A Throwdown Between Keurig and Tassimo Single-Serve Coffee Makers

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The following a comparison article between two popular brands of single-serve coffee makers — Keurig and Tassimo. It formerly existed at an online magazine with which I no longer maintain a relationship.

Enjoy the article!


Coffee is arguably the most popular legal drug on Earth. From the days of Joe DiMaggio’s Mr. Coffee and beyond, brewing a quality Cup o’ Joe in one’s own kitchen has led to a rather large industry of home coffee brewing appliances. Recently, the single-serve coffee marker has come to lead the market for home brewing with their convenient single-serve containers providing a perfect cup of gourmet coffee or even tea or hot chocolate.

Keurig and Tassimo are the two biggest names in the single-service coffee making industry. Both companies are known for making (Bosch manufactures the Tassimo brewers) high-quality appliances that brew a great cup of coffee. So what are the differences between the two? Is one brand better than the other, or do they serve different needs? A comparison of both brands follows.

Keurig B40 Elite Gourmet Single-Cup Home-Brewing System

  • MSRP: $99.99
  • Brews: Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Tea (no Latte, etc.)
  • Single-serve K-Cups with many popular brands including Emeril, but no Starbucks

Tassimo Bosch Suprema Hot Beverage System

  • MSRP: $169.99
  • Brews: Coffee, Hot Chocolate, Tea, Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso
  • Easy cleaning water filtration system
  • Single-serve T-Discs with many popular brands including Starbucks
  • Bar-coded smart technology brewing system

The Differences Between the Keurig and Tassimo Brewers

Looking at the top two bullet points for both models reveals the main difference between the Keurig and Tassimo brewers. The Tassimo brewers tend to be more expensive than the Keurig models, although holiday rebates are sometimes available for the Tassimos.

Keurig B40 Single-Serve Coffee Maker

The Keurig B40 Single-Serve Coffee Maker. Copyright Keurig.

While their models are more expensive, the Tassimo brewers provide more functionality, since they brew lattes, cappuccinos and espressos in addition to the standard coffees, teas and cocoas provided by both machines. Tassimo claims their bar-coded brewing system assures a perfect brew each time, but since the point of all single-serve brewers is the perfect cup of coffee, any advantages provided by the bar-coded brewing method are limited to the ability to brew lattes, espressos, etc.

Both models are relatively easy to clean with dishwasher safe parts.

K-Cups and T-Discs

At the core of both brewing systems is the single-serve container called a K-Cup for the Keurig models, and a T-Disc for the Tassimo models. Both companies offer a whole host of popular coffee brands for their brewers, with Tassimo winning the battle for Starbucks fans as the Seattle brewer’s wares are available on T-Discs. Because of the additional capabilities of the Tassimo models, various lattes, cappuccinos and espressos are available only in T-Disc format.

The K-Cups provide some brand sizzle for Keurig owners, offering the Emeril line of gourmet coffees along with Newman’s Own. Hot Chocolate fans also have many K-Cup options, including offerings from Green Mountain. But Keurig owners can now also stay at home instead of schlepping to Starbucks to get a branded latte or espresso.

Pricing between K-Cups and T-Discs are pretty comparable, with 12 and 24 count packages being the most popular. So despite the fact that a Tassimo owner will spend more up front for a brewer, the actual beverage costs work out to be similar in the long run.

Paying More for a Starbucks Latte

Since both the Keurig and Tassimo brew a perfect cup of coffee, the essential difference between the two brewing machines is the extra cost for the ability to brew lattes and espressos. Starbucks fans who want a branded cappuccino should check out the Tassimo models, while coffee fans looking to save a few dollars and aren’t interested in frothy coffee drinks will be happiest with a Keurig. Both models are excellent home appliances.

4 comments for “A Throwdown Between Keurig and Tassimo Single-Serve Coffee Makers

  1. Linda
    May 22, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    We have tried both machines. We went through 3 Keurig machines. We had each one about a month and the error message prime came on, I did what the trouble shooting instructions said and it continued to prime each time and on each machine. Not sure if Costco had a bad batch of machine. Also on the Keurig machines you can not empty the water totally out of the machine. So if you are away for awhile you have to go through some kind of cleaning cycle before using. We wanted to try the Keurig because the coffee is more available in stores. We went back to our Tassimo and like it much better.

  2. Robin
    July 24, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    Received a Tassimo brewer as a Christmas gift, so decided to use it to brew coffee with Christmas dessert. BIG Mistake as every single guest complained of the horrible taste. We then tried making tea and hot chocolate and no one could drink anything out of the brewing machine due to the AWEFUL CHEMICAL TASTE. Phoned the Tassimo people and was told that a chemical smell can occur on about the 200th water reservoir being produced in a production run but that this smell should dissipate and should not affect the taste (and to try the machine a few more times with a different type of tea or coffee). This wasn’t just a horrible smell it was a persistent horrible chemical taste (and we went through at least nine different packages of tea, coffee, hot chocolate before we insisted that Tassimo do something about our machine. We got a new machine but NO REIMBURSEMENT for all of the lost product (unusable) with the original machine. Tassimo made little effort with their “customer satisfaction guarantee” policy and we were definitely within their 45 day time limitation.

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