This post is a sponsored review and giveaway of the Tassimo T20 "Hot Beverage System." (Honestly, my opinion of this product just went down when I discovered it was called a "system.") If you have no interest, don't read it. If you have no interest in the review but would like to try and win a free Tassimo T20, skip to the bolded bit at the bottom for direction. If you are willing to suffer through the second sponsored post I have written in seven years, the first being for KY Warming Sensual Mist, of course, then stay tuned.
So, let's do the business first. In exchange for writing this post, I received a Tassimo T20, a blue color kit, and packs of discs for hot chocolate, Starbucks cappuccino, and some utterly undrinkable coffee that I will not name because some people like coffee that tastes like bad, under-brewed tea and more power to them. I also get to give one Tassimo away free to one of my readers. I am not receiving any other compensation, and the opinions expressed in this review are mine alone.
Ok, here we go. We've had a Senseo single cup brewer for almost six years now and it has been fine. Well, not entirely fine since the original broke about two years ago but for some reason we had an extra lying around so everything continued just as it was. But the coffee was fine, and I am rather picky about coffee as you may have already gathered. At least I thought the coffee was fine. But then my parents came to stay with the kids for two nights when we went to Philadelphia and my mother brought her Keurig with her. Apparently my coffee was so bad that it could not be tolerated for two days. So when I got the offer to try the Tassimo, it sounded like a nice way to get something nice for one of you and also a way to save my mother from packing up her coffee pot every time she comes to visit.
(My poor mother, who is awesome and adored, has now become the butt of quite a few jokes between me and Chris. In fact, my parents recently went on a vacation in South America, and Chris and I spent the entire two weeks they were gone wondering whether my mom checked her Keurig or stored it in the overhead compartment on the plane. We finally decided that she probably held it cradled lovingly in her lap for the entire flight. Sorry, Mom.)
Anyway, the Tassimo arrived, I unpacked it, tossed the instruction manual into the recycling, as is my habit, and got started. Luckily, it is easy to use. It comes with a little cardboard thing attached to the spout with the few steps you actually need to clean the thing and make coffee. The only problem I had was remembering that you have to turn the thing on before you put the coffee (or whatever) disc in or it won't start. We will not discuss how long I stood at the counter pushing the start button before I worked that one out.
The first thing I made was hot chocolate for the kids. This may actually be my favorite part of the Tassimo. My kids are really into hot chocolate these days, especially when we come in from shoveling the few dustings of snow we've gotten this year, but by the time I actually get the hot chocolate made they have lost interest. With the Tasssimo though, I just throw the disc into the machine, push start, and less than a minute later you have hot chocolate, which is almost within the attention spans of my children.
Ok, I lied, the thing I like best is that you can get Starbucks coffee. Chris loves the Starbucks house blend, and I like coffee to be just about as thick and dark as shoe leather, and now we can both have exactly what we want.
So, let's do pros and cons, shall we?
Pros: Makes coffee very fast, also makes tea and hot chocolate and cappuccino and probably other things too, has lots of varieties of coffee and whatnot to choose from, easy to set up, use, and clean, holds a fair amount of water so you aren't refilling it every cup. It also has a large spill catcher, nice for those of us who tend to hit the start button before we remember to get a cup out of the cabinet, and it is removable so you can brew into a large mug or a travel mug.
Cons: The discs are very expensive. They are expensive compared to the Senseo I was using, and hugely expensive compared to brewing a pot of coffee. The coffee is hot enough, but not as hot as I am used to so that by the time I get around to drinking it and still expecting it to be hot based on past experience, it is often cold. The colored inserts are a nice touch, but since the coffee splatters quite a bit when brewing I spend a lot of time wiping it off (I could put the black back in so the coffee wouldn't show, but ot course I forgot where I put it.) It costs $130.00, which I suppose is towards the low-end for a fancy "Hot Beverage System," but is significantly more than my perfectly serviceable Senseo (50 bucks) and insane compared to the perfectly acceptable pot brewers that we all used for years until the "Hot Beverage System" manufacturers convinced us that we needed them. And finally, the little plastic cups the coffee (and whatnot) comes in are not marked for recycling and would have to be peeled apart and dumped out to recycle anyway, which I have tried and it makes a huge mess, and man but doesn't that just seem more environmentally irresponsible than we all need to be for our morning coffee?
So in the end, would I go out and buy this? For $130? No way, not me. But has it fully replaced my old single-cup brewer, despite the fact that I still have about eight bags of coffee for it that I got on a great sale at Target? You betcha.
Now, the good news is that I have one of these to give away, and you can be the lucky winner. To enter, just leave a comment on this post by 9:00 AM Eastern on Monday, January 24. One entry per person, please, duplicates will be eliminated, and the winner will be chosen by random selection. Comments of "I want it" or "Me! Me! Me!" or whatever are fine. Comments calling me a lousy sell-out will not be appreciated and I will focus really hard on making the random number generator not pick any of those. Hey, we're really into Star Wars around here lately, I may have picked up some Jedi mind tricks, so best not to risk it.
Sorry all you lovely foreigners, winner must be in the continental U.S.