November 29, 2005

Review: simplehuman Single Cup Pod Brewer

Review from Single Serve - Coffee Pod ReviewsP-Coffee-Pod-BrewerIt's nice to see a new company in the single serve coffee game. It's really nice to see a company that has both amazing design and function to every kitchen item they've designed. It's also really really nice to see that company have it's first appliance as a single serve coffee brewer.

If you go to any major department store, kitchen store, or place that has housewares you'll see simplehuman's amazing stainless steel trash cans, containers, dish racks, and other extremely well designed products. We've been reviewing several of their products at Kitchen Contraptions and have found them all to be quite excellent.

We have been using the simplehuman single cup pod brewer over the past two weeks and are quite impressed. The brewer is very compact and also has a striking design. We think the overall impression of the simplehuman single cup pod brewer has been one of quality. Read on to get our moment of truth impressions and our run down and sampling of the coffees.

Moment of Truth - Opening the simplehuman single cup brewer

Img 1664Img 1665Rarely do I get the pleasure of opening a coffee maker that has the polish of opening an ipod. If you've had the pleasure of buying any Apple product then you know how amazing just opening it can be. The simplehuman packaging and presentation of the brewer is so well thought out we nearly cried. From the other smooth shell of the box and simple photography, to the unveiling of the accessories located on top, to the instructions and the fan of coffee flavors that looked like a well designed paint chip spread - it was just stunning.

Img 1667Img 1673Removing the brewer itself reveals a very compact, very solid single serve coffee brewer. There is a handle on one side and a pod holder located in the jaws of the coffee machine. The water tank looks small but holds 42 oz. Immediately you're struck with the blue clock and oz gauge and the ability to brew two cups of coffee - 5 and 8 oz. It's all so clear.


The new simplehuman brewer features a 42 oz. water tank, brews 5 oz or 8 oz cups of coffee, and fits all standard-size pods. The simplehuman single cup pod brewer also comes with two pod holders. A brown pod holder is included for heavier weight/'gourmet' pods - up to 10.5gm's; and a green one for lighter weight coffee pods (like the Senseo which comes in around 7 gms).

Img 1685simplehuman has also partnered with Molto coffee to create a new line of coffee and tea pods. Each pod comes individually wrapped to preserve the coffee freshness. Coffee and Tea pods are packed in a sleeve box and priced at $5.99 for 14 pods.

The following coffees and teas are available now:

  • Costa Rican French Roast (dark)
  • Sumatra Mandheling (medium)
  • Breakfast Blend (light)
  • French Vanilla (flavored)
  • Decaf Columbian
  • Earl Grey (tea)

Brewing a cup of simplehuman single serve coffee

Just like any of the single serve coffee brewers in coffee pod category, the simplehuman single serve coffee brewer uses a coffee pod holder, a coffee pod, and some very fresh spring water. The brewer features a pressure chamber (not sure how many bars) and the ability to use one 10 oz pod at a time.

Unlike the Senseo, the simplehuman brewer will not produce a faux crema when brewing but does provide a slight froth of crema on the top of a brewed cup. We think the coffee produced is on par with the more expensive Bunn My Cafe and the Krups Home Cafe. If you like a more straightforward cup of coffee then you'll like this single serve coffee brewer.

Img 1686Img 1687Though the simplehuman pods weigh in at 9.5 ozs, we were able to use pods from Cool Beans, Baronet Coffee, and Green Mountain in the brewer.

The simplehuman single cup pod brewer is not designed to use two coffee pods. A brown pod holder is included for heavier weight/'gourmet' pods - up to 10.5gm's; and a green one for lighter weight coffee pods (like the Senseo which comes in around 7gms). We tried two Senseo pods in the brewer and it wouldn't close. We don't recommend trying to get it closed either. If we've learned anything over the past year it's not to force a brewer closed and then try and brew. You'll end up with hot water everywhere.

Img 1690Since you have two brew options after you insert the coffee pod and close the brewer, you'll need to pick 5 oz or 8 oz and then hit brew. It's really that simple. We found the brewer heats up quite quickly and the coffee produced is piping hot.

Sampling the Coffees

Img 1689The packaging and presentation once again on the Molto coffees is excellent. The coffees are easy to distinguish and weigh in at 9.5 grams for each coffee pod. Each pod also comes individually wrapped and we found the aroma from each pod we opened to be right there in your face - very fresh.

Img 1695We will focus on the Sumatra Mandheling and the Costa Rican French Roast (I'm drinking it right now) for this review. We love them both. The Sumatra is dark and rich and has that light hint of chocolate you'd expect. The french roast (I'm drinking it right now) is full bodied and has that deep flavor you want from a french roast.

The others coffees are okay but not preferred over the french roast and sumatra. We tend to like darker richer coffees and we think the Molto coffee delivers on these quite well.


For the price of $129.99 we think you'll get your moneys worth out of the simplehuman single cup pod brewer. The simplehuman single cup pod brewer makes an excellent cup of single serve coffee and has a great design and finish for such a new product.

Update: We think in comparison to the Senseo at $69.99 and the Bunn My Cafe at $199.99 - this machine is perfectly placed in the middle of the coffee pod world. We also liked the Krups My Cafe, but felt the double cup brewing wasn't totally necessary, and we like the addition of many of the touches like the LCD clock, easy controls, and large easy to fill tank on the simplehuman pod brewer.

We are going to give it a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Simplehuman Single Cup Pod

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Posted by Jay Brewer at November 29, 2005 8:14 AM
Recent Comments

I would like to replace my simplehuman single coffee pod brewer. I called the company store in California and was told that they no longer make this product. Do you have any leads as to where I can find a leftover in any store? If not, what other pod brewers do you recommend? Rosina

Posted by: Rosina G. Novello at January 7, 2010 1:20 PM

Hello Jay...Was wondering what your thoughts are on a pod coffee maker. We like to try different coffee flavors and like the idea of the simple human coffee pod, but we drink 8-16oz of coffee per person. What are your other ideas on these guidelines?

Posted by: candice at June 28, 2009 8:01 PM

Where is the edit button around here?
it was discontinued not discounted

Posted by: JJP in DC at May 13, 2008 9:29 AM

My 8 month old unit stopped working. I called SimpleHuman Custemer service (5/12/08)and was told that the product has been discounted due to a high failure rate. Got a 100% refund since I bought direct for their website. I imagine purchases from other sources will not be as lucky. I see it still offered for sale at other web sites. Beware!

They are re-engineering a unit for 2009.

Posted by: JJP in DC at May 13, 2008 9:25 AM

The Simple Human Pod brewer looks good with extensive electronics however there are no repair centers or parts available for sale .If they are still selling the machine and you are under warranty they will sell you a new one cheap but as soon as this Chinese manufacturer stops selling this product you will be on your own. Problems exist with new machines including leaks and self priming problems.When you actually hold one in your hands you will immediately see why the Bunn is a far better product.

Posted by: Rjsplace at October 18, 2007 10:50 PM

I too am having the same problems Bill Monetti reports. I bought a Simple Human single pod brewer last May. We had it approximately 6 weeks when it started to quit brewing about 1/2 way through the brew process. The first time it happened, I pushed the brew button again, and I heard a popping noise. It did that a few times, and then it began to spill water from the sides whenever I would brew a cup. We called Simple Human, and they were very helpful. They sent us a brand new machine once we faxed them a copy of our receipt. We got the new one, but because we were moving we didn't unpack it from the box for about 3 months. When we did unpack it, it only took about three weeks this time for the same thing to begin happening. I am having the same thoughts about not replacing it, although, we still are within the one-year warranty from the original purchase, and could get them to replace it again. Are Bill and I alone in this experience? Can I fix my machine or is it junk?

Posted by: Linda Hamm at February 9, 2007 6:18 PM

I purchased the Simple Human coffee maker a couple of weeks ago. I do think it's attractive to look at, but my issue with the machine is that I NEED A WHOLE CUP OF COFFEE!!! Even though it gives you the choice of either 5 oz. or 8 oz., I get half a cup everytime; and my "cup" is not a mug. For that reason alone, I regret buying the machine. Unfortunately, I did not save the box it came in. Can I still return it?

Posted by: Karen Ayers at January 10, 2007 4:54 PM

This coffee maker has great design and the best brew of coffee we've tasted, and Im an absolute coffee lover! However... The design in the water tank system needs to be greatly improved... the top of the unit, after filling, has to be pushed down in order to not have the adjoing piecxe, where the tube is, come un-done. A real problem, after only 6 months of use is, it leaks from the bottom, and Im sure its leaking from inside the unit, and running down to the base... Not only does it short you from your cup of joe your brewin, but theres a real possibility of an electrical fire hazard, as the inside gets wet as well... I've written to SH and awaiting an answer as to what the problem is, and if they'll take it back for a replacement, which they should... Anyone else out there having similar problems on this new SH pod brewer?? Thanks...

Posted by: Bill Monetti at November 16, 2006 9:07 PM

I'm currently on my second Simple Human...I received my first one for Christmas last year and by February, it blew a gasket and leaked all over my kitchen. I replaced it and did fine until today. I brewed an 8 oz cup and noticed that it looked like less than 8 oz. So I hit the button again and it brewed again. I was drinking my coffee when all of a sudden it started brewing again by itself and at the same time began leaking all over my counter. Has anyone else had these types of problems. I love the machine...but don't want to buy another only to have to replace it in less than a year.

Posted by: Connie Miller at November 11, 2006 11:25 AM

Has anybody tried Baronets 12 oz. Monster pods? I don't want to blow up my machine.

Posted by: john at April 19, 2006 11:26 PM

I just used my Simple Human coffee maker for the first time today and the coffee had a plastic taste from the water container. Has anyone else had this problem? Does it go away with time?

Posted by: Baylie Rose at March 7, 2006 10:20 AM

This is the best coffee brewer ever Simplehuman . I am a coffee expert, after living in 4 country and drinking coffee for 23 years. I can give my opinion, This is fair the best coffee every.

Posted by: Steven at January 16, 2006 3:26 PM

This is the best coffee brewer ever Simplehuman . I am a coffee expert, after living in 4 country and drinking coffee for 23 years. I can give my opinion, This is fair the best coffee every.

Posted by: Steven at January 16, 2006 3:23 PM

My year-old Juan Valdez/Melitta pod coffeemaker broke on Christmas Day, right after the warranty was up! I found your thorough review of the Simplehuman brand and was convinced. I ran out first thing the next morning before entertaining, and used my 20% off coupon at 3B (Bed Bath & Beyond). The difference is amazing - like comparing instant coffee to a good cup at a restaurant. My old one gave a pretty weak less-than-8-oz, not-hot-enough cup. The Simplehuman delivers a very flavorful full 8 oz cup that isn't cold when cream is added. The used pod wasn't drippy like the Juan Valdez, either. I plan to purchase more of the Molto coffees it came with. I also tried a One:One Cooper's tea pod using the smaller pod holder and thought the tea had more flavor using the Simplehuman. The only negative I can think of is that it may be too powerful for someone with inadequate wiring because it does make our kitchen lights dim a little while heating up. I give it 4 stars.

Posted by: Chris at December 28, 2005 5:41 PM

This was great info for picking up a pod machine so thank you all. I bought another brand with dual pods on line because it looked like it fit a travel mug better. But the brick did not function when it arrived - no coffee!? This was a good thing, because I really like the simplehuman from BB&B that I promplty replaced it with. Great productization! Less plastic. Much better lever for the top. For the very first cup I used one of the french roast that came with - and it was a little bit bitter. Perseverence. Every cup since has been really quite good. The manhelding is great. The heat is decent (1450 W vs 1100 W for the other brand). I will microwave a couple of oz of milk anyway while the simplehuman heats up (first cup from power up takes about a minute or so, it is push and drip from there) and then use the 5 oz setting to top off the cup. Oh - the travel mug - does fit when canted over with the metal drip tray grate holding the bottom rim - this is the negative that can be lived with for the few seconds that it takes to make a pod. Convenience.

Posted by: Dave at December 27, 2005 10:48 PM

Just used my new Simple Human for the first time this afternoon. I brought one as a present for my brother and one for myself. I think the design of the unit is very good. However I do agree that it doesn't handle tall mugs all that well. The unit is well made. However, I was surprised at how little coffee it makes per pod. This is my first single brew machine and I think I was expecting to get 10-12 oz of coffee per pod. I know I know... wishful thinking. Starbucks Venti cups have spoiled me. I was a bit disappointed then thought about if I need to use two pods for a nice size mug that still only about 80 cents. Still beats the .. stuffing.. out of Starbucks. I was going to buy the Tassimo as a gift instead, but there are no Tassimo cups available, yet, at grocery stores. I want to make sure that my brother and wife can get pods locally if they run out before the order better coffee from the net. I love this site by the way. Very informative with very cool people who are into coffee. Merry Christmas all.

Posted by: Greg at December 24, 2005 9:10 PM

Sorry about the triple post. Caffein makes me jittery.

Posted by: John at December 19, 2005 6:20 PM

Does anybody know if any of the refillable pods fit the Simplehuman brewer? I just ordered one due to this review but I want to be able to use my own beans. Maybe I was hasty.

Posted by: John at December 19, 2005 6:16 PM

Just brewed my first single cup and it was very tasty. I like the french vanilla blend, but there's a lot more to try. I did not find the pods to be dripping wet. I was concerned when I primed the unit and saw extra water in the pod holder, but once I put a pod in, it seemed to have absorbed most of the moisture. I think it would be hard to find a coffee brewer that is completely dry. I mean the filters in my regular coffee pot brewer are dripping wet all the time. My other friends have really expensive single brewers and I have tried theirs, but I do have to say, this is the best one I've tasted so far. For the money as well, it's totally worth it. The Senseo's seem too cheap to me, their mostly plastic anyways. The design of the Simple Human is just too cool.

Posted by: chae N. Hong at December 10, 2005 12:38 AM

Design is one of the most important things to me and the Simple Human design is great. Who cares about the coffee if the unit is an eyesore in the kitchen? Simple Human's stainless steel/aluminum are one of the highest grades that I have seen in kitchen appliances and it's nice to see them incorporate it into the brewer. Low clearance height is not an issue for me. Just pour it out of a regular coffee cup into the travel mug (it takes less than 10 seconds). Besides to accommodate a travel mug the clearance would be too high and take away from the compact look, but that's just my opinion.

Posted by: Chae at December 9, 2005 2:27 PM

I just bought a Braum Tassimo and disappointed in the noise it makes. Not knowing much about these single cup machines I would like to know if they all make this much noise.

Thanks. ....Dan

Posted by: Dan at December 9, 2005 10:22 AM

Jay... I'm on the hunt for the perfect pod brewer (and have yet to find one) and have now acquired the Keurig special edition and the Simple Human pod brewer. I'm wondering why on earth you didn't put the low cup clearance of the Simple Human Brewer in your review? I drink from a mug and I think most people today in the US do too. My mug does not fit in the SImple Human Brewer. Also I find the pods to be dripping wet upon removal, making a mess of dripping coffee upon disposal of the used pod. I had the Krups and the Black & Decker Home Cafe and the Bunn My Cafe before these two and found neither one made coffee as hot as I prefer. The Keurig looks the best but I was hoping to find a standard pod brewer since the K-Cups are hard to find locally, are pricey and must be mail ordered.

Two huge things that bother me about the Bunn My Cafe and the Krups Home Cafe is why on earth do they put the water resevoir in the rear with no convenient way of seeing how much water you have from the front. Once the coffee maker is set up up a counter near the backsplash you can run out of water in the middle of a brew and waste a pod. Another annoying thing I found with the Krups is the need to turn it on, wait for it to heat , then get teh ability to press another button to brew... an extra unnecessary step that is hard to remember when bleary eyed first thing in the morning. One final question, I paid for each and every one of my machines to try them in a real home environment. Does single serve coffee do the same or is there "consideration" for advertising on the site? How about a posting from visitors who have or tried different brewers as to the features we'd like. My list so far includes: 1.) Good height clearance to accomodate a travel mug, 2.) The ability to brew a decently strong full mug without having to use two pods or K-Cups to do it... 3.) A water resevoir that is easily seen and filled from the front (with both removable for thorough cleaning and fillable in place for convenience. ...) 4.) Coffee brewed so hot that it gives you a couple of minutes to add cream and get settled so when you get to it is is still hot. (Dunkin Donuts or Starbucks coffee is at a temperature you can never dive right in when you get it and adding cream doesn't cool it to the point to have to microwave it before having your first sip) 5.) Finally what would be nice is a wall hugger plug that points the cord downwars so as to not take up an extra two inches from the wayy and a cord wrap to neatly store extra length of cord because mine sits on the counter all the time.


Posted by: Robin at December 6, 2005 9:55 AM

Both will use tea bags or tea pods. I've been using tea bags in our senseo for quite some time.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at December 4, 2005 3:30 PM

I want to get either the Simple Human or Senseo as an x'mas present for the husband. Which would you get?

I like the fact that the Senseo does the faux frothing thing and the Simple Human doesn't...

Can they both use tea pods too??

Thanks, Mel

Posted by: Melanie Agnew at December 4, 2005 2:49 PM

That would be fantastic, Jay. Any chance you'll have the big brew off comparison done soon? In time for those of use doing our holiday shopping?


Posted by: Bradley at December 2, 2005 6:05 PM

I'm currently working on a big brew off - I'll make sure and include the simplehuman brewer in it and compare.

Posted by: Jay Brewer at November 29, 2005 7:16 PM

Hi Jay, thanks for the review. Do you have an opinions on how the Simplehuman brewer compares to the Bunn and/or the Grindmaster? I'd be most interested if you're able to run a side by side brewing test to see how these machines stack up in terms of quality of the cup. As you already know, from tests I've done on the Grindmaster versus Bunn I think the Grindmaster does better on coffees and the Bunn better on teas. It would be nice to know how the Simplehuman brewer slots into the ranking.


Posted by: darrylr at November 29, 2005 5:46 PM
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