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Keurig vs. Tassimo: A Single-Cup Showdown Update

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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. Great review. You aptly describe the flavors I’d expect from Kraft coffees. And in addition to the variety and quality found in K-Cups, there is the My K-Cup reusable do-hickey, so folks can use whatever kind of fresh-ground coffee floats their boat. If the Tassimo relies on a bar code, it would helpless with an accessory like that.

  2. I dithered on whether or not to include a section on the ecology of single-cup coffee in this review. In the end I didn’t — not because I don’t think the environmental impact of K-Cups and T-Discs and their ilk isn’t worth mention — but because it wasn’t a particular point of distinction between the brewers themselves. The simple fact is they *both* have a larger environmental impact than I’d like.

    And so your point is well-made… Until such time as a wholly recyclable or compostable, or otherwise reclaimable K-Cup is available, the “My K-Cup” widget is a viable workaround for folks who are especially keen to reduce their environmental footprint.

  3. I found this comparison very useful in my buying decision. Although I was previously leaning towards the Keurig, this assessment provided an objective review of many of the elements I had not considered, an I felt more comfortable with my buying decision. Thank you.

  4. Very interesting and complete comparison. Now I know for sure which single-cup is for me (sorry Tassimo).

  5. I agree with all of the posts. But I went with the Tassimo.

    The availabilty of K cups is limited to one store in the small city where I live and their selection was sparse. The Tassimo selection – much better. Available was several Starbucks blends, hot chocolate, teas, and chai latte, the espresso and latte blends. I agree that in the beginning, the choice was dismal for the Tassimo. But now it is greatly improved. The Starbucks brew tasted just like the real deal. And it is available in more than one store where I live.
    I will never buy the Maxwell House T-discs. There is nothing that can be done to that coffee to make it taste good.
    The latte was good – you must buy a very expensive espresso machine if you want that to taste like the real deal, which the Tassimo is not, so don’t expect it. But it is better than paying over $3 per cup at a coffee house.

    The “different sizes” available in the Keurig means you must experiment to find the size that suits your taste, as it just adds more or less water to the grounds.

    The major factors for me the choosing the Tassimo: available coffee and tea selection in my area and the ability to heat and froth the milk.

  6. This reviewer forgot to mention that the Keurig machine allows you to expand it’s capabilities by adding a My-K Cup filter to your arsenal. This is a filter that you can add your own coffee to, making it indeed possible to brew espresso or your own personal blend of coffee or even a brand like Gevalia that doesn’t make K-Cups. It only costs $19.99 and it allows you to expand the possibilities of the machine. The Keurig is a FANTASTIC machine, and offers over 170 different K-Cup varieties to choose from including coffee, tea and hot chocolate… throw on top of that the option of brewing any coffee by purchasing the My-K Cup and you have a winner. I invested in a little electric milk frother ($19.99 at a local store) and am now able to make passable cappucino and latee drinks without having to spend money on extra dairy pods and worrying about using a cleaning disk. The Keuring B70 allows you to adjust not only brew size, but also water temperature so it is possible to brew a variety of items perfectly.

    I LOVE my Keurig machine and will never, ever be without it. The best part is that if ever they stop making K-Cups I can still use my machine with the My-K Cup, this is something that can’t be said of the Tassimo. I have tried coffee from the Tassimo and found, much like the reviewer, that the coffee just wasn’t tasty or up to par. I also found there to be such a small selection of coffee’s that I would never be happy with that machine.

  7. Thank you! We’ve been sitting on the Tassimo/Keurig fence and the “my K-cup” has put us over the edge. It’s less about the environmental impact than the economical one — e.g. ~$.40/cup for a K-cup or T-filter vs. $.13 for a loose grind of any coffee. We want the convenience of single cup brewing (we love our morning coffee but tend to throw out most of the pot by the end of the day — even when brewing “short” (1-4 cup) pots) but don’t want to pay the premium of pre-packaged coffee. And we’d rather control the intensity of the brew with a loose coffee grind. Cheers!

  8. I did my research and purchased the Keurig. Using it for a week now and it was the best thing I ever bought. True the K-cups are not available in a lot of store but the purchase online is easy. But best of all it the extra filter you can purchase. With the K-cup filter you can use ANY ground coffee you like. You can use Starbucks, Dunkins Dounts or A&P with this filter. That was the big plus selling point. It is easy to clean and fill. I can not say enough about it. I was first leaning toward the Tassimmo but I am glad I went with Keurig.

  9. Nice reviews about the single serve coffee makers. I purchased a Keurig for my disabled father for Christmas. Purchasing for my father is not easy, he has had a severe stroke and only has the use of one arm. Due to his physical restrictions, he was so disgusted with the work required to make a pot of coffee, attemted a stove-top percolator, and finally relegated himself to instant coffee. :(

    I happened to see the Keurig displayed on TV and thought it was the perfect way for my father to actually be able to make coffee! So I drove to Macy’s (6hrs away..) and checked out the machine. It was perfect! He calls it the best gift ever!!! Its so simple for him to use, and he loves having real fresh brewed coffee again! So if people are looking for a good gift for someone who only has the use of one arm, the Keurig is the ticket!! My dad orders his groceries delivered, so its not that big of a deal to order the coffee from Amazon or Keurig or the other suppliers. I live in a small town, so there are definately no k-cups available here, but thats ok, I went ahead and ordered myself a Keurig, some coffee’s and also some coffee for my father as well.

    One other thing, if you want a Keurig machine and are willing to order it online through Keurig (their price is great and they offer free shipping on machines) they have a great ‘refer-a-friend’ program. If you e-mail me ([email protected]) your name and e-mail address and wait until I notify you (just a day to give Keurig your info) to purchase your machine, we will both recieve a coupon for FREE coffee (a value of $27.50). I am hoping that I can get a few of these referrals and will be able to keep a good supply of coffee for my father.

    Thank you, and I hope you enjoy your next cup of coffee.

    Shannon

  10. we went with the Tassimo and couldn’t be happier. Amazing brewing flexibility and generally very good tasting coffee/espresso/etc.

  11. We’ve had the Tassimo for over a year. We love it. We particularly like the Cappuccino and Latte, with some caramel and whip — just like a Starbux Caramel Machiatto! Tasty. And I just bought some of the Starbucks T-Discs. The coffee is bold and flavorful — EXACTLY like a cup from Starbucks. Seriously. The express feature is huge. All of our friends and family love our Tassimo. Huge hit around the holidays.

    Enjoy!

  12. In April of 07 my company moved into a new office, and one of the treats that came with it was a commercial Keurig machine. I fell completely in love with it with all the variety it offered in coffee and teas. My kids finally bought me a home model for Christmas. My only complaint, such as it is, is that I have to fill the water resevoir. I am used to the commercial one that fills itself. Small matter though!
    I am in a medium size city, and K-Cup availability is limited to one store, and there the variety is slim. On line is the only real opition.

  13. Liked your comparison, although I felt you were slightly in favor of the Keurig K cup and not completely unbiased. My husband and I explored all one cup machines. We narrowed it down to the two, Tassimo and Keurig. Since he already had the K cups at his office, and I have had them in the past, we were not too fond of the coffee it produced. He is Italian, loves strong STRONG coffee… YUK! If you are raised a NY Italian, there are two types of coffee. Black or Brown. LOL, took me a long time to figure it out, but when your asked what kind of coffee… Black is Espresso, and Brown is regular… generally very strong. I am Irish, and like it medium. I also like black tea, hot chocolate, latte, cappuccino.. But not flavored. Also Yuk! So…. We decided on the Tassimo, and were very surprised how well it worked for the both of us. It does take some getting used to, but after a day or two, and please, read the manual… you will find that from the same brand disk, you can produce either a strong or medium cup of coffee. No more arguments! You can use less or more water. I am not fond of the Milk Cups for the Capcno/latte, it is evaporated milk, has gritty taste. So I do it differently. I put the milk in the mug first, nuke it 1:15, put sweetener in, ahead of time with a stick of cinnamon, then put it in the machine for the espresso.

    There is a big difference in the two machines,

    Taste; The Tassimo will saturate the grounds, then pause.. giving the ground a chance to release all its flavor. I notice with the K cups, it just pushes the water through without giving it a chance for a full brew taste. Kind of like the melitta one cup filter holders. The water goes thru so fast, it doesn’t give the grinds enough time to brew.

    Variety; So many different coffees, teas, chia teas and hot chocolate to choose from, and you can set up automatic delivers. Spend over $30. no charge for shipping. You don’t have to have a delivery every month. The website will remember your last order.

    Taylor to your taste; Less water for a stronger cup, more for medium strength. Its up to you. Personally, my machine takes less then 30 seconds to heat up, and I have very hard water.

    If it makes my husband happy, and he is truly picky… its a good machine. And as for the lawsuit, I doubt it will be won. The filtering system inside the sealed cup is completely different. And it is like suing Dixie cups for infringing on disposable cups. You can always sue anyone for any reason, doesn’t mean your will win.

  14. I would like to know about the (California) lead warning on the Keurig coffee maker. I bought one for my mother who is almost blind and when I saw the warning I told her we should take it back, but she would like to keep it if the lead doesn’t get into the coffee. Does anyone know about this or can they give me someone to contact that would know?

  15. JMStacy –

    The short answer is: most any electrical appliance that draws a fairly high wattage, or employs small wires for a nominal wattage, uses lead to increase the flexibility and heat-resistance of the plastic that insulates the power cord.

    Here’s a longer answer, cribbed from the Children’s Health Environmental Coalition…

    The warning is required by the State of California’s Proposition 65. This law requires a warning label on any product containing a substance known to cause cancer or birth defects that is sold in California. Lead is listed as a carcinogen, but it’s more widely associated with neurological damage.

    Wire coating and cords are usually made of PVC plastic that may contain lead. Lead is used in PVC for several reasons. For wires and cords, lead makes the plastic more flexible and reduces the risk of fire. Lead is also used in many PVC products to stabilize the color. Lead in PVC products can disintegrate into lead-laced dust.

    The labels began appearing on holiday lights, as well as on electronic equipment and cords on other consumer products such as hairdryers, after a number of lawsuits were filed by an environmental advocacy organization in California.

    The amount of lead in the lights and other consumer products with warning labels may vary considerably. It is not clear if the amount of lead that is released poses a risk to human health. Some tests show that lead could come off in the hands. Note that nearly all appliance cords are covered with PVC that contains lead.

    What I believe you can be certain of is that there is no lead used in the coffee maker that would come in contact with the water, or the brewing system itself, in any way.

  16. I love my Tassimo.

  17. I’m mostly on the fence but leaning toward a Keurig. I am 8 months pregnant and think the ability to brew a cup of coffee using one hand will come in very handy soon. I am happy that Keurig offers the “My K-Cup” but is there any chance they’ll offer Starbucks K-cups in the future?

  18. I purchased neither the Keurig nor the Tassimo…instead, my daily brew comes from a $35 Mr. Coffee espresso maker, from Walmart! Yes, it’s a “single-cup” coffee maker…

    No environmental concerns with this machine…the grounds holder is sturdy, permanent, washable and fully reusable. You buy your own grounds and make it your way. Get the right size cup, and you can shoot the brew right into the cup…tip the grounds into a collection container (makes great compost/fertilizer), and you’re done. No waste, no fuss, no muss.

    It has a built-in frothing wand for making cappucino/latte variants, tho I can’t comment on how effective it is. Brew time is about four minutes, from start to done.

    For those wringing their hands with concerns that “espresso, it’s too much caffeine!”, remember, drip coffee actually carries a heavier payload of caffeine, than espresso.

    Drink Up!

  19. I purchased the Tassimo for two reasons: availability of latte option and liked the size and scale better than the Keurig. Also, I hoped (but had no evidence) that it would produce hotter coffee than the Keurig, which I’ve got at work and don’t love due to coffee temperature.

    I LOVE it — after the fussy first day figuring out the flashing lights and set-up, I find the machine quick and easy to use. The lattes are surprisingly creamy and delicious, and I do think the regular brewed coffee is nice and hot — you get a “steam” from it, which I don’t get from the work Keurig. I also think the taste of most options (except Maxwell House) is much better than the Keurig, a benefit I didn’t expect.

    Wish List: less drip into the cup base (though very easy to dump out) and easier water refill (have to pull unit from under counter). But, overall am very pleased and feel I made exactly the right choice.

  20. I bought the Tassimo and a couple of different options – cappuccino, latte, and the Gevalia signature crema. The crema is absolute crap. I thought maybe something was wrong with the machine or that somehow the coffee was bad. The latte was excellent and the cappuccino was mediocre. The machine is very loud which will get on my boss’ nerves at work. I’ll probably return the Tassimo tomorrow and get a Keurig and instead. I hear it is much quieter…

  21. I was researching single-serving coffeemakers for my office this morning, and I’m very glad I came across this well-written article.

    I was leaning towards the Tassimo, but I think the article helped me decide on the Keurig for my needs. I think the discovery of the “My K-Cup” after reading some of the above comments put the Keurig over the top for me, and I’m not concerned with having to order K-Cups online if they aren’t available in my area.

  22. I had 2 Keurigs and liked them but the problem was that each one died. The first lasted one year (Keurig replaced) and the second lasted 1 yr 7 months (Keurigh would discount a new one at $100). This is too much of a pattern as three other family members also had to have their Keurigs replaced at approximately one year. I was descaling them as the instructions stated. This time I decided to go with the Tassimo, which my daughter replaced her Keurig with and likes a lot. Hopefullly it will hold up for at least several years.

  23. Does anyone have information on Keurig systems (B50 – B70) average power consumption if left on continuously?

    Stated another way, how often does the 1500 watt heater come on, and for how long, to maintain brewing reservoir water temperature in a room-temperature environment?

    I’m used to making a whole pot in a conventional drip coffee maker and then immediately turning of the unit and reheating individual cups in the microwave throughout the day. It’s a compromise as far as taste is concerned, but it beats leaving the coffee maker burner on and completely ruining the coffee within 20 minutes of brewing.

  24. I think this is a very good review, although I’ve never tried the Tassimo so I can’t vouch for any of those details. I’m glad I have the Keurig. Some of the coffees are just amazing, both in taste and aroma. I have the Elite at home and the Mini at the office. I’ve had pump Espresso machines for many years and I love capuccinos at home, but they do take a bit more time. I don’t think I’d go with a push button espresso machine, I like the whole process, especially frothing. Since I don’t always have time to make a capuccino in the mornings before work, it’s great to have the Keurig option. It’s amazing how fast I can get a quality cup of coffee. And it’s nice to know that it’s the quieter of the two (comparing Keurig and Tassimo).

    I highly recommend the Keurig for brewed coffee. And if you like good, quality espresso drinks, by a machine that’s built for it.

  25. OK, so after doing my own half-efforted research on Keurig vs Bosch Tassimo, I came home tonight with our new Keurig coffee maker, got the extra filter needed for making our own regular coffee, got the K-cup carousel, set the thing up and tried some of the K-cup sampler pack that came with the brewer.

    As my wife was drinking hers and I drinking mine, she asked the question that afterward you could hear a pin drop:

    “I don’t see any of the Starbucks brands in here.”

    I realized my mistake that maybe I should’ve gotten the Bosch Tassimo instead.

    Also, the Tassimo is the one of the two that does lattes and espressos while the Keurig does NOT.

    Summing this up, we’re taking back the Keurig B40. We taste tested the Tassimo in one of those nice kitchen stores and loved the lattes….so, in conclusion, the Keurig B40 is nothing but a $99 coffee maker where a regular $20 coffee maker can probably produce the same end results.

    If you want a coffee brewer that does regular coffee, the Keurig is ideal. If you want one that does coffee, hot chocolate, latte and espresso, get the Bosch Tassimo.

    Great blog post here; it really opened my eyes after the fact and it all comes down to what your tastes and desires are. I’d wait an extra minute for a latte vs. regular coffee anyday!

  26. I LOVE MY TASSIMO. Until Keurig starts coming out w/ their cappuccinos & lattes, it does not compare, because to me it’s not worth everyone at work here making their coffee in the Keurig Machine and then having to go heat up milk in the microwave, of course, personally speaking! And No offense, having tasted most flavors, the flavor is not all that.

  27. I enjoyed reading the comparison.
    It would be nicer if you mentioned which coffee did you tasted for comparison as you also mention that there are so many flavor to choose from.
    I bought Bosch Tassimo (very quiet) and enjoy Starbuck coffee everyday with great satisfaction.

  28. I think you’ve offered a pretty good overall review. I went with the Tassimo and really like it. I’m sure I would be just as happy with the Keurig (except for the fact that they don’t offer Starbucks coffee). I was wondering if the fact that you are the “Web Guy” for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters factored into your final assesment considering that Green Mountain Coffee is only offered to Keurig customers?

  29. Hi, Jim.

    If your question is, as the web guy for Green Mountain Coffee, do I have a point of view? Sure! And I offer my point of view to Green Mountain in that capacity *all the time*. This, however, is my web site… not Green Mountain’s. ;)

    My bias is, I’m in favor of good coffee, ’cause life is too short for the rest of it. It’s my appreciation for good coffee that led me to join a coffee company.

    In the end, what’s factored mostly into my final assessment of Keurig vs. Tassimo is the availability of *multiple* coffee brands from a variety of roasters — not just Green Mountain — but instead folks with different roast styles and coffee sources. If the Tassimo system had that kind of roaster variety then it would be a much more compelling offering than it is, today.

  30. One thing that I would like to add is that I did not see, in your review, any mention of the Keurig B70′s ability to make iced tea. That is something that neither the Tassimo nor the Dolce Gusto can do. You said tea, but most would assume that its going to be hot tea (which is also easily done with any Keurig model). So it can do coffee, hot tea, and iced tea.

  31. We just bought a new Tassimo – it says Bosch. The coffee is much hotter than my Keurig and it only takes one hand to open and close. It is quicker and quieter than the old Tassimo. If anyone would like to buy a Keurig B40 in excellent condition let me know. I am going to replace it with a Tassimo.

  32. Without a doubt, Keurig wins in the variety department.

    My own experience is that over the past few years, I’ve tried Keurigs at various friends’ homes and I was never that impressed with what I tasted. Granted, this was an occasional random sampling of coffee.

    I purchased the Tassimo in December of 2008 because I am a Starbucks junkie and because the whole bar-code thing appeals to my technogeek sensibilities. I like telling my friends that my Tassimo always KNOWS what coffee it is brewing ;)

    As for the Starbucks coffee brewed by Tassimo, I find them exceptional. The House Blend and Africa Kitamu are my favorites and I dare say, they taste every bit as good as a cup I’d get at Starbucks.

    I never used the Braun brewer but my Bosch brewer is quick and very quiet.

    Now, if only a good French Roast was offered, I’d say the Tassimo would be perfect for my needs. Here’s hoping!

  33. A year ago I defected from Camp Keurig and bought the Tassimo, primarily so I could have alternate brews than just coffee. However, ultimately, it’s the coffee itself that matters and so far I have found only one that is big and bold enough for me with the Tassimo…that being Seattle’s Best Breakfast Blend.

    I thought the Starbuck’s varieties would be good…but they simply were not (for me, anyway). I also tried the new Tassimo machine from Bosch, but it simply doesn’t get the coffee hot enough for me, something the old Tassimo and the Keurig both do well. I actually exchanged it twice in case this was an isolated problem…it is not.

    I am about ready to return to a Keurig, especially since for health reasons I need to limit my caffeine and there are ZERO decent decaf Tassimo options.

  34. A year ago I defected from Camp Keurig and bought the Tassimo, primarily so I could have alternate brews than just coffee. However, ultimately, it’s the coffee itself that matters and so far I have found only one that is big and bold enough for me with the Tassimo…that being Seattle’s Best Breakfast Blend.

    I thought the Starbuck’s varieties would be good…but they simply were not (for me, anyway). I also tried the new Tassimo machine from Bosch, but it simply doesn’t get the coffee hot enough for me, something the old Tassimo and the Keurig both do well. I actually exchanged it twice in case this was an isolated problem…it is not.

    I am about ready to return to a Keurig, especially since for health reasons I need to limit my caffeine and there are ZERO decent decaf Tassimo options

  35. We tried both versions of the Tassimo, and after two years, we purchased the Keurig for a change and to compare for myself. Our family likes the smoother, flavorful tastes of the Keurig.

    It seems that the Tassimo appeals to the hard core, straight, rich flavor, coffee drinkers. While the Keurig is much better for mild/medium and flavored roasts.

    Expresso drinks require Tassimo. However, we prefer the Keurig. The new Vanilla Bean Bam from Emerils is very good. I didn’t even add any French Vanilla creamer.

  36. I have done my research and been sitting on the fence for over a year now. One of my friends has both worlds at her finger tips. Tassimo machine at home and the Keurig at the office.

    After reading this amazing and well defined account I will more than likely be going with the Keurig. Like the idea of using my own coffees.

    Thank you for your time and expertise.

  37. I have tried the Tassimo at a
    department store. The coffee was okay but the latte was awful. It tasted lke it was made from condensed milk. In addition, the coffee maker didn’t “read” the barcode correctly and a massive overflow occurred. It really just seemed way too fussy for me. I am the happy owner of a B40 for home, B100 for work, and B30 for my boat and trailer. I am never very far from a Keurig!

  38. Ultimately, it all depends on the “software”, i.e. the quality of coffee you get. I defected from the Tassimo to the Keurig so I could try the variety of coffees available for the latter. I kinda got sick of the fake differences between the Kraft house brands for the Tassimo.

    The only good coffee on Tassimo is Starbucks — and it can get quite expensive at a dollar per. There are many coffees for the Keurig at half the price, so I am sure I’ll find something I like. Furthermore, Keurig seems to be winning the race to distribute their product across all channels (department, warehouse, discount, amazon). So I figure with greater distribution will come greater choices.

  39. I purchased my Keurig B077 from BJ-s, 4 days ago. It included 72 K-cups. I understand at CostCo the same model also includes the my K-cup filter.

    I am not a coffee snob. I actually brew my coffee rather weak—according to my son I could drink one cup, compared to one pot–for the amount of grounds I generally use.

    I’ve tried the Keurig for four days, and so sad—the coffee is very weak—even with the brewers preset cup size of 7.25 oz., the coffee is very watered down. I have debated–as this system is so convenient–but the coffee is just unsatisfactory.

  40. I work at a kitchen store that sells both products. Last winter we were able to try the Keurig and we all fell in love with it. This year that brought us Tassimo which none of has ever used so it’s hard to sell it. Our corp office sends us this email saying we can buy the Tassimo for nearly half price so we can try it out and see if we like it. I’m not a coffee drinker but loved the hot chocolate. When I went to Tassimo’s website, I was very disappointed in the selection of non-coffee related items. We haven’t sold a single Tassimo because I hear complaints of how noisy it is and how messy it is. The Keurig is SO simple to use. We opened the box to the Tassimo to notice that you pay such a high price but yet they don’t give you any samples. With Keurig, they give you their top sellers so you can try it. Hands down Keurig!!

  41. In my opinion the Tassimo is better because it offers the Starbucks coffee which just about everyone likes and it also offers gevalia caffe and maxwell house in my opinion the tassimo offers the more popular coffee brands than the Keurig does and i like starbucks so it the tassimo for me.

  42. I have owned the Tassimo since around 2004. I have one for my office and one at home. I love the Carte Noir petit dejeuner and the Starbucks Kitamu. Each of those coffees are almost syrupy thick. I don’t necessarily like dark roasts but I don’t like watery, weak coffee. My Tassimo at the office is giving up the ghost and I needed a replacement. I purchased a Keurig Breville and so far I am terribly disappointed in the coffee. Each k-cup I’ve sampled has been watery. Using the smallest cup size, some of them have been “strong,” but to my taste the consistency is watery.

  43. I have had 2 Keurig’s in the last 2 years. EACH of them has failed. The first one, after about 3 months would just give a 1/2 cup of coffee and take forever to do so. We tried cleaning, taking apart, what-have-you, and couldn’t get it fixed. We attributed it to a faulty machine. The SECOND one, after 2 months, only one of the 3 cup size lights will light, and it also gives now only 1/2 cup for coffee. Also, finding K-cups are virtually impossible. I am totally disappointed in these coffee machines, now having spent almost 300.00 and still no good coffee maker. Today, I will go out and try the Tassimo. I would totally NOT recommend the Keruig.

    • I should think you’d have sought out warranty replacement of your first machine, rather than buying a second. And when the second failed, I’d think you’d be contacting Keurig’s customer support to see what in the world might be wrong. You may have extremely hard water, and that’s easily resolved.

      As to the availability of K-Cups… try this.

  44. A gentle reminder: I welcome folks sharing their viewpoints on both the Keurig and the Tassimo in this space. That’s what it’s about. Lateley, however, there have been an increasing number of comments of a spammish nature that suggest a sustained and concerted effort to sling mud in the direction of one brewer technology vs. the other.

    When I have reason to believe that a given comment is *not* the reflection of an individual writing from personal experience but instead a corporate shill looking to use my site to swing opinion, I have, and will continue to delete the comments without further consideration. A second attempt by the same commenter, and that person will be banned from further commenting.

    Just so’s you know.

  45. This review needs to be updated with the Bosch machine and Starbucks coffee taken into consideration. I used to own a Keurig and returned it due to not being able to find a truly great K-cup coffee. I would have still preferred the Keurig to the Tassimo before Starbucks came along, but no longer. There is simply nothing in the K-cup lineup that is as flavorful as these Starbucks T-discs, however of course that is my opinion. I just got my Bosch brewer and was just blown away by these. I really hope Starbucks releases an Espresso T-disc so we can make Starbucks Lattes at home.

    My only complaint about the Tassimo is that the Gevalia decaf is absolutely horrid, and that is a shame. I am hoping that the Maxwell house decaf is at least drinkable so I can enjoy it with a dessert from time to time.

  46. Well in 2004 when I purchased my first single cup machine I went with the pod system. Big mistake, the pods were good but never caught on in my local grocer so I always had to order them. That machine broke in 2006 and I went back to the drip. My brother is getting me a Keurig for Christmas this year (2009) yeah.. I peeked… so I decided to do a little research on them. I’m actually feeling a little excited about it based on what I read over the last two days. Best thing is I can make my own K-cups and use any coffee so I’m really looking forward to that. Anyway, thanks for the info… the use your own k-cup thing can be your update for this year, LOL

  47. Thanks so much— This site was EXACTLY what I was looking for… Very helpful information!

  48. This comparison helps a lot. Still leaning towards a Keurig, and appreciate the clarification between *working* for Green Mounain and, um, pimping for them.

    Something that people seem to forget — Starbucks makes Seattle’s Best. They closed down the separate facility a while ago, and all coffees (S’bux & SeBe) are coming from the same plants now.

  49. We’ve had a Tassimo for 2 years and love it. We like a range of coffee’s – me I’m a “morning roast/big cup” girl while my husband loves a latte….and how fun with company to make a latte, a cappucino, an espresso, a Chai Latte, a hot tea – all the right temp, all the right amount of water and/or milk.

    We’d recommend it if you’re looking for more than a cup of Joe – we like the coffee and tea experience and this gives it to us.

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