Newest Review: ... drinks using Tassimo t-discs, which have barcodes on them - the machine reads the barcode once the disc is inserted, and it knows what kind... more
If you love coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate!), you'll love Tassimo
Bosch Tassimo TAS4011GB
Member Name: Holland1
Bosch Tassimo TAS4011GB
Advantages: Too many to list! Wide range of lovely tasting drinks, no mess, no hassle
Disadvantages: Quite noisy, T-discs can be expensive, doesn't make cold iced tea/coffee
==What is a Tassimo machine?==
The Tassimo machine is a coffee machine which uses shop-bought T-discs (pods containing the drink you require), to provide tea, coffee and hot chocolate at the touch of a button. The appeal of the Tassimo machine is that it produces a wide range of drinks which you might otherwise have difficulty creating in your own home, and it does this in less time than it takes to boil a kettle.
==What drinks are available?==
In my opinion, the factor which gives the Tassimo an edge over its competitors is the wide selection of drinks. Some coffee machines only allow you to buy 'pods' from their own brand, and although they have a wide selection (latte, cappuccino, mocha etc), they are all from the same brand. Tassimo has a wider selection from different coffee makers (Carte Noire, Kenco, Hag, Mastro Lorenzo, Jacobs) along with hot chocolate (Milka, Suchard, Cadbury, Cote D'Or) and Twinings tea (English Breakfast, Chai Latte, green tea and summer fruits). There are many coffee variations (latte, espresso, cappuccino, caramel flavour, to name but a few).
==Price and availability==
The Tassimo varies hugely in price depending on where it is purchased. As mentioned earlier, we bought ours when it was on offer, but the cheapest place I've seen this at full price is on Amazon for around £80. Tassimo are always updating their models and bringing out new versions, which reduces the price of the previous versions. This is one way of getting your hands on one for a reasonable price. They are available at most high street electrical retailers (Curreys, Comet, Argos), and through Amazon, but it is well worth shopping around or waiting until you see them on offer.
==How does it work?==
The Tassimo machine is very easy to set up once you get it home. You simply fill up the water filter at the back, place it back onto its base, then you're ready to pick your drink. The idea is that cold water goes into the filter, and this is heated in seconds as your drink is made. The Tassimo machine is very clever in that it operates via a barcode reading system, so once you choose your drink and put the T-Disc into the machine, the machine reads the barcode on the T-disc and knows what drink you are making. This means you don't have to fiddle around with changing settings, but the Tassimo automatically adjusts to the required settings. This takes the hassle out of using the machine.
There is a section at the front of the machine (above where the cup goes) where you put the selected drink in. You place the cup on the cup holder (it has a drip tray underneath to catch any drips), and once the T-disc is in you simply press the Start button and the Tassimo starts making your drink. Depending on the size of the cup you can press the Start button and hold it down to get more drink if you require it. For drinks such as latte you might need to use two discs - one for the coffee element, and one for the milk frothing element. This doesn't really take much time and it tells you which one to put in first.
==Cleaning and Maintenance==
The Tassimo comes with a cleaning T-disc which is kept behind the water filter, and this does the cleaning for you. The idea is that you put this T-disc in the same place as the normal T-discs go, and keep pressing the 'Start' button until the water runs clear. We do this after each set of drinks we make, to ensure we don't get any dregs of coffee in hot chocolate and vice versa. The only annoying thing about this disc is that it's kept behind the water filter, so it's quite fiddly getting it out each time. We've moved ours to the kitchen drawer as this means we're more likely to clean it regularly.
The cup holder also has a drip tray, which you just rinse under the tap every now and then to get rid of the drips it has caught.
==My experience of the Tassimo==
I absolutely love this machine and believe it's one of the best gadgets we own. We still use it a few times a week, it would be more but the T-discs aren't cheap and we prefer to have proper coffee as a treat rather than every day. I have found the coffee and hot chocolate we have had from this machine tastes as good as you would get in a proper coffee shop. It's also fantastic when having friends round, because instead of offering them a normal boring cup of tea, you can impress with a caramel flavoured latte or cappuccino which tastes as nice as you'd pay for in a coffee shop.
I used to make coffee using a cafetiere and milk frother on the hob, which was a bit of rigmarole and took so long I only did it once a week at most. I did wonder whether this gadget might take away the traditional element of coffee on a Sunday morning, with the cafetiere not being used, but to be honest although it's very modern, there's something very charming about getting the noise and smell of a coffee shop in your own home. The hissing noise it makes when frothing the drink is just like the noise from coffee shop machines, and the smell fills the kitchen. The Tassimo machine is now a new ritual in our house.
I think this machine has many advantages, including:
· Produces hot drinks at the touch of a button
· Very wide range of drinks available
· Looks stylish in your kitchen
· Drinks tray is adjustable so you can use small or large cups
· Easy to clean and maintain
· Easy to use
· Perfect tasting coffee every time
· Barcode reader means you don't have to mess with settings
· Register your Tassimo online and get £20 worth of free drinks to get you started
The only thing I would change about the Tassimo is the fact that it doesn't have the ability to make cold drinks i.e. caffe frappe. I noticed that one of its competitors (the Nescafe Krups machine) does have this ability so if you want to be able to make iced coffee then the Tassimo might not be the ideal choice. Obviously, it is possible to make the coffee then refrigerate it to get frappe (there is a recipe on the Tassimo website for this), but anyone could do this using normal coffee and you still have to wait for it to cool down.
The machine is quite noisy, although I believe they used to be noisier as they now claim to have quiet brew technology. The first time we used it I thought it sounded a bit like a drill or machine gun (the point where the water is being heated), and although this isn't a problem for us, the only time I could see it being an issue is in a small flat if someone is up earlier than others and used it, they'd probably wake the whole house.
The other slight downfall is that the T-discs aren't cheap, although if you look at it in terms of getting coffee shop quality coffee in your own home it's probably worth paying more than you would for instant coffee. We shop round for ours and have bought them from supermarkets (only a selected range of drinks available), Amazon and the Tassimo website. You really do have to visit the Tassimo website to get an idea of how many drinks are available. The Tassimo website also has recipes for creating your own drinks (as if the choice is not enough!) such as Mocha Cappuccino Noisette and Maple latte. This means you'll never really get bored of this machine as the possibilities are endless.
This is my favourite kitchen gadget, and I'm so glad we bought it when we saw it on offer. I would say if you are looking for a coffee machine that will give a wide range of drinks, this is the one for you as long as making iced coffee isn't of major importance. It's definitely worth shopping round for the Tassimo itself, and also for the T-discs, as they vary in price massively. The only reason I'm not giving it the full five stars is due to the niggles listed above, but overall I can live with these for such a wonderful product.
Summary: You'll be surprised at how much a Tassimo can do
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