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Tassimo by Bosch Vivy 2 TAS1402GB review: The small machine with a big drinks range

Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
99
inc VAT

Tassimo by Bosch’s Vivy 2 is compact enough for the tiniest of kitchens

Pros 
Takes up little space
Eco auto shut-off
Quick and easy to use
Cons 
Awkwardly positioned water tank
Price fluctuates
No preset drink size and strength
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Coffee machines – especially those built to heat and froth milk – can be serious worktop hogs, which is bad news for latte lovers with limited space. However, the Tassimo Vivy 2 could well be the answer. It can produce everything from a frothy cappuccino to a flat white, yet at less than 17cm wide it takes up minimal room. It’s also far more than just a coffee machine, happily producing hot chocolates and tea using its barcoded T-Disc system: ideal for a compact kitchen or the corner of a home office.

With an often high but fluctuating price and slightly awkward design, the Vivy 2 isn’t going to be for everyone. So unless you’re completely sold on the huge range of drinks available with Tassimo or you can pick it up at a discounted price, you might find a better-value compact machine elsewhere.

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Tassimo by Bosch Vivy 2 review: What do you get for the money?

The Vivy 2, as the name suggests, is the newer version of the Tassimo Vivy, with a few tweaks. These include its one-minute auto-off function, which is great for saving energy, and the glossy finish in black, red, pink, cream or grey being extended across the whole machine.

It can be one of the range’s pricier machines at £99, equivalent to the My Way 2, but is often found for as little as £30 at certain retailers. This makes it comparable in price and spec to the Tassimo Suny, although with a slightly smaller water tank – 700ml versus 800ml. Both brew drinks to a pre-programmed size, strength and temperature, which is dictated by the barcode on the T-Disc, Tassimo’s equivalent to a coffee pod. However, you can stop brewing early for shorter drinks with a second press, or press and hold for extra water before it’s finished brewing, although it’s easy to miss your chance.

Pods are inserted into the brewing head at the top, while the drip tray, which can be positioned at two heights or be removed entirely for larger cups, sits below. On the front, there’s a button that starts brewing, as well as three lights: one to show when your drink is brewing, one to alert you that the tank needs water and one to show it needs descaling. The Vivy 2 is incredibly simple to use – just one button push and that’s it.

Part of what keeps the Vivy 2’s size constrained is that rather than having a large water tank at the back, it’s tucked in at the side. Below this is a small slot for the “service disc” with instructions, which is used for descaling or running water through the machine.

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Tassimo by Bosch Vivy 2 review: What’s good about it?

The Vivy 2’s size is a big part of its appeal – especially for anyone who reasons that they don’t have the space for a coffee machine, let alone a separate milk frother. At just 16.9 x 31 x 25.1cm (WDH) it can tuck below kitchen wall units easily. It’s also just as fast to heat up as other Tassimo makers, with its flow heater system ensuring that it’s ready to brew in seconds compared to coffee pod machines with thermoblocks, which require time to get going.

Its versatility is also sure to appeal. Just like other Tassimo machines, the Vivy 2 can brew drinks beyond coffee, including hot chocolate, tea, lattes and more, with around 70 varieties in total. Its frothy milk discs mean there’s no need to have a fridge nearby for fresh milk, though the frothed milk is sweetened, which may not appeal to those who usually have their coffee sugar-free. T-Discs from favourite brands such as Kenco, Costa, Cadbury and Milka make the Tassimo system ideal for families and households that enjoy a variety of hot drinks.

Despite being a small machine, the variable cup platform, as well as the ability to remove the drip tray altogether, mean you can brew directly into wide mugs just as easily as tiny espresso cups. The only time you might have an issue is if you prefer tall latte glasses.

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Tassimo by Bosch Vivy 2 review: What could be better?

The small 700ml water tank does cause a few issues with the Vivy 2. The most frustrating is that it needs to be completely removed to be refilled, so you’ll have to keep a close eye on the water level and can’t refill while it’s still attached to the machine. Its side position also means the tank is awkward to remove and replace without water sloshing around sometimes.

The capacity could also be limiting in cases where you’re making longer drinks or have multiple people in a household. In a two-person household, you’re likely to refill it at least a couple of times a day if you’re both at home and want multiple drinks. However, espresso drinkers should be fine, as should solo households.

While it’s easy to use, it’s worth noting that towards the end of brewing, it produces a cloud of steam, meaning that you may not want it to live below kitchen wall units permanently. We also found that its espresso – while fast and with a thick crema – tended to have a bitter edge, which is likely due to the low 3.3-bar pressure of the flow heater system.

Like all the Tassimo machines, the Vivy 2 needs each used T-Disc to be disposed of individually as you brew, as there’s no internal bin. This can be time-consuming and messy at times. The plastic T-Discs aren’t compostable either, but can be recycled via Podback; you can order free bags online from Tassimo.

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Tassimo by Bosch Vivy 2 review: Should you buy it?

If space in your kitchen or home office is at a premium, it’s easy to see how the Vivy 2 would be a great fit – it’s compact, with minimal maintenance and will switch itself off when not in use. At full price, there are better-value machines with tastier coffee options, but if you can snag it at the £30-£40 mark, it’s just as good value as the Suny, but smaller and with an eco auto-off.

Ultimately, how much you enjoy Tassimo’s huge drinks lineup could be the decider. There isn’t as much choice of coffee blends as a Nespresso-compatible system, for example, but there is a wider range of drinks overall. If your household is on the smaller side and convenience is the order of the day, the Vivy 2 could be right for you.

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