Tassimo by Bosch Happy TAS1009GB review: A compact and colourful drinks maker
If you’re the sort of person who might balk at a red kitchen but don’t want to steer clear of colour completely, a small appliance is an ideal way to bring it in and Tassimo’s Happy is happy to oblige. As well as being available in the usual black, grey and cream shades, you’ll find glossy Wild Purple or vibrant red shades, all of which are sure to bring a smile to your face.
This, combined with the ability to make over 70 different styles of hot drinks and coffee using its barcoded T-Disc pods all in one compact machine, means it’s ideal for any corner of your kitchen or home office.
Tassimo by Bosch Happy review: What do you get for the money?
The Happy is one of Tassimo by Bosch’s smaller machines. On the plus side, this means it’s no worktop hog. At 22.8 x 30.5 x 26.5cm (WDH), it’ll easily fit below kitchen units, squeeze into awkward gaps or even live in a cupboard. In terms of features, it’s similar to the Vivy 2, with a minute auto-off function to save energy, two heights for the drip tray, as well as the ability to remove it for taller mugs. The water tank sits at the side, rather than the back.
Its price point can vary a lot: some outlets price it at over £100 but it’s more often found at the £35-£40 mark, putting in on a par value-wise with the Tassimo Suny (£35) – although the Happy’s auto-off feature could make it a more practical machine during a busy day. Like the other compact machines in the range, it brews drinks to a pre-programmed size, strength and temperature, which is dictated by the barcode on the T-Disc – Tassimo’s version of a coffee pod. The T-Disc is inserted into the brewing head and must be removed afterwards as there is no pod bin. You can stop brewing for shorter drinks with a second press of the brew button, or hold for a little extra water before it’s finished brewing.
There’s a single button to start brewing with a light that flashes as it does so. Adjacent to the button is two lights: one to alert that the tank needs refilling and one for descaling. The “service disc”, used in the descaling process, is tucked into a small slot on the opposite side of the water tank, along with handy instructions.
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Tassimo by Bosch Happy review: What’s good about it?
Its choice of cheery, bright colours might be an initial reason to buy the Happy but it has much to offer besides. It’s one of the cheaper machines in the range (if you can find it at the right price), offering similar functionality to the Vivy 2, yet is more affordable and only slightly bigger.
The Happy is fast to heat up, too. Its flow heater system means it’s ready to brew in seconds, meaning no waiting around if you’re in a hurry. Its versatility also has appeal as there are more than 70 drinks, including T-Discs from favourite brands, such as Kenco, Costa, Cadbury and Milka, as well as Tassimo’s own brand of beverages. As well as coffee, it can brew hot chocolate, tea and warm, foamy milk so there’s no need to froth fresh milk. The frothed milk contains sugar though and can be an acquired taste.
Tassimo by Bosch Happy review: What could be better?
While the Happy is pleasingly compact, that goes for the size of the water tank too. It’s only 700ml, meaning that if you enjoy longer lungos or make hot drinks throughout the day, you’ll need to keep filling it up. Espresso drinkers should be fine, though. The other issue with the water tank is its positioning at the side. Whereas most pod machines can be filled in-situ, the Happy is quite awkward to remove and has to be completely taken out to be filled. It’s tricky to replace, too.
There’s no denying that the one-button-to-brew approach makes it simple to use but I did find it difficult to tap the button quick enough in order to add extra water to drinks before they’d finished brewing. It also produces some steam as it finishes brewing, which is something to be aware of if it’s going to live below kitchen wall units, or if older children use it.
When it comes to drink quality, the Tassimo pods aren’t the best you’ll find but there are plenty of nice drinks available within the range. However, while espressos brewed were topped with a visible crema, the espresso it produces isn’t as subtly sweet as the stuff produced by a pod coffee machine with 15-19 bar pressure.
In addition, like other Tassimo machines, the Happy’s T-Discs need to be removed individually after each brew cycle. The T-Discs aren’t compostable but can be recycled using Podback: just order the free bags online from Tassimo.
Tassimo by Bosch Happy review: Should you buy it?
The Happy strikes a good balance between a compact, convenient coffee machine and, if you buy it at the lowest price, cost. Minimal maintenance and its energy saving auto-off make it ideal for busy lifestyles and working from home. It’s great if you’re grabbing a quick hot drink between meetings or just before you dash out the door.
However, it’s the simplicity of the barcoded Tassimo drinks system that could prove to be the reason to buy or not to buy the Happy. What it doesn’t offer is the ability to really customise a drink to your preference in any way. The size of the water tank may also be limiting for busy households. However, if you enjoy Tassimo drinks, and want a small, attractive machine that’ll take up little space, you’ll be more than happy with Happy.