I love the smell of coffee brewing. There's something about a good cup of coffee that just makes me inhale deeply and sigh. As far as drinking it goes, I need foo-foo. I love anything frothy and foaming and full of flavors like chocolate, caramel, and vanilla. My husband, on the other hand, has to have his full pot of coffee in the morning..plain, boring "Original Roast" with milk and sugar. Since he gets up at 1 am, he usually drinks about 3 cups while getting ready for work and takes the remainder of the pot in his thermos for the rest of the morning. Our coffee maker then sits, unused, until the next morning when he gets up.
If I crave a cup, I just want one and I want it yummy. I have instants with flavor that I make when I'm really desperate. I warm up the old tea kettle and mix a few teaspoons with hot water and add my own milk. I have a one-cup maker but the flavor is watery. And there's no foam, there's no froth, there's very little foo in my home-brewed foo-foo coffee. I've been known to make a trip out during the day just so I can pull through the Starbucks drive-thru and grab Grande of Mocha to go.
But as I sit here and type this in my sweatpants with my hair standing straight up on my head, I can tell you I'm sipping foam, lots of froth, a whole lot of foo-foo and best of all, great flavor. I'm having a cup of Cappuccino Primo that I just made in my Tassimo T20 from Bosch and it is pure heaven.
I even gave my husband a taste and he pronounced it "kick-a-poo go-go juice". It's definitely full of delicious flavor; not weak and watery. The Cappuccino Primo is actually a two-step process. For this coffee, T Discs come paired; one milk creamer disc and one coffee disc. I made the creamer disc first and then the coffee. The Tassimo reads the bar codes on each T Disc and knows the exact temperature, pressure and time it takes to brew a perfect drink every time. Yes, those tiny T Discs each come bar-coded; the Tassimo is one smart cookie.
For my review, I received the black Tassimo T20 but it also comes in white with optional Tassimo color kits to match your decor: Strawberry Red, Lime Green, Hazelnut Brown and even Mint Blue which looks like that popular turquoise color that's made a come-back in home decorating.
The Tassimo T20 makes coffee, tea, cappuccino, latte, crema, espresso and hot cocoa with popular brands like Starbucks, Gevalia, Maxwell House (hubby's favorite),and Twinings. I can't wait to try the Tassimo Milka Hot Chocolate. There's also no lag with the Tassimo; it starts brewing almost immediately and takes about 1 minute to make a cup. There's a soft hum when you push the start button and then you've got contact. It's hot enough that steam rose from my cup as it was brewing.
One of the features I like the best is the removable tank reservoir for the water. No more attempting to pour water into the machine as it sits on the counter; just remove the reservoir and fill it up. Plenty of times my eyes were just not open enough in the morning to fill my previous 1-cup coffee maker and I ended up with water all over the coffee maker and the counter. There is no easy way to take a coffee cup full of water and pour it into a coffee maker on a counter. There are markings right on the reservoir for "minimum" and "maximum". So if you're in the mood for more than one cup, fill up the reservoir and make yourself another. Just one cup...use the minimum line.
The Tassimo is also smart enough to tell you when it needs cleaning. There's a Service T Disc that comes with your Tassimo (and it even has it's own spot on the back of the machine for storing the Service T Disc and instructions. Before your first use, you need to use your Service T-Disc and a full reservoir of water and cycle the brewer 5 times. There's a light on the front of the brewer that will light up when it's time to descale the Tassimo. My prior coffee maker just let me guess by not working at all when the brewer was dirty. I need the visual reminder that it's time to clean. Tassimo also recommends cycling the brewer after making a hot milk T Disc so that a subsequent cup of coffee is full coffee and not milk-flavored.
You can even adjust the strength of your coffee. Say you like a brew but it's a bit strong for your liking. You always have the option of using the manual icon and extending the brewing process to get your desired drink strength. That's not the only thing adjustable either. Your cup size is fully customizable. Small espresso cups...just adjust the cup stand a bit higher. Latte mug...pull the cup stand all the way out; a great feature for those travel mugs.
Where can you buy the Tassimo: Walmart; Bed, Bath, and Beyond; Target, Kohl's and Macy's and from Tassimo Direct online. It retails for $129.99 (and Bed, Bath, and Beyond has a $30 rebate going on right now on the T20 until 12/31/10). But one of you reading is going to win one, just like the one I reviewed.
Visit Tassimo and take a look at all the T Discs Tassimo offers and let me know which one you want to try first.
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US residents only. The giveaway ends on Monday, January 17, 2011 at 11:59PM EST. Leave me a way to contact you if your email address is not listed in your email profile. The winner will be drawn via Random.org and notified by email and will have 48 hours to respond before there's a do-over. Product will be shipped directly to winner by the sponsor; I'm just the middleman.
Disclosure: I was shipped a free Tassimo T20 and two packages of T Discs to facilitate my review.