I was included in the blogger blast again, just like earlier in the year. And, just like last time, the machine has sat on my counter taking up precious real estate after one use. When we moved in February, we actually left the other machine behind.
I shot a video when Tassimo first approached me to review the unit and all of my beefs remain.
While the machine is eternally convenient (we have a Keurig machine at my office that is fast and easy to make cups a la carte), it's wasteful and a cheap entry drug to the world of T-discs and K-cups.
These new style coffee machines are simply implementing the strategies of the printer and razor industry to lure customers in. The hardware (coffee maker, printer, razor) is cheap, while the software (coffee, ink, blades) ineeds to be regularly replaced often thereby offering the manufacturer a constant and loyal revenue stream. Is it really a shock to learn that the machine was created by the company responsible for the disposable razor, Gillette?
Aside: you could argue Apple's approach to iTunes, iPhones and iPods is a similarly vertical strategy. They seed the marketplace with devices that can gain software from a unique source and then develop user loyalty.
Each cup you brew requires a K-cup or T-disc (if you're making a fancy drink then 2 are needed). The companies license the disc and cup technology to coffee producers and then pull in royalties. Each cup or disc is single use and is wrapped in a box which is wrapped in plastic. Keurig's foil and plastic cups are completely non-recyclable, Tassimo's FAQ dodges a definite answer by saying the recycability of their product is facility dependant.
Now, I'm not a preachy hugger of trees, but it seems like a lot of packaging for the convenience of something that still takes as much time as boiling water and french pressing on your own. (Michael Kwan's video counts nearly 5 minutes to make a Tassimo cappuccino).
If you have a variety of coffee tastes in your house - some loving tea, others lattes, others espresso - then perhaps one of these machines will help each get their caffeine craving quickly and simply. The Starbucks crowd is the target market for these products, too. People who routinely drop $4 on a daily latte will enjoy the less than a dollar cost to make the drink at home.
In my house, however, my wife is satisfied with a stiff Tim's from a french press. We can buy a big can that lasts a couple months or more for $15.
Are you a Tassimo / Keurig fan? I'd love your feedback.
catch the buzz .. pass it on.
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