, but tastes very much like a Brazil/Costa Rica blend, more sweet than tart, light roast, bright but with good mouth feel. It's surprisingly good and if it had just a hint of chicory I'd think I was sitting by the levee waiting for the rain shower to pass on.

This is a great one for a cafè au lait. I enjoyed mine with a few blue berry tarts fresh out of the oven.

Ècaffè is Corposo.
This one will appeal to the Nespresso folk, it is a blend of African and Asian Robusto beans with just a hint of Arabica. This one is full bodied, loads of crema, intense; this is the classic vendor cart espresso that you would find in the Market or beside the road as you drive the coast road from San Juan to Mayaguez where you can pause and enjoy a jelly roll at Franco's.

Prezioso
Described as Central and South American Aribica beans.

Light body espresso, tawny crema, sweet finish, slight citrus hints.

This one is nice but not a great espresso but would make a great base for a cafecito.
Last edited by jar on Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules.

Postby jar » Mon Nov 21, 2011 8:09 pm

Prezioso:

Described as Central and South American Aribica beans.

Light body espresso, tawny crema, sweet finish, slight citrus hints.

This one is nice but not a great espresso but would make a great base for a cafecito.
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Re: Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules.

Postby Bekka » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:58 am

Call me ignorant, but I gotta ask what is a "cafecito"??? Now, I'm kicking myself because I didn't order the Americano; sounds like it is a good coffee. Did you brew the Americano as a full brew???
I'd like to comment on the Bevanda al Cacao. First, the capsule does not have the bottom sealed hole to indicate it can be brewed as a full cup. I choose the Long espresso mode. The chocolate is decadent and rich. Since I like milk in my hot chocolate, I brewed up a smaller sized amount of latte, and stirred the loose milk in, topping with the froth. Perfect!!! I believe if I added any more fluid than I did, too much would have diluted the taste of this wonderful european chocolate.
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Corposo

Postby jar » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:38 am

Bekka wrote:Call me ignorant, but I gotta ask what is a "cafecito"??? Now, I'm kicking myself because I didn't order the Americano; sounds like it is a good coffee. Did you brew the Americano as a full brew???
I'd like to comment on the Bevanda al Cacao. First, the capsule does not have the bottom sealed hole to indicate it can be brewed as a full cup. I choose the Long espresso mode. The chocolate is decadent and rich. Since I like milk in my hot chocolate, I brewed up a smaller sized amount of latte, and stirred the loose milk in, topping with the froth. Perfect!!! I believe if I added any more fluid than I did, too much would have diluted the taste of this wonderful european chocolate.


Yes, I tried the Bevanda al Cacao as well, and found it good.

A Cafecito is a Cuban Espresso best made with Demerara Sugar. Put a large quantity of sugar in the demitasse, add the first few drops of espresso and stop the cycle. Stir the espresso/sugar mix vigorously until you have a paste. Then continue the drop.

So the next sample from Ècaffè is Corposo. This one will appeal to the Nespresso folk, it is a blend of African and Asian Robusto beans with just a hint of Arabica. This one is full bodied, loads of crema, intense; this is the classic vendor cart espresso that you would find in the Market or beside the road as you drive the coast road from San Juan to Mayaguez where you can pause and enjoy a jelly roll at Franco's.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jbviau » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:54 pm

Just a heads up that jar's two threads containing reviews of Caffitaly capsules have been merged into one (this one, to be specific) at his request. He's also done some housekeeping so that readers will be able to find all of the reviews in the first post. Thanks, jar!
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:09 pm

Bevanda al Cacao
This is a hot chocolate capsule but in more the Italian tradition than French or Dutch. It is meant for a small drop in the size of a normal shot or maybe a lungo, but certainly not larger. I find it best at about a two ounce drop max.

It is a cocoa base, not overly sweet and with a lingering finish, a surprisingly pleasant drink meant to be sipped, not gulped.

One warning. After using one of these capsules I always flush the system by running a water only shot through and empty the dead soldier bin.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Tue Nov 22, 2011 3:07 pm

CBTL French roast brewed coffee added.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:01 am

Ècaffè Cremoso espresso
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:34 pm

Add Tea in foglie a Black Tea Ècaffè Caffitaly capsule.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Tue Nov 29, 2011 10:58 am

Added CBTL Vienesse roast.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:45 pm

Added CBTL House blend, a great breakfast treat.
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jbviau » Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:23 pm

Come on, let's see you really pan one! :twisted:
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Re: CBTL & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby sales@solocoffee.com » Wed Nov 30, 2011 2:03 pm

Solocoffee.com in Canada has the Caffitaly capsules and offers flat rate shipping to the US. We are hopeful if you like the product that you will give us a shot. Thanks all!
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