Keurig vs. Tassimo – How to make bad coffee slightly better
Oh now stop it. We’ve all lowered ourselves for a quick caffeine fix. These single serve coffee makers are perfect when you want a quick cup of ordinary to awful cup of dark hot liquid. They are on the same shame level as a foodie going to McDonalds or a beer nerd drinking a macro beer. It happens. It’s shameful but sometimes convenience trumps good taste.
I already have a Keurig, but when a friend (Random Ron) dropped off his german designed Bosch Tassimo I had to do a side by side comparison.
The Tassimo is compact. It artistically shines a beauty light on your coffee mug for goodness sake.
The Keurig sounds industrial the Tassimo spits and sputters. Both models fail the 5am sound check.
Keurig dominates the US market for single serve coffee makers. As a result, there’s more economic support for the replacement k-cup market. I purchased a box of k-cups at Costco that was the size of a microwave once. I also wonder if design has a part to play in this pricing equation.
The Keurig k-cup is a shining example of design simplicity. Coffee grounds are packed on top of a paper filter, all of which is packaged inside a thin walled cup. The Tassimo disk just seems to have more plastic packaging complexity and heft.
Machine range: $80-$180
Cartridge: $0.35 – 1.00
Machine range: $80-$190
Ease of Use:
I always seem to be flipping the Keurig handle to reset the machine in an attempt to trigger a brew. Up, down and pushing buttons until something happens. The Keurig dance works until I realize the reservoir is empty.
The Tassimo machine reads the barcode on the top of the cartridge and determines how to brew the coffee for you. Granted there are less options, virtually none in fact, but I crave early morning simplicity. Also, the cleaning function is unreal. Put the yellow disk in place (stored in back of machine) and then push the button. The machine will automatically run through a short cleaning cycle or a 20 minute descaling routine.
I believe additional testing is required and would welcome additional feedback from our readers. For a fair test, the same roaster brand should be evaluated on both machines.
From my limited sampling, the Tassimo had a richer tasting brew that smelled good. The Keurig coffee had limited flavor and aroma, almost as if the water didn’t spend enough time in the grounds.
I do marvel at the k-cup design simplicity (again). Water is pushed through the top and exits at the bottom. Contrast that with the disk which demands that the water enters and exits the same side of the cartridge ( a water circuit best described as in-up-around-down). The water’s straight forward route in the k-cup leaves much less residual moisture in the grounds. Why is this important? I have no idea.
The flavor, ease of use and aesthetics are superior for the Tassimo. However cost and vast coffee variety will continue to make the Keurig the market winner for the US market. If I were to choose between the two, I would choose the Keurig. Nothing from either of these singe serve machines will taste as good as coffee from a full pot maker. It’s all about convenience here. The Keurig allows consumers to buy their refill k-cups just about anywhere at an affordable price.