Bloggle

Thirteen years of coffee and commentary. Tridecaphobes, beware.

Keurig vs. Tassimo: A Single-Cup Showdown Update

| 99 Comments

Autumn has blown into our neck of the woods with a mighty draft of whirling leaves, the aroma of wood smoke wafting from neighbors’ hearths, and — hey, this is new — a raft of folks banging on an increasingly-dated review of single-serve coffee machines here on Bloggle. I guess there’s nothing quite like a cold spell to put folks in touch with their inner caffeine junkie… or maybe folks are already looking ahead to their holiday gift lists.

Whatever the reason, an update to the single-serve marketplace is long overdue. So, let’s get to it…

The Tassimo

The Tassimo Lineup
Designed and distributed by Braun1 , manufactured by Saeco, and with its coffee supply produced exclusively by Kraft and its army of licensed brands, when the Tassimo launched two years ago it painted itself as the smartest single serve coffee brewer yet.

Certainly the Tassimo’s got brains. Like the Keurig brewers, this brewer relies on a micro-processor to manage brew volume and temperature. More, the Tassimo automatically adjusts brew volume, temperature — and even some aspects of how its pump drives the brew cycle — to match the parameters of beverage you wish to brew. How? Well… it reads, of course. But we’ll get back to that.

Offered in two models –the TA 1400, and the TA 1200 (which I can’t seem to find to link to) — the Tassimo fits the same kitchen counter real estate as the Keurig (and the Senseo, and the Bunn Home Café — let’s face it, these machines are all of them fairly compact). In overall looks the Tassimo is singularly rounded and squat. I think its designers took their cues from the armored, waddling Mondoshawan in Luc Besson’s space opera, The Fifth Element… (but I digress.) The Tassimo’s shape belies its dimensions; its rear-mounted water reservoir towers over the machine, lending it the same vertical dimensions as the Keurig. Both Tassimo models — indeed most all of the single-cup machines — fit comfortably under most any kitchen cupboard. The only apparent difference between the two Tassimo units are the 1400′s slightly larger reservoir (68-oz. vs. 50-oz.), the addition of a charcoal water filter, and some shiny gold-colored accents. (Nothing says premium like a gold package, right?)

The Keurig Team

Now in its third generation of home brewers, the always-evolving Keurig line currently includes the “Elite” B40, “Special Edition” B60 and “Platinum” B70 brewers. The Keurig B70 The B40 and B60 are built on the second-generation “B50″ platform, and both feature a similar, generally symmetrical shape. The B70 is the first example of Keurig’s latest brew technology, and is a bit of a departure, too, in its overall design. It has a somewhat more aggressive stance — perhaps a bit of attitude. More, it has an updated brewing system that extracts more coffee flavor and aroma from each brew cycle than the B40 and B60 models.

Keurig’s approach is at once more focused and singular than Tassimo’s. A Keurig brewer makes coffee — brewed coffee — and it does it well. Its microprocessor is wired only with the fundamentals of coffee brewing — time, temperature, turbulence and water-to-coffee ratio — and it’s tuned to deliver consistent results. You push a button, you get coffee. That’s it.

Consequently, there’s no brewing espresso with a Keurig. No cappuccino, and no latte, either. That’s not to say that other drinks aren’t available… you can get a decent cup of hot chocolate in a K-Cup, and quite good tea. But these are products that have been tuned to the specific brew parameters of the Keurig brewer, and not the other way around.

K-Cup vs. T-Disc

Keurig K-Cups

Keurig’s K-Cup is a deceptively simple device that seals a miniature drip brewing system — replete with drip-style filter and all — in a no-muss, no-fuss, disposable package that protects its payload from moisture, light and oxygen. Keurig has now licensed its K-Cup packaging technology to nine different specialty coffee brands, which today offer more than 150 varieties of K-Cup 100% Arabica coffees and teas between them. That’s a significant expansion on the five brands and 100 varieties of coffee and tea just two years ago.

The Tassimo reads a page off Keurig’s play book2 (and perhaps Nespresso’s before it) by encapsulating its coffee in its own sealed package — the T-Disc — which boasts a number of innovations. T-Discs can be manufactured with an array of options in terms of overall capacity, payload type, and the size and shape of its exit aperture.

The T-Disc

Each T-Disc is printed with a bar-code that describes its required brewing parameters to the Tassimo. When inserted, the brewer scans the code to determine the amount of water to deliver, the temperature of that water, and the timing of the brew cycle — which may include pre-infusing the T-Disc’s contents. The array of sizes allows for payloads of not only coffee, but also chocolate syrup and both refrigerated and shelf-stable dairy products. The various apertures of the T-Disc allow the Tassimo to deliver a simple stream of liquid to your cup, or a frothy, textured foam.

Not only can you brew a cup of coffee, but you can also brew a shot of espresso (2.5 ounces at 192 degrees F), and frothed milk (6 ounces, 156 degrees F) to make a cappuccino or a latte. With its liquid chocolate T-Disc, you can brew a more than passable hot cocoa, too (5.5 ounces, 160 degrees F). The capabilities of the T-Disc make the Tassimo more than a coffee brewer — it’s a hot beverage delivery system.

In use

Both brewers employ grab-handles to lever open the brew-head. The Keurig brewer’s business end is smooth in operation, and remains open until you close it, allowing easy one-handed operation. The Tassimo’s brew-head lever requires two hands, and it closes stubbornly — the force required to close it is a little unsettling. (It took me some time to be certain that I really needed to use that much force to close the brew-head assembly — I was concerned I was going to damage the brewer.)

Each of these brewers has fairly simple and descriptive buttons to activate brewing. Brewing coffee with a Keurig machine couldn’t be simpler: insert a K-Cup, press a button. The number of brew options vary with the model: the B40 offers two brew volumes; the B60, three; the B70, four. It should be noted that as you choose a larger brew volume you’re changing the water to coffee ratio… a 6-oz. cup will a much more robust cup than a 10-oz. cup. Arguably, folks have different tastes for the strength of their brewed coffee — me, I don’t have much use for the largest brew volumes.

Brewing a cappuccino or a latte in the Tassimo is a three-step cycle. First insert and brew an espresso T-Disc, and then insert and brew a cappuccino or a latte T-Disc. (The difference: quantity of dairy product, and a different spout — the cappuccino version aerates the milk more than the latte.) Finally, insert the cleaning disk (an empty T-Disc with its own special barcode) and run a rinse cycle. And don’t lose that cleaning disc — you can’t run a rinse cycle without it, and a rinse is highly recommended after you brew either dairy or hot chocolate. It’s sticky, don’t ya know.

The sophistication of the Tassimo’s brewing capability has its price: the relative simplicity of the Keurig’s brew cycle lends it a performance advantage in both brew cycle and reheat / recovery times. The Tassimo’s heating cycle from stand-by mode may take as long as 60 seconds, and its brew cycle another 60 seconds — twice as long as the Keurig brewer. More, if you choose to program wake and sleep times into the Keurig’s clock you can ensure that you’ll never wait more than 30 seconds for a cup.

Some additional observations…

  • All single-cup brewers use a pump to deliver water to the brew-head. The Tassimo’s pump is considerably louder than the Keurig’s, and especially so when the pump is oscillating (aerating?) heavily for “frothy” drinks: espresso, cappuccino and hot chocolate.
  • Most every brew cycle, the Tassimo delivers some water to its drip tray through its backpressure relief valve. That’s not a problem, unless you’ve had to remove the drop tray to brew into a particularly tall cup, and then it can create a fair mess. The Keurig returns unused brew water to the reservoir via its backpressure relief system.
  • When you choose a brew volume on the Keurig, the brewer pre-fills its brewing system with the entire volume of water required before beginning the brew cycle. This ensures it doesn’t run out of water mid-cycle. The Tassimo does not, and may run out of water mid-brew. To complete the brew cycle you’ll need to add more water to its reservoir.
  • The Tassimo’s water reservoir is in the back of the machine, and may require that you pull the machine out from under an upper cabinet to add more water. The Keurig’s side-mounted water reservoir can be easily removed and replaced without reaching over, or moving the machine.

But what’s in the cup?

In the end, any question of brewing technology is answered by what’s in the cup. This is, of course, a wholly subjective matter — but I’ll take a crack at it.

The Tassimo offers a wide variety of beverage types — coffee, tea, espresso, cappuccino, latte and hot chocolate. That’s a substantial step forward in single-cup brewing capability, however you slice it — and if your goal is to create passably good espresso-based drinks at home with the simplicity of pushing a button (and doing so for a fraction of the cost of a super-auto espresso machine) then you may have found your match in the Tassimo. No, it’s not going to be coffee-house quality — but it’s not bad, either.

The brewed coffee varieties that I’ve sampled with the Tassimo, however, are another matter. I didn’t care for these coffees. Their aromas were baked and flat, with taints ranging from wet cardboard to wet dog. Their flavors are somewhat nutty and too much cereally and altogether indistinct of anything much like coffee. Their body is thin; their finish harsh and astringent. At the Tassimo’s standard brew volume they are helplessly over-extracted and bitter.

Keurig-brewed coffees are generally quite good, and some are remarkably so. Extra Bold coffees, in particular, offer coffee-house strength, ample body and plentiful aromas, and especially so when brewed at smaller brew volumes. The flavor characteristics of each coffee — and each coffee roaster — are clearly manifested in the cup. Which is, I think, as much as anyone might hope for — that the result be about the coffee, and not about how it was brewed.

Selection & Variety

The selection of coffee, tea, espresso and other beverages for the Tassimo has increased somewhat in the last two years. Worldwide there are now (by my count) more than 50 offerings from Kraft’s own line-up of brands, and brands that Kraft has licensed for distribution. Many of these brands — Mastro Lorenzo, Jacobs, Carté Noir, Kenco, Suchard — live in the European market; you’ll be hard-pressed to find them stateside unless you buy direct from Kraft’s Tassimo Direct web site. More familiar, North American brands include Gevalia, Tazo Tea, Twinings, Nabob (Canada), Seattle’s Best, Maxwell House, and — recently announced though not yet in-market — Starbucks.3 You’ll find no more than a dozen or so offerings for the Tassimo on Amazon, for example… and none of them Fair Trade, or Organic.

The Keurig line-up of coffee, tea and chocolate brands includes names you may find more familiar: Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Tully’s, Caribou, Coffee People, Diedrich, Newman’s Own Organics, Celestial Seasonings, Gloria Jean’s, Timothy’s, Van Houtte, Bigelow, and Ghirardelli. Unlike the Tassimo selection, most all of these brands offer a half-dozen or more (much more!) coffee and tea selections. Altogether there are more than 150 different coffees, teas and assorted other beverages for the Keurig system. You can find about a hundred of them on Amazon, including dozens of Fair Trade and Organic options.

Conclusions

Tassimo has an advantage in terms of the flexibility of its brewing technology — its ability to brew espresso, cappuccino and the like — but that advantage comes at the cost of brew-cycle recovery time and diminished capacity to brew a regular cup of coffee. The introduction of additional brands is welcome, and may yet result in a more palatable cup of Joe somewhere down the road.

Keurig’s focus on brewed coffee — and nothing else — hands it a clear victory in the category. Its inability to brew espresso-based drinks may or may not be a liability; that depends entirely on what you want from your single-cup brewer. Ultimately, I find the array of coffees — and coffee roasters — to be one of the most compelling feature of the Keurig brewing system.

Two years on I find that now, as before, choice rules.


Notes and Links

  1. Kraft has recently entered into an agreement with Bosch to manufacture its brewers (seeing as how Gillette/Braun was purchased by its rival, P&G.) Bosch manufactured and distributed brewers are scheduled to be in market in Spring ’08.
  2. Keurig is convinced that Tassimo has read too much from their play book. They’ve filed suit against Kraft for patent infringement.
  3. I find it remarkable that many of these brands offer only one or two products to the overall line-up… it would almost appear that Kraft is making every effort to show that a great number of brands have adopted their system, when — in fact — most of them are Kraft’s own.

Author: deCadmus

Doug Cadmus is a usability guy, writer and sometime dramatist who moved to Vermont for the coffee, where he's the Web Guy for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. When not writing, reading, or tapping out haiku-like Twitter posts, he roasts coffee in his garage.

99 Comments

  1. The Keurig was the best macth for my wife and I. I was previously using a Black & Decker Brew and Go which was perfect for me becuase my wife didn’t drink coffee (but she does like the Starbucks foo-foo drinks). When she saw the Keurig she wanted it because she could make a variety of flavored coffees. At first I was against it because I don’t want to pay .45 to .55 cents per cup when I am at home! Then she pointed out the K-Cup Filter and I was OK with it because I could make a single cup with my own grounds. Question though, when I use the K-Cup Filter it makes more of a mess. Seems like excess water is spewing out the top of the filter or not going into the filter at all. The coffee gets made and is good, but water (not coffee) splashes all around. Am I doing something wrong? Does anyone else have this problem?

  2. I have owned a Tassimo since I first saw it on “The Apprentice” about 4 yrs. ago.

    My first one was malfunctioning after about 2 years of use. I simply called Tassimo and they sent me a new one, no questions asked.

    I have been using the same machine since and have had no issues.

    I do agree with the writer about the mess issue when making a travel cup size as the water does get a little messy, but no biggie. I will deal with that in order to get may latte fix!

    Aside from the above, I absolutley LOVE my Tassimo. I drink the Maxwell House latte (as it is a few bucks cheaper than Gevalia) and Gevalia decaf cappy.
    My partner loves the chai tea latte.

    Their hot chocolate is not the best, but it is doable. The chamomile and green tea are fine as well.
    FYI–home delovery from Tassimo is good–free delivery and more options to choose from than our local Bed, Bath and Beyond!)

    I found this article while researching the Kurig to see what the deal was with their brewer. Their website had no info on lattes. Now I know why!

    I will stick with Tassimo!

    • If you like hot chocolate, try the one Milka has for the Tassimo ~ it’s great!! Only problem for me is that it’s not available in Canada yet. Booo. I love my Tassimo. : )

  3. Love, Love, Love the Keurig! Can’t say enough about it. The simplicity alone is wonderful. My kids make themselves hot chocolate in to-go mugs in the morning, they love it too! And for those of you that like the other machine because of Starbucks, I buy Starbucks coffee and place it the my K cup and it makes a perfect cup of Starbucks coffee. Right now we are using the Christmas blend and loving it. It is so easy and so simple. And if you wanted to you could froth your own latte with a cup of Keurig! And make it yourself with less hassle. Before I would throw away half a pot of unused coffee, now no waste. I cannot say enough about it. I bought a beautiful red cinnamon color platinum series on QVC that brought a lot of extra coffee and goodies.

  4. TO Eric above:
    I had this same problem too with the My K-Cup filter. Water was shooting out everywhere. You have to pull down the rubber seal/gasket on the top needle. What happens is over time it shifts upwards. This worked for me!

  5. I’ve been wanting a single cup coffee maker for a while. Had a larger brewer, as well as a french press, but I didn’t have the knack to get the coffee consistently right. I have lots of experience with the keurig coffee maker at work, with several different flavors, and always found the coffee to be quite weak. Even the hot chocolate for that matter was watered down in the keurig (even with the 6 oz size). I was given the Tassimo for the holidays, and absolutely love it! The coffee is matches my tastes much more closely, the option of having milk with the drinks (without first watering them down) is what has me really enjoying it. Ultimately it’s a personal preference, so if you have the opportunity, try each one out because there is a big difference in taste!

  6. Here’s the thing…with the Keurig you get your basic coffees, flavored coffees, teas, hot chocolate and the reusable filter which you can use any type of grounds in. With the Keurig it takes 1-3 mins from start to finish for a brew, depending on the model. You can also use it for plain water if you are wanting to make your own hot chocolate, tea or soup at work. Tassimo is good if you like lattes and cappuccinos. It does take longer to brew and is a little more complicated to work until you get it down. You can’t use any other types of coffees other than what they offer. They don’t offer a reusable filter. It is nosier than the Keurig and you can’t use it just for plain hot water. We have sampled both of these at the store I work at. We still sell more of the Keurig but I think that’s partly because of the extra benefits it offers and the fact they are doing more advertising. Both are good machines but if you have hard water then you need to used the bottle water like the manufacturers recommend. We use our regular tap water at work and haven’t had any problems with them but ours isn’t very hard.

  7. The problem with Keurig is that in order to get a cup of coffee that I am used to drinking I have to use two K-Cups. I tried My K-Cup and found I could only put half the amount of coffee I would normally use to make my normal cup of coffee. Thus if makes perfect sense why I would need to use two K-Cups. The problem with My K-cup is that it is messier than my coffee pot because you have to clean out the filter instead of just throwing it away. The whole point of the Keurig is that is it cleaner and more convenient. Using My K-Cup it is messier than my coffee pot but using their K-cup it is more expensive. Bottom line it is really an expensive coffee pot! If you don’t mind spending more money on coffee and you like it to be convenient then it is perfect for you. Using My K-Cup is messier than my coffee pot and makes no sense.
    Before the Keurig I used the Tossimo. I enjoyed the Tossimo. I did find it messier and louder than Keurig. However, I ultimately returned it because I found that I was spending a lot more money on coffee. I suppose if you are one of those people addicted to Starbucks Lattes then this is definitely for you. You skip the trip to Starbucks and save money with the Tossimo.
    Bottom line for the money neither worked better than my coffee pot. Although I’ve read about the Aeropress and I think that will be my next stop.

  8. Having heard the Keurig machine was better than the Tassimo, we opted for the Keurig and have had it for 2 months now. We have never owned a coffee maker as my husband I don’t drink simple coffee. I am a fan of half hot chocolate/half coffee (mocha) and my husband only drinks vanilla cappuccino from Tim Hortons. Purchasing this machine saved him a drive every morning and evening to get my “fix”. Unfortunately, I have to use 2 k-cups per drink, (1 coffee, 1 hot chocolate) but it was worth and still saved us money.
    Now that christmas is over, hot chocolate is IMPOSSIBLE to find. All websites are out of stock and so are the stores in town. I would have an easier time finding crack. That being said, I am stuck once again making the daily trip to Timmy’s while my Keuring machine looks cool on the counter.
    Have been investigating the Tassimo simply for the convenience of being able to find the t-discs. They are also half the price of k-cups…
    Unless Keuring starts making hot chocolate readily available, our Keuring machine will go the way of the mop vs. swiffer commercial.

  9. Hi, Kristine!

    Word on the streets of Waterbury, VT is that the folks at Green Mountain responsible for all things chocolatey are trying very hard to turn on the hot cocoa spigot, again. But it’s likely to be mid-February.

  10. I am considering a machine for the office. I am disturbed at folks on both sides claiming the coffee isn’t very hot, because that’s high on my list.
    I’m also concerned about the piles of plastic. Does anyone know a site with a comparison of disposed non-biodegradeable byproducts of brewing?
    Thanks for a really eye-opening assesment.

  11. I’ve wanted a new coffeemaker at work for awhile, so after listening to my sister complain about how fake the milk in the Tassimo tastes and how little variety of coffees there were for hers, I decided that I’d give the Keurig a shot.

    I’m glad I did. So far I’ve liked almost every selection I’ve tried out of the sampler pack. The Timothy’s Columnian decaf tasted amazingly rich. I’ll be ordering a couple boxes of those for sure. Overall the coffee reminds me of the stuff my dad makes at home on the stove in a good old fashioned percolator.

    My sister requested I bring her a cup from work today so she could try it and compare and she told me it was one of the best cups of coffee she’d ever tasted. I’m now thinking of getting a brewer for home.

    I’ve yet to try the hot chocolate. I see that one little cup from the sample pack staring up at me and I’m scared to try it until I know I can actually order more of it.

    The true test will be when my coworker returns from vacation and tries a cup. When he makes coffee in the regular coffee pot he pours a whole can of nabob into the filter and only a half a pot of water. When that’s brewing the smell actually makes my eyes burn. I bet he won’t like this machine. I can’t see any way he could get coffee that strong out of it unless he brewed a cup, put a new k cup in, poured his coffee back in the resevoir and ran it threw again…. I’ll have to watch him close to make sure he doesn’t get any ideas. LOL.

  12. I just love my Keurig. For Christmas 2008 I had asked for a single cup brewer. My husband is NOT a coffee drinker. But nonetheless, he had the sole decision on what machine I would get. He chose the Keurig, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it. I use it DAILY. No problems whatsoever. I use only delivered water in it, so no hard water concerns. I have 2 My K-Cup inserts. I make all kinds of hot teas, different types of coffees, etc. In addition, I order lots of K-Cups on the internet. I also find them at Kohl’s, Macy’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. When our family comes over, we might have 20+ for dinner. Everyone wants something different to drink! I make decaf for some, hot chocolate for others, tea for myself, etc. I also brew iced tea using the Celestial Seasonings Iced Tea K Cups. They are so convenient and the tea tastes great. I only wish the machine would steam milk. But from what I read on this forum, the cleaner disk of the Tassimo system would be more of an inconvenience to me. I like the one-handed operation of the Keurig; I have 2 small children. And it’s so fast! When 20 people are waiting for their after dinner coffee, I can just line up the cups and go! My step dad used to work at Barnie’s Tea & Coffee Co., and he really likes the flavor of the Caribou K Cups. It’s a winner all around. Thanks for the review; I think I will purchase a Keurig milk steamer and my system will be complete!

  13. Have a Tassimo and can’t seem to get tassimo to delivery my online orders. Apparently I need to make small online orders and pay shipping for each one as larger “free shipping” orders always seem to have something on backorder so they never ship it. My friend has a keurig and has no trouble getting her coffee. Wish I had a keurig!!

  14. Been trying to decide on what brand to buy. I just drink dark coffee, no flavors, no sugar, no cream. Those latte days are long gone for me. After reading the comments I’ll be purchasing the Keurig. I can schedule the delivery of K-cups from Amazon on a regular basis. Getting lazy in my days and am tired of cleaning up the coffee grounds that seem to end up on my counter no matter how careful I am, not to mention the occasional filter and grounds that somehow end up on the floor.

  15. Gary, if you only drink dark coffee, I wouldn’t choose either of those discussed. I’d advise you to buy a nespresso (especially since you don’t mind ordering online), since its coffee is the best one around and it has plenty of variety. Besides, if you want to choose your own brand of coffee, I read somewhere that there are refillable pods available online compatible with the nespresso machines. As for myself, since I don’t drink it dark and enjoy all the varieties it offers, I have a Tassimo and love that I’m not restricted to coffee (I can have teas and hot chocolates whenever I wish, too)and most everything tastes fantastic.

  16. Green Mountain coffee offers all the alvaiable K-cups for Kuerig brewers. With their scheduled delivery service with free shipping and 24ct (instead of 18ct grocery store available) at discounted pricing it’s a great service. This makes the excuse of “not much available” obsolete. You can change your order very shipment until you find the right ones for your family’s palates. Sampler packs are also available.

    If you order you Kuerig and start the shipments a the same time you even get 10% of you brewer and a free gift.

    They have been very honest and most importantly friendly company to deal with.

    The My-Cap system, http://www.my-kap.com/MYK/ , works great and makes the sytem very “GREEN”.

    http://www.greenmountaincoffee.com/

  17. I have both brewers and like the Kuerig much better. I found it brews the coffee much hotter and the coffee taste much better than the Tassimo. I got the Tassimo as a gift and use it more for the occasional latte. Another drawback to the Tassimo I found was the bar code technology. I use the Kuerig alot without a K-Cup to heat up a thermos with hot water as it is much hotter than tap water (192 degrees farenheit). You cannot do this with the Tassimo unless you use one of the large latte creamers (cleaned) as you need a bar code to do anything.

  18. I’ve never tried the Kuerig, buut… :)

    We recently went on an 8 day cruise where GOOD cappuccino was served every evening after dinner, and I’m sad to say, we became addicted. We considered buying a stand alone espresso machine, but simply couldn’t justify giving up cabinet or counter space in our very small kitchen. Tassimo to the rescue! We’ve tried the Starbucks cappuccino primo, and have fallen in love.

    The only disappointing spot has been the previously mentioned fact that Kuerig simply has more options. We are also big tea drinks, and I’m disappointed there’s no Darjeeling offered in the US. The UK, of course, gets a better selection. I’m crossing my fingers Kraft will wise up and offer them in the US as well.

  19. Very nice and thorough review. What I have found is that for brewing a straight cup of coffee, Keurig is the winner hands down. The Keurig offer a huge variety of regular and flavored coffees that taste awesome. If you like an espresso, latte or cappuccino then Tassimo gets the vote, but don’t expect a great cup of regular coffee with the exception of the Starbucks. Each brewer appeals to a different audience.

  20. I first purchased the Dulce Gusto and was blown away by how good the caps/espressos/lattes were, then I realized: I can’t just make normal coffee – sooooo I went out and got the Tassimo T65 from eBay ($100!) and I found that the lattes/caps are pretty good, but I like the DGs better…but what made me choose it over the K-cups was STARBUCKS – who NEEDS donut shop joe?

    Bottom Line: I really don’t care about 1,000 types of coffee variety when all I need is a good latte/cap/espresso from my Dolce Gusto (and the Tassimo are ok too, just the DGs are better) and the odd tea/hot choc….

    I’m Team Tassimo (and DG) – hope this helps someone in their decision :)

  21. I have had Kuerig machines for the past several years, and was quite a super fan (convincing friends and family to get them). However, ALL OF THE Kuerig machines I have owned have never lasted more than 1.5 years – just long enough to hit the expiration of the warranty period. Keurig is happy to sell you another machine for a slightly discounted price. I find the aroma of the k-cups to be amazing – but the taste was lacking. But that’s my opinion. We do have hard water in my area, although we always tried to use filtered/bottled water in the brewer and de-scaled religiously. I will give the Bosch Tassimo a try and report my findings. Dropping 150$ on a coffee maker every year or so is insane.

  22. I am not an experienced coffee drinker… I am a wanna be though..LOL.. I usually have one cup of coffee a week and that is only when I go to church…so..if I miss, then I go another week. I am interested in having a simple, quiet, non-messy cup of something hot..able to change up .. and especially want to be able to give my coffee experienced friends a wonderful cup when they visit. basically…. I am still very confused…Bottomline.. just tell this newby which is best suitable for what I just described.. Thanks..

  23. Would love the occassional latte and capuccino the Tassimo offers but I’m mostly a regular coffee drinker who loves a good cafe mocha every now and then so it looks like the Platinum B70 Keurig is for me. The ability to try other coffees that I already love like Tim Horton’s (Canada) is a must have.
    @Dawn (inexperienced coffe drinker) – I think you’re either better off buying your extremely occassional cup retail or going with the best instant coffee you can afford. If you want something to entertain with, a personal sized Keurig might work for you (based on what I’ve read). I wouln’t advice you to invest so much on something you’ll hardly use.

  24. I want to thank you for a great review. Being the only coffee drinker in the house I have been thinking of buying a Keurig coffee mechean (I have had there coffee before at work, and other places and liked it) but when looking at the mecheans I also saw Tassimo, and was wondering which would be better for me.

    After reading the review there is no question I am getting a Keurig. First of all I love green mountian coffee, so that is a big plus there. Second and more importantly, I work over nights. When I am leaving for work my family is sleeping, when I get home from work thay are sleeping. I would hate to have a noisy coffee mechean and wake up family because I want a drink.

    Thanks for the great review and helping me make an easy decision.

  25. I am trying to decide between a Keurig and a Tassimo. I have been told that the Keurig has a little filter that you could put your own coffee grounds in (ex. say you run out of the K-cup thingys) to make coffee without the K-cups. I was told Tassimo doesn’t not have this filter option. Does anyone know if this is true?

  26. I purchased a Tassimo T65 specifically for use at a memorial service I was hosting with the idea that the variety of drinks available from one machine would prove useful: Did it ever!

    The most consumed drink was the Suchard Hot Chocolate (there were a lot of children and it was a cold day), followed by Starbucks Breakfast Blend and then Twinings Earl Grey. All in all there were about a dozen choices, and no one had to serve as a “barista” as the “smart” feature of the Tassimo required no prior experience or “reading of the manual” on the part of new users.

    The machine served over 60 drinks, each made to order, and there were no complaints about the time it took to brew each cup (although the novelty of the process allowed me a lot of latitude.) I played down the availability of lattes and cappuccinos in order to speed the line, but after things slowed down we made several of each and they were very well received.

    My only mistake was that I purchased only 6oz disposable “china” cups and the Starbucks provided a full 8oz, making the last few seconds of each brewing cycle a little hair raising.

    I’ve taken the machine home and am now working through the remaining inventory. So far, so good, with Starbucks Breakfast Blend my favorite so far. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the current darker roasts, unless combined with foamed milk, having grown up when all coffee came in a two-pound can with a key and we used to brew – and drink – at least five to ten lbs. a day in the firehouse.

    All in all, the Tassimo was the best choice for me, although I am admittedly a little envious of the single serving “My-K-cup” filter, as there are coffees out there that I would like to sample.

  27. Hello everyone. Thanks to you, deCadmus, for your very thoughtful review, and efforts to continue to make it relevant. Also, thanks to everyone who has left a reply. I have a question which may be begging for a subjective answer, but as there’s two diamtrically opposed methods of coffee delivery (t-disc or k-cup), has anyone observed a leaning in the market towards one or the other in terms of consumer adoption? In other words, no one wants to buy a unit with obsolescene right around the proverbial corner. Everyone’s input is welcome. And thanks again!

  28. I have recently purchased a Tassimo T65, and can honestly say it is the best 100 quid I have ever spent, the coffee is in my opinion very close to coffee shop standards, add to this the espresso and associated drinks, not to mention the teas and chocolate drinks and this machine has the Keurig beat hands down, if you are thinking of buying one, stop thinking and go and get one, you wont regret it!

  29. Actually, with the ‘My K-Cup’ feature from Keurig there is an ‘endless’ variety of coffees to use in the Keurig machine. Dont have to worry about k cup/t disc availability whatsoever.

    That is to say if a coffee is available for a traditional drip style machine IT IS available for brewing on the Keurig via the My-K-Cup accessory.

    Just tired of hearing Team Tassimo saying being able to brew Starbucks Coffee was the ultimate deal maker. Guess what. . .
    I have a Keurig and I brew Starbucks every morning. I also grind my own gourmet beans fresh and use the My K-Cup. Its fantastic!!

    Guess what else. . . I can fine tune the amount of coffee I put in the My K-Cup to accommodate any of the 4 cup sizes on my Keurig B-70 Platinum to a particular taste. Who needs a barcode??

    If u like Starbucks, dont buy a Tassimo. Buy a Keurig and a ‘My K-Cup’. IMHO If u absolutely need a sub par cappuccino/coffeemaker get a Tassimo.

    If u want a single cup coffee brewer with an ENDLESS selection of coffees that does one thing and does it right get a Keurig.

    Also, I can be more ‘environmentally friendly’ by producing less waste by using the My K-Cup accessory as well. I have no waste other than the bio-degraddable coffee rinds. No plastic used cups or discs to throw out. And it saves me $$ as well.

    I was never a big fan of BOSCH products for what its worth.

    Keurig’s customer service is great to deal with also.

    GO KEURIG FOR THE WIN!!!!

  30. it’s almost impossible to compare these two machines, yet keurig has ‘tons’ of coffee options, but they are allllllllll coffee, no dairy, no cappuccinos, lates, and the hot chocolates are actually powder? and taste terrible. i am not a coffee drinker, i dont ‘like it black’… this isn’t the 40′s. there are much better options than black coffee.

  31. @JacksonW – I agree that the Keurig has a ton of “options” as well, but i am not a big fan of them either. For me coffee is as much about the ritual as it is about the final product. I love the smell of freshly ground beans and there is no better aroma than a freshly made pot of coffee. I may be stuck in 1995 – but i still prefer my simple old ordinary coffee maker.

  32. I received a Tassimo machine (Tass 1000UC/01) as a gift, and quickly bought myself a second machine for use at work so I could make coffee, tea, and even cup-a-soup or noodles(using the included water disc) for my lunches. I’ve had both of these machines for two and a half years now, and are surprised they have lasted this long. I have replaced the centre dispenser on each of them once (ordered online – just pop out the old one, and insert the new one). Cleaning is pretty easy, but they recommend you only use their cleaner, which I had to order online, as I have never ever seen it available in any store, and the instructions say you can’t use plain vinegar to descale it. One thing I don’t like is that there is very little forwarning that cleaning is required – one day it works, and the next the red light is on, and you have to clean it – so best to have the cleaning solution on hand or your machine is out of commission until you do as they warn you that trying to use it when cleaning is needed will cause damage, then suddenly it just won’t work, which means neither will the cleaning cycle so you’d better stop at the first sign of trouble and run the descaler next. I did find that when I used bottled water at work, the system required more frequent cleaning as the bottled water contained high amounts of minerals, so now I use tap water. I’m not sure if newer models give any forwarning of this; if not, then they should implement that as an improved feature.

    I know eventually the machine will wear out, and I’m intrigued by the features that Keurig offers that Tassimo does not – mainly that you can use your own coffee in the refillable basket which I would definitely do at home, but maybe not at work, as there is no sink nearby for rinsing. I’m hoping that by the time I make my next individual coffee system purchase, one or the other of these systems will improve on their competitors assets so I can get everything I want in ONE machine! It shouldn’t be that hard to do.
    Keurig allows refillable coffee cup that saves a lot of money and plastic cups going to landfill, plus storing a pound of coffee takes up way less space than the equal amount of individual cups in my cabinets. I try to buy my Tassimo discs on sale and stock up, but then there is a storage problem, and when lattes are approx a dollar a cup, (and I make double in my big travel mug) it’s expensive. I wish Tassimo would make a refillable cup so I can use my own coffee grinds at home, and to go one step further, even a refillable cup that could froth the milk for lattes, as I have a fridge right there. Also – why doesn’t Tassimo offer bulk packages of the milk discs only? Another point with the Tassimo – I find the plasic packaging is overdone; I suppose it’s to keep the contents fresh, but the coffee/milk is already in small plastic disks that are sealed tightly with foil, so why do they need this very thick wrapping around it?
    If Keurig made lattes and cappucino I would buy their system next – but they don’t – so I’m still waiting. My wish list?
    -Ability to brew in EITHER disposable or refillable pods
    -Ability to make lattes and cappucinos
    -Ability to find a wide variety of discs in stores (Tassimo is not available at Costco where I do most of my shopping).
    -Reasonable prices for the coffee cups – shouldn’t be almost the same price as going to the coffee shop!
    -Ability to find the cleaning/replacement parts in a store so we don’t have to order everything online, pay for shipping/waiting etc.

    Whichever company can offer at least the refillable AND latte options next will be the one I buy next time, but for now, still using the Tassimo until it dies. I’m hoping there will be newer models by the next Christmas shopping season.

  33. Thank you for an extremely helpful review. I read it while I was at the supermarket on my smart phone because I didn’t want to make a second mistake in buying a coffee maker.

    Last Christmas I brought home a Tassimo thinking that it might be nice to have cappuccino whenever I wanted it but the coffee was not hot enough and I couldn’t get past the awful canned milk flavour in the froth. It may be a few years before these coffee makers can manage anything resembling a real latte or cappuccino.

    I just purchased the Keurig tonight but so far I’ve made coffee and tea plus I’ve tried out the attachment which lets me make my own brand of coffee. I can tell already that this model is a keeper.

  34. We have a Tassimo at home and we just picked up a Keurig today. With Starbucks leaving the Tassimo family and moving to Keurig in september 2011, the choice for us to move on was easy. Of course with the addition of the “my K-cups” filter…I dont see why I would stay with Tassimo anyway. I should have bought a Keurig in the first place.

  35. Thanks for the informed comments. I have had a Tassimo for almost 2 years and have consistently been happy with it. I use it every day and it operates smoothly and without problem. The stiff lid closure issue sounds like the disc wasn’t sitting in its seat properly. I agree with another post about the de-scaling but was fortunate enough to have a local coffee specialty store that carried the necessary product.
    I have read many comments about problems with Keurig Machines and not sure if those issues have been resolved. My co-workers opted for a Tassimo at work recently and all seem pleased with the variety and the quality of the beverages.
    Tassimo recently added some new products including a flavoured coffees (french vanilla and swiss hazelnut), more tea products, iced coffee and a decaf espresso. I haven’t tried them all yet, but hope to do so.
    The “My K-Cup” refillable basket is enviable – absolutely. Tassimo is a Kraft product so there is presumably little likelihood that they would offer this feature which would impact the sales of their own products.
    Starbucks coffee was a main draw for me and I am sorry that the relationship between Starbucks and Tassimo has ended. Starbucks will be available in K-Cups so I think that the large variety of products will ultimately make Keurig the winner. If I decide to defect, I know I’ll miss the frothy skinny lattes and the coffee crema.

  36. I defected from Tassimo, although Bosch did a great job on the brewer, for the reasons that I do not really care for the present offerings in T-disc form and the CS. I own a Dolce Gusto Creativa and love the caps and lattes from the DG, even better than the specialty drinks I use to consume from the Tassimo(s). However, like the Tass inventory is proprietal and slow to adding to the shelves. Great specialty drinks but even fewer regular joes and teas than Tassimo. For now, I’m researching and waiting. This is going to be an exciting time for single serve specialty brewers and I’m waiting for the machine that can do it all. Keurig and Lavazza are co-developing a brewer to hit the market in 2013. Lavazza has quality expressos, not simulated like the Tassimo produces, but real & higher bars of pressure to produce the ultimate expresso. This one might be worth saving up your pennies for. Also of consideration is Coffee Beans CBTL Contata or Kaldi. New kid on the block and premium quality drinks. Its a new kid on the block but I am seeing immense media attention, and a company here in the USA. The CBTL is a Caffitaly system, built on an open platform. This means any caffitaly system capsules will be compatible in any Caffitaly brewer no matter who it is manufactured for. So the european Ecaffe capsules and Lofberg capsules will fit in the CBTL. This will expand the inventory of drinks one can order online. Creativecookware carries ecaffe capsules. Right now Coffee Beans capsule inventory is limited, but the choices are still good. More Teas than you will find in the Tassimo or DG inventory, and a higher likelihood of seeing more capsules offered in the future if the machine catches on. I think the competition is just starting to heat up…… In the meantime, I just found out there is now Chai Tea Latte made for the Dolce Gusto. I am so hoping Nescafe might consider adding their Nespresso expressos to the DG inventory.

  37. I am a coffee drinker, although my husband say i’m not because I like all thosw foo-foo drinks.

    I just bought the Tassimo and love it. The machine is easy to use , you don’t waste alot of coffeeby making a whole pot and having one cup. I enjoy the cappacino’s and Latte’s, although I do use 2 espresso t cups to 1 milk t cup. If you like sthose milk flavored drinks get the Tassimo. If you are looking for a straight cup of coffee then th Keurig will be your choice.

    Long live Joe!!!

  38. Also, I have found the availability of re-fillable K-cups so that you may use your own coffee. Not so (yet) for the Tassimo.
    Just sayin’

  39. I believe recently Starbucks broke their contract with Tassimo and has since started making kcups. But Tassimo has a great selection of specialty coffee drinks and the milka hot chocolate is awesome.

  40. i now own both the Keurig and the tassimo. ive had my keurig now for 3 years and have not had a problem but i am finding that my coffees i like are getting harder and harder to find online and so my husband bought the tassimo for christmas for me as i need my fresh cup of coffee hourly for. the tassimo is noiser then my other coffee pot but the t discs are a lot cheaper and i like the better variety for (dessert coffees)

  41. Great info! I prefer the Keurig because you can buy refillable pods, so that wills ave you hundreds!

    Read my hub on Keurig vs. Tassimo
    http://sabrani44.hubpages.com/hub/Keurig-vs-Tassimo-The-Ultimate-Showdown

  42. Love my Keurig. Can’t live without it. Customer service is awsome and located in the US. Makes troubleshooting fun and interesting. Had a party during the holidays and put my brewer on the counter: everyone made there own hot drink. What fun!

  43. Have both, gifts. They both server their purpose. The re-fill cup for Keurig leaks. Two different ones, no matter the coffee. Me, I will take a cappuccino or latte anytime. Saves me money at the drivethru. Love my Tassimo!

  44. I use the Tassimo and its great! We use it primarily for espresso and find that since the K cups cant make espresso we find it to be a failed machine. We LOVE our Tassimo!!

  45. Does anyone have any idea when Tassimo will have latte and cappucino T Discs available again?? I’m going nuts not having easy access to a latte every morning!! A friend who works at Kraft said there was a problem with the expresso discs and they recalled them.

  46. Tim Hortons is coming to Tassimo in October. Sorry Keurig, Tassimo will get my money.

  47. Just wanted to say thanks to Doug for the logical and succinct review. I have a Tassimo and your comments are spot on (both pros and cons). I asked my wife for a machine that made a cappuccino so obviously the Keurig was out as an option. So far so good with the Tassimo. Some brands of coffee are hit and miss as you point out, but if you have to have a cappuccino, its pretty good (but obviously not Starbucks).

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *.