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senseo.jpgWeekends are about coffee in my home. The Philips Senseo is a coffee maker that makes one cup of coffee at a time, insert single serving Fight Club reference here. I saw one at the store a few days ago and remembered reading about analogies to its “protected” coffee pods that keep you locked in to Philips pod system like DRM on many music players do. I never really thought about buying a Senseo, but today on the del.icio.us bookmarks a guide showed up on making your own coffee pods as well as a universal version. So, now I am thinking of getting one and writing this up for a future issue. Has anyone made their own pods out there? Is the Senseo that good?

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. isaac32767 says:

    I’m mystified by the whole PDCM (personal digital coffee maker) scene. You boil some water, you pour it into a Fillter Cone. A lot less expensive than a PDCM, and it lets you choose your own brand of coffee. I suppose it’s less convenient — but not if you make your own pods!

    And yet nobody seems to use filter cones any more. Not all coffee vendors stock them, and those that do don’t seem to move a lot of them. I guess they’re unkewl.

  2. itsastickup says:

    Filtering makes bad coffee since the oils get left behind; its only one degree above good instant. In my opinion any other method than using an espresso machine, of which the Senseo is a very convenient form, or a stove-top coffee maker (manual espresso machine) makes bad coffee. Speaking as a connoisseur, of course…

  3. mrfancypants says:

    After countless years shooting the breeze with the coffee snobs at the now defunct “Drinkmore Cafe” (one of Seattle’s best espresso joints) I think that “itsastickup” is correct: Great coffee requires (1)A good blend of arabica beans (2)A good, fresh grind firmly packed (3)Filtered water forced through the grind with significant pressure.

    If you don’t want to buy commercial equipment, use a french press or stove top, NOT a filter drip system.

  4. isaac32767 says:

    Thanks to itsastickup for explaining that the Senseo is a kind of espresso machine. But oily versus non-oily coffee is a matter of preference, not quality. I find it curious that gadgets that are really espresso machines are labeled as coffee machines. I seem to recall a time when there was a clear distinction between the two.

    As long as we

  5. isaac32767 says:

    You ate my post!

    Thanks to itsastickup for explaining that the Senseo is a kind of espresso machine. But oily versus non-oily coffee is a matter of preference, not quality. I find it curious that gadgets that are really espresso machines are labeled as coffee machines. I seem to recall a time when there was a clear distinction between the two.

    As long as we’re talking connoisseurship, I have to point out that some people don’t consider espresso drinkable unless it’s made on a $10,000 machine by a well-trained barista!

  6. cuvtixo says:

    I was microwaving water and using instant coffee before getting a Black and Decker PDCM– its quicker and better. Obviously I’m a caffeine junkie and not a coffee snob, but for someone who wants a quick coffee its great! Once I put in the pod and turn it on, the coffee gets made then turns itself off, and I can let it sit while I rush around. I use it for tea and swissmiss cocoa too.

  7. MobiProf says:

    Hi,

    How nice of you to link to my How to create your own Senseo coffee pads.

    I’ve written quite a few Senseo reviews and essays, of which this is surely the least senseoable.

    Living in Holland, I did the first English review of a Senseo machine, which contains a reasonably detailed description of the overall operation of a Senseo.

    The particular model reviewed there, the Philips Senseo HD7801 Limited Edition, is strictly a European model. The first model for sale in the USA is the HD7810, reviewed in Senseous Hot Black Gold.

    There are several brands of refillable coffee filter for use with the Senseo out now. I gave my less than impressed impression of the first one in Unsenseoble Permanent Filter for your variable Senseo Fix.
    Then again, I heartily recommend owners of a Senseo to buy the top-notch Senseous Canister made by Brabantia.

    I have collected about a dozen Senseous tips and tricks, including how to tune the strength of the coffee to your taste and where to download the electronic manuals (PDF format), in Senseotional Tips.

    And oh, if you do go senseoexperimenting, do be sure to some reasonable precautionary measures. It is very very easy to lock up a Senseo, and there are two procedures for opening it. The first is to wait while pressure escapes slowly. This may take days. The other involves opening the machine and fiddling with the innards, something I do not recommend to anyone. However, I can confirm from personal experience that spare parts are available for less than the price of the entire machine ;-)

    - MobiProf

  8. Coffee Queen says:

    I, too, have owned my Senseo for some time now. I first purchased the 7810 and loooooved it. However, the short cup clearance was a problem. I needed it to accommodate a taller cup. Then, SHAZAM! They came out with the newest model – far more expensive, but my hubby got if for me last Christmas. It has the adjustable cup clearance and a couple of other bells and whistles that aren’t as important to me.

    Here’s the clincher. The coffee doesn’t taste right. I even went so far as to purchase another one from a different source, thinking I just got a bad one. It has to do with the heating element. It makes the water taste like vaporizer/humidifier water (like you use when you have a cold…). I then called Sara Lee/Senseo, and they offered to send me a new one in exchange. Still the same problem. I think it must just be the new model. Has anyone else experienced this? You can even smell the difference? If I hadn’t had the first one, I wouldn’t know how good the coffee from this machine could be and would just think it made yucky coffee. I don’t know of another maker that makes the “head” on the coffee and provides the same rich taste, do you?

  9. bj says:

    my grandson gave me his Senseo but i do not have a manual for it-do u know where i can get one ?