Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
If you are looking around for a single serve coffee brewer that will deliver a coffee house style cup of java without the big price, you are bound to run across the popular machines made by the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf company, or CBTL for short. This article will introduce you to CBTL and its machines, as well as its single serve coffee capsules.
About the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Company
The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf chain has a long and illustrious history in the world of fine coffee and tea. It’s based in Los Angeles, California and is owned and operated by International Coffee & Tea, LLC. The very first Coffee Bean shop made its debut back in 1963 in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles. This original location remains open today. With many Hollywood celebrities as its customers, “The Bean,” as it is affectionately known to regulars, is iconic in its niche and widely believed to have set the standard for all coffee houses that have followed it. The chain, no longer under the original ownership, now has over 750 locations in 22 countries around the globe.
CBTL searches the world for the finest coffees and teas, and use freshness seal technology to lock the flavor and aroma into single serve capsules. In addition to capsules, you can also purchase powder sachets to recreate at home the delicious specialty beverages sold in the famous CBTL coffee shops. The main concept behind the CBTL machines that sets it apart from others is that most similar home brewers allow you to make only coffee, whereas these will make coffee or tea.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Coffee Machines
There are two types of CBTL coffee machines:
- Contata—With its sleek, modern design and small size, this machine offers coffee house taste for your home coffee and is an excellent choice when you are challenged for space. You may choose to make either coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or espresso in a wide variety of recipes and a choice of three water levels. The smallest level is about 1-½ ounces and is great for espresso. The middle level is 3 ounces and is suitable for various coffee drinks or tea. The third level holds 8 ounces of water and is great for regular brewed coffee or tea. Available in black and grey color only.
- Kaldi: Even more compact in size than the Contata, the Kaldi is streamlined with a sleek, ultra modern design. It is considered to be extremely easy to use and like the Contata, makes a variety of drinks such as macchiato, espressos and more. Plus, it’s available in a stunning range of metallic colors…blue and silver, red and silver, silver, black and gold and silver.
How Do the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Coffee Machines Work?
The CBTL machines use special capsules to make plain coffee, assorted coffee beverages or tea. In a nutshell, these coffee and tea brewers work by heating water from the reservoir in a built-in boiler, and then forcing it through pressure to distribute the pressurized water evenly over the punctured coffee or tea capsule. Both the Contata and the Kaldi deliver 15 bars of pressure for coffee drinks such as espresso, or 1.5 bars of pressure if you want a simple brewed cup of plain coffee or tea. Automatic proportioning provides a uniform taste and aroma.
What Beverage Capsules are Available?
There are several beverage capsules available for the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf coffee machines:
- Italian—Deep roasted flavor with a smoky aroma, full body and chocolatey finish
- Premium—Earthy flavor with a slightly caramel-like aroma, velvety body and bittersweet finish
- Continental—Smoky aroma and smooth body with a sweet, earthy flavor
- Premium Decaf—Earthy flavor, caramel-like aroma, velvety body and bittersweet finish
- Chai—Hand blended using the finest teas and exotic spices
- English Breakfast—Smooth and rich with a brisk character and medium body
- Tropical Passion—Ceylon black tea enhanced with tropical flavors of guava and passion fruits
- Moroccan Mint—Exquisite ancient recipe blending Gunpowder Tea and peppermint flavoring
In addition to the CBTL beverage capsules, you may also purchase powder sachets in your choice of:
- Special Dutch Chocolate—A special blend of high quality cocoa and sweetened milk. The secret ingredient in the mocha beverages served around the world at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf locations.
- French Deluxe Vanilla—The best ingredients blended for a smooth, delicious vanilla experience.
Can You Use Other Capsules With the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Machines?
No, not at this time.
Where to Buy Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Machines and Beverage Capsules
As far as brick and mortar locations, you can only buy the CBTL coffee machines and beverage cups at their store locations in California. Thankfully, online shopping is another story. Amazon sells both the Contata and the Kaldi coffee brewers, as well as a few beverage capsules. You may also purchase machines and/or beverage capsules on the CBTL website.
Amazon and the CBTL website both have the Contata single cup brewer for about $130. The Kaldi is a little pricier, possibly because it comes in several eye catching colors. It retails on Amazon and the CBTL website for approximately $150.
As far as coffee beverage capsules, Amazon presently only carries two flavors: Italian and Premium; and one variety of tea capsules: English Breakfast. Prices for the coffee beverage capsules on Amazon are around $22 for a package of three 10 count boxes. The tea capsules cost a little less at about $19 for a package of three 10 count boxes.
The Coffee Bean and Tea website has a full selection of beverage capsules, along with the two varieties of powder sachets. The website sells the beverage capsules, both coffee and tea, for $6 per 10 count box, which averages out to a little less than the Amazon price for a package of three boxes of 10. The powder sachets are $8.50 for a box of eight.
CBTL offers a Premium Club that sounds like a good deal. You pay a flat $5.95 shipping on monthly shipments, or get free shipping with a minimum order of $40.
The website also offers a variety of gifts and accessories:
- Milk Frother
- Pavina Glass in 2.5 or 8 ounce size
- Assam Glass in 3 or 6 ounce size
- Bistro Glass with Handle in 5 or 10 ounce size
- Doppio Espresso Cup with Saucer in 3 ounce size
- Bistro Espresso Cup in 5 ounce size
- Active Scale Remover—four single use 1 ounce packets
- Small Capsule Holder that holds 10 capsules
- Large Capsule Holder that holds 20 capsules
- Hand Held Frother—battery operated
- 8 inch Whisk
- Presentation Box—sleek wooden box, holds 24 capsules
In summary, either of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf machines would be a great choice for someone who wants to make professional type tea beverages, in addition to coffee, at home.↑ Back to Top