The bitter battle between Tassimo and Keurig

Why the fight over who makes the better single-serve coffee machine is ramping up

One cup of frustration

Robert Sorbo/Reuters

In the world of single-serve coffee makers, debate over which brewer is better, the Keurig or Tassimo, is as heated as an extra-extra-hot skinny latte. Each machine takes its own type of coffee-grind packet—a “K-cup” or a “T-disc,” respectively—and each machine is aligned with different coffee bean companies. So when Starbucks announced a few weeks ago that it will sell one-cup pods of its grinds exclusively fit for Keurig machines, caffeine addicts were further inflamed: Tassimo used to have an exclusive deal with Starbucks. All that changed when, in March,

Starbucks split from Kraft Foods, which launched the Tassimo in Canada in 2006 and saw it gain popularity in large part because of its partnership with the Seattle-based coffee house. The breakup proved felicitous for Keurig: in late August, Starbucks unveiled plans to sell K-Cups throughout the United States, starting in November, and in Canada next March. According to Jeff Hansberry, president of global consumer products for Starbucks, sales are forecast to top US$1 billion.

But this news is a loss for Tassimo users, many of whom bought the coffee machine out of loyalty to Starbucks, not Kraft. A Facebook page called “Tassimo Division” has emerged for the disgruntled. Other consumer websites reveal that when rumours spread of an impending split, many people started buying Starbucks T-discs in bulk. “I stockpiled about an eight-month supply,” admits one commenter on singleservecoffeeforums.com. “I’m really upset that they left me hanging here with nothing,” laments another named “tassimodepressed.”

“Nothing” isn’t accurate, of course. Kraft sells 25 options for the Tassimo, including Nabob and Maxwell House, and isn’t oblivious to the frustration. “We recognize some Tassimo consumers are disappointed,” says Kathy Murphy, director of corporate affairs, “and we intend to continue . . . bringing in more beverage choices.” That includes Gevalia, a premium Swedish coffee that until now has been hard to come by in North America. Will that stop Tassimo users from switching to Keurig, or has the battle just begun to brew?


The bitter battle between Tassimo and Keurig

  1. I came to the best conclusion.  I have both keurig and tassimo in my house. i like them both for their own reasons.   However,  The next race for Tassimo or Keurig would be to get a deal with Tim Hortons.

    • Tim Hortons makes absolutely horrible coffee.  This would be good from a marketing standpoint only as legions of drive thru gurus switch to the home brew machines.

  2. Get a quality grinder and a good french press.

  3. Tim Horton’s? Are you kidding…great marketing but not 10% arabrica…just some tossed in should be more like it. Seriously, most going to Tim’s is addicted to the cream and sugar, not the coffee…yuck!  ***laughing at you in those long drive thru’s!!!***


    • I disagree with that coment…My wife drinks her coffee black and only drinks Timmies

      • I agree tim hortons is absolutly delicious… I would rather pay 3$ for a tim hortons coffee than 3$ at starbucks if they were the same price! TIMS FTW!

    • From the Tim Horton’s Website: “Tim Hortons uses a premium blend of 100% Arabica beans from several of the world’s renowned coffee-producing regions.” No matter how generous the word “premium” may seem, it is arabica.

  4. I bought Tassimo for the Starbucks…now I am high and dry…shame on Kraft!!  The office will switch to Keurig in the near future…and the Gevalia is not Starbucks!!

  5. Maxwell House and Nabob are mediocre coffees. I bought my first Braun Tassimo brewer with the promise of Starbucks. There were 2 varieties of coffee and a cappucino, readily available in supermarkets. I was quite happy with those, though it seemed curious as to why there were several varieties that were available online only. That was simply stupid! I bought a brand new Bosch machine, for the improvement in brewing speed, filtration, etc. only to hear, mere months later, that Kraft and Starbucks were ending their relationship. I promptly boxed up the Tassimo, as soon as I could no longer get Starbucks T-Discs and bought the Keurig, which though does not have Starbucks as of yet, does have literally dozens of different brands of coffee available, along hundreds of different blends that would appeal to anyone. Shame on you KRAFT!

  6. Whoever gets Tim Horton’s will win the one cup coffee maker battle

  7. I like Tim Hortons and Mcdonalds or the stock coffe taste (black no sugar) but I have never cared for the Starbucks taste , I usually go to Mcdonalds as I will not wait in lineups . I like folgers in my home drip coffee maker. I wish Starbucks offered a regular blend so my buddy and myself could each have what we want.

  8. deal with Tim Hortons is the best idea

    • Hortons is available for Keurig! Hello!!!!

  9. I agree with B_stern2000 below…Tassimo needs to get a deal with Tim Hortons…that would introduce them to the states and be wonderful!!!!

  10. i really hope that Tassimo can deliver more coffee and tea brands and varieties. i love my Tassimo.

  11. Tim Horton coffee coming to Tassimo in October 2012!

  12. Somebody should get in on McDonald’s coffee…cause it’s way better
    Than that Tim hortons junk. Fire roasted blue mountain would be good too

  13. My father has a Tassimo…he warned me the first time I used it not to use the Nabob T-disc unless I had a monster mug underneath it. “All the different T-discs yield different size cups of coffee”, he said, and right at that instant I resolved to buy a Keurig. That was two years ago and not a single regret.

    • Every Tdisc tells you what size cup/mug you need. Go ahead and stay with the Keurig. Real coffee drinkers know that Tassimo brews the better cup. Keurig just runs water through the K cup. The same amount same temp for every Kcup.

      • I’ve had both and I find Keurig brews better coffee simply because better brands are available. Timothies and Starbucks alone won me over. There are also better attachments to allow you to brew your own tea or coffee. The barcode reader breaks often on Tassimos as well, its just another part that can break. PS. Real coffee drinkers buy real coffee machines, not single cup brewers that claim to make espressos but lack the temperature and pressure.

  14. Nabob and Maxwell House aren’t exactly THE coffees to wake up to in the morning. Dregs of the brew.

  15. I drink my coffee black and have been using both machines for a long a time and both machines taste like fake coffee. I would also agree that Tim Hortons is complete junk. Between all the machines to choose from, nespresso is your best bet for a true taste of coffee.

Sign in to comment.