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Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
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TheMadTamper
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Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 7:37am
Subject: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

Hello all, it's been a little while since I've dropped by the forums!  I'd settled into a coffee routine, and was somewhat distracted away from the forums.  

Now that's it's summer (almost), it's time for me to step away from the daily espresso grind (pun intended), and the K10 is temporarily set idle for the season in exchange for the blender.  It's not as grim as it sounds, the M-F morning super ultra (iced) mega lattemericano espresso run still keeps itself alive and well, and the K3 + Salvatore are still purring along dreamily each morning.  But the evening more labor intense ritual of shots/capps as well as that of weekends gets tossed aside in favor of, mostly, iced mix drinks.  And I won't be keeping my supply of shot-worthy beans on hand over the summer.

This year though, I'm looking into getting either a Bosch Tassimo or Keurig cup/disc system.  Quick, easy, decent-enough coffee system for the occasional morning weekend coffee.  The question I pose here is, while we're all aware pre-ground sealed coffee from a plastic-shell thermoblock machine won't quite live up to our "espresso shrines" or come anywhere close, "good enough" is the order of the day.   Of those of you who have tried various blend options on both, which do the coffee geeks here recommend as the least bad of the two for the seasonally ultra lazy coffee obsessive?

I'll add one morsel that could be an obvious sway.  While I'm generally using pre-mix frozen coffee mixes from the big manufacturers, I would love to sometimes add real coffee to the mix as well.   The Tassimo does "shots" (or some odd facsimile...) (presumably, low dose, very strong coffee more than an actual shot), which could swing favor to the Tassimo in the end.  Aside from that, though, which do those here generally prefer?
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JPDyson
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JPDyson
Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 417
Location: Durham, NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tc5
Drip: V60, Bonmac, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery II
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 8:07am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

Tassimo for quality, Keurig for selection.

 
--Josh
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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 8:29am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

I'd say quality trumps selection, personally.  When dealing with real beans, I love trying various blends/S.O.s.....but since that's not quite the same type of selection we're talking about with pre-packed systems (mostly "flavors", and various "strengths" of pseudo-stale beans), I'd say I'd prefer the better output over an infinite array of mediocre beans.  

The only reason I didn't put the Nespresso in the mix is it's high cost per shot, high expense of machine, and single-minded "almost espresso" functionality of the machine makes it much too redundant to the real espresso machine.  If I'm THAT worried about getting something "shot-like" I'll just fire up the real gear and go for a genuine top quality shot.   The pre-pack is purely for the "I'm too lazy to bother with heating the machine and putting a PF basket on a scale, or bother with the 2 minutes of cleanup while putting an ungainly amount of heat into an already hot room" season.
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EricBNC
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EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 10:47am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

TheMadTamper Said:

Of those of you who have tried various blend options on both, which do the coffee geeks here recommend as the least bad of the two for the seasonally ultra lazy coffee obsessive?

Posted May 10, 2011 link

The "least bad" cup you will suffer through is the one from the Tassimo while the cup from a Keurig is close though slightly more offensive.  

I kid, I kid...

They both will make a decent cup if you stick to smaller serving size settings.  A good non-ESE pod machine would be an improvement with regard to the quality of coffee available if you are OK with ordering from online vendors.  The Coffee Artisan sells limited run S.O coffee from Fratello that is produced in small batches - these pods are fresh and the coffee quality is excellent. My first exposure to Cup of Excellence coffee was from a Fratello pod.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

EricBNC Said:

The "least bad" cup you will suffer through is the one from the Tassimo while the cup from a Keurig is close though slightly more offensive.  

I kid, I kid...

They both will make a decent cup if you stick to smaller serving size settings.  A good non-ESE pod machine would be an improvement with regard to the quality of coffee available if you are OK with ordering from online vendors.  The Coffee Artisan sells limited run S.O coffee from Fratello that is produced in small batches - these pods are fresh and the coffee quality is excellent. My first exposure to Cup of Excellence coffee was from a Fratello pod.

Posted May 10, 2011 link

Interesting suggestion....what are the pros and cons of a pod machine, probably the Bunn models, versus the Tassimo, in terms of convenience of use/maintenance?  The main function here is the most simplistic thoughtless coffee in the world (and maybe quickly being able to produce some coffee to chill for use in blended ice mixes.)

And what kind of quality improvement are we talking about in the cup?  Other than questionable temp management, I find it unlikely that any pre-ground coffee would differ much from another (aside from the fact that the "best" in the Tassimo lineup is charred Starbucks.)  I'm not overwhelmingly interested in "ordering fresh" or paying attention to how long it's been sitting on my counter (Anything K or T wouldn't be more stale in a month than it was before buying it anyway...if the improvement in pods means that it's also ordered fresher...that may not apply in my application.  It's my rest period from being meticulous about roast dates :) )

I certainly don't mind ordering online...though I also want the coffee buying selection to be quick and efficient.....I do enough micro-shopping with online roasters for me real espresso :)  I'll save the hours of pouring through "menus" when buying from Klatch, CCC, and Fresco :)
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

The taste is without a doubt better from a fresh pod that starts with great coffee beans.

Google TCA or Coffee Review to learn more about recent Fratello offerings - Nicaraguan Los Placeres Estate, Tanzania Songea Peaberry, and Ethiopian Special Prep all are 90+ rated and all either are or were available as a pod recently.  There are more 90+ coffee selections that became available in pod format but since the selection changes frequently signing up for the newsletter is the easiest way to stay informed - all of these great selections are unfortunately one of the better kept single serve coffee secrets.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 12:00pm
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

EricBNC Said:

The taste is without a doubt better from a fresh pod that starts with great coffee beans.

Google TCA or Coffee Review to learn more about recent Fratello offerings - Nicaraguan Los Placeres Estate, Tanzania Songea Peaberry, and Ethiopian Special Prep all are 90+ rated and all either are or were available as a pod recently.  There are more 90+ coffee selections that became available in pod format but since the selection changes frequently signing up for the newsletter is the easiest way to stay informed - all of these great selections are unfortunately one of the better kept single serve coffee secrets.

Posted May 10, 2011 link

You have me remarkably intrigued.   I know the answer is "because it's marketing enhanced!" but a big question remains: If pods are so much better (or in consumer speak: have more variety and choices)...and seemingly the same to operate...as K/T systems....why are pod systems not substantially more available/popular?  Obviously Joe Q coffee drinker doesn't care about Fratello S.O. offerings, but still, it seems that there's a large pod variety out there.  Is there a major convenience disadvantage to pods that I'm unaware of?

Right now I'm looking at the Bunn Commercial brewer as a possibility.  I've always generally liked Bunn's brewing methods, and that seems to be the most sophisticated (non-plumbed, non-auto-disposing) pod machine I found.
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,867
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

The BUNN MCP is a well built unit as is the Grindmaster OPOD.  These two are the best that I have used.  The OPOD is rumored to be out of production for now - possibly forever - but is still available till the pipeline dries up.  The BUNN works very well too and handles odd sized pods better than most machines. The BUNN enjoys excellent support as well.  

I can't answer why pods fell behind K-Cups in terms of popularity but the fragmented, open source supply chain (a virtue when dealing with small batch offerings) as opposed to the marketing strength that proprietary systems enjoy must factor heavily into the equation.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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TheMadTamper
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Nov 2010
Posts: 1,246
Location: US
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salvatore SES; Izzo Duetto...
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC, K8 Fresh,...
Drip: /Pod: Bunn MCP
Roaster: /Other: Blender - BlendTec...
Posted Tue May 10, 2011, 1:07pm
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

EricBNC Said:

The BUNN MCP is a well built unit as is the Grindmaster OPOD.  These two are the best that I have used.  The OPOD is rumored to be out of production for now - possibly forever - but is still available till the pipeline dries up.  The BUNN works very well too and handles odd sized pods better than most machines. The BUNN enjoys excellent support as well.  

Posted May 10, 2011 link

MCP it is, probably.  I'm curious about the OPOD too, but the MCP just seems to be more "together" (I don't mean build quality so much as just the setup)....and since I've long favored Bunn drip machines, and have worked inside one before, there's more comfort zone than Grindmaster :)   Bunn tends to build nicely serviceable gear with open spaces and sensible parts.  You may have pointed to a winner.

I can't answer why pods fell behind K-Cups in terms of popularity but the fragmented, open source supply chain (a virtue when dealing with small batch offerings) as opposed to the marketing strength that proprietary systems enjoy must factor heavily into the equation.

It's strange, really.  I remember pods coming out ages ago as "the next big thing", but nobody had machines available, nobody tried marketing the machines they had, and no coffee brands tried marketing their pod offerings.  E.S.E. pods were marketed like crazy by Starbucks and Illy, but not coffee pods (and certainly not tea pods.)  Nespresso was around with it's system which was billed more as an E.S.E. alternative than competing with coffee pods.  It just never seemed to go anywhere.  Then Keurig came out of nowhere and became a household definition of pod.  Tassimo seems to be the new marketing titan.  I'd heard nothing about it until a few months ago, now it's everywhere (It was apparently more popular than Keurig in Canada until recently though.)  And I'd entirely forgotten pods existed until you mentioned them here!

The weirder part is Keurig's (and exclusively Keurig's) dominance in the commercial/office/foodservice market.  Bunn seems to be the only one really bothering to make commercial pod machines, if the Grindmaster is truly discontinued.  I'd have thought the hotel/office markets would have really focused on pods versus cups.
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jbviau
Senior Member
jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 731
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Wed May 11, 2011, 7:18am
Subject: Re: Machines: Tassimo vs. Keurig for Espresso Geeks
 

+1 to Eric's advice. You can't go wrong with either the OPOD or the Bunn MCP. There's also Bunn's new My Cafe Home machine that's cheaper but doesn't have a reservoir, i.e. you have to add water for each cup. I understand your desire to take a break from worrying about freshness, and pods will allow you to do that without sacrificing quality excessively. Fratello has two new pods coming out very soon through the Coffee Artisan, by the way: their Colombian Huila Suaza and Burundi Kinyovu. Reunion Island also has a nice relationship coffee out in pod format, their Brazil Ouro Fino.
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