Sunday, November 15, 2009

Tassimo review times three

Like many other Canadians online this fall, I won a Tassimo single brewing system by Bosch. For those of you unfamiliar with a Tassimo, it’s a small kitchen appliance you load with water, which is then filtered and by adding one of several discs (or pairs of discs) you can make one of several hot drinks from decaf coffee to espresso, hot chocolate and chai tea within minutes.

My colleague, Candice Shirreff and her apartment mate, Sarah Roger won Tassimos too. So, I thought it would be helpful if I shared three points of view with you.

How did you win your Tassimo?
SR: I saw Candice had retweeted @TassimoCanada that they were giving away 300 machines, so I just started following them. I received a DM a few days later that I had won a machine.

CS: I won my Tassimo by signing up to win tickets to a Tassimo Smart Talk Event with Sarah Richardson and Nik Manojlovich, which included a free Tassimo machine and a chance to win a $10,000 Bosch kitchen (which I don't think I have won :(). I found out about the event through Twitter.

ES: I had just arrived at my in-laws for Thanksgiving weekend. I checked Twitter and saw some people retweeting @TassimoCanada because they were giving away some Tassimo machines that night. I retweeted and within two minutes, I received a DM congratulating me on winning.

How often do you us it?
SR: I've been using it nearly every morning since I've received it. I like how quick it is, although I find the coffee doesn't get as hot as I'd like.

CS: I’ve hardly used the machine at all, but my roommate Sarah uses the machine to make coffee every morning. I also think the machine looks great on our bland kitchen counter.

ES: I’ve been using it almost every morning and twice-a-day on weekends. My husband has been using it too and one of my sons enjoys the hot chocolate.

What is your favourite beverage?
SR: I've been enjoying the Nabob 100% Colombian coffee discs. I still haven’t tried all of the samples they sent me.

CS: I am not a coffee drinker, so my favourite beverage selection is the teas – particularly the Chai tea. I can’t wait for the Tazo teas to become available in Canada (hint hint)

ES: I’m a huge coffee drinker but surprisingly, my favourite Tassimo beverage is Twinnings Chai Latte. I’m not getting results when I try making cappacinos either.

Have you tried making any of the suggested recipes?
SR: No, I haven't.

CS: No, I have not tried any of the recipes.

ES: No. The recipes on the Tassimo Canada website didn’t do anything for me. 

Have you tried inventing any of your own and if so, what? How was it/how were they?
SR: Haven't tried this either.

CS: No, I have not experimented with my own recipes yet but I would like to reduce the milk quantity in the chai latte.

ES: I tried making some of the drinks with my own milk instead of the Tassimo milk product. I’ve concocted a hot mocha at my son’s request.

Do you buy brewed coffee? If so, where? Do you buy more, less or the same now that you have a Tassimo?
SR: I do buy brewed coffee. For the past year I’ve been buying PC Organics Fair Trade Dark Roast Coffee. I think it’s one of the best tasting fair trade coffees and well priced at under $10.

CS: I purchase Chai tea lattes regularly and having tried Tassimo’s equivalent. I don’t think this machine will substitute those purchases. However, I do think this machine will be used for entertaining. I will certainly make the specialty drinks for friends and family which I would not have done without the Tassimo machine.

ES: I don’t brew coffee at home – we broke our coffee maker last year and haven’t replaced it yet. I do buy brewed coffee by the cup. I have less of an urge to do so on weekends now that I have a Tassimo.

Have you bought any Tassimo products? If so, what and where?
SR: No, I have not. I’m still going through the huge supply they sent me with the machine.

CS: I tried to purchase some more tea products at The Bay but the selection was poor the day I was there. I will definitely try again though.

ES: I bought Sucard Hot Chocolate and Twinnings Chai Latte at Loblaws a couple weeks ago. I haven’t seen it in other grocery stores where I regularly shop. My husband went to buy some for us today and Loblaws was out of hot chocolate and Chai Latte.

Would you recommend a Tassimo to friends?
SR: This is a tough question as I still haven’t fully made up my mind. I would recommend the Tassimo to those who are pressed for time in the morning and need a fast cup of coffee that tastes way better than instant. For friends who love great tasting coffee, I’m not sure this machine is for them. I find the quality of the coffee that I’ve tried to be good, not great. I would still like to try a few more of the other brands. I’m interested in trying the Suchard Hot Chocolate.

CS: Yes I would. I think it makes a great addition to a kitchen and it will certainly make entertaining more fun, unique and personalized.

ES: I’m with Sarah. For friends who competent brewing their own coffee at home, they may not be happy with Tassimo. For friends like me who don’t do a great job of home brewing and/or only have a need for one or two cups most of the time, Tassimo is a nice addition. We’re having friends over for a dinner party in a couple weeks. I’m looking forward to trying it out on them and seeing what they think.

What do you like the most and least about your Tassimo?
SR: Most – I love how easy and quick I can make a cup of coffee when I’m running out the door in the morning. It’s easy to clean and I don't have to deal with the mess or nuisance of coffee grounds.

Least – For a person that drinks as much coffee as I do, I don’t think the quality is comparable to regular brewed coffee. In terms of taste I’d pick my PC Organics Fair Trade coffee over the Tassimo discs. That being said, I see a place in my coffee drinking routine for both my regular brewed coffee machine and my Tassimo. I see myself brewing a pot of coffee on the weekend when time is not an issue, but using the Tassimo during the week before work.

CS: Most – The great look of the machine!

Least – The waste and flavour of some of the drinks taste artificial

ES: Most – The quick convenience of brewing a variety of hot beverages within minutes.

Least – I haven’t found a coffee that wows me. There aren’t enough decaf or tea options. Like Candice, I’d like to see a line of Tazo teas for Tassimo, there’s only one available in the U.S. now.
I don’t add sweeteners to my coffee or tea. So, I’m not a fan of having them pre-added. I’d also prefer a way to use my own milk for lattes. The amount of garbage generated by the disks bothers me too and most isn’t recyclable.

Have you tried a Tassimo beverage? What did you think? Would you like one of your own?

Sarah Roger works in communications at the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). She enjoys all things related to: caffeine, crafting, music and shopping. Sarah spends the majority of her free time @sarahroger.

Originally from Ottawa, Candice Shirreff came to Toronto to challenge herself in the world of digital at iStudio. Decorating, art and fashion accessories keep her inspired. You can find Candice on Twitter as @CandiceShirreff.
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  1. I think the environmental waste of Tassimos are a major downfall that shouldn't be overlooked.

  2. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks for your comment.

    I don't disagree with you and noted the amount of waste as one of the things I don't like about the Tassimo system. I also asked @TassimoCanada about the waste issue a few weeks ago. I didn't get an answer from @TassimoCanada but another person suggested the discs could be cut up and recycled.

    Perhaps a representative will respond here.


  3. I actually sold my Tassimo, I found it was a pain to make with company over, and took so long to make, ( I like bigger cups) But that is just me.
    I think I will just stay with straight coffee.

    But congrats on your win. It is always wonderful to win something useful.

  4. Thank you for the interesting write-up. It would be nice if they could develop discs that could be composted or recycled afterward, the way we can compost coffee grounds & filters.

    I rarely have coffee in the house, and this might be a nice solution for visitors. I would be interested in an update with your guests' reactions.

    I also wonder how the flavour compares to Starbucks' VIA Ready Brew and whether my guests could live with either of these until they can get access to "real" coffee later in the day at one of our local coffee shops.

  5. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your experience. At first, we wondered if we'd keep the Tassimo too but it's really grown on us. As for the cup size, I'm finding they're all over the map - some big, some small. I have trouble remembering what I'm going to get. On the other hand, I can always make another cup when I brew a small one.

    Hi Connie,
    I agree re: more bio-degradable or eco-friendly discs. I wonder if Tassimo is planning on addressing this issue?

    We rarely had coffee in the house either and the variety has been a nice change. I'll definitely let you know how it goes when we have company. You're also welcome to come over for a demo anytime.

    I've been wondering about Starbucks Via too. I can tell you I have a Starbucks' Tassimo variety and it tastes different that the brewed coffee I've had in the store.


  6. Tassimos are horrible. You people are crazy.

  7. Damn, sad I missed the contest. I want one : ( Haha.

    I didn't know Sarah and Candice lived together! Crazy! : )


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