May 24, 2005

Senseo City Sensations Coffee Pods Review

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod ReviewsImg 0132 1When Senseo launched in the US - it only had Light, Medium, and Dark Roast pods. In Europe, they had a plethora of pod flavors and everyone here in the US was just plain jealous and wanting more flavors. Well, Senseo has finally come out with more pod flavors in the US!

The New Senseo Pod Flavors

There are 3 new flavors within the Senseo City Sensations line:

I'm surprised that they went for all flavored coffees, but not when I called my mom to get her impressions. My mom and dad both love flavored coffees, and even use flavored creamer. My mom was pumped that these would be available and also that they would fit her Senseo machine. She also said after trying them - that they were all very yummy.

So - my Mom loves them - what would we think?

Pack Count, Pricing & Weight of the New Senseo City Sensations Coffee Pods

The pods we received to review were part of a promotional pack and individually wrapped, however the pods that are now shipping are packed in the standard Senseo multi-pack bag. The Dark, Light and Medium roast pods are packed in an 18 count bag but the new pods come packed in a 16 count bag.

So - when you buy the new City Sensations pods - you are getting 2 less pods per pack.

Based on Amazon.com pricing this put the new pods at:

  • Old Pods 18 count packed in 4 bags total: 72 pods: $16.99 = Price per pod: ~ $.24 per pod.
  • New Pods 16 count packed in 4 bags total: 64 pods: $16.99 = ~$.27 per pod

So 3 cents more per pod. That's not bad but it will add up over time.

The pods weigh in at the standard 7 gram Senseo pod weight. I have been doing a fair amount of reading on coffee pods and especially espresso pods as of late - 7g is the standard weight for a 4oz cup of coffee or for ESE pods to make a shot of espresso. Since the Senseo is pressure brewed much like espresso, I'm sure this is why they settled on this weight. It also made me try a few experiment to try and get the best flavor from the city Sensations coffee pods in this review.

Our Impressions of the Coffee

Img 0232We used our tried and true blue Senseo with the extra large water tank for this review. We also used our clear mug to show you how dark or light the coffee brewed. I was impressed with the amount of faux crema on the top of all the flavors we brewed but also slightly disappointed by the texture of the coffee produced by the new flavored pods.


Killarney Irish Cream Blend

We kicked it off with the new Killarney pods and brewed up a 8oz cup of coffee using two pods. Taking what I said above, if you really want to get a good cup of 8oz coffee you're going to need to use the double pod holder with two pods.

The Killarney Irish cream blend with dash of French Vanilla has a nice taste right away. Also - it has a strong nose about it and you can really smell the flavor. After a few sips however we thought the coffee was a bit watery. The flavor of the coffee continued to be nice, however the coffee didn't seem to have as much silky texture as the medium or dark roast standard Senseo pods.

Also I have to say, the coffee flavor tastes a slightly artificial. It's had the difference in flavor of a pot of coffee brewed from irish cream beans versus flavored with Irish Cream syrup. If you like the more "syrup" flavor in a coffee - then this is spot on. If not - they you may not like the taste as much as a more standard bean flavored coffee.

Vienna Hazelnut Waltz

Img 0231Since we only had two of each of the pods, we decided to brew two 4oz cups of coffee, and combine them into 1 cup to see if we could improve on the water factor. Also, we made sure to pre-moisten the single pod holder to make sure we got a great seal.

This did seem to improve the flavor and water factor of the Vienna Hazlenut Waltz. I swear I could taste a hint of nut and chocolate when drinking this coffee. Also the two single brewed cups of coffee seemed to improve both the texture and extraction of the coffee with respect to crema and taste.

We really liked the Vienna over the Irish Cream of the Killarney however, the two also seemed to be rather similiar in flavor as well.

Paris French Vanilla flavor with hint of caramel

I'll say it right away. I liked this one the least of the three. Even when brewing the two single cups, it just didn't have the flavor the other two blends had. It was much more subtle and textured than the Killarney or Vienna. Don't get us wrong, it's not that we didn't like it - it just didn't have the flavor factor of the other two.

Conclusions

We liked the Senseo flavored pods. Out of the three new flavors we would have to pick the Vienna Hazelnut Waltz as our favorite. We were not blown away with the new pod flavors, but we weren't dissappointed totally either. I guess after waiting nearly a year for new flavors, and then trying out so many other pod flavors, it's hard to be blown away with these.

Pros:

  • Made for Senseo
  • Standard 7 gram weight for 4oz pod brewing

Cons

  • More expensive than current Light, Medium and Dark Roast pods
  • Slightly watery when brewed
  • Pod flavors all slightly similiar - not that distinct
  • Slightly artificial tasting compared to flavored bean coffee

Our final take - 2.75 out of 5 pods for all three flavors combined. Since the flavors are all pretty similar, we aren't going to give them an individual score. We think the new flavors are not amazing - but slightly above average overall. The pod flavors are a nice addition to the Senseo line of pods and finally give the Senseo the variety of flavors it needs to keep up in the Single Serve Coffee arena.

Senseo City Sensations

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Posted by Jay Brewer at May 24, 2005 10:04 AM

Recent Comments

I love the Killarney Irish Cream. I manged to find one package of the Paris at Target, but so far have not been able to find the Vienna anywhere. By far I prefer the Killarney to most every flavored pod I have purchased, and I only buy flavored pods.


Posted by: Grant Schenk at October 18, 2006 2:19 AM

I also concur with the previous poster. The Vienna flavor was very good, the Killarney Irish Cream okay, but the Paris French Vanilla tasted like marshmallow. Not something I prefer. I'll probably buy the Vienna flavor again for a treat once in a while.


Posted by: Pamela Russo at June 10, 2005 2:29 PM

I finally received the sample pack, almost in several pieces(darn post office). And I'm in total agreement with your review Jay, the Vienna Hazelnut Waltz is also my favorite of the 3. The others are mediocre, and TBH having all 3 of these things seems a little redundant and is probably just an extra SKU to take up more grocery isle space. I believe Senseo is gonna bring over to the States the Selection series variety that is out in Europe. Hopefully there is more taste contrast between them.


Posted by: Hwan Valdeez at May 26, 2005 1:35 PM
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