Idea: Tassimo Hot Water Dispenser T-Disc for Hot Tea

Posted: December 12, 2010 in Miscellaneous

We’ve had our Tassimo beverage system for over a year now and we love it.  However, it has some minor drawbacks that I could see being very easy to address.  One is the lack of flexibility in choice of coffee/tea products.  At this time you can only use what t-discs that are available.  This got me thinking because I’m an avid tea drinker and prefer it to coffee, and Tassimo has a very limited variety of tea t-discs.  My wife on the other hand has to have her cup of coffee in the morning, and this was her present last year.  So I set about trying to figure out how I can make my favorite hot loose leaf teas (black, oolong, herbal, white, green, roobios, etc.) using the Tassimo’s instant hot water feature.  Compared to the Keurig which seems to have more choice in coffees and teas, but it cannot make frothing drinks such as lattes or cappuccinos.

At this time my current process of making my morning tea was to microwave a cup of water for 2 minutes (or 1 minute if the water at my tap is already hot from being run) – that takes a long time and a lot of energy (time being my most inconvenient factor).  I get jealous watching my wife have her favorite cup of coffee in < 1 minute.  So upon inspecting our Tassimo I found it has a cleaning disc that is needed to periodically descale the heating element.  It is designed to pass hot water through it to a cup.  So I wondered why can’t I use that to make my own hot water beverages.  My first attempt was to use the cleaning disc and holding down the brew button.  After 2 minutes and a sore finger that didn’t work so well (was actually more inconvenient).  That sent me back to the drawing board.  I inspected a used t-disc and noticed that the top is made from a pretty sturdy aluminum foil and therein lied the epiphany.  See my step-by-step instructions below:

Step 1: Choose your favorite loose leaf tea (or simply use a tea bag). I have left over Teavana tins but I buy my loose leaf tea from our local farmer's markets (much, much cheaper).

Step 2: I have several loose leaf tea infusers I can use to make an individual cup. I'm looking into buying a 16 oz tea mug with top mount infuser (pic below). In here I have some herbal / white tea with dried cherries.

Here is an example of a larger ceramic mug with built in tea infuser.

Step 3: Insert infuser into cup.

Step 4: Choose a bar code that gives you the preferred volume and temperature. I'm figuring the bar codes provide a setting for temperature as the latte or cappuccino discs provide a frothing feature. Here is a one cup volume Starbucks disc. In the next photo I initially tried it with a bar code from a used latte disc from a caramel macchiato I made this morning (yummy).

Step 5: Tape preferred bar code to the descaling disc (make sure disc is cleaned from any descaling solution). Simple scotch tape does the trick. Make sure the bar code is not upside down. Here I used the bar code from a used latte disc. I've also been recycling discs as they are recyclable even though they have stuff in them.

Step 6: Put everything in the Tassimo and close the lid and hit Brew.

Step 7: Watch and Enjoy. I held the infuser up near the top of the mug so that the hot water runs right through it, thus why I'll soon buy a ceramic mug with infuser.

Step 8: Drink and enjoy your quick and easy to make tea.

Step 9: Storage. You can also buy more descaling discs so that you have pre-made volume discs for simply hot water. They are $4.99 plus shipping but this makes it much easier and to me worth the little bit of money.

Upon discovering this and thinking some more – this method can also be used to make instant coffee (if that’s your prerogative) or even brew your own coffee using a mug with coffee infuser or the senseo bags.

Senseo pods that you can probably use with an infuser.

Update12/29/11: I’ve been doing this for well over a year and it still works great.  I also bought a second piercing unit ($5-$10 from Tassimo depending on your model) as my wife drinks a lot of coffee and I found if we used the same piercing unit I would get residue coffee flavor in my hot water.  Have one for Coffee and one for Tea / Hot Water and you do not get the taste – makes a big difference if you have a coffee and tea drinker using the same machine.

Comments
  1. Mona says:

    Sounds great, I’m sure I will be trying this one! Mona

  2. Jonathan says:

    When I use the cleaning disc, I don’t find I have to hold down the button for it to provide a cup of water. I have not yet experimented with using the Tassimo to dispense hot water, so I can’t say for sure if it gets the water hot enough.

    I have the chai discs so I might try that barcode soon in comparison with the disc, but my guess is that the green tea barcode would be the most suitable for loose tea leaves. Keep us posted if you experiment any further.

  3. I will clarify for those using the cleaning disc alone. I order for this method to work you need to be crafty and cut out the bar code of a used disc that gives the amount of water you want (you can always push down the button to increase amount). If you just use the cleaning disc you have to hold down the button to get water and it only trickles out.

  4. Cher says:

    The cleaning disc doesn’t get the water hot enough, i taped 2 barcodes off the twinnings tea disk (twinnings breakfast tea like tar yuk) and use a t bag, water is lovely and hot. Thanks for the advice and help

  5. I just tried it this morning (had some twinnings earl gray sitting in the pantry) and it worked great.

  6. Maggie Lore says:

    great idea! it worked for me to make tea today!

  7. Sue says:

    This Christmas I bought a Tassimo. I too hoped to get hot water from the system to make some of my favorite drinks without the T discs. I found this web site, tried cutting and taping a bar code from a Tassimo tea disc onto the service disc and it worked beautifully. Thank you so much for sharing this idea. I had a very hot cup of Tetley tea.

    • I also found out that you can get the taste of coffee in the hot water if you use the same piercing unit (reside coffee gets stuck inside the piece giving you its taste). I since bought a separate piecing unit for another $10 plus shipping and put that in only for when I want hot water for tea & chai (then wash it out and put it away).

  8. Sara says:

    Thanks so much for sharing! It baffles me why Tassimo hasn’t created their own version of this yet. I’d happily pay for it!!

  9. Tested and works great! especially when you’ve run out of coffee discs and you have an emergency stash of instant coffee kicking around!

  10. RaspberryTears says:

    The descaling disc works just fine without any taped on barcode. Just turn on your Tasimmo, put the disc in and when the green light turns on, bress the button. I get a full cup of hot water this way. If only the yellow button lights up, just open the t-disc part again and then shut it. The green light will then come on.

    • Sharon says:

      I tried this today with the cleaning disc and it is a fact. You do not need to tape on a barcode, there is a barcode on the cleaning disc and you can make a cup of hot water fast. I had to press the +water button to make a full cup but it was quick and easy.

      • Yes you are right that can do as the mentioned above but I taped a barcode on mine so I didn’t have to hold down the button (and simply only had to press and forget).

  11. grodyjodi says:

    the reason to use the bar code of your product of choice is so that the water is the appropriate temp for particular drinks. i used a thermometer to clock temps on the plain service disc bar code (around 150 degrees F) and one for tea (almost 180 degrees F). that is why the bar codes matter. its easy enough to use an xacto knife to get one from a tea t-disc, an espresso t-disc etc, and always have the right temp for your home brew.

  12. The cleaning disk does get hot enough, you just have to discard the first 2-3 ounces of cold water, it gets hot after a bit. But don’t touch the next few ounces it is hot, and if you press and hold the button after you can keep it going.

  13. Monica says:

    For some reason when I tape a bar code to the cleaning disc I get an error that says it cannot read the bar code, I made sure it’s taped the correct way, and then if I try to hold down the button for not water, it’s Luke warming at best. Any ideas?

    • Try a different bar code and tape it down so it does not completely cover the top – yours may not be straight as well – also try cleaning the scanner on the unit.

      Off Topice: Another thing I did is buy another brewer piercing unit so I have one for coffee and one for tea. Coffee taints the taste of tea at times (especially herbal).

      • iwasthedoctor says:

        Why not just rinse the coffee piercer before making tea, seems a bit excessive and i might add overindulgent to buy a spare piercer just for making tea. I have a feeling tassimo will adjust the barcode for hot water eventually in any case.

      • Tassimo hasn’t done a hot water disc yet and I doubt they’ll do it as I’ve had mine for 6 years and it’s going strong. Also if you brew coffee it can contaminate the hot water flavor. If you are brewing Matte tea than that’s not that big of a deal but others with delicate flavor like a nice herbal or white tea the coffee flavor can overpower it.

  14. nicolas says:

    worked great for me too. Thanks!

  15. Ann Sweeney says:

    What a brilliant idea!! I wondered too why Tassimo haven’t installed the hot water feature, but me thinks its probably a marketing ploy so you HAVE to buy the Tassimo discs to make your drink. They wouldn’t want you to put your own tea and coffee in there would they? Anyway, I tried the cut out barcode idea this morning and it works beautifully! Thanks for such a thorough walk-through original poster :-)

  16. Ann W. says:

    thank you for your suggestion…it got me thinking…why tape the barcode on when you can run a knife around the whole foil top pull it off very carefully not to rip any bar codes and it stays right on the descaling disc perfectly…..

  17. CARRIE says:

    The web site in UK for the water disc has two colors but how can I discern which, if it all, will fit a T-20?

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