Blind Bargains

Comparing the Tassimo and Keurig Single-cup Coffee Systems

Coffee is great, but it can be a pain to deal with. While some romanticize the daily ritual of preparing delicious coffee made with french presses and other premium methods, most people just want a decent cup of joe. Drip coffee is somewhat convenient, but the taste usually isn’t great and drip makers brew in bulk. For many people single serving coffee makers are the way to go. Here are the major brands compared.


Keurig single serve coffee makers are the traditional standard, if such a thing can exist. Keurig has been around since 1996 and is the father of modern single serve coffee makers.

Keurig coffee makers rely on K-Cups, which are small containers of prepared coffee or other beverages. Keurig has the biggest selection of coffee brands to choose from, and features many of the best premium varieties.

One thing to note with Keurig machines is that, while they are great at brewing coffee, their ability to brew other types of beverages is limited. Some do feature temperature control, but their ability is limited compared to the competition like Tassimo.

Keurig machines have one major advantage over their chief competitor, and that is the My K-Cup ($19.88 at Amazon), which lets you brew with coffee you bought.

If you go for a Keurig, look for one with a large, removable water reservoir. Most of the small varieties can only hold enough water for a single cup. My personal favorite is the Keurig B-70 Platinum ($164 at Amazon), but you might want the Keurig Mini Plus ($96.25 at Amazon) for the price. The latter is more compact and has a single-cup water reservoir.


You can think of Tassimo coffee makers as the evolution of Keurig machines. They use T-Discs, which are like K-Cups but with barcodes that can pass information to the brewer.

Tassimo brewers are significantly more advanced than Keurig machines. They have microprocessors in them capable of decoding barcodes. The barcodes tell the machine the temperatures to brew at and pass other special information.

Interestingly, Tassimo coffee makers historically haven’t brewed as good of a cup of coffee as Keurig machines, but they handle other drinks better. The computerized control of the temperature means that Tassimo brewers can handle tea, hot chocolate, and even soup with ease.

Tassimo machines are slightly more expensive than Keurig machines, and their discs are also more pricey than K-Cups.

As with Keurig machines, look for a removable water reservoir, though all their current models seem to feature them. I would personally go with the Bosch TAS4511UC Tassimo Single-Serve Coffee Brewer ($104.27 at Amazon), as it has the best balance of features and price.

What is your prefered method for brewing coffee? Let us know in the comments.

Category: Articles
Displaying 9 comments.
Davy Monday, 05-Dec-2011 1:23 PM ET:

As a European I am missing two major names, though I don't know if they are easily available to US customers. There's Nespresso (by Nestlé) and Dolce Gusto (by Nescafé and its affiliates) which both work with cups and which both provide some nice coffee. The disadvantage is that the cups cost quite a bit (roughly $0.40/cup based on European prices), but for the occasional single cup that's not a big deal if you're after great flavors. But then again, these brands may not be as popular in the US, much like I never saw a shop selling Keurig.

Mello Tuesday, 06-Dec-2011 10:44 AM ET:

I have a Keurig, and I really like it. I bought mine at Costco, and it came with many k-cups of all different types. I find that the my-k-cup does not work all that well, but I love using the k-cups. if you only drink 1-2 cups a day, then I think it is a really good idea. For Blind users the Keurig is quite easy to use (I have the b70) and you can adjust size, then hit start and less than a minute later you have your hot drink. I don't recommend the tea k-cups the cost is crazy and you can just run it without a k-cup and make hot water and make tea with a teabag. Hope this helps. -Mello

Bargain Hound Tuesday, 06-Dec-2011 2:46 PM ET:

Hi, interesting article, what about the Senseo? Beth

Lori MOtis Tuesday, 06-Dec-2011 9:19 PM ET:

I have had my Keurig machine for about five years. I love it! I usually buy my Kcups from Amazon, where I feel you get the best deal. Also WinCo’s now carries them at a reasonable price. I just tried the new San Francisco Bay single serve coffee Rain Forest Espresso and they work well in the Keurig. They are shaped different, but I still got a great cup of coffee. They do not have the plastic cup part. They have the top and the cup area is a filter. You use it the same as your regular K cup. I have to have a great tasting cup of coffee each time and other ways do not ever meet my expectations, unless you go to a upscale coffee house. Food Lady from

Mello Wednesday, 07-Dec-2011 2:03 PM ET:

Good discussion, I think it would be fun to hear what everyones favorite type of k-cups are. For me it is the Kona blend from tully's sadly they stopped making them. -Mike

luv4randb1231 Wednesday, 07-Dec-2011 4:55 PM ET:

I guess I'm the lone ranger with the Tassimo. That's alright. I can admit that i've had Keurig envy as i've seen them pick up Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks as options, but i forget all about that when I brew a latte right in my own house. 2 TDiscs later I've got a tall mocha, or if I do the espresso and add ice and cold milkk in the summer... iced mocha right at home. I couldn't justify spending roughly $100 for something that just brews flavored coffee, (I can do that), but i decided it was a good idea to shell it out for specialty drinks at home.

darknexus Friday, 09-Dec-2011 09:31 AM ET:

I'll admit that I don't get the attraction of these rather expensive single-serve coffee makers. I'm one of those romanticizers to quote the article, as I use a french press. The thing is, I can have an awesome cup of coffee prepared in about five minutes. Couple the french press, which I got for $11 at Target, and my electric tea kettle ($20 from the same source) and my favorite coffee blend (Sumatra Dark at about $6.50 per pound), and I've got awesome coffee. I simply don't understand why anyone would wish to pay such a high price for these coffee makers, let alone the expensive coffee cups you generally buy to use in them. Preparing coffee in the morning isn't that hard, and even the act of preparing it helps wake me up. I've done it so many times I don't even have to think about what I'm doing. Can someone please enlighten me as to what the higher prices of these machines give, apart from convenience? $96 seems a rather high price to pay to save five minutes.

Cindy Saturday, 17-Dec-2011 09:52 AM ET:

I have two questions about the one cup at a time brewers. I'm looking for one that makes really flavorful strong coffee which my husband prefers. Our experience with the Keurig when we have tried it in someone's home or office is that the coffee doesn't seem strong enough. Has anyone as a blind person used the Braeville model? From my reading of the article I'm leaning toward the Tasimo.r

Michael Friday, 30-Dec-2011 10:43 PM ET:

I plan on purchasing the Keurig B70 and am very pleased to hear that other users who are blind find it accessible. Would anyone be willing to give me more speciffic instructions on using its various features, mainly the buttons? I'm wanting to figure out how easy the menus are to operate.

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