Bosch Tassimo Coffee System
Page 2: Coffee & More
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Tassimo Coffee Brands
Tassimo offers more than 40 varieties of coffee, tea and hot chocolate from 12 prominent international brands. Since we first tried the machine, it seems that everyone wants to get on the Tassimo bandwagon. You now can get five varieties of Starbucks, plus coffees from Gevalia Kaffe, Maxwell House, Seattle’s Best Coffee and leading brands from other countries.
- The Starbucks coffees, in our opinion, taste better made in the Tassimo system than they do in the Starbucks stores: more body and rounder in flavor (no bitterness), without the distinctive “char” that some people like and others don’t (perhaps single-serve brewing rather than vat brewing is kinder to coffee). Starbucks’ most popular coffees are available: Breakfast Blend, House Blend, Columbia, Caffé Verona and our favorite, Africa Kitamu, bold with citrus and floral notes (kitamu is Swahili for “taste experience”). This coffee is similar to a Kenya or Ethiopia Sidamo; if you like an Italian roast, try it.
system is a faster, much less expensive way to get your Starbucks; if you need the Starbucks cachet, get yourself a Starbucks ceramic mug. Quick, Andy Sachs: Get a Tassimo. Miranda will have her coffee in 60 seconds and you won’t be running out constantly to get coffee.*
Photo: Starbucks Africa Kitamu: A bold, French roast style.
*In the 2006 film, “The Devil Wears Prada,” Runway editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep) was always demanding fresh cups of Starbucks. Her assistant, Andy Sachs (Anne Hathaway), was always running out to fetch hot coffee from blocks away. We wondered why the world’s leading fashion magazine didn’t have a corporate coffee program, such that its overworked staff only had to go down the hall to the coffee room, or downstairs to the company cafeteria, for a cup of hot Starbucks.
- We were also introduced to Seattle’s Best Henry’s Blend, a very nice cup of coffee that will please just about anyone. It is a mellow cup with a medium body, a roasty aroma and no bitterness—we enjoyed drinking it black.
- For flavored coffee fans, Maxwell House Café Collection offers French Vanilla. We’ve bought vanilla-flavored coffee with more finesse from our local specialist bean store, but for a machine-based product, this is quite good. There’s also a Gevalia Swiss Hazelnut that we didn’t try.
- Decaffeinated coffee is available in Gevalia (both coffee and cappuccino) and Maxwell House brands.
Cappuccino, Espresso & Latte
- You can make latte and cappuccino with the Tassimo through a two-step system. First, use a Gevalia espresso T disc to make espresso, and then use a Tassimo-branded milk creamer (a T disc filled with actual 2% milk [fat-free is also available] that has undergone some concentration to work with the system and is shelf-stable—in fact, it cannot be refrigerated or frozen). We have the same problem with these beverages that we had the first time around: To us, the milk has the aftertaste of a nondairy creamer. We’d love for Tassimo to go back to the drawing board on this one. We’ll agree that an average latte or cappuccino may be better than not having any at all, and at $1.64 (twice the price of a regular cup since you need two different T discs), it’s the cheapest cappuccino/latte in town short of making one from scratch with your own espresso, milk and frother. The processed creamer contains a bit of salt and some sugar, which add up to a total of 3g carbohydrate per serving—something that certain dieters and diabetics need to watch out for. (Maxwell House also makes a cappuccino and a latte that we didn’t try, and the German producer, Jacobs, makes a latte macchiato.)
- To answer a question that was raised during our product testing: Even though the products look and taste exactly the same, you can’t buy one type of creamer (i.e., either the Cappuccino or the Latte) and use them to make both beverages. That’s because the bar code on the disc tells the Tassimo how much water/how much time is required to brew, which is different to make latte versus cappuccino, which has more steam to make it foam.
- As for the Gevalia espresso as a standalone beverage: Espresso lovers know what it takes to make a really good cup—that’s why we enjoy it at restaurants that have the right equipment and skill to make it. The Tassimo does the best it can, but it isn’t the ideal brewing medium for espresso. As with tea (see the next page), it’s O.K., but doesn’t make the truly delicious cup that you’ll get with regular Tassimo-brewed coffee.
There are numerous other coffee brands available that we are not familiar with, including Carte Noire (France), Jacobs (Germany), Kenco (U.K.), Maestro Lorenzo (Italy) and Nabob (Canada). They are leading brands in their home countries, and allow you the opportunity to try the home favorites of other lands.
Continue To Page 3: Tea & Hot Chocolate Brands
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