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How to make your own coffee pods

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If you have a coffee maker that works with pods, this is a great Instructable for you whether you need coffee in a pinch or need a money-saving method for creating your morning cup of java. In my case, this was totally free using some cheap coffee an old roommate left and some coffee filters left over from long-ago, but you could easily adjust this to any budget. Also with this, you can use your pod coffee maker to make any kind of coffee you want!

I love using a pod coffee maker because it's portion-controlled, and I know I'm not going to put any coffee to waste like I would if I was making a pot. Plus, they use less energy because they don't keep a hot plate on under a glass pot for hours on end. Making your own pods for your coffee maker is an ideal way to save money, time, and the energy of going to the store to buy more. With one large container of coffee and one box of coffee filters, you could easily make 100 pods for a fraction of the price of buying commercially produced ones.
 
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Step 1: Materials

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Materials for this are extremely simple. As I said, I found these lying around, unused in the kitchen from past roommates. All you need is:

-the cup from your pod coffee maker
-a small measuring cup that fits inside this cup
-regular round coffee filters
-any kind of coffee

Optional: a container to store these in. I found a great cylindrical container to perfectly fit my pods, but traditionally I've always kept mine in a ziplock bag.

Step 2: Step 1: Form the paper cup

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This part is pretty straightforward. Take the measuring cup you found to fit inside your coffee maker's pod holder cup, and place the coffee filter over it, getting it as centered as you can. Then, just use your hand to pull it gently down over the cup and form the paper to the outside. Place the measuring cup paper-side down into the coffee pod cup and take it out. The paper will hold the shape of the cup, and the pod holder cup provides the shape and stability you need to fill it with coffee.

Step 3: Step 2: Add the coffee

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Spoon the coffee of your choice into the paper. Ideally, the coffee should be espresso-ground for maximum flavor, but the regular cheap folgers stuff I used works just fine. How much to put in is at your discretion, but be sure not to go over the top rim of the coffee pod holder, or it may not fit correctly!

If you are using the folgers that comes with the measuring spoon, it's 1 spoonful + a bit less than half for the perfect size.

Step 4: Step 4: Folding the pod

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This is the trickiest part, but I promise it's easier than it sounds at first.

Take an edge of the coffee filter and fold it just to the opposite edge of the pod holder, leaving just the tiniest gap (you can barely see a line of coffee in the picture). From there, grab the corner you just created on the right and fold it inward until the outer edge of the filter has a slight gap. Continue taking the far right corner and folding it inward all the way around until you have no more of the filter hanging off the outside. At this point, you should be left with a little sail on top of the pod.

Take the measuring cup one last time, place it on top of the pod with the folds, and press down (don't be afraid to use some pressure). This will help to seal all the folds as well as compact the coffee within the pod to create a more perfect fit for the coffee maker.

Now, you will still have a little fold left on top. You can choose to leave it be, like I did (it doesn't affect the performance of the machine just to leave it there), or you can tuck it under the folds, or you can trim it down if you like. If you choose the latter option, be very careful so as not to cut too much or pierce the rest of the filter, or you will end up with a big mess!

After this, you can simply turn the cup over in your hand and pick it up to remove the pod.

Step 5: Congratulations!

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You should now be holding a coffee pod in your hands, ready to go into the storage container of your choice. A coolaide pod container worked for me, but a ziptop bag works fine as well. Just keep in mind that because these are folded and not sealed, it is possible for them to fall apart if tossed around too much. To keep them safe, I stack mine on the lid and place the container over top. It is best to keep them in something airtight so the coffee stays fresh, and you can even save these in the freezer.

(A fun note: Take your used coffee pods and place them in the freezer. Once frozen, place them over your eyes to relieve dark circles and/or swelling!)

Step 6: Enjoy!

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Of course, if this is just an emergency I NEED COFFEE NOW situation, you can omit the removal step and just put it right into your machine for instant gratification. Great results every time!
This is a clever solution for Keurig-style coffeemakers, and possibly other designs as well, but I hope no one ever tries it with a Tassimo coffeemaker like mine. They would be swept away in a tsunami of coffee and grounds! In a Tassimo, there is no perforated cup to hold your type of pod and direct he water through it. Also, the hot water is pumped upward through the Tassimo pod, permeating the grounds, passing through the filter at the top of the pod and then dropping through the spout.

I am lucky I've read your comment. I have a brand new Tassimo, and I am looking for a method for making my own Tassimo-compatible pods. I still think this is a very clever idea, but it will need some further adaptation in order to make it work for the Tassimo. Beside the comments you made, this Tassimo also has bar codes in each pod that tell the machine how much water, how long, etc.

Thanks. Did you get the other comments I made today about refilling your Tassimo discs?

Hi, Lourdes. I can't seem to find the comment that you refer to. Did I mention that you can now go to my-cap.com, click on Tassimo, and buy a kit for around $20 that will let you empty and refill all of your used Tassimo discs? I bought a kit, and for the last 6 months about 1/4 of my brews were made with recycled discs. In short, you hand-drill a hole in the disc with their special drill (be sure you order it with the kit). Then you stream water into the hole and shake the old grounds out. Finally, you use a roll-up funnel to pour in new ground coffee. Finally, a rubber plug seals the hole. I have never had a modified disc leak!

You can continue to re-use a modified disc until the built-in filter gets too clogged, and that takes quite a while. All you need to do is select a fine grind for each disc that is as close to the original flavour as possible - eg. Colombian coffee in a Colombian disc, a good espresso in an espresso disc. The bar code ensures that it brews properly. The results have been excellent - I really couldn't notice any difference in the flavour. The only issue is that the Tassimo is intended to provide convenience, and the refilling process takes extra time and effort. Lately I find I am slipping back to using mostly purchased discs.

it is own comment from one year ago, "I hope no one ever tries with a Tassimo coffee maker. They would be swept away in a Tsunami of coffee and grounds."

Any suggestions on a hack for the Tassimo?

Step 1: Throw out your Tassimo machine to follow these instructions

Step 2: Buy a POD machine...... not Tassimo/Nespresso/Keurig

I agree with 66% of your recommendations, AndrewB11. Throw out your Keurig (humdrum flavours) or your Nespresso (tastes like instant coffee), but keep your Tassimo. I have had one since 2008, and would not part with it. I started with the original model 1000, but now have a T55. Great coffees, lattes, cappuccinos and more, all in one affordable machine. Now that the discs are refillable, no hacks are needed. PS I do not work for Tassimo!

Step 1 not possible. I just got the Tassimo. Step 2: I'd rather get it as a gift. (blink!).

No need for a hack anymore, repguy2020. my-cap.com now has a Tassimo refill kit for about $20. I bought one in September and have refilled dozen of discs with nary a problem. See my reply to Lourdes to find out how the kit works.

Could potentially work for the teabag-style system too, just fill the filter up to a level you want it at, bunch it up at the top and tie it off with string, and cut off the excess filter. lol

Would work for loose-leaf tea too.

This idea is very time efficient saving prep time and cleanup time for fast morning coffee! I am not sure why this qualifies as energy efficient though. The time and energy and resources it takes to make the paper alone should disqualify this entry. Further more I'm not sure if you are making coffee or espresso you mention pressurization which sounds like espresso in which case using pre-ground coffee is sacrilegious. I grind fresh and french press for maximum flavor using no disposable filters.
rpaxton (author)  lanceearlhaines6 years ago
Thank you for commenting!
I'm actually working on a form of a permanent filter as I have time; the only ways this is saving energy now are that a) it saves me a looong drive to the nearest walmart to pay $6+ for manufactured coffee pods and b) this particular machine uses less resources and energy than the 12-cup coffee maker my roommate uses, where she runs it for hours every day to keep the whole pot hot and ends up throwing out anywhere from 1-4 cups of coffee. The only reason I even put it in this section yet is that, for me, the paper is technically recycled since my roommate was going to throw it out anyway.

A coffee press is the *best* way in my opinion to make completely energy-efficient coffee (all I have to run is my electric kettle), I just hate having more than a mug to wash in the morning.
lemonie6 years ago
The mesh on the pod holder looks quite fine - what happens if you just put the coffee in without the filter? Anticipating that you might have a problem with this - how about just cutting a disc of paper to put in the holder before the coffee?

L
rpaxton (author)  lemonie6 years ago
Lemonie, Trust me, I've tried it all. Putting straight coffee in the filter without a pod results in grounds getting into every orifice of the machine. Because it works on a system of water pressure, not having paper all around the coffee forces bits of the ground coffee up into the machine itself, and results in an extremely messy cleanup. The ultimate coffee machines are the ones that require no paper filter at all (one of my old roommates had a fairly cheap one that worked great for about three weeks until another roommate broke it), but sadly this type does.
Perhaps if you line the pod part with a reusable filter, hemp or some sort of nylon. This would require some additional cleaning of the filter but may be worth it in the long run. Also a small French press could make single cups, uses no paper filter and has no heating element. If you can boil 2 cups of water, even using an existing coffee maker, then you can make French press coffee. Just a suggestion.
lemonie rpaxton6 years ago
I get it, I can see the coffee going everywhere. Thanks L