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Tassimo Hacking (spreadsheet)

To further the goal of sussing out the Tassimo barcodes, Daryl from Canada sent me a number of T-Disc codes for his beverages (and a 575ml coffee? a pint? I'm not sure I can get a cup large enough under the spout of my Tassimo!).

So what I have done is to plug all of this information into a spreadsheet. For the moment, it is fairly incomplete - lacking data on flow rates, temperatures, and precharge/purge. I may do something here if/when I work out how.

Here is the spreadsheet. It's a Google Sheets embed.


The columns are as follows:

  • Product - a description of the T-Disc, note that some beverages (Oreo and Caramel Macchiato here) comprise two different discs to make a full beverage.
  • Who - 'R' for entries added by me, 'D' for entries provided by Daryl.
  • Barcode - the full value of the ITF 2of5 barcode. That's the one that is sideways. The larger barcode is not readable by any of the Tassimo machines I've seen, perhaps it was used by the older models?
  • Bit pattern - this is the 16 bit binary pattern, after trimming the last digit of the barcode's number (it's a check digit). This ought to be the value that is received by the coffee maker from the barcode, and it ought to contain the data that tells the coffee maker how to make the beverage.
  • Vol - the volume of the beverage in millilitres.
  • Precharge - see patent notes below.
  • Temp - see patent notes below.
  • Flow rate - see patent notes below.
  • Purge - see patent notes below.

Patent notes: The US patent 7,231,869 describes the operation of the Tassimo T-Disc, and defines what the barcode means, however the description of the twelve bits of the barcode don't match the current method of encoding. It is not currently known if the current values are simply a different method (perhaps more capable?) of encoding.

  • The precharge is described as having four states: a fast charge and a slow charge, with and without soak. This will be related to the du-du-du-du sound and pause that happen at the start of the cycle.
  • The patent lists four temperatures: cold, warm (what's warm?), 83°C, and 93°C.
  • The volume is listed in the patent as being one of 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 110, 130, 150, 170, 190, 210, 230, 250, 275, 300 (millilitres). Clearly there are more options now given the quantities that Daryl has reported. It's also worth noting potential inaccuracies in my measurements given that I determined volume by putting a measuring jug under the nozzle and putting the barcode into the Service Disc. The 75ml Oreo disc? Was that 70ml? Or maybe 60ml with precharge?
  • The flow rate is described in the patent as a percentage in increments of 10 starting at 30%. To be honest, I can't say I've noticed any great difference in flow rate from any of the drinks I've brewed...
  • The purge is described as one of four options, as a combination of slow flow or fast flow, and short period or long period. Is this still relevant? Because it seems to me that the ending purge is where the coffee maker stops the pump, so the water remaining in the heater boils which creates steam which pushes the remaining water out of the disc.

There's clearly more to do, but maybe collecting this information together it may become possible to start to see patterns?
An interesting one here is the two Starbucks coffees that differ only in one bit. I wonder what the difference amounts to?



Today is typically "the first day of Spring" (it varies) where the day becomes longer than the night. The vernal equinox (Ostara) this year was yesterday, the 20th of March. However the actual point of equinox depends also on your position on the globe. For me, today I have twelve and a quarter hours of daylight. For me, the equinox happened on Wednesday 17th.
Yesterday was a lovely warm sunny day.
Today is a chilly misery. What a difference a day makes, huh?

I have a little Ostara celebration meal cooking right now - rice and roast chicken. So what if it's the wrong day. It's close enough.
That and Netflix, sounds like a perfectly acceptable way to wrap up a weekend to me!



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Mick, 22nd March 2021, 00:06
Maybe all machines are not made equal and a more expensive machine will change flow rates and other dimensions built into the barcode your machine will simply ignore? Eg. Black and White TVs did nothing with colour signals.
Rob, 28th March 2021, 23:26

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