CBTL System review | The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

February 29, 2012

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coffee bean tea leaf CBTL system
Meet my new morning staple, the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf CBLT System coffee machine. It’s an savior to my grumpy mornings because I am not a morning person. I wake up 10 minutes before class, brush my teeth, get dressed and I’m out the door, scampering to class. Which means I have absolutely no time to stop by the coffee shop or brew myself a pot of coffee. Thankfully, CBTL coffee maker takes less than 1 minute to brew a fresh cup of coffee. The night before I pick out the coffee cartridge and place my thermos on the drip tray so in the morning I only need to put one button and my coffee is ready to go. The best thing about these single use cartridges is that they preserve the freshness of the coffee grounds and tea leaves. And when you have friends over, everyone can easily brew a cup of their liking.


was sent to me by The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf PR to try out. I was super excited to try it because I’ve been looking in the market for a new coffee maker and because I was able to try it before it hit the shelves. I believe it’s currently sold at Target stores and online.

This review features the Americano Model, which is a single serve beverage system. The system and the beverage capsules allows you to create a authentic The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf cafe beverages in the comfort of your home just like an barista!

This model comes in 4 colors: black (the one pictured in this review), red, silver and white.

There is 6 beverage button options:

Short Espresso
Long Espresso
8 oz Coffee or Tea
10 oz Coffee or Tea
12 oz Coffee or Tea
9 oz Hot Chocolate

The button lights up when you select it.

The standard size of a coffee from Coffee Bean is 12 ounces.

I love that the drip tray is adjustable! There’s three placements on the front of the machine so you can adjust to how tall your cup is.

The very top level is perfect for espresso cups and the lowest level is perfect for standard coffee cups.

Since the drip tray is adjustable this also means it’s easy to clean so no more smelly and moldy drip trays!

The removable water tank is located in the back of the machine.

There’s three ways to refill it:

Remove the water tank cover
Flip the water tank lid open to use a spouted container to pour water in
Pull the water tank up and out of the machine

For best tasting coffee, use water that has a mineral content because it will help extract the flavor from the coffee.
For best tasting espresso, use distilled water.

Read more at The Coffee Brewers

The level lifts up to reveal the capsule compartment. Once you load your selected capsule into the cut-out and lower the level to its original position, the capsule will be punctured and ready for brewing.

After the water filters through the coffee cartridge, it [the cartridge] falls into an bottom shelf compartment. The compartment stores all the empty cartridges for easy clean up and any coffee residue!

The machine pierces a hole through the foil of the cartridge, which allows the water to go through.

Being the curious person I am, I pried off the foil covering on the coffee capsule to see what was inside. There’s a plastic filter that prevents the coffee grounds from entering the machine and getting into your freshly brewed coffee.

CBTL pods
CBTL cartridges


French | Deep roasted flavor with a smoky aroma and a chocolaty finish

House brew |  Light-bodied with a subtle fruity aroma and a buttery finish

French Vanilla Decaf | Smooth-bodied with a soft aroma enhanced with buttery french vanilla flavor

Viennese | Medium-bodied with a rich aroma, full flavor and nuances of chocolate

House Brew Decaf |  Light-bodied with a subtle fruity aroma and a buttery finish

10% Kona Blend | Smooth-bodied with an extra mild, delicate taste, nutty aroma and sweet finish


Chai | Our special recipe blended by hand using only the finest tea and exotic spices

Tropical Passion | Ceylon black tea, enhanced with the tropical flavors of passion and guava fruit

English Breakfast |  Our English Breakfast Tea is a smooth, rich tea that yields a medium body and a brisk character

Moroccan Mint | An exquisite age old recipe of Gunpowder Tea and Peppermint flavoring

CBTL vanilla powder

The CBLT has two powder sachets, a French deluxe vanilla powder and a special Dutch chocolate powder. The Dutch chocolate powder is the special ingredient in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mocha beverages. 
I failed miserably in brewing my first cup.. As you can see my heart cup was smaller than 8 ounces but fortunately the drip tray caught the excess!

I can’t wait to make my favorite drink from The Coffee Bean, the cafe vanilla, with the milk frother!
Video review is on my YouTube channel!

For more information, visit The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Feel free to leave any questions below regarding the system or Coffee Bean and I will get back to you.
Disclaimer: The CBTL System was given by PR to test out. No compensation was received for this review. All opinions stated are 100% honest!


Jane Ko is the Austin blogger behind A Taste of Koko, Austin's top food and travel blog featuring the hottest restaurants and weekend getaways. Jane has been a speaker at South by Southwest (SXSW), Texas Conference for Women, BlogHer, and more on entrepreneurship and social media. She lives in Austin Texas with her dog and cat.