Three factors influenced my trying a handful of Tassimo products in the past year.
- Canadian winters are cold, and fetching coffee outside isn’t fun in -25 C weather.
- I work strange hours, and most of the cafes near my office close early, making it a pain to grab a hot drink during the second half of my shifts.
- Our office got a Tassimo machine, thereby removing the main barrier to giving the system a try, which is the cost of the brewing machine itself.
Wait, wait, you say. What the hell’s a Tassimo? It’s a system composed of a brewing machine and refill cartridges meant to brew individual cups of coffee, tea and watery hot chocolate using proprietary refills that can be found at grocery stores. The cost per drink is less than you’d spend in a café, and more than you’d spend to brew coffee from scratch in an office coffee pot. As for the quality of the drinks? It’s worse than either of the above alternatives.
The best Tassimo beverage I’ve tried so far is the Twinings Tassimo Chai Tea Latte combo pack, which comes with eight chai tea T-Discs, and eight latte “concentrated milk product” T-Discs. You brew it in two parts in the same mug, one disc at a time. It’s simple, it’s fast, and it brews enough to fill a smallish mug.
The taste? Well, calling it underwhelming would be generous. The twang of artificial sweeteners is distracting enough, but the dominant flavour is a terrible fake-tasting creamer that overpowers any nuance from the tea and spices. You can taste something like a milky chai-style tea somewhere in the mix, but it’s drowned out by evaporated milk and sucralose.
And yet, as mediocre as it is, it’s still the best drink I’ve tasted from the Tassimo system. Sigh.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: About $11 for a package that makes eight drinks.
Value for cash money: Bad, considering how disappointing the taste is.
Availability: Not as widespread as other T-Disc types. Some larger grocery and/or department stores carry it.
Nutrition?: 80 calories per tea/milk combo drink. There’s a reasonable bit of calcium in there, along with the artificial sweeteners and saturated fat.
Waste: Way too much plastic hits the garbage can with every cup of the stuff brewed. That’s a massive turn-off on the Tassimo system for me.
The verdict: If you want sweet milky tea, invest in some tea bags, some sugar and a carton of milk. Making tea isn’t goddamn rocket science. Thumbs down on this drink, and thumbs equally down on the Tassimo system in general.