BP #42 – Single Serve Coffee Machines


///Single Serve Coffee Machines///

I’ve been weighing whether I should get a Keurig or a Tassimo single serve coffee machine. Considering the up-front coffee machine purchase will cost under $100, I’ve definitely “over-thought” the issue. The reason I’ve done an unjustifiable amount of research is that I want to pick the dominant technology, not get stuck with the inferior one.

My options (while writing this on Monday) are to get a Tassimo T2002 for $79.08 (after tax) or the Keurig Elite B40 for $90.31 (but only after a $10 mail-in rebate, which I hate because it’s a massive waste of time for a discount that should occur at point-of-sale). There is a Keurig Mini on sale at Canadian Tire for $69.99 but the limited size and its small water reservoir make it unfit for my needs. On this basis, I’m obviously leaning toward the Tassimo — but the up-front purchase is only one component of a single serve coffee machine’s cost in the long run.

The coffee (purchased in K-Cups for the Keurig and T-Discs for the Tassimo) is pricey. The patent on the Keurig K-Cups is expired, meaning competitors can produce the cups without a license. As predicted by the laws of economics, this has resulted in more competition, a broader variety of coffees, and lower costs. T-Discs, on the other hand, are still covered by patent(s). Surprise! They’re expensive. Point for Keurig.

But the cost of the T-Disc may have some justification. The Keurig pretty much just shoots hot water through the K-cup, “brewing” whatever the contents are. This results in a limited range of beverages. The Tassimo is more versatile. Its barcode reader, adjustable pump, and variable temperature, can create a broader array of drinks. If I’m going to pass this off as an early Christmas gift for my partner, I’d better be certain it makes the best possible hot chocolate.

Overall, my choice is the Tassimo. The initial price difference is essentially irrelevant, and the premium price of T-Discs is a huge deterrent. But, in the end, if I just wanted to brew coffee with hot water I’d use a $10 French press. Nobody will ever visit me and ask for a cappuccino, but with a Tassimo I’ll be ready.

UPDATE: I bought the Tassimo for $69.99 plus tax. I’ve been enjoying a lot of lattes. My partner thinks the Cadbury’s hot chocolate is good. Side benefit: my espresso consumption has eliminated my energy drink habit. This change is pretty much money-neutral but definitely reduces my calorie consumption.

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///Catherine a.k.a. “I’m running out of Cat jokes”///

Big hugSitting upLikes sleeping on her tummyI see what you did thereCat sleeping in my armsBig hug

///Tweet(s) of the Week///

I never, ever thought I’d have a Gold Card. The precision of their marketing, in this instance, was uncanny.

I spent about two hours on the phone with Bell Canada this week. It was an egregiously frustrating experience for the most part. Tech support has been helpful when we’ve called in, but the same problem of terrible download speed (verified by third-party and Bell’s own speed tests) kept recurring. We were often getting only a fraction (5 – 10%) of the promised speed.

I called billing last weekend, only to have them put me on hold and, after ten minutes, their line hung up on me when their office closed. Then I called back on Tuesday. I was on the line for over an hour with a rep who told me that there was never an issue, and I was not going to get any kind of recognition for my six months of problems. Worse, she kept stringing me along TRYING TO GET ME TO PAY FOR A MORE EXPENSIVE INTERNET PACKAGE (even though Bell hadn’t been delivering on the PREVIOUS package’s speed), so I hung up. I called back to ask for somebody who could send me to cancellations swiftly. Anyway, I got on the line with Kelvin (yes, like the temperature scale, I asked. I think that name is awesome). He said he’d send me straight through but asked if I was willing to hear an offer first. He gave us a $90 before-tax credit, which was enough to compensate our internet troubles and my several hours of time on the phone. Nice save!

///Keyword Fun///

Money-Smart Keyword Award goes to:

cmhc is subprime


Money-Stupid Keyword Award goes to:

how to make duck tape curtins

*duct tape


Forever-Alone Keyword Award goes to:

being mature makes me lonely

We know.

lol wut? Keyword Award goes to:

counting pennies up to 50

Notably missing keyword to SEO-optimize this post by increasing the keyword density:

single serve coffee machine


I actually can’t wait to give Cat a lemon.

“God save the King.”
“God save us all.”

///Quote of the Week///

Quote of the Week


1. The Canadian furniture retailing industry is in upheaval as #1 retailer Leon’s snapped up #2 retailer The Brick. At the time of the merger announcement, Leon’s market cap was $800 million, which is only $100 million above the price being paid for The Brick. Not an image of a healthy industry. Consolidation is a logical step before the housing market dies. The cheap credit (and stupidity) that drove housing purchases surely had some spillover into overpriced nouveau riche furniture. Goodbye consumer confidence. Check out my more thorough analysis on the Canadian Money Forum.

2. I found this story about 15 accidental inventions to be extremely interesting. I’d heard some of the stories before, but many were new. And then, for some reason, I got super sidetracked researching spacesuits and stumbled upon this interactive infographic. Bizarre fact: the human body can survive space without a suit for 30 seconds without permanent injury, which completely blew my mind.

3. According to the New York Times, using a BlackBerry is socially embarrassing. Some of the claims are laughable; I can send emails and multitask much quicker on my BlackBerry 9900 than an iPhone user (even with Siri’s servitude). Funny that this declaration comes from a publication that most intelligent, objective people would not be caught dead reading. And the idea that a newspaper would dare pompously pontificate about a dying business is ludicrous.



she's hot

bacon mobius strip

Red Green Hipster

Best comment: "I pity the tool."

Best "Romney's Reaction"

Couldn't help myself, too lulzy to not post


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15 Comments… Share your views

  1. My office switched to the Keurig machines but we get to provide our own coffee. That’s become an expensive proposition! I’m bringing my own fresh brewed from home every morning. Lots of fun juggling a laptop, a purse and a massive go-cup!

  2. An electric percolator is way cheaper than those machines, makes coffee that is way better, and is also way cheaper to operate. Plus, it won’t cause cancer like those single serve machines.

    • EPs produce a stronger cup of coffee (higher internal temp and re-circulation) which I must say isn’t my cup of tea (punny).

      Cheaper to operate? Yes. Easier/quicker? Definitely not.

      An EP unfortunately doesn’t offer an option for espresso or pretty much any other specialty beverages. I haven’t had a real cup of coffee this week, only lattes and hot chocolate.

      lol I’m going to be honest, if you said “Plus it won’t cause cancer like cellphones” I’d have said “Oh absolutely there is some evidence for that.” I doubt cancer risk is, however, heightened by single serve relative to other beverage-making systems. Caffeine which has been shown to be mildly carcinogenic/a risk factor in some cancers which means, if anything, we should all avoid cancer.

  3. My boyfriend bought one of the single-serve coffee machines and then bought the cups online. I think it’s great because with the more complicated coffee machines, he was always buying coffee out and this way, he’ll actually drink coffee at home. The closest coffee shop is about a ten minute walk from my place, each way, which is a really long ways to go to get coffee lol

    Are you buying the cups at Costco/online?

    Happy weekend!

    • No, I just picked up the latte pack and hot chocolate pack at Wal-Mart where they cost about a dollar per cup served (per cup is an important comparison, because a lot of T-Disc beverages use multiple discs, like the hot chocolate and lattes, whereas Keurig only uses one K-cup per coffee cup).

      That’s exactly my thought. I was never ever interested in percolating coffee and I don’t even like regular coffee that much. The Tassimo gives me options and, thus far, it has meant I haven’t been grabbing 2 for $4 energy drinks when I’m at a Mac’s or 3-for-$5 at Metro. Notably, if I do want real Tim Horton’s coffee (not the at-home percolated stuff that doesn’t taste right) then Tassimo gives me the option.

      Enjoy the Keurig and bon weekend!

  4. We use a French Press and we love it. For espressos and lattes we have a more glamorous setup.

    We use an Aerocinno (sp) for frothing the milk and a Presso to make espressos (doesn’t require electricity and it is all manual – received in a review copy from Australia).

    • Wow that is an impressive setup. It sounds like more work than I’m interested in but I put nowhere near as much value on my coffee consumption as some people, and your method almost certainly makes a better latte.

  5. Purchased a Tassimo myself, really like it. When a local Walmart opened I picked it up at 62.00 Be sure to register on line and get your free discs, a max 10.00 value. I used my coupon, rec’d in mail within 3 weeks, at Costco as they have a good price on them.

    FYI, I am very pleased with my American express card. Do have scene card as well but the free movies earned are well worth the annoyance of having additional cards in wallet !!

    If you or a friend communicate with a magic jack your internet from bell will actually freeze – even when calls come from within the province. Not sure what that is about but didn’t happen when I had Rogers service in another city.

    • Yes, I registered for the free T-Discs, looking forward to those. Congrats on beating my price by $9! I’ve been watching for a while so that’s good.

      Thanks for the heads up on AMEX but I am going to cancel after I get the reward; no need to carry around a Gold Card and the money-stupid fee associated with it.

      Good to know for Bell / Rogers phone line users. Luckily I only have to rely on them for the internet. If I were in a city I’d definitely be with a competitor re-seller, e.g. in Toronto TekSavvy or Distributel.

  6. I have been using a Keurig for the last 5 years. I work mostly from home and enjoy a fresh cup on demand. It is also good when people drop by, you can offer regular, decaff, flavoured or even tea if you wish.

    I tried the reusable K cups but stopped, it was too much trouble to keep cleaning and refilling.

    I buy the K cups from ECS Coffee in Burlington which is close to me. They sell boxes of 24 for $15.75. When I go in, if I buy 7 boxes, I get the 8th free. They also sell T-Discs.

    ECS Coffee also shipps for free in Canada if you buy 8 boxes at a time for K Cups, I am not sure about T-Discs, but I am sure they have some deal. It is a surprising large operation, they literally are bring in coffee buy the truck load and they have a good sized retail store and warehouse.

    • Thanks for the insight on reusable KCups and ECS Coffee. I hadn’t heard of them and, after checking their site, they’ve got a huge selection and like you said free shipping on purchases of $100 or more. I will likely use them to stock up.

  7. Thanks for sharing the information about coffee machine.

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