Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Tumultuous Affair With Tassimo

I am a coffee addict. Nothing short of it. Two years of sharing my life with a coffeemaker has been work.  All good relationships are I suppose.

MSNBC had a Tassimo commercial on about 5 times an hour during the season leading up to the holidays and I had decided that I wanted a single serving brewer.  After lots of research and tasting I picked the Tassimo.  Here are the reasons:

1. It produced a whole gamut of hot and even cold (sort of) beverages.  Coffee, espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffees (brewed over ice), teas (and iced tea if brewed over ice), low fat lattes.... and of these various strengths, cremas and flavors.

2.  There were only two brewers that promised to stay around long term: Kruerig and Tassimo.  Between these two the quality of the coffee brewed was no contest.  Kreurig brewed a weak version of coffee and no other options.  Tassimo's bar code reader adjust the heat of water and pressure of steam automatically to brew a strong, full bodied cup or a less robust cup if you experiment and find the brand  that suits your taste.

3. Choice.  This was a hard one, but between Maxwell House, Gevalia and an array of European brands Tassimo had plenty of variety.  The fact that Starbucks only made single brew pods for Tassimo cinched my choice.  Clearly the broader array of American choices would be available for Kreurig, but given number 2 above, I really didn't care.

I got my Tassimo and was prepared to live happily ever after. Then things started going wrong.  First Starbuck terminated their contract with Tassimo.  They clearly saw that the big market was with Kreurig and the quality of the brew be damned.

Then there was the recall.  The pods apparently "exploded" and showered user with hot water.  My guess is that these folks opened the machine before the brewing was complete, but the company sent a new pod holder that tightly locks it in place.

Bed, Bath and Beyond, where I bought the machine, started scaling back their offerings of t-disks, as they are called. With the loss of Starbucks (I still have two packages that cost $12 which are on ebay for $300 each) I started experimenting with other brands available from Amazon and Tassimo direct.

I discovered some wonderful new coffees, notably Maestro Lorenzo Crema and Carte Noire.  Gevalia and Maxwell House both have a T-disc that brews a 12 oz cup.  Kyle likes the former.

I was wondering if Tassimo would go the way of some other single cup options, but Bed, Bath and Beyond has restocked and TIM HORTON'S is now selling their coffee in t-discs.  For those of you who don't know, Tim Horton's is the Canadian version of Dunkin' Donuts. They have great coffee, and while I haven't tried their Tassimo version yet, it's a good sign.

Which brewer would I buy now?  Tassimo, hands down.  It just brews a better cup of coffee.  Period.

Now Kreurig is selling a new version of their brewer which claims to brew a stronger cup of coffee.  Just one catch.  It's a whole new pod, the K-cup Vue, I think.  Really?  Just how confusing will that be?  And Starbucks has their proprietary system, Verissmo.  It, of course, only brews Starbucks coffee, espresso and frothed milk-like something.  It is powdered, unlike Tassimo, which has a liquid "Milk Creamer."

Tassimo has a great product and I enjoy it almost every day.

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