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CBTL Troubleshooting: Problems and (My) Fixes For The CBTL Kaldi

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Priming Cycle: Machine Keeps Blinking Red

When I first got my Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Kaldi single-serve coffee brewer in the mail, I was extremely excited to open it up and use it. Getting the brewer out of the box was easy, and I had the Kaldi on my countertop within a few moments. Next, I searched for the instruction booklet and the Quick Reference Guide, which contains the steps you need to take for first time use.

I followed the instructions in the Quick Reference Guide, and Step 5 is where I ran into my first issue with the machine.

Step 5 instructs you to “Press the center button once and wait approximately 2 minutes for the machine to dispense water from sprout. The 3 beverage button will blink while the red light stops blinking to confirm the completion of this initial priming cycle. Repeat this step only if red light continues to blink.”

Well, I repeated the cycle four time, and the red light was STILL blinking. In between each cycle, I re-read Steps 1 – 4 to make sure that I was doing them correctly. Assured that I was, I started to grow frustrated. After the 4th try, I turned the machine off, and then turned it back on. No more blinking red! Fairly certain that after four priming cycles, the machine was ready to go, I continued on with Step 6 and then used the machine to brew my first cup.

Brewing: Coffee Is Too Dark

Compared to most K-Cup varieties that I have tried, the CBTL Capsules contain very strong, aromatic and rich coffee. While my husband adores dark coffee and found that all of the factory settings for cup size suited his tastes, the cup sizes that are automatically programmed produced coffee that is a bit too strong for me.

I read the instruction book for how to adjust the cup size in the section “Programming Quantity of Beverage Brewed.” The 6 steps were easy to do, and I ended up with a brewed coffee with slightly more water in it than the original setting, resulting in a slightly milder cup of coffee. While I loved this change, my husband didn’t. Here is the problem.

Resetting the beverage settings takes another six steps, so every time my husband wants a cup of coffee his way, it will take him six steps (and over 2 minutes) to change the settings. Then, when I want brewed coffee or tea, I need to again program the quantity of beverage brewed that I want. You can see how this would be annoying for two frequent coffee drinkers.

We finally decided that we would compromise on the Brewed Coffee/Tea cup size and have it be halfway between what he likes and what I like. We agreed to leave the Espresso and Long Espresso/Tea Latte buttons the same, because when I use those settings, it is to make a latte or cappuccino and I can adjust the quantity of milk that I use in those beverages to suit my taste.

Beverage Dispensing: Spills, Messes and Smells

Compared to other brewers that I have used, the CBTL Kaldi seems to make the most mess, if you don’t follow a few simple tips. Normally while a brewer is heating up, I like to clean out the drip tray and, in the case of the Kaldi, the discarded capsule container.

However, during the heating process, the Kaldi dispenses excess liquid from the machine. If you don’t have the discarded capsule container in place during the heating cycle, the bottom of the machine will quickly fill up with hot, excess coffee or tea. This has happened to me twice, leaving me racing for paper towels to sop up the mess before it drips to the floor from the counter.

Another mild issue that I’ve discovered during the heating process is that if you have a CBTL capsule in the machine with the lever closed, when you open the lever to put in a new capsule, the old capsule will have been heated by the steam of the machine and emit a burnt plastic smell that is not entirely enjoyable, and cancels out the great coffee brewing smell in the kitchen.

To solve both of these problems, clean the drip tray and discarded capsule container before the heating cycle. Also, empty the capsule holder by lifting the lever before the heating cycle. This will ensure that any liquid is caught by the machine, and that you won’t experience any foul smell while brewing.

in CBTL Machines and Capsules Hits: 17213 6 Comments
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  • Guest
    Andy Sunday, 03 November 2013

    I found how to program the tempature, what are the six steps to increase the amount of water?

  • Single Serve Coffee Reviews - Aromacup.com
    Single Serve Coffee Reviews - Aromacup.com Tuesday, 05 November 2013

    Here's 2 steps:
    1. Press and keep your desired beverage button pressed down
    2. On reaching the desired amount of beverage, release the button. The button is now programmed. To reprogram the button or program another button repeat the above steps.

  • Guest
    Cbabs Monday, 02 December 2013

    Couldn't the author just add a bit of plain hot water to her cup, to weaken the brew, rather than reprogram each time? Or is it not possible to draw plain hot water with this machine?

  • Single Serve Coffee Reviews - Aromacup.com
    Single Serve Coffee Reviews - Aromacup.com Wednesday, 04 December 2013

    Sure you can if you do it once. But if you want it all the time it better to reprogram it :). Enjoy your cup, Aromacup.com

  • Guest
    JL Tuesday, 01 July 2014

    I've had my machine for about two years and have greatly enjoyed it. However, lately it has been leaving more coffee in the discarded capsule reservoir which results in less coffee for my drinking. Any ideas why or how to remedy this?

  • Single Serve Coffee Reviews - Aromacup.com

    I would try to descale first. If this doesn't resolve issue it looks like a time for a new machine. Enjoy your cup.

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Guest Wednesday, 30 July 2014