Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Product Review: Tassimo

Awhile ago I won a Tassimo coffee maker on Twitter from the good folks at Tassimo Canada. Being the girl that never wins anything, I admit I was a little shocked! Me? Win? Really?

Then it arrived, in a huge box, complete with all kinds of coffee.


Did someone say coffee? As in, my two favorite kinds ever (Starbucks and Nabob)??

Honestly, it was like Christmas around here. I was jumping up and down, unpacking the box and getting it all set up, looking at all the different kinds of coffee and just downright SO excited to have one! Of! My! OWN!

Ahem.

So now that I've been using the Tassimo for awhile (read: every morning since), I thought I'd give readers the low down on what I think of it. Before you leave thinking that "Good Lord she's going to say it's all puppies and rainbows because she got it for FREE", and roll your eyes, not so fast. Keep reading. I have chosen to give more balanced reviews of products here in the Cookie Jar, listing not just what I love about a product, but what I think could be improved. Or what I even just don't like at all. Let's start with the good stuff though, shall we?

Reasons to run to your nearest store and BUY a Tassimo

1. No mess, no clean up

If you hate cleaning coffee grounds up off the counter and throwing out used filters, wiping up coffee drips from your counter, the Tassimo is for you. There's no mess because the drink just brews directly into your cup. The disks can just be tossed right into the garbage.

2. The coffee is good!

You guys need to know how important this is to me. I am SO picky about my coffee that seriously, if I didn't honestly think it was good I just wouldn't drink it and I likely would have gifted the machine to someone. I admit that at first, I was skeptical but I find myself back at the machine ever single morning, brewing yet another cup. It's good. Just as good as the Nabob I brew in my little one cup dripper thing.

I especially like the Starbucks House Blend, the Nabob Columbian, and the Nabob Breakfast Blend.

3. It's fast and convenient

If you are short on time, this is by far the fastest way to make a cup of coffee. Just pop in the disk, position your mug in the machine, hit a button, and before you can butter your toast it will be finished.

4. You can buy disks online if you can't find them in store

I'm in an isolated town, so having the option to buy online solves the issue of not being able to find what I want.

5. If you don't drink a lot of coffee and like gadgets, it's fun!

Unlike my Hubs (who needs coffee intravenously), I'm good with one really good cup a day which stretches out the use of the coffee disks. Plus it's just a fun machine to use and takes me back to my barista days at Starbucks.

Now for the things I think might be an issue for some people:

1. Cost.

Honestly, I'm not up on the cost of a single cup coffee makers so I can't tell you if the Tassimo is compareable or not. In my research online, it was one of the more expensive coffee makers on the Canadian Tire website (on sale $129 reg $159). At London Drugs, it's even more at $169.99. Holy crap! My jaw hit the floor on that one. I had no idea that the Tassimo was retailing for that much. Ouch!

Not just that but you also need to add on the cost of the water filter and the descaling solution, and the coffee disks themselves are more expensive then just buying a simple can of coffee and some filters that you would likely get more cups of coffee out of in the long run.

If you are just looking for coffee and could care less about the latte drinks, you can pick up a good quality coffee maker for much less. It's FAR more expensive then our little $6-$10 1 cup plastic dripper thing that we shove a filter in and add coffee grounds to before pouring water from the kettle over, and the quality of the drip coffee is about the same.

2. Limited choice of coffee or tea

Well for ME, it works great because I adore Starbucks and Nabob, but what if you don't? It isn't like you can just pick up some Tim Hortons disks, or a specialty coffee. You are stuck with the 27 kinds that are available. Also, while the coffee is good you can't make it stronger. You can make it weaker with the machine, but if you don't think it's strong enough on the first brew...well...too bad for you. I like my coffee strong.

I really didn't like the Chai Tea Latte-it was way too sweet for me.

3. Some items are hard to find

In the tiny, isolated community I live in, finding disks and the water filter is expensive and difficult. So far I have no experience ordering online, and I have asked Tassimo about shipping costs but so far I haven't heard back. (edited: I did hear back this morning. In order to shop online, you must order 3 packs of coffee and the shipping starts at around $9)

So far all I've been able to find locally is the Nabob Latte disks and Starbucks House Blend. If I bought some disks, I really want Nabob Breakfast blend. Then what? Online is great but I'd love to just grab it at the store.

4. Your coffee size is dictated, and it's not quite as hot as from the kettle

The disks come pre-measured, and the size of your cup is right on the package. Most of the coffees I have tried brew a 9 oz cup. You can, however, get some that brew a 16 oz cup (on the site it says 12 oz, but I have a package here at home that says 16 and I've tried it. Definitely 16oz). My mugs are 12 oz, so I'm always left feeling like I'm not quite getting a full cup of coffee. If you want to add some hot water to it to fill up the cup you can, but then it makes it weaker.

Not just that, but the coffee itself isn't quite as hot as when I make it straight from a kettle. In some ways that sounds like I'm being picky, but what can I say? I love my coffee screaming hot.


So there ya go. Pros, and cons! Overall, I love my Tassimo and I'll likely use it for years to come. Would I pay $169.99 for one? No. Would I snap one up if it was on sale for around $100? Yes.

Thanks again, Tassimo, for my way awesome machine. I love it! If any readers would love to win a machine themselves, follow @TassimoCanada on Twitter and you just might find one on YOUR doorstep!

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