Back in June I was asked to become one of the bloggers working with TASSIMO to help promote their brand. Now, whilst I love my tea (being a Yorkshire lass) I am also rather partial to a nice cup of coffee. I hardly ever drink instant coffee at home, but when out I do treat myself to a "fancy" coffee, especially when at my weekly knitting group meet-ups. The idea of being able to make good coffee at home really did appeal, especially as it was supposed to be so easy.
For the first month I really enjoyed being able to make myself a latte, cappuccino, or even a caramel macchiato in my own kitchen. Then the weather got hot. Really hot. Far hotter than a northerner like me is used to, even living down south. For a week or so my TASSIMO sat rather unloved on the kitchen counter. In all fairness though the only action my kettle was seeing was to boil water for Master C's bottles!
Then my next package arrived from TASSIMO and all that changed. You see a TASSIMO isn't just for hot drinks. Oh no. This is how I set things up for the next drink I made in my machine.
Yes, that is indeed a glass of ice where normally a cup or mug would go. And this is what was in my parcel from TASSIMO.
Now, if you're not familiar with a TASSIMO and how they work these may just look like slightly strange almost circular things, so let me explain.
The way that a TASSIMO works is that you have TASSIMO Discs (T DISCs) that you place in the to of your machine, which contain the ingredients for your drinks. The packaging for these have barcodes on them and the TASSIMO machine reads the bar-codes to work out what drink you are making and then it knows what to do in terms of the amount of water, temperature, brewing time etc. It's all very clever. There's a huge range of drinks available that you can make in your machine and all the T DISCs are shaped a bit like those strange things you see above.
The two T DISCs that make up a Cadbury Hot Chocolate drink, and the reverse of the iced chocolate drink disc – all showing the bar-codes.
What I had been sent were four T DISCs to be able to make iced drinks in my TASSIMO machine. All you do with these little disc shaped things is put them in your machine under the usual T DISCs, so that the machine reads the bar-code on them instead and therefore it knows you're making an iced drink, rather than the regular one.
First the iced drink disc is inserted, then the normal chocolate disc is placed on top of it.
It's a genius way of using TASSIMO's bar-code system in a new way.
The iced Discs allow you to make an iced chocolate, iced cappuccino, iced espresso or iced green tea. I've really enjoyed the chocolate and coffee iced drinks so far, but unfortunately haven't been able to get hold of any green tea Discs to try that version out yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open in the bigger supermarkets nearby that sell the Discs so that I can. I'm also wondering if I can also use them with some of the other teas that I do have. I may experiment…
I was a bit confused at first as (possibly stupidly) I had imagined that they would make the drinks cold when they came out of the machine, but then I guess that you still need to go through the brewing process to make the Discs work, and that involves heat. Overall, though I'm really impressed with being able to use the TASSIMO in this way and it's also made me a bit more adventurous in my choice of drinks, especially as this heatwave continues.
This is the first time that I have owned a coffee machine like this and so far I'm generally impressed with the TASSIMO. I like the physical design and the fact that it doesn't take up too much space on my kitchen counter. I also like the very easy to re-fill water reservoir at the back of the machine and I think that the bar-code idea on the T DISCs is very smart (and possibly fun to reverse-engineer if I had the time!) I don't think it makes as a good a cup of Earl Grey as you do with a tea bag or tea leaves and a kettle of boiling water, but for coffee it is far better than the instant that I might have made at home.
The only thing about the machine that currently leaves me feeling a bit uncomfortable is the amount of waste it generated with the T DISCs. It does seem like an awful amount of rubbish per drink. But, in fairness to TASSIMO, if you read their website there is a whole page on sustainability and how all the packaging can be recycled. Sadly, I've just not had chance to look into all this properly yet, but I WILL do so and will also ask my contacts at TASSIMO all about it as it's something very important to me and I'd like to understand better, take part in the recycling programme and also write about it here. Watch this space!
In the meantime I'm off to make a coffee…
Disclaimer: As part of the TASSIMO blogger network I was sent a TASSIMO machine to review and also a selection of T DISCs, including the iced drink Discs mentioned above. All opinions are my own regardless.