Tassimo vs Keurig

Tassimo vs Keurig
Single Cup Brewer

This Tassimo vs Keurig Single Cup Coffee maker showdown is a result of my life-long desire to enjoy the best tasting coffee at home without the muss, fuss, mess and expenses of a fancy Starbucks Type Heavy Duty coffee brewer or without having to drive to a Starbucks and wait in line behind phony coffee drinkers. Haven’t you ever wished you could just make just one 8 ounce cup of really hot, strong coffee at home without having to wait in line behind those sweet-drink fake-o coffee foo-foo snobs ordering their latte with half-and-half and just a splash of this and that with nutmeg and whipped cream, etc, etc? You only want a good, strong hot cup of coffee and you’re willing to pay $1.68 – $2.50 for it, depending on whether or not it’s sized as a Tall, Grande or Vente. Well, would if you could make a cup of coffee just as hot, fresh and strong for 1/3rd the price. Well, this is what Tassimo and Keurig fans claim they can do.

To be honest, I’ve never thought much of single-cup brewers. I used to think, “So, they brew one cup of coffee at a time? What’s the big deal with that? “Well, my recent visit at the Philadelphia Loews Hotel last week changed my mind completely. In our room was a Keurig single cup brewer, with an assortment of Coffees, Teas and Hot Chocolate K-Cups. I’ve heard the constant bickering of the Tassimo vs Keurig debates, but what I didn’t understand was how convenient these single cup brewers are and perfect for a hotel stay.

I’ve never cared for the weak coffee in the hotel Lobbies and I hesitate to use the small, little coffee pots in the rooms which accumulate dirt, dust and coffee ground debris from the other guests. Yet, I need something quick, smooth and strong to get me going in the morning. Upon first inspection of the Keurig, I was impressed with how clean it was. I grabbed one of the K-Cup pods and in a couple of minutes I had a hot cup of reasonably good coffee with absolutely no mess. When my wife used it to make tea, I was concerned that it would taint the flavor of the next cup of coffee I made. Not so! The ingredients inside these single cup brewer pods (known as K-Cups for the Keurig and T-Pads for the Tassimo), are completely self-contained. None of the ingredients come in contact with the actual coffee maker. A tiny hole is punctured through the K-Cup or T-Pad and the beverage goes directly into your cup. It is fast, convenient, tasty and absolutely mess free. I was sold on a Keurig, but what about the Tassimo that I often heard about in these debates?

With thousands of personal reviews and opinions on both Tassimo and Keurig, I thought it would be useful to do an overview – or an ‘over-review- so to speak of all the reviews. While my impression of the Keurig was good, I thought the coffee could be slightly stronger. Having looked up two of the latest models, I narrowed my choice down between to two of the best valued, most reviewed models: The Tassimo Bosch TAS4511UC and the Keurig B60 Special edition. Both machines range in price from $139 – $199. So, which of these Single Cup Brewers provides the most satisfaction? Here are the basic conclusions of Tassimo vs Keurig comparisons among hundreds of users.

Brewer Comparisons

For starters, the Tassimo vs Keurig is a close call and both are excellent single cup brewers with very high marks from users. The Tassimo ranks 4.75 stars among 209 users and the Keurig rates 4 stars among 1,000 users.

Tassimo vs Keurig Opinion Reviews:

    • Flavor: Tassimo
      Both machines make piping hot coffee, but the Tassimo gets a unanimous edge for flavor.
    • Versatility: Tassimo
      The Tassimo is also more versatile in that you can make different types of coffee drinks; Cappuccino, Lattés, etc.
    • Coffee variety: Keurig
      Users of the Keurig seem to have more choices for regular coffee.
    • Technology: Tassimo
      The Tassimo TAS4512 wins the cool-factor due to its barcode technology.
    • Build and Apperance: Tassimo
      Though only a slight edge and matter of opinion, more users seemed impressed with the quality build and appearance of the Tassimo Bosch model.

It’s a close call, but more users preferred the latest Bosch Tassimo vs Keurig B60. I’ll give you my detailed review on the Tassimo T45111UC after I’ve had a chance to use the one I just ordered.

Coffee Selection Between Both Brewers

For regular coffee, Keurig gets the edge here. Since I found such a cheap price on the Keurig Mr Coffee, I couldn’t resist getting one for the office and so now I own both a Tassimo and a Keurig. Being that I’m not so interested in making other things such as Latte’s and Cappuccino’s I’ll have to admit that the Tassimo falls short of the Keurig when it comes to their selection of Cheap K-Cups.

French Coffee Press Review

French Coffee Press
French Coffee Press

I used to think a French coffee press was just another one of those snobby marketing ideas. As I quite often do, I’ve changed my mind a bit on the Coffee Press method of brewing coffee as I’ll explain in this review. First, a little history about how a French Press Coffee maker ended up in my home: I bought my, 8-Cup Bodum coffee press about 15 years ago when I started drinking Starbucks Coffee. For many years, I didn’t like Starbucks Coffee. In fact, I only drank light roasted coffees. I thought the Starbucks Dark roasted coffees tasted smoky and lacked the richness of lighter roasts. It wasn’t until I actually went into a Starbucks Store and ordered a regular cup of coffee that I got a new found appreciation for their darker, cream tasting roasts. The home coffee makers just don’t do a decent job. One: home coffee brewers don’t make it hot enough. Two, home coffee brewers don’t extract the flavor of the dark coffee grinds. Because the darker grinds are well roasted, the window for unlocking their flavor is extremely critical So, one day about 15 years ago, I asked my Starbucks store representative what kind of coffee maker it would take to get the coffee to taste as good at home as it does the store. They showed me a Bodum French press and I bought it on the spot. Why?


What is a French Coffee Press

A French Coffee Press is a bit of a peculiar looking contraption, isn’t it? Some would have you believe it’s a beautiful relic meant to be proudly displayed in your kitchen. I wouldn’t call a French coffee press ugly, but I wouldn’t exactly call it attractive either. At any rate, a coffee press is indeed an interesting looking device. My Bodum coffee press consists of an 8-Cup glass carafe with a plastic base. The lid has an 8” metal rod going through it, with a mesh-metal filter attached to the bottom. A spring-type mechanism wraps around the circumference of the mesh filter and is designed to push the grinds down and keep them out of your coffee when you press it. So, how do you use a one?

How to Use a Coffee Press

Using a French coffee press is a far more simple process than the looks of this contraption would have you believe. I actually enjoy using mine, but it does require a couple of little extra steps to prepare. The first thing I do is grind the coffee. Because a press uses no paper filter, it is important not to grind the coffee too fine. In fact, the coffee grinds can be quite coarse and still get a good roasted flavor. I usually turn my coffee grinder on for no more than about 10 seconds. I also like to use more coffee than I would with a traditional coffee maker. It’s up to you how strong you like your coffee. Dump the coffee grinds into your French coffee press carafe and some water either on the stove or with a microwave proof container. Since my own French Press holds 8 cups, I usually boil 2-8 cups of water, depending on how much coffee I want to make. Then, while the boiling water is piping hot, pour it into the carafe over the coffee grinds. Gently put the lid on without pushing the rod down. Allow the coffee to steep for about 3-5 minutes then slowly press the rod down to the bottom of the carafe. The Coffee is now ready to pour. When prepared with my Bodum, the coffee is hotter and more flavorful than with the Cuisinart Coffee/Grinder and several of the other coffee makers I own, including the old-fashioned percolator! And I like the idea that the French coffee press is so old-fashioned that it’s simple to use and clean. Just dump the grinds into the sink and wash the carafe and parts and set them in the sink basket to dry.

Cons of the French Press

If a coffee press is so simple to use then you’re probably asking why I would ever use anything else. There are actually three reasons: One: My Bodum Press simply doesn’t make enough coffee for an entire family. Two: The coffee doesn’t stay hot very long as there is no heating element on the bottom. Three: You will have some fine coffee grinds sediments in your cup. I don’t mind this, but others might. The coffee press has its place among my other coffee makers and I use it when I want just one or two cups of the fullest bodied coffee I can get my hands on at home.

Hansgrohe Metro Faucet

Hansgrohe Metro Faucet
The Review

Hansgrohe Metro Faucet
Hansgrohe Metro Faucet

To understand why my wife and I were in the market for a Gooseneck Pull Down Kitchen Faucet, a little history is in order: Number one, our old, Arwa Kitchen Faucet with the pull-out sprayer was leaking from the inside. It needed to be replaced and good riddance!. The Arwa Faucet came with the house along with our Kindred Sink, and while it looked nice it was a nuisance. I replaced the cartridge on it couple of years ago and finding service for it was next to impossible. I had to do a Google image search just to identify the unfamiliar brand, Arwa. I was fortunate enough to locate an exact match of the image on Google and called the service center in Tucson for a $29 replacement cartridge. I never felt comfortable dealing with a kitchen faucet that cannot be purchased or serviced locally. While I liked the faucet overall, I didn’t care for its low height clearance which made cleaning big pots and pans more of a challenge in our deep sink. The attached hand sprayer was powerful, nice and convenient, but wouldn’t it make more sense to have a pull-down sprayer in a large, deep sink? Yes, it would. A gooseneck faucet with a pull down sprayer would be the perfect solution. Delta and American Standard Faucets sounded like good brands to look for, so I set out to find one. You’re probably wondering how I got my hands on two different brands of Kitchen Faucets for review in such a short time.  Before I begin ranting and raving about American Standard Faucets, let me tell you about removing the old Kitchen Faucet.

Removing old Kitchen Faucet to Install American Standard Faucet

Removing the old Kitchen Faucet was by far the most difficult part of the job. In fact, I was eventually able to install and uninstall two different faucets in less than half the time it took to remove the Arwa Faucet. I’ll say one thing for American Standard Faucets – they seem very straight forward. But removing the old one? Argh! To be fair, my past failure was mostly due to inexperience on my part. There is no easy way to get behind your kitchen sink with a crescent wrench or pair of channel-locks. After an hour of frustration I went to my good friend Google and discovered an even better friend – the Basin Wrench. The $12.00 Basin Wrench I bought at Harbor Freight made quick and easy work of the traditional, kitchen faucet nut behind the sink. Next, the challenge was getting the copper water lines pulled out of the nut and through the sink hole. Unlike the two, new faucets, the Arwa used copper lines instead of the flexible tubes which would have made things much easier. I eventually had to cut through the hand sprayer line in order to get the rest of the lines squeezed through the nut and the entire assembly pulled right out. My difficulties were over – or so I thought.
Next, I will explain how the misfortune of buying a defective product on my first try, afforded me the opportunity to do this product comparison review on American Standard Faucets vs the Hansgrohe kitchen faucet.
We’ll start in chronological order, beginning with the Fairbury model by American Standard Faucets.

American Standard Faucets

Fairbury Model

American Standard Fairbury Faucet

I have always had good vibes about the American Standard Brand and American Standard Faucets. So, while looking at kitchen faucets at Home Depot, the American Standard Fairbury Gooseneck faucet with pull-down sprayer caught my eye with its low, $138.00 price tag and attractive, elegant looks. The Fairbury not only looked nice, but seemed well made. For the price, what could wrong? I decided to buy it on the spot and take it home. I expected American Standard Faucets of any type to cost twice this much. Only one problem after I took it home. It turned out the water lines were too short, so I did have to buy a couple of adapters for $6.50 each, bringing my total cost up to $151.00 – still a bargain. Just in case, I would read some user opinions before installing it in case I decided to return. To my amazement, the opinions were mostly all very favorable. Is it just the brand? People seem to love American Standard Faucets in general, but it goes deeper than that. Users marveled over the performance and ease of use and installation of this particular model.  Only two, unfortunate Fairbury users reported a problem. The plastic threading inside the neck of the faucet broke, causing them to have to return it after a very short period of use. I decided to give it a go. It turns out that I wasn’t as lucky as the unfortunate users. For me, the threading inside the neck broke as soon as I tightened the nut to the base of the faucet. I kept wondering why I couldn’t get it completely tight before I realized that the inside of the neck had become loose. It was getting late at night and I didn’t want to get ready for work the next morning without a useable kitchen faucet. I rigged the Fairbury up so it was snug enough to use on a temporary basis until it could be returned and replaced with a working unit. While the unit was installed, I was able to get a very favorable impression of the performance, looks and operation of the American Standard Fairbury faucet. The strength of the water flow was excellent and easy to control with the single handle. The Fairbury’s pull-down hand-sprayer is a joy to use. You can choose between regular or a shower-needle type spray with one button. Another button will pause the water flow altogether. That’s a nice feature I wasn’t expecting. The Fairbury was so enjoyable to use that I really had think long and hard about whether or not I should take another risk with the apparent design flaw of the plastic thread construction on the inside of the neck. With a full weekend ahead of me, I decided to take a look at the Hansgrohe Faucet from Costco.

Hansgrohe Metro Faucet by Costco

A name like Hansgrohe going against American Standard Faucets? Are you kidding me? As  luck would have it, both of my local Costco store offer a Gooseneck, Pull-Down Hand-Sprayer Kitchen Faucet for the low, low price of $158.00. With a Google Search on my iPhone, I quickly noted that the same product sells for $219.00 at Amazon. I bought the Hansgrohe Metro Faucet and took it home to compare it to the American Standard Fairbury model I would be returning. I didn’t have to get very far to immediately notice a huge difference in quality. The Hansgrohe feels twice as heavy as the Fairbury and for good reason. Unlike the Fairbury, the Hansgrohe Metro Facuet has solid copper threading inside the neck instead of plastic. Also, the Hansgrohe comes with long enough water lines that no extensions are needed. I was sold. In just 20 minutes, I had the Fairbury removed and the new, Hansgrohe installed! Though both faucets install the same way, it should be noted that the Hansgrohe comes with much better instructions and includes a base which makes a sturdier fit to the bottom of the kitchen granite. Like the Fairbury, the Hansgrohe Metro provides a very strong flow of water; 2.25GPM according to the manual. The Hansgrohe uses a u-shaped handle which I prefer slightly over the single handle of the Fairbury. While the operation of the Hansgrohe Pull-Down Sprayer feels freer and more robust than the Fairbury, it does lack the convenient pause button. Also, the Hansgrohe, has a rather weak flow of water from the hand-sprayer, probably just due to having larger spray holes. At any rate, not a big deal, it’s plenty powerful enough and has a very long reach to either of the bottom sides of our sink. One other thing in the Fairbury’s favor was that my wife thought it looked nicer. Neither its appearance nor hand-sprayer performance made either of us think twice about removing the Hansgrohe. It is a far better product, overall. It just feels like the right choice and considering the $13.00 requirement of extension water lines for the Fairbury, it’s only $7.00 cheaper than the Hansgrohe. The Hansgrohe Metro from Costco represents a great value in Kitchen Faucets with Pull-Down Sprayers and wins this contest, hands-down.

Hansgrohe Kitchen Faucet (9 out of 10)

  • Materials and workmanship: 10
  • Performance and Operation: 9
  • Features: 7
  • Value: 10

American Standard Fairbury Kitchen Faucet (7.75 out of 10)

by American Standard Faucets

  • Materials and workmanship: 6
  • Performance and Operation: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Value: 9

I prefer the Hansgrohe. In fact, I have no partiality to the brand. My plumber actually recommended Delta or American Standard Faucets. I chose the Hansgrohe Metro Faucet because it was better quality. Nothing against American Standard Faucets, but the Metro was the clear winner.

Update – Summer 2014

After two years of flawless operation, our Hansgrohe Metro faucet began linking under the cabinet. The water was coming out of the flex pipe where the weight attaches to hold down and position the sprayer into the faucet. The good news is that Hansgrohe stood behind their lifetime warranty 100%. The bad news is that a broken, leaking faucet cannot wait. We had to replace our Hansgrohe with a new faucet while we waited for the replacement part. The part arrived in just three days. We installed the Hangrohe at my parents house where it is once again operating flawlessly and makes an attractive addition to their kitchen.

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