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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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Brewing with the Meinl capsule

Postby jar » Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:03 pm

Meinl Capsules and the "Brew Cycle"

The folk at Julius Meinl told me that their capsules could be used at the low pressure brew mode of the Caffitaly machines as well as the high pressure espresso modes. Looking at the capsules I was hesitant since none of the capsules had the large cut out I had seen in ones specifically designated as being for the brew mode and asked if they would recheck that information.

Image
note the cutout on the bronze capsule at the top and the lack of that cut out on the one to the right of it.

Well, the person rechecked and said it would work and so I gave it a try. And it worked.

The taste is different than what I get making an Americano, softer and slightly sweeter, but pretty good after all.

Update on using the "Brew Cycle"

Well, some capsules are more equal than others.

I next tried a Decaf Melange and a Mokka capsule and both failed using the brew cycle. The machine halted and the problem light flashed. It was not a big problem, just eject the capsule and run one water cycle through to flush and reset things, but it simply did not work.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Sun Feb 05, 2012 9:17 am

caffita.info wrote:Hi All,
my name is Jan and I am from EU. I am addicted caffitaly fan. I found that there are more than 100 of CBTL/Caffitaly capsule types and there is no single resource when it is possible to get some info so I decided to make a special webpage just about caffitaly CBTL. http://www.caffita.info Since I am in EU I have no chance to review CBTL capsules so I am looking for someone who can help me on that.

In later stages i would like to also collect links of eshops when people around the globe can buy coffe not available in their countries. Anyone interested in? Also no problem to exchange some european stuff.


Welcome Jan, I see you found some of the reviews on the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf capsules.

On this side of the pond there are only three brands I've been able to find available so far, CBTL, Julius Meinl and Ècaffè.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jbviau » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:44 am

jar wrote:Welcome Jan...

+1. However, please avoid duplicate posts; I've deleted yours in this thread, though it lives on in jar's quote above. Also, and more importantly, your extensive use of reviews from this site requires more/better attribution--about that, please check your PM inbox.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby cortadito » Wed Feb 08, 2012 5:39 am

I bought a CBTL Americano a few weeks ago and have been quite happy with it. Below are my initial thoughts on capsules, all based on having the espresso with steamed milk and sugar (as I prefer it). I'm new to this, though, so please excuse my lack of fluency in "coffee vocabulary."

CBTL Italian Espresso: My second-favorite CBTL, but it's perhaps a bit harsh for me. I find I tire of it.

CBTL Premium Espresso: Don't like it as much. Seems more acidic and bitter.

CBTL Premium Decaf Espresso: To my great surprise, this is my favorite so far of all the capsules I've tried. The decaffeination process appears to smooth out the flavor of the regular Premium. The problem is I'm not looking for decaf.

CBTL Continental Espresso: My least favorite. It seems a one-note version of the Meinl Kleiner Brauner I subsequently tried.

Since I wasn't fully satisfied with the CBTL options, I started looking at other Caffitaly capsules, and that's how I ended up buying directly from Meinl in Vienna -- in a large order, to make it worthwhile with the higher shipping cost. It actually ended up costing less than the CBTL capsules at their cheapest, and the FedEx delivery got it to me in a mere four days. Great service. Below are my thoughts.

Meinl Melange: Very pleasant, but not what I'm looking for. Light and more complex than the CBTL coffee.

Meinl Kleiner Brauner: Stronger, with that complexity more pronounced. Not sure what that extra flavor is. If I had to describe it, I'd say it's as if it had a touch of malt.

Meinl Mokka: Even stronger, with the same extra flavor that I assume is what makes this distinctly Viennese.

So, my search for the "perfect" capsule continues. Nothing seems close to what I have had in certain European countries, in Miami (Cuban espresso) or even at Starbucks, which I quite like. Any sense of which Caffitaly capsule might be closest to what I'm looking for? Has anyone tried the Chicco D'Oro ones? Should I be looking for an arabica/robusta blend?
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:57 am

cortadito wrote:So, my search for the "perfect" capsule continues. Nothing seems close to what I have had in certain European countries, in Miami (Cuban espresso) or even at Starbucks, which I quite like. Any sense of which Caffitaly capsule might be closest to what I'm looking for? Has anyone tried the Chicco D'Oro ones? Should I be looking for an arabica/robusta blend?


Cuban coffee is as much the process as the blend, it is almost always make with a Mokka Pot instead of as real espresso and the secret is to start with the very first drops from the Mokka pot, pour them into a demitasse cup with lots of sugar, preferably a Turbinado sugar. Put the pot back on the heat and while it brews the rest of the coffee mix the thick coffee and sugar together to make a thick paste then add the rest of the coffee from the pot.

With the Caffitaly machines you can fake a cafecito by putting the sugar in the cup and stirring vigorously as soon as the espresso starts coming out.

A cortadito can be made similarly if while you make your shot you heat a little milk for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave and then top the shot with the steamed milk.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jbviau » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:01 am

Welcome, cortadito, and thanks for the reviews. Best username ever? Could be! ;) Revealing my Miami roots here...
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby cortadito » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:49 pm

Gracias por la bienvenida, jbviau! And thanks for the preparation tips, jar. It's true that so far I've only focused on the taste of the coffee itself. I figure I'll know when I've found the capsule that's closest to what I'm looking for, then I can work on perfecting my technique (within the limitations of the CBTL/Caffitaly Americano process). I realize the convenience of this machine requires compromises.

By the way, if someone wants to try the Meinl coffee but has been put off by the shipping costs, I'll gladly to do a trade for boxes of other brands (Ecaffe? Chicco D'oro?). Like I said, I placed a large order!
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby cortadito » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:34 pm

jar wrote:With the Caffitaly machines you can fake a cafecito by putting the sugar in the cup and stirring vigorously as soon as the espresso starts coming out. A cortadito can be made similarly if while you make your shot you heat a little milk for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave and then top the shot with the steamed milk.


jar: My thanks. I was wrong when I suggested I should pick the coffee first, then work on the technique. Your instructions were a game-changer.:shock: I've found that following your method results in a taste that's notably smoother and more blended. Now, I think the CBTL Italian Espresso (with milk added) tastes pretty close to the Miami/Cuban version. Can't wait to try your method on the CBTL Premium Espresso (I'm out of capsules at the moment). If it smooths out its edges sufficiently, it might approximate Starbucks espresso and end up being my favorite. Looks like I'll need to entirely revise the initial capsule impressions in my first post.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Fri Feb 10, 2012 12:43 pm

cortadito wrote:
jar wrote:With the Caffitaly machines you can fake a cafecito by putting the sugar in the cup and stirring vigorously as soon as the espresso starts coming out. A cortadito can be made similarly if while you make your shot you heat a little milk for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave and then top the shot with the steamed milk.


jar: My thanks. I was wrong when I suggested I should pick the coffee first, then work on the technique. Your instructions were a game-changer.:shock: I've found that following your method results in a taste that's notably smoother and more blended. Now, I think the CBTL Italian Espresso (with milk added) tastes pretty close to the Miami/Cuban version. Can't wait to try your method on the CBTL Premium Espresso (I'm out of capsules at the moment). If it smooths out its edges sufficiently, it might approximate Starbucks espresso and end up being my favorite. Looks like I'll need to entirely revise the initial capsule impressions in my first post.


Great, glad it helped.

Now can I suggest you try it with either Ècaffè Intenso espresso or Ècaffè Corposo espresso or Meinl Mokka espresso? If you like Starbucks those might really appeal to you.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby cortadito » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:51 pm

jar wrote:Now can I suggest you try it with either Ècaffè Intenso espresso or Ècaffè Corposo espresso or Meinl Mokka espresso? If you like Starbucks those might really appeal to you.


I did try it with the Meinl Mokka, and it turned out very tasty -- but quite different from Starbucks, I think. Same with the Meinl Kleiner Brauner. The Meinl coffees have that slightly malt-like flavor I mentioned that I consider distinctive.

I would like to try the Ecaffe coffees you mention. Is there a company that sells the brand within the U.S. or is willing to ship it?

I'm also curious: Since Intenso and Corposo are arabica/robusta blends, is there a reason why you find them closer to Starbucks, which is 100% arabica -- as opposed to, say, the equally 100% arabica CBTL Italian Espresso?
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:29 am

cortadito wrote:
jar wrote:Now can I suggest you try it with either Ècaffè Intenso espresso or Ècaffè Corposo espresso or Meinl Mokka espresso? If you like Starbucks those might really appeal to you.


I did try it with the Meinl Mokka, and it turned out very tasty -- but quite different from Starbucks, I think. Same with the Meinl Kleiner Brauner. The Meinl coffees have that slightly malt-like flavor I mentioned that I consider distinctive.

I would like to try the Ecaffe coffees you mention. Is there a company that sells the brand within the U.S. or is willing to ship it?

I'm also curious: Since Intenso and Corposo are arabica/robusta blends, is there a reason why you find them closer to Starbucks, which is 100% arabica -- as opposed to, say, the equally 100% arabica CBTL Italian Espresso?


You can get Ècaffè capsules shipped to you from ECS Coffee in Canada using USPS Priority Mail.

The Robusta adds some body to the shots and is really pretty traditional in Italian espressos and often found in Cuban coffees.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby cortadito » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:19 am

Contacted ECS Coffee to see how much it would cost to have Ecaffe capsules delivered to the U.S. In my case (it appears to vary by zip code), it would be US$31.92. They also don't carry the more economical 50- or 100-capsule packs. So, if I were to place an order for 100 capsules (10 packs), it would end up costing me US$1.02 per capsule. Ouch. I'll pass.

Also checked with Caffe Capsules in the UK. The person I corresponded with was very responsive and exceedingly nice. Shipping in this case would be $37.40, but I can buy a 100-capsule Ecaffe pack for $44. There is a zero VAT rate, so that doesn't add to the price, which ends up being about $0.81 per capsule. If the shipping cost were to remain the same for 200 capsules (not sure of that), then the price per capsule would come down to $0.63.

That's much more reasonable. On Amazon, CBTL Italian Espresso capsules are currently $0.69 per capsule for one-time delivery and $0.58 via subscription (while the other CBTL espresso capsules are $0.73 and $0.62, respectively). I haven't seen lower prices anywhere else for the CBTL product.

I haven't fully investigated Chicco D'oro yet. It appears that 100 capsules would be $46.84 and shipping from Switzerland is at least $32.68 -- if that's correct and VAT is not a factor (it may be), it would end up being about $0.80 per capsule, comparable to ordering Ecaffe from the UK. If anyone has placed an order, I hope they'll chime in.

So far, Meinl provides the best deal by far. I placed an order for 180 capsules -- shipping from Vienna was $19.99 and they excluded the VAT. It ended up costing $0.51 per capsule, and I received the order in only a few days.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby roadie » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:19 pm

Great to learn about other choices out there. Just curious, the Meinl capsules are espresso capsules and not coffee (8 oz.) capsules? Also, Ecaffe Americano is also a coffee and not an espresso? I'm looking to see what else is out there besides the CBTL coffee capsules, although I do enjoy the 10% Kona and Costa Rica. Haven't made up my mind yet on the Columbian. Viennese isn't bad either. I've been making decaf cappuccinos with the CBTL premium decaf espressos and it's quite good. As for the other CBTL espressos, I've been taking it slow since I don't want to get wired after a couple cups of coffee.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby jar » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:28 pm

roadie wrote:Great to learn about other choices out there. Just curious, the Meinl capsules are espresso capsules and not coffee (8 oz.) capsules? Also, Ecaffe Americano is also a coffee and not an espresso? I'm looking to see what else is out there besides the CBTL coffee capsules, although I do enjoy the 10% Kona and Costa Rica. Haven't made up my mind yet on the Columbian. Viennese isn't bad either. I've been making decaf cappuccinos with the CBTL premium decaf espressos and it's quite good. As for the other CBTL espressos, I've been taking it slow since I don't want to get wired after a couple cups of coffee.


Remember, espresso will generally have far less caffeine (particularly Aribica based espresso) than regular brewed coffee.

And yes, the Ècaffè Americano is a coffee. The Meinl coffee offerings are all espresso so far but will make a great normal size European (4-5 ounce) coffee. One of my favorites is to use a 6 ounce cup, add about an ounce or ounce and a half of half-n-half and a quarter teaspoon of sugar nuked for about 20 seconds. Then do a long drop of one of the Meinl espressos into it.

Absolutely luscious.
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Re: CBTL, Meinl & Ècaffè Caffitaly capsules

Postby roadie » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:49 pm

jar wrote:
roadie wrote:Great to learn about other choices out there. Just curious, the Meinl capsules are espresso capsules and not coffee (8 oz.) capsules? Also, Ecaffe Americano is also a coffee and not an espresso? I'm looking to see what else is out there besides the CBTL coffee capsules, although I do enjoy the 10% Kona and Costa Rica. Haven't made up my mind yet on the Columbian. Viennese isn't bad either. I've been making decaf cappuccinos with the CBTL premium decaf espressos and it's quite good. As for the other CBTL espressos, I've been taking it slow since I don't want to get wired after a couple cups of coffee.


Remember, espresso will generally have far less caffeine (particularly Aribica based espresso) than regular brewed coffee.

And yes, the Ècaffè Americano is a coffee. The Meinl coffee offerings are all espresso so far but will make a great normal size European (4-5 ounce) coffee. One of my favorites is to use a 6 ounce cup, add about an ounce or ounce and a half of half-n-half and a quarter teaspoon of sugar nuked for about 20 seconds. Then do a long drop of one of the Meinl espressos into it.

Absolutely luscious.


Sounds like it. I'll give it a try. I'll have to experiment since the Americano only brews at 8, 10, and 12 oz. besides the short shot, long shot and hot chocolate setting.
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