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Almost two years ago I wrote a review on the Philips Senseo, at the time I was using it every day but the cost of the coffee pods and the lack of variety available to me locally meant that I stopped using it so often. Every now and then I would buy the pods from Lidl but there were only three different types and I would get bored of them.
What I wanted was a proper coffee machine, so that I could use whichever ground coffee I fancied, but as I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and space is at a premium in the kitchen I couldn't see my other half agreeing to me buying one.
I decided that I would have a browse on Amazon for Senseo pods, and it was while I was doing this I came across the Melitta permanent padfilters.
The padfilter allows you to use whichever brand of ground coffee you prefer in your Senseo machine.
The padfilters are about 7cm in diameter and made from plastic and a material similar to reusable coffee filters. They open up and you place 7-8 grams of ground filter into them. Once filled clip the hinged lid back into place, and wipe off any excess coffee before placing the the pad into the double pod holder.
Press the 1 cup button on your Senseo and voila... you have a cup of coffee of your preference.
When it comes to cleaning the padfilter you need to empty the grounds and rinse it out, it is then ready to use again. If you have a dishwasher the padfilter can also be cleaned in it.
Since using the padfilter my only criticism would be that the plastic hinge on them is a little bit weak and I could see it snapping if I was a little bit rough with it.
Also since the pad is only for 1 cup of coffee unless you like weaker coffee if you wanted a mug you would have to use two of the pads separately to get one mug of coffee. I prefer my coffee not too strong so I just press the two cup/mug button using one pad so it's not too much of a problem for me.
Using the padfilters, you still get the crema foam on the coffee which the Senseo is known for.
I find the easiest way to clean the pads is to place them on a piece of kitchen towel, and once the pads have dried out I empty them out. Then I give them a quick rinse under the tap and leave to dry. If I wanted to make another cup of coffee I could dry them using kitchen towel, but as there are two in a pack I usually have a clean dry one ready to use.
I paid £3.49 plus £1.99 p&p for my padfilters, which I think is excellent value for money, considering a pack of 18 coffee pods is usually priced around £2.99.
Recently I've been buying packets of filter coffee from Home Bargains for £1 per bag, so I think the initial purchase costs of the padfilters will soon be absorbed compared to the cost of buying one use pods.
On the packaging of the padfilter it advises that you get best results using finely ground coffee, I would agree with this as I used a coffee which had a mix of coarseness and the coffee didn't have the crema layer on it.
I bought my padfilters from Amazon for the price mentioned above, and looking on ebay this seems to be the best price available as sellers currently have them for between £5 and £6 on there which I would say is a little overpriced.
I would definitely recommend these for anyone using a Senseo who would like a wider choice of coffee.