Review: FLAVIA FUSION Drink Station from Single Serve Coffee
We've been using the new FLAVIA FUSION Drinks Station for over a month now and we have one thing to say, "This machine really does make a ton of different hot drinks." It's nothing short of mind blowing the amount of different combinations you can make with the FLAVIA FUSION. After a month of trying all the drinks we have to conclude - some are very good while others are okay and nothing special, however, we feel any system that can take on single serve coffee, hot teas, iced teas, espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and other deserves some kudos right out of the box.
It's also important to note that FLAVIA has been making single serve coffee machines for the home and office even before Senseo came to the United States. Having had coffee from the Flavia S350 and the FLAVIA sB100 Drink Stations, everyone here was really excited to try the home offering, as the coffee we've had from FLAVIA in the past has not been bad at all.
What can the home FLAVIA machine make? The FLAVIA FUSION can make Coffees, Fresh Leaf Teas, LATTES, Cappuccinos, Hot Chocolate and other drinks. They even have a Wellbeing line of teas with vitamins in them. You can even mix up your own "hot cocktail" by Mixing and Matching from they're entire line of syrups and sprinkles you can purchase along with the coffee and teas. We really enjoyed the syrups to accent many of the coffees we've had over the past month. We found a little flavoring in a cup of hot Sumatra to be refreshing.
It's often good to see how the company itself presents the product. We think the claims they make in pitching the FLAVIA FUSION ring true. The machine does make all the of the drinks they claim and there is very little mess to any of the drinks we made here at Single Serve Coffee.
Would you like to enjoy a fresh-brewed single cup of coffee, espresso, teas, latte, chai latte, cappuccino or hot chocolate anytime you want with push-button speed and convenience? Now you can, with FLAVIA FUSION Drinks Station, a Sharper Image exclusive. This new at-home brewing system uses a sealed, foil-fresh single-serving "filterpack" of leaf tea or fresh-ground coffee plus purified hot water at the optimal temperature to make a variety of cafe drinks with no hassle at all. Forget the kettle, carafe, strainer, filters, grinder and everything else, except your own mug! Even when making two or more different beverages, there's no need to clean the Drinks Station in between.
Single-serve drinks station brews 30+ flavorful drinks at the touch of a button
- Revolutionary brew-by-pack technology uses Flavia Filterpacks for hassle-free brewing
- Adjustable height accommodates various cup sizes, even a travel mug Removable, large-capacity water tank; activated-charcoal water filter included
- Measures 9 by 14 by 13 inches
Purchase includes plug-in Drinks Station, a travel mug and 34 filterpacks across the entire FLAVIA selection; mild-, smooth- and bold-roast coffees (including decaffeinated); classic and green teas; choco; plus creamy toppings, syrups and sprinkles for specialty concoctions.
Brewing a cup of FLAVIA Coffee
The interesting thing about the FLAVIA FUSION for everyone here at Single Serve Coffee is the fact the brewing happens inside the filter pack much like the Tassimo. Because brewing happens inside the filter pack, there is really no cleaning of the machine or mixing of a tea or coffee for taste.
The filter pack basically slides into place as you slide open and slide back the front of the machine. It's easy to insert and when brewing expands to be filled with air or water and then pops open at the bottom. The machine then passes hot water through the filter pack and then finishes with hot air to dry it out and remove the watery mess you might expect. It's really amazing to watch and we love the "pop goes the coffee" or topping or whatever drink you might be making.
FLAVIA Fusion Machine Design
The machine itself is well designed and easy to use. The controls on the top of the machine are divided into three different areas: Other Drinks, Coffee Drinks with the ability to dial up more or less water, and two pack drinks which require two different filter packs like a milk and espresso pack used to make a cappuccino. They all flash after closing the machine with a filter pack inserted - pretty simple stuff.
We also like the large reservoir and the fact it comes with a filter inside the reservoir. The trend of supplying a filter now extends to the Tassimo, Krups Home Cafe, and the FLAVIA FUSION. We can't tell enough how much good water can make all the difference.
The FLAVIA FUSION is also a bit tall but not that wide. The head on the front of the machine that holds the filter pack inside extends a good 2-3 inches above the top of the machine. This doesn't make the machine too tall to fit under your countertops, but it does make it the only single serve coffee machine we've seen with a "neck". After a month of viewing the machine each morning we have to say - it's a nice looking machine and we really like the blue color in the Single Serve Coffee kitchen.
Drinking Coffee from the FLAVIA Fusion
We are pleased to say many of the coffees are very good from the FLAVIA FUSION. We especially liked the darker roast coffees and of course one of them was Sumatra. We also tried the Colombia and French Roast, but overall tended to stick with the Sumatra. The Sumatra had exactly what you'd expect - rich, a bit dark, and with a little milk and sugar - quite yummy.
The flavored coffees were also pretty good but had a more fake taste then we would have liked. They are also very sweet, but not terrible. Since we often enjoy a cup of French Vanilla from Archer Farms coffee pods, we wouldn't put the Flavia French Vanilla in the same level of taste, but it was very drinkable.
The espresso made from the FLAVIA FUSION is really made for use with filter two packs - like lattes and cappuccinos. Alone the espresso is just a very hot shot of dark coffee. The Tassimo definitely does espresso better. We do like the cappuccino and the latte produced from the FLAVIA FUSION - it's definitely better than the Home Cafe Cappuccino and just a little better than the Senseo Cappuccino.
Making Other Drinks with the FLAVIA Fusion
As we stated above you make a ton of drinks with the FLAVIA Fusion including Leaf teas and Wellbeing drinks which are essentially Green Teas and Berry based teas . We have to say we really enjoyed the Blueberry balance and the Lemon Calm teas. Both were quite tasty and we liked how different in the selection of teas these two were.
You can also make Hot Chocolate, Chai Tea, and even a Milky Way Swirl (a hot chocolate and creamy caramel drink). Since FLAVIA is owned by the Mars Inc. company, many of the different chocolate properties are going to be used for making different hot drinks. This also helps to explain all the toppings and syrups you can purchase for use in the different hot drinks you make.
- Large Reservoir
- Easy to use controls
- Very little mess
- Makes 30+ drinks
- Very good dark coffee
- Makes Tea, Coffee, and Hot Chocolate
- Large Variety of Flavors
- Not great espresso except when used in latte
- Machine is a little larger than other machines
- Like Nespresso you'll have to order new filter packs online or by phone
We like the FLAVIA FUSION. We think you'll find something you like with the large variety the system offers. We're going to give the FLAVIA FUSION a solid 3.75 out of 5. We like the darker roast coffees and the different hot drinks the system can make.
At FLAVIA and Amazon.com
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Posted by Jay Brewer at April 10, 2006 8:07 AM