Monday was Alla’s first day back to work and therefore my first day at home with the kids by myself. The day hadn’t quite gone to plan and had been a long one so when I got home after a trip to the shops in the afternoon, I was greeted by a couple of packages of the two single serve coffee machines I was to try out this week, the TASSIMO T46 Home Brewer and the Keurig B60 Brewing System, along with a great selection of drinks to try out.
I still had my hands full with the kids initially so had to wait for Allyson to get home from work and get them both eating before we opened the boxes to check them out. They looked similar with the TASSIMO T46 being the slightly smaller of the two which is a bonus where worktop space is at a premium. It’s about the size of two kettles with a rectangular shape and the Keurig B60 being slightly rounder and taller. Both are finished with brushed stainless steel which looks stylish and fits in with the design of most modern kitchens.
The drink samples I had been sent were a good variety of teas, coffees and hot chocolate including a pack of Cadbury’s drinking chocolate for the TASSIMO – something that I was very keen on back home and therefore keen to try out as soon as possible. The TASSIMO even makes speacialty drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. The nice thing about the TASSIMO is that it used real milk where as the Keurig uses powdered milk. It makes a big difference in both the flavour of your beverage and the quality of froth on the specialty drinks. I was interested to learn that the difference of cost for the discs for a TASSIMO compared to Keurig was around $0.43 per cup compared to $0.76.
Having had the hectic day and being in a bit of a rush I immediately checked out the instruction manuals to see how complicated it would be to set them up as I wanted to get sampling as soon as I could and was glad to see that they were only short and appeared to be very clear and seemed quite straight forward – the TASSIMO manual is also printed in Spanish as well as the standard English and French. Both units also came with quick guides on how to brew drinks too and were small enough to be left by the machine (tucked under them) for future reference.
Both units were placed on the kitchen worktop and I took note of where the water containers were – the Keurig has the container at the side and the TASSIMO at the back. I had initially thought that this would be a pain but it wasn’t at all as it is detachable and meant that it had a slimmer profile. The TASSIMO had a handle and also contains a removable water filter – a really nice touch for places where tap water can change the taste of your drinks.
I filled the TASSIMO first and noticed that there is a clever hole in the lid that allows you to fill the container without having to take the lid off and the way it’s designed means that you can run the tap quite hard and it disperses the water straight into the container – it’s hard to describe but it is a nice little touch and allows really easy filling with minimal fiddling around – it’s a simple feature but made filling it nice and easy and fast. The Keurig filter seemed slightly larger and the lid had to be completely removed and refitted when filled. I do feel that the detachable containers are very useful as it means that if you want to store the units when not in use, the water can easily be drained without you having to turn the whole unit upside down to get the last bits of water out. It also means that you can keep the water fresh and not have anything sitting around for a while.
Both machines had an initial setup process that needs to be followed to flush the machine through – the TASSIMO was really easy as the unit comes with a special cleaning disk which is stored in a little small containerslot at the back. What makes this machine different from the other one is that it has a barcode scanner that reads the drinks cartridges (these are called T-DISCS) and will then prepare each drink specifically to the drink in the T-DISCS – water temp, brewing time, amount of water etc meaning that you get the perfect drink every time – very clever! All I needed to do was to place the service disk in the slot and it contains information that instructs the machine to clean and descale – it’s all done automatically and done at the touch of a button. From looking at the instructions it appears the machine will also warn you when you need to perform this process to descale it – nice touch – talk about worry free!
The Keurig setup was simple too and just involved a straight forward run through (it only had to be run once) but whereas the TASSIMO actually seems to boil the water as the drink is being made meaning immediate hot water, the Keurig takes about 3-4 minutes for the water to heat up and become available. The set up of the TASSIMO had taken about 3 minutes whereas the Keurig was a bit longer due to the water needing to be heated.
Now both machines were ready for us to have a drink.
We decided that as it was approaching bedtime and my little girl now becoming keen on the odd hot chocolate that she would get to try the first cup and we would go for the Cadbury’s chocolate for the TASSIMO. Now that original setups were complete it was just a case of placing a cup on the machine, loading the T-DISC and pressing the button so that’s what we did – my little un even pressed the button to make her own drink as a special treat.
The first cup (complete with Strawberry Shorthcake spoon)
The time taken to make the drink was about 45 seconds all in and I am not exaggerating when I say that we could have left the whole process to her if there wasn’t hot water involved (she’s not even 3 yet after all…). Place the mug – Load the T-DISCS – Press the button. That’s it! I should also add here that the hot chocolate takes a little longer than a normal Americano would as it actually uses 2 different T-DISCS to make the drink – the first containing the chocolate syrup part and then second T-DISCS containing the milk part which the machine heats up to just the right temperature before dispensing to the cup.
Although it was just right for us, it was a bit too hot for her so after getting her changed and ready for bed, she had a chance to sample the drink for the first time. It was a hit – a big hit – she absolutely loved it! She was immediately asking if she could make more for us so we quickly made another cup, with her even fitting the T-DISCS this time and waiting for the coloured lights to change so she knew when she had to press the button. Alla and I shared this mug and I have to say it was as tasty as any Cadburys chocolate that I had drunk before and from a machine that was simple enough for a 2 year old to use!
Enjoying her special drink
We were up early again the following morning and in between getting the kids dressed, fed and sorted while helping Alla prepare herself for the second day at work we had our first coffee’s from the machines. This time, I went for the Keurig and Alla went for the TASSIMO. We were still on limited crockery so used our chosen mugs and placed them in the machines as usual. Whereas the TASSIMO actually makes the drink correctly to the specifications held in the bar code, the Keurig dispenses the drinks at the same temperature but you can choose the size of the drink you want. The options are small, medium and large so I chose the medium option and it left enough of a gap at the top of the mug for me to add a bit of milk. I should also note here that the TASSIMO has another option after it has dispensed the drink to top up any extra water manually so you can vary the strength yourself. It had dispensed about the same amount of liquid as the Keurig and as Alla takes hers black, we decided to top the mug up a bit. The extra water was instant and Alla had a full mug in no time at all.
It was so great to be able to just choose the coffee we wanted and then pop it in the machines and it was done.
Easy to use when dealing with the kids
It has now been a week since we received the machines and I have been very impressed. We have been using both machines numerous times each day and have been making plenty of drinks for our visitors (with my daughter pressing the button whenever she can) and everyone has been impressed with them at how easy they are to use and how quickly they prepare drinks.
Whereas they are both fantastic products and will change the way we drink coffee, when it comes to favourites the TASSIMO just edges it for me with the reasons being that it is slightly smaller so takes up less room on the worktop and the drinks are instant – you just turn it on and the water is heated as and when you need it, unlike the Keurig that has to heat up the water before you can get your drink and we tended to leave it on in between drinks.
I’d like to thank TASSIMO for the opportunity to test these products and have to say the T46 is a very well thought out appliance and easy enough for a 2 year old to use and one that we can see will be making our lives a bit easier when it comes to preparing drinks in the future.
The coffee maker review blog series is sponsored by TASSIMO. All content is true, based on Jamie’s personal experience.