Whew! I'm back after the holiday hiatus. I hope you all watched the Sim version of Scrooge.

Back to the blog.

I don't know if Kraft is selling a lot of Tassimo coffeemakers yet, but I will say that the deal they cooked up with syndicated morning DJ Don Imus is one of the more effective deals of its kind I've come across.

Imus gives out a Tassimo to whoever he thinks is the best guest of the day--i.e. CBS's Andy Rooney, NBC's David Gregory, Righty pundit Pat Buchanan, Senator John McCain, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, etc. What's been happening is that as the guests come back on the show, thank Imus for the Tassimo and gush about how much they love it. I have to say, it's valuable chatter about a product.

Rooney was the exception. He called Imus, on the air, just to bitch about the fact that he couldn't put it together, and challenged Imus to do so in under two hours. And then he complained about the cost of the coffee. He rightly pointed out that the Kraft disks that must be used in the Tassimo make the coffee cost about $28.00 per pound.

It's interesting, because I had looked at Tassimo as an alternative to Starbucks. That way, a cup of Tassimo latte is about $1.00 or so, compared with between $2.75 and $3.25 for the same cup of Joe at Starbucks. But I like Rooney's analysis better. It make one think about how much they want to plunk down for a coffeemaker and coffee.

I've been living with a Tassimo for about two months, and I admit that I have grown a bit tired of the weakness of the espresso. The problem, compared with a Starbucks espresso, is that the Tassimo can't generate the same pressure of water througn the grounds as a real espresso maker. That was explained to me by no less an expert than Gevalia's chief coffee cupper who visited me some weeks ago. (She said she was going to blend me my own coffee, but I'm still waiting). The Suchard chocolate, likewise, is too watery. And the Gevalia regular cup of coffee out of the Tassimo...well, it's not my cup of tea.

My experience aside, it will be interesting to see how well the Tassimo does over the course of the year, especially off the Imus promotion, which is as good a buzz campaign as I have seen.

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