Though on the surface the Braun Tassimo
looks like just another espresso / coffee machine, it is much more than that - it is a multi-purpose brewing machine, or what the manufacturer refers to as a hot beverage system. It is a good description to be sure, but what the description doesn't tell you is that the Braun Tassimo is one heck of a machine.
What Can the Braun Tassimo Do?
In an effort to be brief we'll just list what the machine can do: coffee, espresso, real milk-based lattes and cappuccinos, cafe crema, hot tea, tea latte, and hot chocolate. Surprised yet? We were.
This is how it All Works
T-Discs - that's what makes the Braun Tassimo unique. If you've ever used a pod/capsule-based coffee machine, then T-Discs will seem very familiar on the surface, but they are actually very different. Each T-Disc has a barcode imprinted on the top that tells the Tassimo how much water to inject through the T-Disc. The result of this process is an exact brew that has the same taste time and time again. Alternatively, the Tassimo also lets you manually control the brewing process by simply pressing and holding down a button. It is all about options.
Speaking of options, unlike other coffee and espresso machines, you have a wide selection of brands offering a multitude of flavors and types of beverages. Don't like Seattle's Best Coffee? No problem, you have a choice.
As of this writing the following companies offered at least one product under the Tassimo Label:
Seattle's Best Coffee
Maxwell House Cafe Collection
Kenco Classic Blend
Nabob 100% Colombian
Suchard Hot Chocolate
On the down side, like all other capsule-based coffee machines, the price of each T-Disc is significantly higher than if you were to purchase a bag of coffee at the supermarket. So, what you'll gain in speed and ease of clean up, you'll have to pay for with your wallet.
A Taste of the Tassimo
In the past we've always complained about the strength and flavor of capsule-based machines. Some of the espressos felt watered-down as if the amount of coffee in the pod was not sufficient compared to the amount of water being injected through the capsule. Not so with the Tassimo, the Gevalia espresso in particularly delivered a completely balanced espresso with a smooth, yet strong taste. We were also pleasantly surprised at the taste of the cappuccino, perhaps aided by the fact that the Tassimo uses real milk in their cappuccino T-Discs.
Of the different coffees (cafe Americano) we've tried, the taste of Carte Noire was exceptional and in this category the Gevalia performed well again. Of course if you are already a fan of any of the participating brands their T-Discs will probably not disappoint.
Though we are not experts (or even casual drinkers of Tea), and thus can't speak much on the matter, the Twinings Earl Grey Tea we tried was actually a nice introduction for us. Moreover the Suchard's Hot Chocolate T-Disc was one of the ones we were most excited about, and though it had a good taste, we would have preferred if the Tassimo had some support for milk for the hot chocolate as an option (the Tassimo uses a water-based recipe).
The Braun Tassimo is not the fastest of the capsule-based brewing machines we've reviewed, that award belongs to the Nespresso brand of coffee machines, but it is still fast enough to brew an espresso in just 30 seconds, and coffee and tea in under 60 seconds. The machine will take approximately thirty seconds to warm up before it is ready for use.
Sadly, the Tassimo is missing a milk frother attachment, which is a standard feature in many other coffee machines. Though the cappuccinos are delicious and have some froth when using the cappuccino T-Discs, it would be nice to be able to have apply as much milk foam as desired. You'll want to keep this in mind before making a purchase.
The Braun Tassimo is easy to use, easy to clean and easy to recommend. With such a wide range of options and features it is truly in a field of its own. And even though this is as multi-purpose as it gets, the Tassimo performs extremely well in all categories, most importantly in the taste department.
Service Villa's Editor's Choice Award Winner.
- Gives you a choice of flavors and brands
- Brews fast
- Easy clean up
- Does more than just coffee
- The machine is affordable considering what it can do
- T-Disc are on the pricey side
- Lacks a milk frother
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