The Tassimo Suprema is a brilliant concept, attracting users with its advanced technology for making different types of beverages. While reviewers say it produces great coffee and espressos, the Tassimo has some performance shortcomings. It also requires the use of proprietary coffee pods (T Discs), which are expensive and limited in variety. If you're looking for less per-cup expense, the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System (*Est. $150) offers an extensive variety of flavors.
Great concept but fails to deliver. Like some other one-cup coffee makers, the Tassimo Suprema uses premeasured coffee pods to brew a single cup of coffee, tea or hot cocoa. But unlike Keurig models, which use coffee pods made by third-party manufacturers like Starbucks and Diedrich, the Tassimo uses proprietary T Discs, which reviewers say are more expensive.
T Discs are also more limited in variety in comparison to Keurig K-Cups, which are available in hundreds of flavors. One owner review at Amazon.com says of the T Discs, "All of the coffee varieties I have tasted have been good to great, and most coffee drinkers should have no problem finding a variety that suits their individual tastes."
Tassimo uses a barcode scanning system to determine the correct temperature, the right amount of water and the necessary brew time for each beverage. To do so, the machine reads a barcode located on each T Disc, and the settings are adjusted accordingly. Owners on Amazon.com praise the precise customization for different types of beverages. "This seems far more advanced than other pod/capsule type brewers, which are more or less oblivious to the type of drink they are preparing," says one user.
There are some downsides noted by owners, however. The coffee maker uses real milk, and some complain that the machine leaves half the milk unused in the pod and tends to spill milk and coffee grounds due to a malfunction in the piercing mechanism. Others say the T Discs are becoming limited in selection and difficult to find in stores. We also read numerous concerns about slow response times and difficult interactions with Tassimo's customer service.
An intuitive machine with precise controls. The Tassimo, manufactured by Bosch, comes in four styles, which differ slightly in design and features but are mechanically the same: the Tassimo T65 (*Est. $170); the Tassimo Suprema T45 (*Est. $140), available in silver or red; the Tassimo T10 (*Est. $100); and the newest member of the line, the Tassimo T20 (*Est. $100), available in black, white or gray. All models come fitted with a Mavea water filtration system and have a manual function for more control over the resulting brew strength.
Although the Tassimo is not programmable, the barcode scanning system for each T Disc is pretty seamless for users, who simply follow the instructions displayed by the machine. Wired magazine contributor Michael S. Lasky appreciates the Suprema's speedy performance, brewing a cup in less than a minute. However, editors at Popular Mechanics note that this model is messy, because the T Discs continue to drip for some time after brewing.
Both Popular Mechanics and SingleServeCoffee.com review the Tassimo T65, which has a cup-stand light and a multilingual LCD display that gives the user more precise instructions. For instance, the T65's LCD display will read, "Insert Your T-Disc" instead of displaying an icon indicating the same. Editors of SingleServeCoffee.com say that unless you need these two features, there isn't an advantage to purchasing the more expensive Tassimo T65 over the T45.
Not a style standout but simple and modern. Owners say they like the Tassimo Suprema's modern style, although it's not extraordinary in terms of looks. One owner at Amazon.com sums it up: "For styling, the Tassimo T45 isn't very different than most of the other single-cup brewing stations on the market. This likely won't win any awards for looks, but it isn't so hideous that you don't want it in your kitchen either."
Its standard black and brushed chrome finish is neutral enough to fit in with nearly any kitchen design, although it is available in other finishes and colors depending on the model purchased.
Review Credibility: Excellent Popular Mechanics compares eight single-serve coffee makers, evaluating them for speed, cost and convenience. The Keurig Special Edition B60 (now the Keurig Special Edition Brewing System) receives high praise for being easy to clean, but editors say that the Tassimo T65 (a similar model to the Suprema) brews faster and makes lattes and cappuccinos. Because these beverages require milk T Discs, a premium serving of Tassimo coffee can cost as much as $1.37 per cup -- still cheaper than a visit to the local coffee shop.
Review: Single-Serve Coffeemaker Showdown: 8 Brewers Put to the Test, Jeremy Repanich, April 1, 2010
Review Credibility: Very Good Reviewer Jay Brewer evaluates the Tassimo T65. He likes that it contains a number of upgrades from the previous Tassimo Suprema model, including an illuminated cup stand and a multilingual LCD panel that delivers instructions in five languages. He says this "whisper-quiet" unit's only drawback is its steep price.
Review: Review: Tassimo T65 Single Serve Coffee Maker -- T-Disc Brewer, Jay Brewer, December 2009
Review Credibility: Very Good Wired contributor Michael S. Lasky reviews the Tassimo Suprema and likes its simple operation, easy cleanup and barcode technology. However, he's less enthusiastic about the beverage selections and complains that the expensive T Discs are not eco-friendly.
Review: Beverage System: Belly Up to the Bar Code, Michael S. Lasky, Feb. 13, 2009
Review Credibility: Good Editors at TheNibble.com review the Tassimo Suprema and praise its compatibility with a variety of coffee discs from different companies, including Starbucks, Gevalia, Maxwell House and Seattle's Best. Other improvements over the discontinued TAS 10 model include a water filtration system and easily refillable tank.
Review: Tassimo Coffee System, Editors of TheNibble.com, January 2009
Review Credibility: Fair About 20 owners contribute to an average rating of 3.1 stars out of 5. Owners are generally pleased with the Tassimo Suprema, but there are several complaints of coffee grounds ending up in brewed coffee and milk left behind in pods, causing spillage while removing the used pods. A few owners also report malfunctioning machines and complain about Tassimo's customer service.
Review: Tassimo Single Serve Coffeemaker, T45, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2012