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==Why did I buy it?==
I had been lusting after a Tassimo machine for quite awhile but in all honesty I could not justify spending so much money on a coffee making gadget. Luckily for me my Husband bought me one as an early Christmas present. So after a month of playing with my new toy I am ready to write my review.
==Where can I get one and how much is it?==
The Bosch Tassimo TAS5542GB Multi Beverage Machine is widely available from online electrical retailers, high street retailers and some large supermarkets. The price of the snappily named TAS5542GB can vary widely depending on current offers, the lowest price that I have seen it selling at was £79.99, which was when my Husband snapped it up and the highest price is £139.99. So if you want this gizmo gracing your kitchen surface I would recommend tracking the price online and jumping for it when it is within your budget.
The TAS5542GB arrived well packaged with an assortment of guarantees and instruction books; it is worth a quick look through this bumph as it tells you how to secure your £20 discount when purchasing drink pods on the official Tassimo website.
I gave the instructions a quick once over and popped them to one side in case of emergencies. First off I ensured I had removed all packaging from the machine and gave the water tank a quick wash out. The TAS5542GB comes with the added function of a Brita Filter in the tank. The section is fully removable and not necessary to the function of the Tassimo machine. I chose not to use the filter as I already make all my drinks using my Brita fridge jug and felt it was an unnecessary to filter the water twice. So I popped the included Brita Maxtra cartridge with my others to be used in my fridge jug at a later date. If you do install the water filter you need to go through the correct installation process off making sure the cartridge is air bubble free and allowing two tanks of water to filter through the tank before using the Tassimo. Placed discreetly out of sight is a Brita indicator that once set will count down four weeks and then start flashing when it is time for you to replace the cartridge.
First off before making any tasty beverages it is recommended to use the orange cleaning disk in the machine first, this is to remove any nastiness from the manufacturing process. To clean the machine all that is needed is for the water tank to be filled and the cleaning disk to be removed from its onboard storage and placed in the section where drink pods would usually go and then press the big round button on the front of the machine. Remember to place large container under the spout where your drink would usually be dispensed. The initial cleaning does not take long and you need to remember to keep the orange cleaning disk as this is always needed for cleaning/descaling the Tassimo machine. Replacement cleaning disks can be found on eBay, Amazon etc.
Now all the cleaning is out of the way it is time for the fun stuff. Ensure that the water tank has plenty of water in. Don't worry if you forget to check though because the Tassimo has a handy warning light that flashes red when it is running low on water and it is really easy to pop the tank off and quickly refill it. The water tank holds 1.4 litres of water.
First off choose your drink, I enjoy a Latte so my drink comes in two separate pods. Then pick your cup, I have some medium Latte glass cups that require me to remove the adjustable drip/cup stand so the cup fits comfortably under the spout. The adjustable drip/cup stand is easy to adjust for small cups so the cup is closer to the spout which prevents messy splashes from the drink as it is dispensed into the cup. The next step is to put the milk pod into the machine, the drink pod sits in a small cradle with the barcode facing down so the barcode reader can see what drink it is making and adjust its brewing time and the amount if water it flows through the pod. Once the pod is correctly inserted you can press the plus or minus button that rings the large chrome start button. Pressing the plus button will give you a larger more watered down drink and naturally the minus button will give you a smaller more concentrated drink if you only press the start button you will get a regular sized drink. Once you are happy with the drink size it is time to press the start button, the Tassimo will fire into life and start making the expected coffee machine noises as your hot drink dribbles from the spout. This can take around 30 seconds depending on the size of the drink. Once the first half of your drink has been dispensed you can pop open the machine and place your second drinks cartridge in. This step is only needed if you are having a two part drink like a latte, cappuccino, hot chocolate etc and not necessary when you are having a one part drink like café crema or espresso. Once the second disk has been inserted it s time to choose the size again and then you are set to make your drink.
When your drink is being brewed the kitchen is filled with the lovely aroma of freshly brewed coffee, it smells amazing. Steam does seep from around where the drink pods are inserted. In my opinion this is not a major issue and only to be expected as you are making a hot drink. Caution should be exercised when removing a used drink pod as the pod itself can get very hot.
What I love about this machine is that it is compact and looks modern it is simple to use and keep clean and dispenses my favourite coffee shop style drinks within minutes. What I dislike about this machine is the initial purchase price and the cost of the drink disks at roughly £4.00 for a pack with 8 drinks in it is an expensive home drink option but compared to the cost of buying my favourite Costa Latte it is good value.
The machine goes automatically on to energy saving standby after a drink has been produced or you can turn it off using the switch on the front.
Keeping the machine clean is really easy I usually wipe mine over with a damp cloth and then buff dry with a soft cloth when cleaning the kitchen at the end of the day. Roughly once a week I will remove the pod cradle for a wash and pop the dispensing spout out for a good wash in hot soapy water. The cradle can be a little awkward to remove but once you have done it once it is easier the next time. The dispensing spout need a firm hand to push it up and out of its position, be aware that it can shoot out and the first time I removed it it shot across the kitchen. Happily both these parts are available on line if you accidentally break them.
I have been using the machine for roughly a month and have so far encountered no major issues. Once or twice the machine has not recognised a drink pod, this is indicated by a flashing orange mug on the display. To remedy this I have opened the machine and given the bar code reader a wipe over with a soft cloth and the replaced the pod and the machine has worked with no problems. I have also encountered a malfunction where the drink did not dispense properly and leaked out the place where the drink pods go and not through the drink dispenser. I fixed this by removing the drink pod and cleaning the dispensing spout, after reassembling it worked fine.
Cable length 100cm.
Water level indicator.
Cleaning programme with cleaning disk.
Removable plastic height adjustable spill trough/cup stand.
Start/stop button with LED indicator.
Customizable drink strength.
Dimensions 286 x 221 x 283mm.
The Tassimo TAS5542GB is an expensive investment if you are not a coffee drinker but as a coffee drinker I think it is worth buying as long as you get it at the right price. Drinks are quick and easy to make and are of a very high standard. The variety of drinks available is impressive and enough to suit most tastes, there are even tea disk available. The energy consumption is low as you are only heating water for one drink and then the machine automatically drops on to standby. When making a couple of drinks it seems faster than waiting for the kettle to boil to make a cup of tea but if you go for an extended drinks making session of 5 or 6 drinks then you will be stuck in the kitchen for quite a while. The quality of the drinks produced is very good and I do enjoy one each day as a treat.
Thank you for reading.
The Bosch TAS5542GB Tassimo coffee maker ensures that a delicious hot beverage is only a touch of a button away! Finished in an elegant black , this Bosch machine uses Tassimo T-Discs to identify the drink selected through unique bar code technology / It then adjusts water, brewing time and temperature in their perfect measurements to provide you with a satisfying drink / And there's no waiting around either! There is virtually no heat-up time thanks to innovative flow heater technology / The large selection of drinks can be manually adjusted / Your choice includes: Freshly brewed coffee Creamy espresso Cappuccino Latte macchiato Hot chocolate Or perhaps you just fancy a good old-fashioned cup of tea! To make things even easier, the removable 1.6L water tank is easy to refill, while a useful height adjustable stand allows a variety of cup and mug sizes / perfect for drinking coffee out of your favourite mug / The automatic cleaning and descaling program, as well as dishwasher-safe parts, ensures this machine is effortless to maintain / A low energy consumption means it'll be friendlier on your pocket too / Short name: Bosch TAS5542GB