First off, understand that the point to this writing isn't to convince you that a normal coffee pod brewer is superior to the Tassimo. Instead, the purpose is to be sure you know what it is you are purchasing, and the issues you are likely to encounter in the future. Normal coffee pods can't touch the sophistication of the Tassimo device, which use bar-codes, printed straight to the T-Discs to know how to make their brews. However, the biggest problem with Tassimo brewers also comes from this technology - it's impossible to use anything but T-Discs with them.
Don't All Single Serve Coffee Makers Have This Problem?
Although this is an issue that any owner of a single server coffee maker will encounter, it's amplified with the Tassimo system, as there are ways around it with others. Of course, it still takes some thought to use something other than the coffee pods that the device was made for, but there's many adapters out there for converting one to the other. They're generally not fool proof and do involve an extra expense, and, due to there being no real standardization, problems can crop up that feel downright random, but you can usually either just figure it out, or look it up, whatever the problem may be. For instance, if one brand doesn't work like it should, you can always try a different one.
Why Focus On Tassimo's System?
The problem lies within the shape of T-Discs. You can tell just by looking at them why you can't just swap them out with anything else. Add to that the bar-coding system, which means that it there's any modification to the T-Disc, the method of brewing it will no longer be accurate. There are those who have tried to refill used T-Discs, but they're not re-sealable, and they have to be sealed for the brewer to be able to build up the required pressure to brew.
Why Wouldn't One Always Use T-Discs?
Although the idea behind buying the Tassimo brewer obviously includes using T-Discs, there are a few reasons why this might not work out quite like expected. Many times folks simply cannot afford T-Discs. They're not cheap, and are a bit overkill if all you want is a cup of coffee. Availability can also be an issue. Small town grocery stores, for example, typically do not stock things like this. Some simply object to the idea. Buying a Tassimo forces the consumer to continue buying from that company in the form of the T-Discs. Some people don't like how that looks. Although there are a few other brand names making T-Discs, it's pretty obvious that it's all licensed.
What If I Already Have A Tassimo Brewer?
If you already own a Tassimo Brewer and are looking for alternatives, your options are quite limited. This is why I really hope people think twice before buying such a proprietary product. Your best bet, especially if your main concern is money, would be to pick up a cheap pod coffee brewer, and just use coffee pods the majority of the time. Coffee pods are generally available everywhere, and can be purchased cheaply online, in bulk, if need be.