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Tassimo T-Discs - my thoughts and reviews

John - before you comment about the coffee, please read this.

Since I was playing with a Tassimo, I thought I'd order some discs/dosettes/capsules/pods/landfill/etc for the machine to try out some new flavours.

I note with some disappointment that they have stopped making the Twinings tea dosettes. They used to offer two types - an Earl Grey that could be bought from time in time in supermarkets, and an English Breakfast that seemed to be only available on-line. I get that France is a nation of coffee drinkers, but I'm not convinced that they tried that hard to promote tea.
The English Breakfast was quite nice. Strong and decent. I would have ordered a few packets, had they had them. But, alas...

The Earl Grey, on the other hand, seemed to upset my stomach. I don't know if the Bergamot was too strong or, given John's complaint regarding the coffee, perhaps there is some sort of preservative that we're both sensitive to? For certain, there's no soluble coffee in tea, but there could be all sorts of weird chemicals used in its preparation. [don't ask how decaf is made!]

I bought one of these, the "Latte De L'Ours" (uh, Bear Lattè?) from the supermarket. The rest were ordered directly from Tassimo on Sunday evening, and arrived here today. As you can see, I'm thinking ahead to the colder days of winter. Plus, I don't actually like coffee that much. So that the machine can make other (non-coffee) drinks is useful.

My dosettes order
My dosettes order.

You might, uh, spot a theme there. ☺

Here are some other dosettes that I have.

Other dosettes
Other dosettes.

 

Suchard Hot Chocolate

This was just bad. It was a narrow dosette, so you'd get 16 in a pack. Inside the dosette was a sort of thick condensed hot chocolate. The problem is, at the end of the cycle, there would remain quite a lot of that stuff in the dosette.
Suchard fail
19g of fail.
I did manage to brew it properly by stopping and starting the cycle manually three times. The "steam whoosh" at the end helped to dislodge the remaining chocolate. It also worked to dump the dosette into a cup of hot water for a few minutes before use. Both of which are a hassle and a pain in the ass to have to do.
Which brings us to the second problem. Anything over half a cup and it tastes watery. Even mom thought it tasted rubbish, and she doesn't didn't like her chocolate strong.

Verdict? Embarrassingly bad.

 

Milka Hot Chocolate

This is a large dosette, so you only get eight in a pack. It is based upon power, and since it is a popular brand in France, finding this isn't hard.
The thing is, the French have this assinine idea that hot chocolate has to be made with milk. Which, let's face it, if it is late at night and you stumble into the kitchen bleary-eyed wanting a dose of hot chocolate, the last thing you're going to want to do is boil up milk in a pan (or, worse, try to microwave it) in order to make hot chocolate. So, yeah, a simple dose of Milka is a regular fixture. I just insert the dosette, prod the button, and wait impatiently for a minute and chocolatey goodness is delivered.
It's pretty much what you would expect for a hot chocolate from powder, but I grew up on stuff like that having had burnt pan fails too many times in my childhood (mom said if I burnt the pan, I washed it; and if I destroyed the pan, I bought a new one) to want to be dealing with that when there's a simpler alternative.

Milka is... odd. It's a reasonably rich hot chocolate, but there's something else. Hazelnut? Whatever, it hits the spot nicely.

Verdict:

 

Grand' MÈRE Petit Dej'

I got this for a friend who drinks coffee. She likes it. It makes a decent sized cup, to which she adds a dash of milk.

Me? I found it undrinkable. Not a fault of Grand Mère, I just don't much like coffee. And this, being a morning coffee, is a gut punch that my gut wouldn't survive. Assuming the bitterness makes it past my mouth.

Verdict: Alison likes it...

 

Maxwell House Caramel Macchiato

Oh look, it's coffee with a random Italian word in the name... Colour me surprised.

This is presented as two discs. The first one is a condensed UHT milk preparation that goes into a big glass cup first, and that is followed by a small shot of Maxwell House coffee that sort of hovers in the middle of the drink, as demonstrated in the pack diagram.
While they are the smaller dosettes, you only get eight drinks in a pack as you need one of each to make up the drink.

I make mine up in reverse, hitting the end cycle button as soon as the cycle starts (after the pre-charge). This means I get a few tablespoons of coffee. Add in a lot of sugar, and the caramel taste milk stuff, and it is a reasonable (and very sweet) drink for my tastes.
I have also made up the caramel milk on its own without the coffee. That one's better for night.

Verdict: Okay for when a small dose of coffee is desired.

 

Maxwell House Chocolate Cappuccino

I wonder if the word "cappuccino" has any relation to Nasturtiums? Or "Capucine" in French (also a girl's name).

It is a large dosette containing powder. It's basically like the sachets you can buy to mix with hot water. Powdered coffee, powdered milk, various exciting chemical concoctions... The coffee part isn't overpowering, and Maxwell House is a mild roast, so it is okay with lots of sugar added.
This is more a winter daytime drink for me.

Verdict: Okay.

 

Twinings Earl Grey (discontinued)

A pleasingly strong tea with an overpowering aroma of bergamot. In no way subtle. Unfortunately it tended to upset my stomach, so I gave up drinking it.

Verdict: -

 

Twinings English Breakfast (discontinued)

A nice strong cuppa where a tea with milk had a colour not unlike a milky coffee. The way tea ought to be, not that intolerably weak crap the French drink (hello Lipton Yellow Label, are you listening?). Couldn't be found anywhere. I got some directly from Tassimo, and some from Amazon.

Was almost as good as my morning Tetley. That's my yardstick, and "almost as good as" puts it stratospherically higher than any French tea I've ever had the misfortune to drink.

Verdict: (and sad it has gone)

 

Chai Latte

What the hell is this? It seems to be to be an ever-so-slightly bitter combination of milk and cinnamon? Oh, okay, looking at the pack it is supposed to be tea.
I consider it "ever-so-slightly bitter" which means most people will probably find it sweet. I'm not sure I could have told you that it was tea. Nor, other than "it has cinnamon" could I have told you what it even tastes like. It isn't an unpleasant taste, I might buy it again, but... I think "this was unexpected" would be the best description.

It isn't actually tea, it's a powder. And being a big dosette, eight in the pack.

Verdict: Okay, but pretty weird.

 

Columbus Latte De L'Ours

Milky bears?
Milky bears?
Like the aforementioned Caramel Macchiato, this is a two disc drink. One is the coffee, and the other is the milk preparation.
The coffee tastes horrifically burnt. To put it into context, I let the machine dose out an espresso, and then I hold down the button to keep adding water until I have about half a cup of coffee. I stir it well, and then chuck most of it down the drain. I keep, literally, a tablespoon full of coffee. I then add about five sugars, and dose out the milk preparation, which is supposed to have "goût Speculoos", which means it is supposed to taste like a famous cinnamon biscuit.
I really didn't get any of that. Just "oh my God, it tastes like this coffee was roasted with a flame thrower" or maybe just set on fire and what's in the dosette are the cinders of what was once coffee and the dusty remains of random people who had the misfortune of remaining in whatever crematorium they used for the roasting.

Tell you what, I'm going to go into the kitchen right now and make up the milk part only (no coffee, it's gone 7pm and I expect to get to sleep sometime tonight).

A minute later... Okay, I can taste a weak sort of cinnamon aftertaste. Actually, leaving off the coffee has greatly improved this. I might just drink it this way from now on. And I won't be buying this one again.

Verdict: Mediocre.

 

Cadbury Hot Chocolate

I wanted to compare this with the Milka, and it seems to compare fairly well. It has a plainer taste, perhaps because I'm now used to the additional tastes of Milka? Once given a stir, it is nicely chocolatey. It's only my first try, but I have no complaints at this stage, nor issues about having bought three packets of it.

Verdict: Seems good.

 

Oreo

I have not yet tried this, however I note that it (in large dosettes), weighs quite a lot more than the likes of Cadbury and Milka. It'll be interesting to see why. More powder? Oreo bits? Who knows...

Verdict: To come

 

Brands?

Unfortunately these coffee machines are created by companies that either are, or associate with, mega-brands. It's a bit like how you'll never get served Pepsi in McDonald's. An added complication is that the Tassimo T-Disc system is licenced, and patented. So the only way one would get Nescafe in a Tassimo machine is if Nescafe came to an arrangement with the people behind Tassimo... which is unlikely as they have their own (Nespresso) brand of coffee machine.
Likewise, we are unlikely to see Starbucks on Tassimo as they've made a deal with Nestlé...

Tassimo was originally developed by Kraft, and is now produced by Bosch. The discs are produced by Mondelez, which is a multinational owning many well known brands. Cadbury, Côte D'Or, Milka, Oreo, Suchard, Carte-Noire, Maxwell House, Grand-mere, Jacques-Vabre, Jacobs... Are you starting to see a pattern here? Like all of the brands available on Tassimo? (Jacobs is available in the UK).

Mondelez also own Toblerone and Daim (Dime), so there might be some scope for future developments there?

Now, I'd like to make a suggestion of my own, but I'm not sure if I should suggest "Tetley" (the British style, not the one sold over here aimed at French sensibilities (in other words, weak as hell)) or... you know what? A nice Horlicks straight out of my machine would be perfect on cold winter nights, don't you think?

 

 

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David Pilling, 25th September 2020, 13:10
As with ink jet printers are there third party refills. Or refills you can put your own fillings in.
Rick, 25th September 2020, 14:39
Not for Tassimo there isn't. It's a special patented thing, a sealed container that operates under pressure. 
 
If you look around, you can get kits to poke holes in a disc and plug it up so you can reuse them (but I wouldn't recommend it) https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CWY9P4Y or you can buy "reusable discs" where somebody else has done this, https://www.ebay.co.uk/c/23006817300 because if you read the small print: 
 
NOTE: These Discs are hand-made from genuine new unused Tassimo T-Discs. Some coffee particles will remain present in the product. 
 
There is currently no official or unofficial refillable disc. Just hacks to existing discs.

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Last read at 09:36 on 2020/11/30.

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