- Short heating-up time
- Small countertop footprint
- No splashing
- Manual loading and discard
- Small 0.7l tank
- Functional design
The Tassimo Finesse is a neat compact coffee pod machine that delivers a strong cup of coffee fast. Tassimo T Discs offer a wide range of plain and milky coffee drinks, branded hot chocolate and teas.
Simple and easy to use, the Bosch Tassimo Finesse is a compact coffee machine that efficiently delivers a hot pod coffee in the most straightforward way possible.
Coffee machine design
- 0.7 litre tank
- Five colour options
- Compact form: 34x12x23cm
Style-wise, Bosch has gone for function over form. We tested the jet black model and found a modest matt black machine with a transparent 0.7 litre pull-out water tank at the back, a flip-up pod node at the front above the drip tray, and a big shiny button to the front right.
The Finesse comes in five colourways: jet black, cream, radiant red, snow white and lupine blue. The white and red models still feature a black shell, but the cream and blue models are two-tone. If you are looking for a pod machine with a little more style, you might want to check out these colour models. The Finesse in cream has an early’ 90s retro vibe, which we found rather alluring.
At only 2.75kg, it’s one of the lightest pod machines we’ve tested. With dimensions of 34cm deep by 12cm wide and 23cm high, it seems that Bosch has designed this pod machine for households where space is at a premium.
The flip side is the small water tank, which only makes about three 250ml mugs of coffee before you need to refill, so if that is an issue, you’ll need a bigger machine. That said, the tank is easy to pull out and refit after filling; there’s no need to fiddle about with levers or balance the tank on a swing-out base.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
The cord is 70cm long, which gives you some wriggle room, and the machine comes with the warranty and the user manual printed on recycled paper. The manual features pictogram instructions for operation. Obviously, this is a boon if you have bought the machine for someone who has difficulty with textual English, or who is in the process of learning English and needs regular doses of coffee to help them through their study.
Set up and performance
- Dispenses into coffee cup sizes
- Barcode reader for automatic brewing
- Flavour boost option
As with most coffee machines, you must run an initial cleaning cycle with the Finesse. You unpack the machine, plug it in, fill up the tank, pop a 250ml mug on the drip tray underneath the spout, and pop the orange supplied lid into the pod tray. You will find the orange lid in the slot on the left-hand side of the bottom of the machine.
Then you just press the button. The Finesse will judder for a few seconds and hot clean water will begin to run through the machine. You don’t need to hover to press the button to stop the flow; the Finesse will stop dispensing water before your 250ml mug is full. Throw this hot water away.
Run through this cycle a total of three times. By the end of this process, most of the water tank will be empty, so just refill the tank and you’re ready to make your first pod coffee.
Simplicity is the name of the game with the Finesse. Flip up the top of the pod dock, insert your T Disc, click the pod dock top back down, put a cup under the spout and press the button. The machine will read the barcode on the pod and dispense the correct amount of hot water through the pod before stopping automatically.
For our first test, we used a Kenco 100% Colombian pod and found the Finesse dispensed quickly, with hardly any heat-up time, and gave a coffee with a deep rich colour and subtle crema. For a pod machine, it was a good result, and we were impressed. We also noticed that there was no surround splash or spluttering.
Our second test employed a L’OR Espresso Fortissimo pod. Again, the dispense was quick and easy, and the resulting coffee pleasurable and rich.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
The Finesse also has an “Intensity Boost” function, which injects your drink with a more concentrated flavour, be it an espresso, latte, hot chocolate, or cappuccino. You just press the button for three seconds, and you automatically get a more intense taste. We tried it; we found it works.
In terms of the drip tray, there are two positions: one for a 250ml mug and another 5cm higher for an espresso or cappuccino cup. For a latte cup, you will need to take the drip tray out entirely, but it is worth noting that this is, indeed, a compact pod machine that is able to dispense into a conventional tall latte cup in the first place. Most compact coffee machines lack this feature – as do many of the barista machines we’ve tested.
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
How does the Tassimo Finesse make milky coffee?
The Tassimo T Disc system works in the same way as the Nescafe Dolce Gusto pods. For milky coffees, there’s a two-stage process: dispensing through the milk pod and then through the associated coffee pod. We found that the Finesse delivered a hot milk base for the Costa Caramel Latte with a decent bloom of light, airy froth, quite remarkable for a machine with no mechanical frothing function.
Tassimo T Disc range
As with all pod coffee machines, it’s the pod range that really matters. With the Finesse, it’s the Tassimo T Disc range that includes Jacobs, Costa, L’Or, and Kenco, with a hot chocolate from both Cadburys and Milka, and a Tassimo tea range of Chai Latte and Green Tea & Mint. There are also four decaffeinated options from Kenco, Marcilla, L’Or and Cafe HAG, and a range of speciality pods, such as Creme Brulee Latte and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate.
They’re priced at roughly £4.50-£5.50 for 16 pods, although the hot chocolates and limited edition drinks are pricier: coffee and hot chocolates of all kinds work out to be between 28p and 37p per cup.
Price and availability
The Finesse is not available in the US. In the UK, it has a RRP of £119, which is its price point on the Bosch website. However, we think this is too much to pay for it. At the time of writing, you can buy it on sale from Tassimo for £39.99, and we think this is what the Finesse is worth – it’s a similar price to Nescafe Dolce Gusto machines, which are a comparable product.
For even better value, Tassimo has a bundle discount in which you can get the Finesse machine and five packs of the T Disc pods, for £49.99.
The Finesse does what it’s supposed to, and it does it well. Considering the compact nature of the appliance, and the simplicity of operation, we have to say that we really struggled to find anything negative to say about it. It’s neat, it’s easy to use, it’s easy to refill, you can’t really screw anything up. In black, it’s not the prettiest machine in the world, but buy it in one of the other colourways and it’ll have a bit more personality.
For more capsule coffee machine options, and to see how the Tassimo Finesse measures up, have a look at our round-up of the best pod coffee machines we’ve tested.