The CBTL Kaldi
The CBTL Kaldi is a one touch machine that serves both coffee and tea. Despite all the technology that has been crammed into it’s compact frame , you’ll be surprised at how small a foot print it leaves in a kitchen. For example, you could easily place this machine on any kitchen top shelf and still have plenty of room left for other appliances.
Because of it’s small size, it also has a compact water tank that is easy to remove and clean. It is important to give the water tank a thorough clean the first time you use it as this will prevent your first drinks from having a plastic taste.
To clean the CBTL Kaldi, fill it’s tank up to the fill line – this incidentally should get you about 40 ounces of water – clean the tank and then empty it. In the now empty tank place the filters that came with the machine. Fill it again with cold, filtered water and then run a cycle. Do this without placing a pod into the pod bay. Once the machine has run it’s cycle, take the filters out of the tank and refill it again.
Insert the first coffee capsule into the machine. Wait for the brew light to stop flickering. Once this has happened the CBTL Kaldi is ready to use. On the front panel are 3 buttons which signify the strength of your drink. The top button represents 1.5 ounces of espresso, the middle button is for a long espresso and the large button provides a 9 ounce drink. Make your selection and press down on the lever. After the cycle has been completed, lift the lever and the spent pod descends into the waste basket. This whole process should take no more than a minute for an espresso and 2 minutes for a latte.
The versatility of this machine can be seen in the way it allows you to brew both coffee and tea. The Kaldi includes a combined total of 60 coffee and tea capsules. A milk frother for cappuccinos and lattes can be purchased separately.
One drawback with the coffee supplied is you are restricted to the flavours that come with the CBTL Kaldi. However, on the plus side, CBTL have provided a healthy selection of well produced and flavorsome coffees. For example, the Italian espresso, one of my favorites, produces a lovely crema on top. In addition to this, there are a further 4 espresso flavors, a selection of teas and 2 powder sachets for latte and mocha coffees.
A high degree of craftsmanship has gone into this machine as can be seen from the chrome levers that position the capsules into place. The tray that holds the cups also feels very solid and is again made of chrome.
A couple of design features you should be aware of: it’s quite hard to get a very large mug positioned under the nozzle. This of course is not a problem if all you want to do is drink a normal sized cup of espresso.
Also, approximately 1 capsule in every 10 has a tendency to come apart in the machine. This is not a common occurrence but the machine will need to be cleaned after this happens. Keep your eye on costs here as a pack of 10 capsules costs $6. However $0.60 per cup is quite competitive when you consider in some high street establishments you can end up paying $3 to $5 for a cup of espresso.
You must use CBTL Kaldi capsules with the machine and these can be purchased from Amazon.
The machine also produces tea. I’m not an expert on tea but what I’ve tasted here seems fine. The selection of teas include Tropical Passion and Chai.
Two final items of maintenance for the CBTL Kaldi : descale the machine on a regular basis – the average descale seems to be every 4 months after using about 18 pods. A descaler warning light activates when a descaler session needs to take place. Run the descaler; this takes about 40 plus minutes
Finally, when you have finished using the machine, run a short water cycle to clear the filter tubes. Ensure there is no coffee capsule in this machine when you do this.
If you ever need help when using the CBTL Kaldi, the instruction manual that came with machine is extremely useful.