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My Tassimo T55 Review (Read Why We Switched)

For years the Tassimo T55 was our main household coffee maker. Not anymore. It's a fantastic machine and makes great coffee, but there's one big problem with it. Find out here.
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The Tassimo T-55 was our household single-serve coffee maker for 3 years as well my favorite single-serve coffee machine.

My wife and I loved this machine and the coffee this machine made.

However, recently we switched to the Keurig K-Elite for one reason only – there aren’t nearly as many coffee brands to choose from.  The Tassimo uses T-discs instead of K-cups.  While T-discs are available in many grocery stores, the variety isn’t nearly as good as for K-cups.  Moreover, often stores would be out of T-discs.  In a nutshell, K-cups dominate and so we switched to a K-cup machine.

In other words, for the money, machine quality, ease-of-use, speed and coffee quality, this is in my opinion the best single-serve coffee maker.  It’s nearly perfect (but I do have some complaints which I set out below in the “cons” section). It’s the machine we’ll be using in our home. In fact, both my wife and agree it’s the best.

Other than the T-disc issue, this is a great machine.  Here’s the rest of my comments and observations after using this machine every day for nearly 3 years.

Overview
  • Coffee Quality
  • Ease-of-Use
  • Speed
  • Appearance/Design
  • Price
4.4

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Price:  For rating the price, I take into consideration the price for the machine and the cost of coffee.  This machine isn’t the cheapest on the market, but it’s an excellent machine and extremely sturdy.  It has heft and a healthy sound when brewing (no gurgling sound that you hear with other brands).  More importantly, the cost of the coffee (Tassimo T-Discs) are comparable in price to K-Cups (cost depends on the coffee brand you buy).

Coffee Quality:  The Tassimo brewing system is designed so that the machine reads the barcodes on the coffee pods(called T-Discs).  This is a fantastic feature because it means you don’t have to adjust settings on the machine to produce a particular type of coffee.  You can buy T-Discs to create coffee (light, medium and dark), cappuccino, latte, Tea and hot chocolate.  For each type of drink, the machine will adjust the brew to create the perfect cup of coffee.

Brew Speed:  There is no warm-up time.  You turn it on and hit brew.  The brew time for a cup of coffee is 1 min. 16 seconds.  Espresso brews faster.  Cappuccino takes longer because it’s a two-step brew.

Warm-up time:  There is no warm-up time, which is great to get that first cup of coffee ready ASAP in the morning.

Water Reservoir:  It’s the perfect reservoir.  It offers a water filter option. It’s transparent so you can see how much water is left and whether it needs to be refilled.  Finally, you can remove it so you canfill it in the sink.

Also, it’s a fairly large water tank – large enough for multiple cups of coffee so you don’t need to refill it after every cup.

Easy-to-use:  Turn it on, insert the T-disc, close the lid and press brew.  It’s a 1-button machine.  In fact, there’s not an on switch.  You just need to plug it in.

Options:  The machine itself does not offer options.  It just brews.  For this reason we scored it a bit low in our ratings chart.  However, the Tassimo system dictates options (type of coffee, strength, etc.) from the T-Disc, not the machine.  This is great for simplicity.  You just need to figure out what your favorite T-Discs are.

Noise:  This machine produces some noise.  There are machines that are more quiet.  However, it’s not so noisy that you’d be concerned about waking people up in the house unless you brew it in the bedroom where another person is sleeping.

Appearance:  We bought the red T55.  It’s a cool design.  The center is transparent.  Obviously, this isn’t a huge consideration for me, but it’s worth mentioning.

Size/Weight:  While it’s a heavy machine, it’s very compact.  The dimensions are:

  • Overall height:  11.5″
  • Width:  8.75″
  • Depth:  10″
  • Cord length:  43.5″ (this is quite a long cord)
  • Cup height:  4″ with spillage screen on.  7″ if you remove the spillage screen at the bottom.  The only problem with placing a cup with the spillage bottom screen removed is it won’t accommodate a large cup with a handle.  It will, however, accommodate a thin tall cup or container such as a travel mug.

More photos of our machine

What I love:

T-Disc System/Coffee Quality:  I much prefer the taste of the coffee produced by T-Discs compared to K-Cups.  It’s a personal preference and weighs heavily in rating the Tassimo brewing system so highly.  I’ve really enjoyed starting my mornings with an espresso or cappuccino followed by a regular cup of coffee.  The flexibility is great.  The specialty drink quality is excellent.  The regular coffee quality is great as well.

I love how the Tassimo machine reads the T-Disc bar code so that it brews it perfectly.  For example, the cappuccino is super frothy and tastes great because there’s a separate T-Disc for the milk.  I brew/froth the milk T-Disc first, followed by 2 espresso T-Discs (I like a slightly stronger cappuccino).

Another point about T-Discs vs. K-Cups is the used T-Discs don’t leak like K-Cups.  When testing K-Cup machines, as soon as I pull a K-Cup out, it leaks a bit over the counter. This is kind of annoying.

Water Reservoir:  It’s super convenient.  I can remove it easily and fill it in the sink.  It’s transparent so I know before I brew whether it needs more water.  It stores sufficient water for multiple cups of coffee (the number depends if you brew coffee or espresso).

Size:  I much prefer a compact machine because we place our coffee maker under upper-level cupboards.  Therefore, a short machine with a removable water reservoir is important for our kitchen.

Brew speed:  For the quality of coffee it produces, it brews very, very quickly.  Also, there’s no warm-up time.

What could be improved:

Multiple T-Discs for Some Specialty Drinks:  Having to brew two to three T-Discs for a cappuccino isn’t great, but it does result in a great cappuccino.  I guess that’s the price to pay.  I’ve mentioned before that Nespresso machines do produce slightly better coffee and specialty drinks, but the BIG problem with Nespresso is I can’t buy the coffee capsules in my local grocery store and they’re pretty expensive.

Noise:  It’s a fairly noisy coffee maker.  When you first use it, you might think there’s something wrong with it.  I’ve gotten used to it now, so it’s not an issue.

Cup Size:  This is my biggest complaint with the Tassimo T55.  The spillage container at the bottom (on which the cup sits) is unnecessarily large which takes up space for larger coffee cups.  However, I know it’s designed like this so coffee doesn’t drop too far into the cup… which is particularly important for specialty beverages.

 T-Disc options:  There are more coffee brands available as K-Cups compared to T-Discs.  Nevertheless, there are many T-Disc coffee options – enough for me.  I’ve already found a brand that I enjoy.

No T-Disc disposal container:  One thing I like about the *Vertuoline Nespresso machine is it deposits used capsules into a disposal container automatically.  This is super convenient so you’re not trotting off to the garbage after every brew.  It would be great if the Tassimo did the same.

CONCLUSION

Don’t buy the T55 just because it’s my favorite single cup brewing system.  I like it for personal reasons as set out above.  In fact, I prefer the coffee produced by , but the BIG problem with Nespresso is the coffee is not widely available and it’s much more expensive.  Yes, it’s good, but doesn’t warrant always ordering refills online or driving 40 minutes to a store.  More importantly, I’m not too keen spending $.95 per coffee.

TASSIMO IS RIGHT FOR YOU IF…

1.  You like espresso, latte and/or cappuccino

2.  You like a compact brewer

3.  You like the coffee brands that come in T-Discs (check your grocery store because this is probably where you’ll buy your coffee)

4.  You like a fast brew

5.  You like quality coffee, but don’t require the best of the best (if you want the very best no matter the cost, get a machine).

Does the Tassimo T55 work with K-Cups?

No, it doesn’t.  You must use Tassimo T-Discs.  Read the key differences between a Keurig K-Cup machine and Tassimo here.

Does it come with a reusable filter?

No.  You can buy them, but I believe they’re sold by third-party merchants.  At first, I thought this would be a problem, but if I’m going to brew coffee with traditional ground coffee, I just use my drip pot brewer.  I actually don’t like using reusable filters with single-serve coffee makers because you need to clean it out after each brew which is fairly inconvenient.

Does it make espresso, decaff and cappuccinos?

Yes, and it does a very nice job.

Can you brew directly in a taller travel mug? 

Yes, but you’ll need to remove the spillage screen and place the tall travel mug in the spillage container.

Does the Tassimo T55 offer a water filter option?

Yes, it does.  It comes with the machine.  I don’t bother with it because our water is quite good, but it’s there if you need it.

What are the dimensions?

  • Overall height:  11.5″
  • Width:  8.75″
  • Depth:  10″
  • Cord length:  43.5″ (this is quite a long cord)

What size of cup does it accommodate?  

4″ with spillage screen on.  7″ if you remove the spillage screen at the bottom.  The only problem with placing a cup with the spillage bottom screen removed is it won’t accommodate a large cup with a handle.  It will, however, accommodate a thin tall cup or container such as a travel mug.

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