Remember when Tassimo (et al.) coffee machines came out? Remember how great everyone thought they were? You could get a cup of coffee in minutes — no fussing with filters, ground coffee or having to trouble yourself with a whole pot of coffee. Literally, you could wake up, pop a Tassimo thingy into the machine, and press go — voila! instant coffee!
MY GOD, is this an expensive way to get coffee though. I mean, wow.
First up, you have the machine. While Tassimo machines have come down in price since they were introduced in 2004, you’re still looking at $60-200 for a decent machine (let’s settle on $100 to simplify calculations). My favourite coffee, Van Houtte, is not offered in Tassimo format. That, right there, should be a strong enough point to conclude my anti-Tassimo argument — coffee companies have sided with particular coffee makers and, consumers are bound to X or Y machine depending on their tastes. But I digress; back to the math.
My favourite coffee is sold in packs of 18 cups for $12.77 at Wal-Mart — resulting in a price per cup of $0.71.
The two available alternatives to using a Tassimo machine are:
- Using a regular coffee machine
- Buying coffee every day
Let’s examine to cost-per-cup of each of these, shall we? Up first, we have my current coffee machine:
It cost me $10 and a bag of $9 Van Houtte coffee yields me 45 cups of coffee — a price per cup of $0.20. The beauty of it is that it only makes one cup of coffee at a time and comes with a neat little scoop and permafilter so, aside from having to empty the permafilter (a task that takes the same amount of time as tossing away a t-disc), my coffee-making routine is identical to that of a Tassimo machine owner.
A daily coffee at Van Houtte (if there were one in Alberta) is about $2 and brings the added convenience of not having to buy a new container of milk every two weeks.
Now onto the graphs!
As you can see, not only is Tassimo coffee significantly more expensive than coffee machine coffee, it’s also way more expensive than take-out coffee until the 78th cup. Considering that the average person drinks one cup per workday, it takes nearly four months for a Tassimo machine to be cheaper than take-out coffee.
There are two other variables that can be added in to either strengthen or weaken my point:
- People who use Tassimos to make tea, are you serious?! Boil some water! Buy a teabag! A cup of tea literally costs about $0.02/cup — t-discs are much, much much more expensive.
- Tassimos can be used to “lattes” and other fancy drinks at a lower cost/cup than Starbucks or an espresso machine
Overall though, the math doesn’t lie — Tassimos are a ridiculously expensive way to get your caffeine fix. Plus, as I explained above, the convenience of Tassimo coffee makers can be achieved by purchasing a single-serve coffee machine at a much lower start-up and continuous cost!