Compatible Tassimo pods, is there an alternative?

I already mentioned in another article that many people are looking for alternatives to the original Dolce Gusto pods for different reasons, among which is to increase the quality of the coffee. However, the quality of Tassimo pods is really good, with options for all tastes, from espresso, cappuccino, latte, chocolate, etc. pods.

So, if both the pods’ quality and the variety are not a problem, why are so many people looking for an alternative to the original Tassimo pods? Undoubtedly, because of the cost of the pods. I have already compared the Dolce Gusto and Tassimo brands, concluding that the Tassimo coffee makers were the cheapest on the market, but their pods were the most expensive.

Due to the INTELLIBREW™ barcode system used by Tassimo coffee makers, no other brands manufacture compatible pods; the only alternative is refillable pods.

Is it possible to refill the original Tassimo pods?

I’m sure you’ve seen dozens of videos on YouTube reusing Tassimo pods. The truth is that they produce a mixture of concern and laughter because if these experiments go wrong, they can burn the person handling the coffee maker or damage the machine if the water reaches internal components.

Opening a hole in an original Tassimo pod
Opening a hole in an original Tassimo pod

Not to mention the time and difficulty involved in punching a hole in the side of an original pod, filling it with coffee, and resealing it. In my opinion, all this does not outweigh the savings of buying original pods.

⚠️ Therefore, not only do I not recommend refilling the original pods, but I warn you of the dangers of performing this task and using that pod again in the coffee maker.

Do refillable Tassimo pods exist?

It has been a few years since the much-desired Tassimo refillable pods appeared on the market. We can say that these pods are a commercial version of what so many users used to do at home by reusing pods. It is no longer necessary to cut or pierce a used pod.

The theory of how these refillable pods work is perfect. However, the practice is far from perfect. In theory we will fill the pod with the ground coffee we want, obtaining a delicious and very economical result. However, this is not true, as we will encounter problems with operation and taste.

Do Tassimo refillable pods work well?

The sellers of these refillable pods are usually totally unknown; therefore, it is very difficult to complain to them if something goes wrong. And believe me, a lot can go wrong if the pods don’t work:

  • Burns
  • Electrocution
  • Breakage of the machine
  • Etc

To find out if these pods usually work well, I went to reviews from other users on online stores like Amazon. Always look at the lower ratings:

Comments on the malfunctioning of Tassimo refillable pods
Comments on the malfunctioning of Tassimo refillable pods

As you can see, users say that they barely last 20 uses before they start to burst inside the coffee maker, filling everything with coffee residue. So if you pay almost $20 for a refillable pod that lasts 20 uses, you do not save money and spend more than buying original Tassimo pods.

Results of a refillable pod burst
Results of a refillable pod burst

Does the coffee in Tassimo refillable pods taste good?

Another of the big mistakes people make is to think that when we put any ground coffee into a refillable pod, it will taste perfect when prepared with a pod coffee machine. To explain this would take me a complete article. However, I will try to summarize it as much as possible.

  • A pod coffee maker uses 15 bars of pressure to prepare coffee. While an Italian coffee maker uses 2, an espresso machine uses 9, and a French press uses zero.
  • A pod coffee machine prepares an espresso in just 10 seconds. While an espresso takes 25 to 30 seconds, an Italian espresso machine takes several minutes, and a French press takes more than 4 minutes.

Assuming that the temperature is similar in all methods (this is a bit bold to say, but it simplifies the explanation), the only parameter we can modify is the thickness of the grind.

If you open a coffee pod, you will see that more than ground coffee, there is a kind of coffee powder with the exact thickness to be extracted correctly. The grind will be slightly coarser if a pod is specific for lungo.

When we use commercial ground coffee, we will use ground coffee that is too coarse for the refillable pods and will be under-extracted. When we taste an under-extracted coffee, we will notice that it lacks body and has a very sour taste, without sweetness and with a little cream.

Alternative to Tassimo pods

If you have a Tassimo coffee machine and want to use it, I advise always using original pods. Try to find the best offers in the official store and online stores or supermarkets, and when you find a good deal, buy pods for 6 months.

But if you want to save money, you should forget about pod coffee makers and try any of the methods I have shown you on this website in the past:

All of these systems use ground coffee. Therefore, you will save money with them. The difference is that with these methods, you control all the factors that affect the final result, obtaining incredible results.

Related: Lavazza compatible pods: Are they worth it?