I’m not the kind of person who usually “wins” anything, particularly out of the blue. I don’t buy lottery tickets or go in on the 50/50 draws at work. So, I don’t really expect random earnings either.
Well, about a month ago I received an e-mail saying I’d been selected to receive a free TASSIMO coffee machine.
Being a sceptic, the first thing I did was search Google for TASSIMO scams.
Hey, for all I knew, it could have been a cleverly disguised Nigerian 419 scam in which I shipped my personal supply of coffee and tea with the guarantee that I’d be swimming in a lifetime supply of caffeine at a later date.
In any case, after I was sufficiently satisfied that it wasn’t a scam I gave out my mailing address. About a week later, a huge package arrived at the door. Inside, was not only the coffee machine but a wide range of products from decaf coffee to chai latte to espresso and Starbucks brand coffee.
To be honest, my first impression was that it was a gimmick. The coffee, tea and milk (for lattes and cappuccinos) come in containers called T DISCs. Each T DISC has a bar code that’s read by the machine to pour the “perfect cup.” You simply fill the water filtration container, insert the disc and press a button. Within seconds, there’s a cup of hot beverage waiting to be enjoyed.
It’s almost right out of Star Trek.
Say, “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.”
And it magically appears.
The quality of the beverages ranges in quality, possibly due to personal tastes. For instance, I find the latte milk far too sweet for my liking but the option to add hot water simply made the beverage taste, well, watered down. On the other hand, Starbucks coffee is exactly what I’d get if I ordered a black coffee from Starbucks. The cappuccinos are probably the most impressive of the bunch, particularly if you reverse the order of coffee and milk to create a macchiato (in a clear glass is best so you can see the layers).
The appeal of TASSIMO is in the ease of use. There’s really no mess of grinds involved and cleanup is pretty much as easy as disposing of the T DISC. Our kitchen already includes a coffee & espresso machine, an electric percolator and a French press. Clearly, the company knew what they were doing when they sent this package. Originally, I thought we’d try it out for a little bit and then I’d bring it to work. One month later and it’s still fairly well-used in our house, particularly by Cokebaby who has to work a lot of bizarre shifts.
My one complaint is the packaging. There’s a lot of it and not only does that create waste but it also weighs on my eco-conscience. The T DISCs are plastic and I believe non-recyclable. These, in turn, come packaged in boxes that are encased in more plastic. Does the convenience outweigh the garbage created? I don’t know. Probably not. It’s definitely the one thing I’d ask them to change about the otherwise great system.
I still drink my fair trade coffee and tea from Just Us! but the simplicity of brewing one cup versus one pot certainly has its appeal. For people who are constantly on the go or working in an office without the benefit of a large kitchen and appliances, I can see the real benefit in time and clean-up. It’s certainly not the haute coffee that can be compared to the likes of Kopi Luwak. But I’ve always questioned the validity of drinking something that’s come out of a civet’s rear end.
P.S. For the record: I’m sorry purveyors of Kopi Luwak coffee but, if you’re reading this and thinking of getting in touch to maybe sway my thoughts on the matter by sending freebies, I’m seriously not interested in trying it. Seriously.