Newest Review: ... So I looked for a coffee and espresso machine after moving to my new flat and I chose the Senseo. The optics: The machine looks really... more
It makes Senseo
Member Name: grannygarden
Advantages: Easy to use
Disadvantages: cups too small
Saturday morning found me and hubby trawling around their supermarket again. Why he felt the need to accompany me heaven alone knows, it's one of the few supermarkets I visit that I can actually manage to park unaided, there's always a space or three for me to fit my car into so hubby is totally redundant when I go here.
Anyway we had no sooner set foot through the door and his face set into its long suffering, I'm only here under protest, expression. I'm sure he does this to gain a sympathy vote or two, and it's totally unnecessary, but that's men for you.
He brightened up considerably as we made our way down the first aisle, no not the tempting array of fruit and veg, but a very nice lady doling out free cups of coffee. He would have brightened up even more if it was towards the end of the route and they had been handing out wine or spirits, but coffee seemed to do the trick at this stage and he eagerly grasped his cup of coffee and dragged me back so I could try some too.
My hubby is from oop North (Durham) and I don't know if it is a particular Northern trait, or if he is the exception but he does seem to manage to strike up a conversation with whoever crosses his path and in no time we were on best friend terms with the lady demonstrator (well Waitrose employee really, with her demonstrator's hat on) and found out that not only was she promoting some new fangled Douwe Egberts coffee pod things but also the magic coffee maker to accompany it. I had a sinking feeling that it wasn't going to take much for hubby's new best friend to talk him into shelling out for one. Sure enough, before the words "we don't really need one, the cafetiere suffices" had fully escaped from my lips than two huge boxes had appeared in the trolley.
We just had to have it because not only had we got a new coffee maker, but those very kind Waitrose people were doing a promotion that day where in addition, they would throw in a further box containing two very snazzy "limited edition" (I bet) white cups and a selection of coffees to use in the machine.
I live in the Midlands, not known for being the hub for new fangled ideas so this new concept in making coffee is something I'd not come across before. Probably you Southerners have been using these machines for years and I'm preaching to the converted, excuse me if this is the case.
I was going to try and do a proper review with easy on the eye subheadings and such, but fraid it's just not my style so shall have to ramble on as normal and hope you don't find it too tiresome.
To begin with the idea of the coffee maker is to use "pods" of coffee which are round in shape and look very similar to a fat teabag.
The rather space age machine makes either one or two cups of coffee at a time and comes with two pod holders - only they call them pad holders (should have used me for marketing, I think pod is much better) one which holds one teabag/pod/pad (?)
and a slighter thicker one into which you can fit two of aforesaid things.
The machine comes in three colours. A vibrant blue, white or black. We opted for the black version which has a greyish seethrough water reservoir which slots on to the back of the machine and a stainless steel cup tray at the front of the machine.
I've just had a quick glance at the instructions to refresh my memory and notice that they can't make their minds up whether to call them pods or pads and seem to fluctuate between the two and also call the cup tray the drip tray and vice versa, so seems they've produced this in a rush and haven't got their facts straight.
Anyway, shall from now on ignore the instruction book as they can't make their minds up about the various bits and give you my version.
Above the stainless steel tray is a nozzle with two holes and you can either sit one cup on the tray or two and there are two buttons on the front of the machine for you to tell it which you've decided. Strangely, whichever option you select ,the coffee comes out of both holes so if just making one cup, position it directly underneath the nozzles and don't try and udge it to one side so that only one hole is above it or you will make a bit of a mess and flood the drip tray underneath the cup holder. Believe me, I've tried this and it's not pretty. If making two cups sit them side by side on the cup tray and with luck, if you've got them correctly positioned, two streams of coffee will come out and fill two cups at a time.
Above the nozzle is a lift up lid and once open you can fit either your one or two cup pod/pad holder in and shut and lock the lid by pressing it down until it clicks.
The machine itself is a strange looking contraption which slopes forward in what I suppose is meant to be in a space age ergonomic way but for some reason reminds me of an old man leaning on a walking stick. Not the intended impression I'm sure but this is my review, so I can think what I want.
It doesn't take up too much space on the worktop if you wish to leave it on display. I've had a quick measure and it's about 12" across and 13" tall at its highest point before it starts leaning on its walking stick.
Not being the least bit technical I can't tell you what principle this operates on but it somehow manages to suck the water up out of the reservoir, blast it through its pod(s) and spit it out through the nozzle into the cups.
The water somehow converts itself (with the aid of the machine) from its cold state in the water reservoir until it is spat through the nozzles piping hot.
You select the one cup or two cup button, press and away you go, in no time at all steaming cup or cups of coffee are there before your very eyes. In fact if you are extremely mean I've found that you can stretch one pod into two cups. After you've pressed it once and taken the cup away, repeat performance with a second cup and lo and behold there's another one. Two for the price of one. Especially useful if someone likes slightly weaker coffee.
Apparently a full reservoir will allow you to make 5 cups of coffee so you can either top it up after a couple of cups have been produced or totally drain it and make the allotted 5 in one go. I try and make sure it is permanently filled to the max and is always on call should the need arise for a quick brew..
The coffee supplied with the machine is produced by Douwe Egbert and I don't know if anyone else is making these bag things yet but if it catches on I'm sure all the major brands will latch on before long and start making them.
The machine comes with a pack of 18 pods and the offer on the day we bought it gave us an extra 4 packs of 18 plus the "limited edition" mugs. We could chose from mild roast, medium roast, dark roast or decaffinated for our extra packs so we opted for one of each.
Not being a Douwe Egberts review I shan't go into too great a detail about the various flavours and will just say that each one that we've tried so far has produced an impressive cup of coffee and you can definitely get away with one pod for two cups for the dark roast as this is a little stronger. No good if you like your coffee like treacle and capable of standing a spoon in, then you had better stick to the recommended one pod per cup.
The coffee must come out under great pressure as it does have a froth on top of it and tastes wonderful.
From start to finish - placing reservoir and pod in place, pressing button(s) - the process is very speedy and in next to no time you have a cup of coffee. It is completely mess free - no more blocking the drains with coffee grounds which seems to be a speciality of mine. Just treat the pod as you would a tea bag and bin it after use.
This latest gadget to grace our kitchen set hubby back £49.99. No doubt it will be half the price in a couple of weeks.
For any gadgeteers it seems to be a pretty useful bit of kit at the moment though it would have been much cheaper to buy a new cafetiere as I broke the glass jug on ours recently.
If you are a coffeeholic it is quite handy and quickly produces the stuff so I'm quite enjoying it at the moment. I'll let you know when the novelty wears off.
If you want to know more about it and check if my description matches their picture, there is a website, www.senseo.com, devoted to this machine, where you can have a look at the beast/old man leaning on stick machine and learn more about how it does its stuff.
Philips also have their own website www.philips.com which I should imagine features all their products but am sure will have a spot for their coffee maker should you feel the need to explore further.
Happy coffee drinking!
Summary: Tasty coffee in the time it takes to boil the kettle
|Ease of use:|
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