Problems with Tassimo coffee pods

It is quite frustrating to try to prepare a coffee with our Tassimo coffee maker and not be able to do so because, for some reason, the coffee pod does not work. All we get is a steady red light on the coffee cup symbol.

After an exhaustive investigation, we have determined all the problems with Tassimo coffee pods. And attention, they can happen with any coffee machine model and with various coffee pods.

Tassimo barcode reader does not work

On all Tassimo models, the red operation indicator light comes on when the coffee maker does not recognize a coffee pod; its way of giving a warning is through these LED lights.

Coffee pod reading error light
Coffee pod reading error light

Note: This does not happen with the Fidelia and Amia models; instead of the automatic brewing light, the green manual preparation light illuminates.

When a Tassimo coffee machine does not recognize the barcode, it may be for one of the following reasons:

The barcode reader is dirty

After each preparation, coffee or milk likely splashes on the reader, and if you do not clean it frequently, it will be difficult for the machine to recognize the pods.

The barcode of the pod is wrinkled, stained, or damaged

When the pods are stored in very exposed places, they can get stained with coffee or any other substance that splashes on them, making the barcode unrecognizable. Check that the coffee pod you use has the barcode legible and in good condition before inserting it into the coffee machine.

The barcode reader or its flexible connector is damaged

Although this is an extreme case, it is quite common in machines that have been used for a long time. If you have already verified that the problem does not lie in the cleanliness of the reader and the coffee pods because the coffee maker still does not recognize the coffee pods, you will have to buy a replacement.

The feed pipe to the nozzle deteriorates
Barcode scanner and flexible cable at the rear

Tassimo coffee pods explosion

Coffee pods that explode? When I heard about this problem suffered by Tassimo coffee machines, I decided to investigate and find the “mysterious” reason why the coffee pods exploded.

Thanks to the comments of some users who have suffered from this inconvenience and with the help of my engineering knowledge (remember that I am an industrial engineer), I have concluded that I would like to expose here and thus help anyone who suffers from this problem.

Research on the coffee pod explosion problem

Initially, I had to understand this problem very well and went straight to the source, users’ experience with this particular problem. After gathering enough information about the possible causes, I found some interesting things.

To get a good information base, I relied on many forums, and this is what the affected users are saying:

  1. I rule out that the cause could be the machine’s bad cleaning and calcification. The users state that they have had their Tassimo coffee machines cleaned and decalcified to avoid problems like this.
  2. Explosions do not occur in any one brand or type of pod. However, milk pods tend to burst more than others.
  3. Nor does it seem to be a problem in a specific Tassimo model. Some users have experienced the same problem on different machines.
  4. The time of use of the coffee maker does not influence the explosion of the pods. According to users, this failure has occurred in both new and used coffee makers.
Users who have had Tassimo capsules explode
Users who have had Tassimo pods explode

Now the question is, if the problem is not the maintenance, nor the type of pod or model used, then… what is the cause that makes Tassimo coffee pods explode?

Testing on the explosion of Tassimo coffee pods

The only clear thing is that coffee pods can explode, but we do not yet know why this explosion occurs. Let us first understand how a pod works and what can go wrong.

In the image below, you can see where the coffee maker injects the water and where it exits into our cup (left), and you can also see how the water circulates inside the coffee pod (right).

This is how a Tassimo coffee capsule works
This is how a Tassimo coffee pod works

Therefore, if a coffee pod explodes, the water will not come out of the nozzle, or if water comes out, it will be very little, and it will not be able to release the accumulated pressure inside the coffee pod.

Breakdowns related to the coffee machine and coffee pods:

  1. The pod is not well perforated by the machine’s nozzle.
  2. The pod is not well pressed by the lid of the pod holder.
  3. The coffee machine uses a metallic material as a lid that does not resist pressure.
  4. The metallic material and the plastic are joined with glue that does not resist pressure.
  5. The paper filter cannot filter the coffee quickly enough to release the pressure of the coffee pod.
  6. The coffee maker injects too much water in a short time, causing the pressure to increase too fast (control board problem).

My opinion on the reason for the explosions

I believe that the explosion of the coffee pods is not due to a single cause but to the combination of several causes simultaneously, which causes the pressure inside the pod to increase, and the coffee does not manage to come out quickly enough through the nozzle.

The following recommendations can be useful to avoid this problem:

  1. Try to test different coffee pod types and brands to determine the most suitable for your Tassimo coffee maker.
  2. In addition to being clear about the right coffee pod for your coffee maker, ensure that you always keep your machine clean and in good condition.
  3. If you have tried everything and the problem persists, you can replace the nozzle assembly with a new one or, in extreme cases, replace the machine’s control board because it probably is damaged.