Kaldi Single Serve Coffee Machine from CBTL
Suggested Retail $179.95
CBTL Kaldi Single-Cup Brewer and Milk Frother Bundle on sale for $98.85 at Amazon
Box of 10 capsules: $5.50
The latest addition to the serve coffee machine market is Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s line of machines called CBTL. Not too long ago, one of their machines, the Kaldi arrived on my front porch for me to review. Since then, the machine has been going through some very thorough testing in the Daily Shot Of Coffee kitchen.
I looked at how easy the machine was to use and clean. I did some extensive taste testing of the coffee it produced. The whole time I wondered, can it compete with the big dog in the market, the Keurig?
- Easy To Use (Once I Got The Hang Of It)
- Makes Espresso, Cappuccinos And Other Drinks
- Easy To Clean
The Kaldi looks a little intimidating at first. It doesn’t look like any other single serve coffee machine. It has this bar that goes across it, that I didn’t know what to do with. The capsules drop into the main body of the machine, instead of just above the brewing area. However, it wasn’t long before I became a pro at it and realized that it really is a simple machine to use.
A huge plus for the Kaldi is that it makes cappuccinos (with the purchase of their milk frother), espressos, mochas and many other drinks. It’s similar to the Tassimo and maybe even makes better espresso based drinks. The Kaldi leaves the Keurig in the dust, which is just limited to just coffee and tea.
The Kaldi might be the easiest single serve coffee machine that I’ve tried yet. It has a drop down space that holds up to 15 spent capsules and a large drip tray area. Both are easy to remove and are dish washer safe…at least I hope they are.
- Only Fits Small Mugs
- Limited Varieties
- What’s This Beeping About?
The only major thing that I didn’t like about the Kaldi was that I could only fit small (AKA normal) sized mugs in the brewing tray area. Their website says it fits a variety of sizes, but unless it’s small, smaller and smallest, I’m not counting that as a variety.
I’ve got a few small mugs hanging out in my kitchen cabinet, but with all of the coffee I drink, I’ve been phasing those out and moving on to bigger ones. I don’t know if other CBTL models allow for bigger mugs, but I do hope future versions allow them.
While the Kaldi was very easy to clean, it did require a lot of cleaning. It drips long after the “I’m Finished” beep and when I removed my cup too soon, a lot of my coffee ended up in the drip tray….which makes me sad.
I think the biggest problem for any challenger to the Keurig is the large variety of coffees and tea K-Cups. Rumor has it that there are more than 200 different types of K-Cups. CBTL has only 12 different types, four espresso, four coffee and four tea. They were good, probably better overall, but it’s hard to compete with that many different K-Cups.
The Kaldi beeps a lot. It’s not a loud beep, probably as loud as a digital watch (does anyone still have those anymore?). It beeps when it’s finished, which is nice. Not so nice is when it starts steadily beeping for no apparent reason. It took me a little while to figure out why it was constantly beeping. It took a minute or two for me to realize that it was because the water was low. Two or three beeps would’ve been enough, but it didn’t stop beeping until I refilled the water.
Overall, I did like the Kaldi. It’s a high quality machine that easily and quickly produced high quality single serve coffee. However, if I was buying a new single serve coffee machine tomorrow, I’d probably go with the Keurig. The variety of K-Cups available can’t be beat. If I was buying one in six months, it would be interesting to see if CBTL adds more capsules to their lineup and changes the height of their brewing station.
What did I miss? Do you have any questions about the CBTL? Have you tried it? What did you think?
If anyone out there wants a small or a medium (men’s sizes) CBTL shirt, send me a message via the contact form. I’ll ship it out for free to the first two people who message me.