OK, so since -B.G.- didn't gift me a bunch of cash for the results of my patio testing, and since Scientific American wanted me to pay THEM to look at my test results, I've decided to send this into the realm of public domain. Keep in mind that this is a very un-scientific report, but it sheds a bit of light on the comparison of Bleuet tablets vs. the Esbit brand. At least it convinced me that Esbit is the superior fuel tablet.
The test sample size is small--just 2 burns with each tablet type in different stove setups. The following photo shows 5 of them (I forgot to include the Esbit brand folding metal stove, with which I used with an aluminum foil windscreen). From left to right: Titanium wing stove (from BPL) with windscreen and a 3" ti base plate; BPL 550 pot with screen, a MYOG triangular pot support, and a tab holder made from the bottom of a Pepsi can (and also a Brian Green-type titanium tab holder in the foreground); a MYOG 550 pot cone clone with a large base plate; a Heineken pot/cone with a small base plate.
(Edit to add a photo of the 550 pot setup--this shows the unburned Bleuet ash after flame-out, and also an oily yellow deposit on the pot bottom)
Here's the history of my tab holders, pot support height, and windscreen diameter: First, I made a screen that would snugly fit around the legs of the wing stove. This stabilizes the screen so that wind won't move it around. It happened to provide the right amount of space between the screen and the 550 pot for proper exhaust of the gases. I then made a Brian Green tab holder from titanium foil, and I measured the height from the table surface to the top of the fuel tablet. I then made a tab holder from the bottom of a small Pepsi can that would place the tablet at the same height. Next, I made one of my ti pot supports that would snugly fit inside the wind screen, and which had a height to place the pot bottom 1.25" above the tablet (which I think is close to optimal). The idea here was to make everything interchangable--screens, pot support, and tablet holders.
I did 2 tests of each configuration with each brand of tablet, with the exception of the wing stove where I did just one test for each fuel type. The following is the list of the 2-cup boil times (in minutes) for each stove setup, and also the ambient air temperature (where I remembered to write it down). My cold tap water is 63* F, and my patio elevation is 5440'.
550 pot, screen, Brian Green tab holder (ambient air temp. 73* F, no breeze):
Bleuet #1-14:00 ( tab seal was broken when bought, so maybe tab was defective)
550 pot, screen, Pepsi stove (air temp. 77* F, no breeze)
550 pot, screen, wing stove (air temp. 60* F, no breeze)--one test only per tab brand
Esbit #1- 10:15
Esbit brand metal folding stove, screen (air temp. 66* F, no breeze)
#2-13:00 (bad tab?)
Heineken cone, Pepsi tab holder, 3" base plate (air temp. 74* F, mild breeze)
(the boiling times were essentially the same for both tab types, and it was the only case where that was true).
All of the above tests were done using a 3" diameter titanium base plate under the stove.
550 cone, Pepsi tab holder, full base plate (air temp. 62* F, no breeze)
(Note: the tab-to-pot distance was 1.5", as opposed to 1.25 for all other tests)
Possible variables that might have affected performance of the stoves and tablets:
Ambient air temperatures, and also the presence of a slight breeze vs. no breeze
Pepsi tab holder height--1.25" vs. 1.5" for the 550 cone setup
Base plate diameter; a larger one will likely hold in more heat than a small one
(however the same plates were used for both tablet types)
The 550 cone is more efficient than the Heineken cone, likely due to a wider pot
bottom diameter. The 550 cone beat all other stove configurations.
The wing stove seemed to be equal to the other stoves, despite the tab-to-pot
distance being only 0.75". However, it did leave a significant amount of oily
residue on the pot, which suggests incomplete combustion. A wider pot that could
rest on top of the supports might raise it by .25", which might minimize the
Possible variance among tablets of the same brand; Bleuet showed less consistancy.
The Pepsi can tab holder was more efficient than the Brian Green clone. However, the BG clone burns longer, possibly due to the sides slowing the burn down.
The Esbit tablets burned completely, leaving almost no ash. The Bleuet, however always left a small amount of unburned fuel. Bleuet also seemed to deposit a small amount of oily residue on the pot bottom, which might be a result of incomplete combustion. Otherwise both tablet brands seemed to deposit about the same amount of normal residue. All of these deposits were easily washed off.
Bottom line for me is this: Esbit is the superior fuel. Bleuet works OK, but not as well as Esbit.
OK, fire away, folks. If you have any scathing criticism beyond what I can handle, I will cheerfully refer you to my agent, Bob Gross. (OK, now to post this, and then go back and correct my spelling/syntax errors before -B.G.- jumps all over me).