The most compact Tassimo machine to date, the Vivy aims to squeeze everything that’s great about the T Disc drinks system into a super-cheap, smaller-than-average package that can squeeze in corners or under cabinets.
The tiny Vivy's other main attraction is that, like other Tassimo machines, it’s straightforward to use, with one-touch operation and virtually no heat-up time from switching on. By reading the barcode on each T Disc, the Tassimo Vivy adapts the amount of water, temperature and brewing time accordingly, and makes the whole array of Tassimo drinks, including coffee, tea, chai lattes, and fruit and herbal teas.
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With any angles smoothly curved to prevent a boxy look, the Vivy’s design is as simple as its operation. Its equally compact water tank is tucked neatly in at the side but features a built-in handle so it’s easily removed in one motion. On the front, the control panel is pared back, with the on-off switch relegated to the side of the machine. It consists of one button that doubles up for making a drink and running water through for cleaning (when the included cleaning disc is in place), a light to tell you when the water tank needs filling and a button to run the descaling cycle. The cleaning disc, along with pictorial instructions for using it, sit discreetly in a recess below the water tank, so they can be kept with the machine.
While many compact machines struggle to cope with different cup sizes, the Vivy’s adjustable platform can be repositioned to suit – close to the spout to accommodate small cups, at the base for standard cups or removed altogether for larger mugs.
With just one button to push for drinks, the Vivy is easy to use, though it helps to watch some of the online videos for other functions, such as descaling. There’s barely any time to wait once you’ve switched it on – there's minimal heat-up time, thanks to a flow heater and reverting to a low-energy standby mode after every drink.
Just position a T Disc on the plate inside the brewhead, close to pierce and lock it in place and press the drinks button. The machine then reads the barcode and, after a few seconds, starts to dispense your beverage. A couple of times, it decided it didn’t like the disc inserted (and once the disc has been pierced it’s no longer viable) but generally, the Vivy ran smoothly.
The T Discs come in several branded varieties, from combination drinks, such as Costa lattes (one espresso disc with a large milk disc) to Cadburys hot chocolate (one chocolate disc with a small milk disc), which the Vivy adapts its output to. For example, a smaller amount of water was dispensed through the latte’s espresso disc, although it still overfilled an espresso cup, than was dispensed through the latte’s milk disc. The capacity of the water tank, at 700ml, means you’ll be refilling a little more frequently than with other machines but it’s a good size given the dimensions of the machine.
There’s minimal mess afterwards, meaning clean-up is stress-free. Putting the cleaning disc in the brewhead and pressing the cup button runs through hot water to clean the nozzle then the rest of the Vivy can be wiped down.
As the Vivy doesn’t have the bar pressure café-style machines do, how the coffee tastes is depends more on the T Discs you choose. The Costa-branded espresso was good quality, smooth with a hint of crema, while the straight medium roast was more akin to filter coffee rather than café-standard. Its accompanying milk pods tend to be slightly sweet, and may not be for everyone, but are a great solution for instant drinks as the resulting foam is agreeably light and frothy. Chocolate lovers are sure to enjoy the bubbly hot chocolate – it’s not overpoweringly sweet and far more indulgent than instant.
With a wide collection of drinks to choose from and the ability to live anywhere in your kitchen, the teeny Vivy ensures that almost anyone can try the T Disc system.
As an upgrade from coffees and teas made using your kettle, it’s a great buy to expand your options, plus the price of the discs makes them more economical than some other pod systems. Busy households that include non-coffee drinkers are sure to love it, while its low maintenance and simple operation give the Vivy endless appeal.
It's also now available in the UK for just £35, which is just ridiculously cheap for such a versatile little coffee machine.
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If you want a variety of drinks on demand in a cheap, compact package, the Vivy is ideal and the T Disc system won’t break the bank long-term.