May 29, 2004

Review: Senseo from Single Serve Coffee

Review from Single Serve - Coffee Pod Reviewssenseo_360x330.pngHow I heard about Senseo
I have had mine since the day it launched some 3+ weeks ago. I had first read about it over a year ago when it had started to become a sensation in Europe. I was pleasantly surprised to then find it in Wired magazine (which I've been a faithful reader since it launched in the early 90's) - so what I'm saying is - if I like something I stick with it.

Getting the Senseo
The first week with Senseo was an interesting one. I picked it up at Kitchen etc. I had to dig through the coffee aisle to find a pretty blue one and there was only 2 bags of extra coffee pods to buy - One Medium and One Mild roast. I had put some time into reading the reviews on Amazon and everyone had said that the Dark Roast was the best coffee - and I just didn't want to be disappointed the first time I brewed a cup. However, I decided to pick up the extra pods anyways thinking - how could the other roasts be bad? Later on this hunch would prove to be right on.

I paid a whopping $87.69 for everything - The Senseo (it also came with a bag of Mild and Medium Roast Coffee), 1 bag of Medium Pods, and 1 Bag of Mild Roast Pods. That's the price of a good coffee maker and I was pretty excited to put it next to my high end Cuisineart.

Home that First Day
I immediately went home and opened the box in the kitchen. The Senseo was larger than I had expected but none the less - it was beautiful. The shape of the machine and it's appearance is very striking compared to any other appliance I have. The spout, the coffee pod holders (you get 2 - 1 for single cups and 1 for 2 cups) are translucent blue, - the whole thing looks and feels solid. There is even a catch tray underneath the spout that is made of aluminum with a swirling design that has 2 holes so the coffee can go through it without splashing and making a mess.

Brewing the First Cup(s)
I then proceed to fill up the water reservoir in the back. The reservoir doesn't hold a lot of water - enough to brew 2 - 2 cups of coffee. It is easily removed and easily replaced and is like a camel back water bag that a bicyclist uses when going on long rides

Next - I lifted open the machine with the lever and the Senseo popped open. I decided to brew a double cup of coffee right away. I then read in the book that you should run 1 double cup of hot water through to clean out the machine. I did this right away.

I had read that some people heat up the machine first by running 1 cup of hot water through it by using the single cup setting - so I was excited that maybe my first cup of Senseo would be more than perfect.

After this ran through I put in 2 coffee pods of the Medium Roast coffee since I had no dark roast. I then pushed the middle button to heat up the machine again. This shut it off - because it was already cycling - oops. I then pressed it again and it heated up.

The Moment of Truth
With a trembling finger I pushed the double cup coffee button on my new Blue Senseo. Immediatly the machine made a big wooooowooowooo and coffee with a froth started to come out of the cup into my clear Bodum coffee cup. I can't tell you how much your first Senseo coffee experience will be improved with a clear coffee cup. Actually - coffee in a clear cup is the best in my opinion.

It took about 20 or so seconds and it was done. The coffee from the Medium pods looked dark with a rich thick froth on top. Impressive - but how would it taste?

My First Taste of Senseo Coffee
I have cream and sugar in my coffee so I had to add that first. I stirred the coffee - and to my surprise the creamy froth stayed. I then put the coffee to my mouth - and WHAM! WOW! AMAZING! SILKY! YUM! This is GREAT coffee!!!

The amazing thing about Senseo coffee is the texture. It is very silky and very interesting to the mouth. The coffee feels thicker and richer than what I normally brew in my regular coffee maker.

Why is this? Senseo brews a cup of crema coffee. It's essentially - pressure brewed coffee much like expresso. The Senseo pushes really hot water through 5 small jets in the coffee pod very quickly. This gets a great extraction of coffee from the pod.

The Pods - Mild, Medium, Dark and Decaf
I didn't get my hands on dark roast until my case of pods came from I was very excited - thinking - THE DARK ROAST WILL BE THE BEST. I don't think you have to think this way now. All the roasts are good - the mild is very mild, the medium is very everyday, and the Dark is - very dark and creamy. The decaf - okay - the decaf is lacking - but sometimes I make a one pod decaf and one pod dark to cut down on the caffeine.

The coffee pods you can buy right now from Sara Lee is Douwe Egberts coffee. It's very very very very good coffee.

Pods Versus Coffee I Choose
Everyone says the same thing, "I want to use the coffee I like - not just what I can get in Pods." I don't think that's the point - Senseo is it's own thing and the coffee it makes is unique. I think there will be more choices in what you can put in for pods in the future and there are even adaptors - etc. so you can use your own coffee. However - I think of the Senseo as an addition to my coffee experience - it's not going to completely replace brewing a pot of coffee (so far though - it has).

Why I bought the Senseo
I am a coffee addict. I thought that buying a Senseo would make me only drink 1 cup of great coffee. I was right. Now - instead of drinking 4-6 cups in the morning, I usually have 1 dark roast cup or Senseo. This experience and the fact that I'm not wasting the rest of a pot of coffee I never drank has made the mornings easier to deal with. I am now drinking less coffee - but better coffee.

Senseo is sensational (I had to say that). I am more than impressed and in love with this amazing coffee machine, the coffee it makes, and the way it's changed my coffee drinking habits. I think the water reservoir could be a little bigger, however I don't think it's a deal breaker. The machine has worked flawlessly since purchase and it continues to make one perfect cup of coffee after another.


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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 29, 2004 9:42 AM
Recent Comments

I have my Senseo and no matter what type of pods I used the taste is just like hot water. Great looking froth and smell but no taste. Double doesn't change anything taste wise.

Posted by: Simon at April 3, 2011 11:11 PM

I first bought the Keurig/Breville super duper stainless machine. I have to say, my daughter and I liked it alot. However, I was really foolish at having done so much homework, but not understanding the waste of plastic in the pods - and how I was contributing to pollution. Once we had the machine, I searched for alternatives and purchased the piece that allows you to use a pod - but honestly, the coffee was weak to us. Finally, I had to be true to my conscience and returned the machine. I wrote to Keurig asking them if they were working on biodegradable options but did not get a response so I was done.

So now that I had the single serve bug - what to get? Well, I immediately eliminated all other "pod cups" - that ruled out quite a few. The plastic pod cups are big or small, but still plastic and not recyclable. So I now researched just the machines that took only wrapped pods of coffee.

Interesting, that someone wrote on one of these chats that the pods were polluting the environment. I've tried to figure out what the heck that guy meant - and I just believe he is WRONG. Making your own coffee, or using coffee in a paper filter that WILL disintergrate; and is no worse than a paper coffee filter - perhaps better because it's so small is not the same as a plastic pod cup. Perhaps knowing if it is not bleached to make a white pod should be questioned.

Anyway, I finally went for the Senseo Supreme. I have to say, I LOVE this machine with one caveat. It's not hot enough. I will try what people are suggesting - cream first. But that was disappointing because when the coffee comes out, it's steaming. so perhaps it is the milk after all.

I had purchased pods from folgers; got some leftovers from Senseo from a friend; needed decaf, so bought Halo. I wasn't impressed with the Halo, honestly which is sad because they are
helping people with small industry in countries who need it. You might like them - they're okay but not GREAT for me. Not flavorful enough. The senseo pods were good and I am going to order the coffee duck on Amazon (see the 12.99 one for best price) to try my own coffee.

The crema on the top is wonderful! The coffee looks so cool coming out of the two side spouts. You can make two cups in 2 separate cups at a time; or two cups into a large coffee mug.

okay, already mentioned not hot enough. but will try milk first.
You can removed the bottom drip tray to put a taller mug, but it will NOT take a travel mug. (Keurig completely comes off and a travel mug fits easily.)

Also, honestly, I have no idea what all the writing in the booklet is about different strengths -- honestly, you will NEVER get a big cup of coffee from this machine. Even when I put it on 3 bars, it stops halfway up the coffee 8 ounce/10 ounce mug. So honestly, if I want a big cup of coffee, I need to put 2 pods and do it that way. The bars are not really going to give you a tall cup of coffee.

Hope some of this helps. I do like the machine alot - just made concessions. Because there are lots of ways to make delicious coffee. A big pot is wonderful and will be as strong or light as you want it -- percolators are still an old time favorite; and French Press is wonderful. But for convenience and fun, a single serve is just a splurge treat. We all know, we don't really need it -- it's an adult toy. But I am having fun.


Posted by: diane at August 2, 2010 2:49 PM

Hello, I recently bought a Senseo new generation, but even selecting the coffee short, I think it too much. Is there any way to decrease the volume of coffee short, deforms to leave a small Express?
Sorry for my English, but I am from Portugal
thank you

Posted by: Luisa Dantas at November 20, 2008 9:22 AM

I just received my Senseo and so far, I'm happy with it. I'll have to admit, I like Tassimo probably better, but it is way more expensive than I paid for my it wins!

Posted by: Kathy at March 27, 2008 3:02 AM

I've been extremely disappointed with my Senseo. All the coffee tastes like nothing..... like hot water. I tried numerous dark roasts and only get the barest of flavor with a double on 4 oz..
Any suggestions? I use dark roast on my french press but was hoping for a convenient alternative when I want just a cup or two quickly. I don't think this will do.

Posted by: Dan Hausle at April 28, 2007 10:57 PM

I've had a Senseo for a good 6 months or so now and I absolutely adore it. It makes a perfect mug every single time. I no longer buy any other kind of coffee except stuff to put in it. To those people who say that Tassimo is better, you may well be right, but I have one thing to say to that - Tassimo Cost: 100 pounds. Senseo Cost - 40 pounds. Nuff said.

Posted by: Shaun R at February 11, 2007 4:43 PM


Posted by: MiKE at January 19, 2007 8:27 PM

Tassimo is the the bomb...way better than senseo...sorry but true!

Posted by: Andria at January 19, 2007 8:23 PM

More of less. :-) The two cup setting is roughly an 8oz setting so it's not going to fill a big mug but more standard cup of coffee - so smaller. You'll need to brew a 2 double cups for a Travel mug. The new Senseo in Chrome has an 11.25 oz size and will be available soon. So check the main page for details.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at September 21, 2006 7:57 AM

I was wondering. I haven't had much luck yet--and I'm getting frustrated. Does two cups fit in a standard coffee mug? It doesn't come close to filling one mug, but before I attempt two in one mug---I want experience to answer

Posted by: molly at September 21, 2006 7:51 AM

Going to try to answer everyones comments that it appears nobody has replied to (in the event others read this review in the future). -MO

HOT ENOUGH? Keeping your coffee hot is the trick if you like a lot of cream. The way I do it, is I put the cream and sugar into the cup BEFORE I brew it. Then, the brewing heats up the cream as its pouring into my cup. Try that.... sure you will enjoy it.

WATER RESERVOIR not big enough? Now they offer a larger one as an accessory. I think they are about $12-20. I use the larger one if I have company coming over. otherwise the regular reservoir (which will make 2 larger cups) works just fine for me.

SIZE OF MUG, wondering if it will fit? I will say that the size of your mug should be around 4" tall max. You can bend the cup to fit under if it is taller. I try to go with shorter but fatter (wider) cups.

OTHER MACHINES comparison. Don't know how they compare so much because I fell in love with the Senseo while in Europe, so I had to have one when they became available in the USA. I would like to brew tea too, but I am sure there are/will be some tea pods available for it. I recommend reading other reviews on all machines before making your decision on which to purchase. If you know anyone that has any machine then make sure to try their coffee so you have something in your head of what theirs tastes like, etc.

Happy Brewing!

Posted by: Coffee Lover at September 2, 2006 11:30 AM

Trying to decide on which single serve coffee maker to buy. How does the Senseo compare to the Tassimo? What are your recommendations for the single serves that offer a variety of beverges: coffees, teas, cappuccinos,etc. as far as quality of machine, product and price goes? How does the Tassimo's real milk cappuccinos stand up against others? Has anyone tried the Folger's cappuccino? thanks.

Posted by: Lareta Hawkins at December 21, 2005 11:50 AM

The Senseo make great coffee but it is not hot enough especialy after adding sugar and milk. i have returned 3 of them.

Posted by: Coffee addict at December 20, 2005 9:16 PM

I was just wondering, I know you said that a standard size mug would fit under the spout, but do you have a measurement by chance, so I can be sure my mug will work? Thanks!

Posted by: Amy Cartier at July 5, 2005 4:07 PM

I recently purchased the Senseo and I really love it. However, the top of water reservoir on my machine does not quite meet up with the piece just above leaving an open space/gap. Did I just get a bad one or are they all like this? I can't imagine that they are. I just wanted to check before trading it in.

Posted by: Lisa at June 14, 2005 3:13 PM

It will work.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at June 9, 2004 6:36 AM

Thanks. I don't have a favorite coffee cup that I must use - just wanted to make sure that any old "standard" sized cup would work.

Posted by: Jim at June 7, 2004 10:11 PM

Yes. A single sized coffee cup - even a large mug will fit under the spout. Also - the spout can be picked up - or you can turn the coffee cup under the spout. I'm pretty sure your cup will work.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at June 7, 2004 9:34 PM

It is hard to tell from the pictures. Does a standard sized coffee cup fit under the spout? How much clearance is there (if you are willing to take a measurement)?

Posted by: Jim at June 7, 2004 9:23 PM
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