|When we last tried the Tassimo Hot Beverage System in 2005, it was fresh out of development with a huge ad campaign, and a few flaws. Since then, it has a new manufacturer and a vastly improved delivery.
It also has what environmentalists might consider a flaw. Given the green movement and the desire of many people not to throw more plastic into landfills, the hard plastic cups that enclose the coffee or other beverage ingredient (here called T discs—other systems have different configurations and different names—for example, the Keurig system’s are K cups) make them distinctly ungreen. If that is your concern, you can go to an instantly degradable paper pod system as is used in the Senseo system. (There is a green offset: If you drink your coffee at home, you don’t waste a paper or [gasp] styrofoam cup, plastic lid, stirring stick, etc. with takeout.)
But if you’re not an avid recycler, one small plastic cup is the least of your landfill contributions, and we highly recommend the Tassimo for convenience, speed and delivery of a great-tasting cup of coffee…plus good hot chocolate and passable tea, the latter two major improvements on the original version.
In brief, single-serve coffee systems produce a very fast, generally quite good cup of coffee—unless you’re an aficionado who buys and grinds fresh beans weekly and has a palate that knows when a brewed pot has been on the burner longer than 20 minutes. It’s the perfect solution for people who just need one or two cups in the morning and don’t need a whole pot. And it couldn’t be easier: Just make sure the water well is filled with water—you can keep it filled so you don’t even have to exert the effort in the morning. Then, just insert a coffee-, tea- or chocolate-filled disc into the machine and press a button. In an amazing 60 seconds, your cup is filled with a steaming hot beverage. You pay for the convenience, 62¢ or more per cup. But that’s far less than you’d pay at retail, and you have steaming hot coffee in your cup in about a minute with virtually no cleanup beyond tossing the used disc in the trash.
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