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    That’s a good cup of joe: The Tassimo T20

    2010 - 12.28

    I love to drink my coffee every day.  I depend on it, even.  But I’m generally only good for one cup (albeit a LARGE cup, as I like the nice tall coffee mugs), maybe two in a day.  Once upon a time, we had a regular coffee pot.  But it was a waste.  I was throwing away pot upon pot of coffee.  It got to where we only made coffee on the weekends when my husband was at home in the mornings or whenever we had company visit.  Then my husband stopped drinking coffee and switched to tea. I tried a Senseo for a while but the quality of the coffee was not that great.   I needed to use at least two “coffee pods” to make a decent cup which got expensive.  And it couldn’t brew tea to save it’s life.  That’s when we got a Keurig.  And everything turned around.  I could get marvelous cups of coffee, my husband could get tea, we could brew up hot cocoa or spiced cider or chai tea whenever we pleased.  Life was good.

    I was approached a few weeks ago to review the Tassimo T20 single-serve beverage maker.  And I just couldn’t say no.  We are pretty devoted to our Keurig but not so much that we can’t appreciate what the Tassimo has to offer.  After all, what drove us to the Keurig in the first place was the benefit of being able to brew one wonderful cup at a time and the flexibility of making different beverages.  The Tassimo offers all that and more.

    Now, it’s hard to compare the Keurig we have to the Tassimo we received to review.  Our Keurig is the top of the line Platinum edition, whereas the Tassimo is the T20, a more entry level edition.  So there are certain bells and whistles available on our Keurig that we have had the last year to get used to that the T20 lacks.

    But that said?  The Tassimo T20 was STILL able to knock our socks off.  That says something right there.  We were sent, along with the brewer, a package of Starbucks Cappucino and a package of Gevalia coffee to try out.  I kind of wish we had had even more different beverages to try out.  My husband is a big tea drinker, so it would have been nice to see how the T20 served up a cup of tea.  Judging on how it brewed everything else, I’m going to guess it would have done a great job.  As it was, we picked up a package of the Suchard’s hot cocoa t-cups at Walmart and we were VERY pleased with the finished product.

    As a matter of fact, we prefer the Tassimo hot chocolate to the different Keurig k-cup varieties we have tried.  The secret, I’m thinking, is in the fact that the t-cup uses a chocolate syrup to make the hot cocoa where the k-cup does not.  Another thing that probably makes a big difference is the way the Tassimo brews a beverage.  Each t-cup has a bar code printed on it that is read by the brewer.  So whether you are brewing up a cappuccino, a cup of coffee or some hot cocoa, the brewer knows precisely how to prepare each cup.  This is how you get cappuccino that literally tastes like you just ordered it from a Starbucks barista.  And how that cup of coffee tastes like heaven in a cup.

    There is a learning curve with the T20.  In it’s effort to be small and sleek, there aren’t many buttons or functions so you have to familiarize yourself with the instructions before you begin brewing (which is always a good idea anyhow, but tell that to a man!).   But once you get the hang of how to brew your first cup, you are good as gold.  It brews up a perfect cup very quickly (though not quite as quickly as our Keurig, but that is because our Keurig preheats the water, another premium feature).

    I was worried about the cost of t-cups.  At Bed, Bath and Beyond (a favorite place to purchase k-cups), I noticed that it’s the same price as a package of k-cups, but with fewer t-cups per package.  For instance, the average pack of k-cups has about 18 units inside.  Depending on what beverage you’re purchasing, a t-cup has generally 8-16 cups inside.  But then we went to Walmart to price out the t-cups there and were pleasantly surprised.  The prices were a bit more reasonable and you had the option of purchasing the Maxwell House brand of t-cup which was downright affordable.

    I would say, in the end, the Tassimo T20 is the right brewer for you if you a) only have 1 or 2 cups of coffee per day and struggle with leftover waste from a full pot of coffee or b) are the sort who must have her fancy Starbucks drink each day and are looking to save money by brewing your own fancy Starbucks drink at home (at $1-$1.50 per cup, the cappuccino from the Tassimo offers a significant discount from purchasing at the coffee house every day!).  It’s wonderful for occasional drinks as well or for special occasions.  We brought it to our in-laws house for Christmas so everyone could try it out and it was a BIG hit.  I also think it would be great in an office, to serve to clients or office coworkers as a little perk.

    And do you want to hear the best news of all?  I’m going to GIVEAWAY one of these sweet little bad boys right here on this blog!  That’s right!  You have until 10am PST on December 31 (that’s just a few days away, folks!) to leave a comment on this entry telling me what you would use your Tassimo T20 for.

    Only ONE entry per household please.  No additional comments (I will have to delete them) and unfortunately, this giveaway is only open to U.S. Residents.  Winner will be chosen via Random.org and will be notified at the email address used when leaving the comment.  If there is no response within the first day, I will move to another randomly selected winner.  Your brewer will be shipped to you straight from Tassimo.  Easy as pie!

    So what are you waiting for?  Comment now!

    UPDATE:  I’m extending the deadline for this giveaway until 8am PST on January 3rd 2011.  Enter now!!

    Second Update: Thanks to everyone who entered!  I’ve selected the winner via a random draw on random.org.  We had 31 comments and the winner is….

    number 5!  Congratulations, Rosalie!  I will be emailing you for more information.  Enjoy your new coffee maker!
    FTC Disclaimer Thingie: I was sent a complimentary Tassimo T20 brewer to try out with my family.  I was not compensated in any other fashion for this review.  These opinions are mine (and my family’s) alone and haven’t been influence by anything more than a nice steaming hot cup of cappucino after a long day of gift wrapping.