UPDATE (Sep 2017): In the end, I gave up on my Tassimo machine – I just couldn’t cope with the sheer amount of non-recyclable plastic waste being generated or the cost of the pods. When I ran the numbers, across two years it worked out cheaper to buy a Delonghi bean to cup coffee machine even if I had to replace it every 2 years (but a friend has had their problem-free for over 3 years).
UPDATE (Apr 2016): Thanks to Gilly for posting a link to a video showing someone that has made a re-usable Tassimo pod! It doesn’t appear to be 3D printer (as the surface is very shiny) so hopefully these will be available soon. Note that you’ll still need to know what barcode to put on the pod for the different types of drink (heat, pressure and volume of water is all controlled by the barcode). View the YouTube video here:
I recently bought a Tassimo (Bosch TAS6515GB) Coffee maker for the Fresh Mango UK office and while I do love it, the cost of the pods is pretty high but more frustratingly the amount of plastic waste produced is appalling.
Cheapest Option for Buying Tassimo Pods
In terms of cost, I purchase the pods 40 at a time via an Amazon Subscription as this seems to be the cheapest way to buy them and its pretty convenient.
Recycling Tassimo Pods
In the UK the easiest way we’ve found to recycle not only the pods but the foil-type bads the pods come in is via the TerraCycle project (www.terracycle.co.uk) although oddly there is a waiting list to join the Tassimo Recycling ‘brigade’ so sign up ASAP and start collecting the empty pods.
Reusable Tassimo Pods
Re-usable Pod Kits
Oddly there have only been a handful of companies offering re-usable Tassimo Pods and so far no-one has created one that’s any good. My Cap (www.my-cap.com) offer a kit that is actually just a Tassimo pod with a couple of holes punched in it and a rubber bung to plug those holes. I haven’t used one myself but all reviews I’ve read state that they are very poor and, leak and half the time the plugs pop out due to the extreme pressure in the machine.
Do It Yourself
A user here on instructables.com says he reuses his pods himself doing the following:
I have refilled used Tassimo Nabob Columbian pods with some success. I first cut an oval hole in the foil of the pod, well away from the barcode. I use an xacto knife and make the hole about 1/4 x 3/8 inch in size with a smooth curve all the way around so it won’t tear. I then hold the pod under a tap, letting water splash into the hole. It’s amazing how fast the old grounds flush out, leaving the interior clean. Next I spoon in coffee of my choice (usually Columbian Arabica) until the pod is nearly filled. I have to regularly shake the pod from side-to-side to distribute the coffee. The last step is to cut a patch from a piece of aluminum duct tape, allowing up to 1/4 inch of overlap all the way around the hole. I then remove the adhesive-covering paper and apply the patch. I burnish it with the spoon everywhere it contacts the original foil. The pod is then ready to use. I always get some leakage, unfortunately, but usually I can collect it in my cup by repositioning it. Rarely do any grounds leak out.
What Next? Creating a Re-usable Tassimo Pod
I’m amazed a plastic products manufacturer in China or similar responsive/flexible manufacturing region haven’t filled the gap in this market with a simple two piece pod that’s threaded in the middle. The larger pods used for ‘latte’ drinks are plenty big enough to accommodate the space required for a threaded collar on the inside along with two rubber O-rings to allow for a good seal of the inner pipe and the coffee chamber while ensuring the intake pipe at the back is properly aligned.
They could sell those bad boys for $5 each and I’d buy some – it’d pay for itself in no time at all, allow me to use my own coffee of choice and reduce the waste to zero!