Photo: Courtesy of CBTL
While at my friends' apartment recently, I was immediately envious of their Nespresso coffee machine—it was the first time I tried coffee brewed from a single-serving machine. Now Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (you know, every Hollywood celeb's coffee shop of choice) has come out with their own version and we got a chance to try it out. Their sleek Americano coffeemaker is conveniently compact (great for apartment-dwellers like me, who don't have much counter-top real estate) and one of my favorite features is the adjustable cup stand, which can accommodate tall travel mugs—perfect for your morning commute to work.
Setting it up was simple enough, though it took several tries to figure out how to properly "prime the pump" to get the hot water flowing. CBTL offers a variety of coffee capsules: four espresso varieties, six types of brewed coffee, and four teas in flavors like Moroccan mint and chai. The Americano can brew a short and long espresso, as well as 8, 9, 10, and 12-ounce coffees. Once you've chosen your capsule and cup size, you just press a button to begin the brew. The Americano features a 15-bar pressure system for espresso, which yields a nice layer of crema on top.
My only (small) quibble is that the machine needs to be "primed" after every cup, meaning you need to activate the hot water setting to flush out any stray coffee granules before brewing the next cup. It's a little tedious, but the coffees and teas all have great, satisfying flavor, which more than makes up for it. And the convenience of being able to brew directly into your favorite travel mug is a huge bonus. So if you and your groom are looking for a convenient single-brew coffeemaker, definitely consider adding the CBTL Americano to your wedding registry—it's available for $150 at Target and Bed Bath & Beyond.