Pros: Wonderful European coffees available for machine, cappuccinos very easy to make
Cons: Brands of pods limited in stores, expensive compaired to traditional coffee maker
My first encounter with a pod style machine was at a friend's home. She had the competitor to this machine and the initial reason I was very interested in purchasing one was I loved the idea of having hot coffee anytime without having to make a whole pot, especially after seeing how easy it was for her to make a single cup of coffee.
My husband and I thought a lot about both models before deciding on the Tassimo. Having lived in Europe for many years, we really liked the idea that Tassimo offered many of the richer coffees sold there. We also liked that the Tassimo could handle making cappuccinos easily, just by inserting a milk pod and then a coffee pod. With the average cappuccino around $4, it's been a money saver for us.
We purchased our machine at a popular big box houseware shop during a promotion they were offering where you could get Tassimo pods free along with your purchase. In addition, we had a 20% coupon which made it a very sweet purchase.
The pods may seem expensive to some, but considering what a cup of coffee costs in an upscale coffee shop, the average pod is about 50 cents compared to $2. We did not eliminate the use of our regular coffee maker. The Tassimo really gets a work out when we want to make cappuccinos. I found getting our espresso machine out to make them always a pain. There was the wait time for the coffee, making the steam to warm the milk and then the clean up. It was easier to go to the coffee shop. With the Tassimo, there are two pods and it's as easy as putting them in the slot as each one is done with virtually no clean up! We have been able to make them in travel cups to take out the door with us in the morning!
I entertain a lot and find my Tassimo is really nice to be able to offer friends a cup of coffee without making a whole pot that ends up being wasted. A big plus to me is be able to offer them a selection as I always have at least 8 different kinds on hand.
I found it most convenient when my hubby goes out of town. I don't need to dirty and waste a whole pot of coffee when it is just me. I never seem to get the taste of half a pot of coffee right. With the Tassimo though, I just stick a pod in, put my cup under the spout and push the brew button. About a minute later, a steaming coffee is ready for any additional items you might want to add to it. It's perfect every time!
The Tassimo can accommodate most cups as it comes with an extension for the smaller cups to sit on. Filtered water is required for use which could be a pain for those without filtered water as they would have to buy the filters specifically for the Tassimo. We use the water from our refrigerator that is already filtered. It does however come with two different tanks for use in either scenario.
Pods can be ordered directly from Tassimo. Their mail order allows the purchaser to select several different coffees for delivery right to your door. They can be ordered as a one time purchase or through automatic delivery. This was the main selling point for us as Tassimo offers some very fine world coffees, tea, premium hot chocolate, milk pods for use with other blends and of course those yummy cappuccinos kits! Over the holidays, there was a European box offered in the store, surely very attractive to those people that may not have been familiar with the the European blends and it seemed to be a hit because we had a hard time getting one.
All the Tassimo's are very attractive looking machines, easy to keep clean and fairly compact. We have both of our coffee machines sitting side by side on the counter taking the same about of space as our dual coffee/expresso machine.
Some of the downsides of it other than the pods are a little costlier are there are only certain brands of pods available for immediate purchase in the big box houseware shop. Tassimo pods have not been available at any of the grocery stores I shop in, something I wish they would consider doing. A special trip has to be made in order to purchase them.
In order to avoid shipping charges with Tassimo, a minimum of four boxes have to be purchased. So far, unlike the other major pod machine, the Tassimo machine does not have a empty pod that you can assemble and brew a scoop of another brand of coffee which would make the price per pod a little lower, making it a lot more appealing to those potential customers considering a purchase.
Pods take up a bit space, which can be a downside in a smaller kitchen. Racks are sold for them, but I find that a covered plastic box that I can put away works better for me.
Even with the few downsides, we find the Tassimo a perfect suppliment when we have company or want a special cup of coffee with dessert! I have owned it working on a year and it is still one of my favorite gadgets in my kitchen!