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258 of 267 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2010
Verified Purchase
We have this machine, bought in 2004 and used 2-3 times a day. It still works fine, but it's white and we wanted a black one to match our new kitchen appliances. So the old one goes into storage in case the new one breaks down.

There are a lot of so-called "single-serving" coffee makers on the market today. My wife and I have been very select coffee drinkers all our marriage - nearly 30 years. We started with a beautiful La Pavoni expresso maker, which we still have although we had it completely overhauled about 8 years ago.

When we saw the Senseo we thought we'd try it because it seemed much less trouble - although we were highly suspicious of anything that made coffee from "pods" because we were used to grinding our own coffee from beans stored in air-tight containers in the freezer and each cup of coffee we made was made from freshly ground beans.

From the very beginning we were impressed with the Senseo. Push a button and 90 seconds later the water for coffee is at temperature. Push another button and you have a fresh cup of delicious hot coffee, complete with a nice "creama" or frothy top just as you would get from an espresso coffee machine. The single serving button gives you a cup a little larger than the single serving espresso you typically get - say in a Parisian or Italian coffee house. This may not be enough for American coffee drinkers used to a large mug of coffee. If not, you can push the "double" button and get either a large cup of coffee or two small cups the size of an espresso drink described above. Coffee pods come in all strengths (light, medium, dark roast), flavors etc. and are sold at Wal-Mart, Target, Safeway etc. and online at Amazon and lots of other places.

The pods come 18 to a package and a package costs about $4.75 - $5.25 depending on how many you buy and where. That averages about 25-30 cents per cup of coffee if you choose the single serving button - twice that for the double serving button. This is more than if you make drip coffee or do espresso with fresh ground beans, but I think it's worth the convenience. The resulting cup of coffee is really good - rich, hot, flavorful and frothy. We used "Dark Roast" but tastes vary.

As I said earlier, our 6-year-old machine still works pefectly and we use it every day, at least twice but more often quite frequently.

When we have guests we sometimes go back to the automatic drip coffee maker so we can put a whole pot of hot coffee on the table. But even then, if guests request, we can make cups so fast that it's no problem to serve 4-6 guests a hot cup, all done within 4-5 minutes.

We recommend the senseo to friends without reservation.

However, there is one thing you must remember if you use this machine - and this is probably true for any machine: If your water has a lot of minerals in it - especially calcium - you must clean this machine periodically. The instructions say every 90 days - but where we live the calcium builds up quickly so we do it about every 60 days. This is important. A friend of ours through out his machine because he said the coffee started tasting bad and I'm sure sure it was because he wasn't cleaning the machine at all. It's easy to clean - just run half vinegar and half water through it once, and then pure water once. All you do is put in the vingegar and water, then push both buttons (the single serving and the double serving) and the machine pumps all of the water / vinegar solution through the machine without stopping. Of course, you have to be sure it has a contained below large enough to receive all of this liquid.

Also, depending on the mineral deposits in your water, you may need to push a needle or pin through the pod holder drain hole once in a while because sometimes a grain of coffee or calcium build-up clogs the hole.

The machine comes with a reservoir tank for water, two pod holders (one pod and two pods) and a supply of coffee (one package of 18 pods).

You can order accessories for the machine, which include:

A double sized water reservoir (I recommend it highly), replacement pod holders, and a specil pod holder for making espresso coffee especially. You can also buy other replacement parts, but there are only two other parts besides the reservoir and pod holders. These two parts are the small overflow or spill catcher plastic part and a metal "grill" where you sit the coffee cup.

The new machine we ordered from Amazon (in black rather than the white one we already had) has one difference from the machine we bought 6 years ago: the spout where the coffee comes out it shorter, making it higher from the grill where the coffee cup sits. This is an improvement because now you can sit a large mug under the spout whereas the old machine made this difficult because the spout extended down quite far - made to accommodate short little demitasse (sp?) or espress cup sizes. You can still use these smaller cups with the new spout but now you can also use a large mug if you want a "full-size" cup of coffee.

Summary Good Points:

1. The coffee is very good.
2. The coffee maker is very reliable. Our first one has worked without fail for 6 years and is still working. We just wanted a different color.
3. The coffee maker works very fast. A fresh cup of coffee from "0" to finished cup in about 3 minutes. After the first cup, the next cups can be made in less than 1 minute.
4. The price is far below most other single serving coffee makers: We bought our new one from Amazon in April 2010 for $49 with no cost for shipping.
5. The price for each cup of coffee is below any other single serving coffee makers that I have researched. This coffee maker costs between 25 and 30 cents per cup. Double that if you make a typical American "mug" sized cup of coffee.
6.Coffee pods are available at Wal-Mart, Safeway, Targe and other major chains. You can buy a "pod-maker" which allows you to make your own pods. This may be cheaper but we prefer the convenience of commercially produced pods since the coffee is still very affordable even if you buy the pods ready-made.

Caveat: Coffee will turn bad if you do not perform simple regular cleaning - i.e. run half vinegar/half water through the machine at least every 90 days. Every 60 days is better if you live where the water has high mineral content and creates build-up in the machine. If you have a water softener or filter or use bottled water this may keep the machine cleaner longer.

Summary bad points:

We have had good experience with Philips products. They are a Dutch company (perhaps owned by the Royal Family, I'm not sure) and they seem to research companies and then buy them. Some examples are this Senseo machine and their Sonicar electric toothbrush.

Except for their TV, we have had good experience with Philips products. We bought a Philips TV and a Philips DVD/VHS player. The TV works OK but we can't get the player/recorder to work with the TV. When we called their support line the only suggestion they had was to buy another player. So for TVs and DVD/VHS player / recorders we stick to Japanese products.

But the Senseo coffee maker is an excellent machine and we recommend it highly.
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117 of 122 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2009
I received the Senseo coffee maker as a birthday gift 2 years ago and use it almost daily. I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and hate to waste a full pot of coffee if all I want is one or two cups. Making coffee with a Melitta one-cup filter is just too much work compared to the simplicity of the Senseo coffee maker.

The Senseo coffee maker has a reservoir that is easy to fill, and the pods are very convenient to just drop into the pod holder. Two tips I picked up from a single-serve review web site:

1: Pre-moisten the coffee pod so that the edges seal better to the holder, and

2: Preheat your milk so that the milk doesn't cool the coffee when it pours into your cup. I preheat my milk for 30 seconds in the microwave, easy to do while the water is warming up.

I like being able to make a quick double for my travel mug when I'm running late--much faster than driving to Dunkin' Donuts or Starbucks and not knowing how long the line will be.

I love to show off my machine for company. I can accommodate everyone, whether they want regular or decaf, mild or strong, etc.

My only wish is that there could be more varieties to choose from. Plus a little hot chocolate would be nice--especially with the foam on top that the machine makes with every cup. K-cups seem to own the market on variety.

Yes, my machine was one of the ones that was recalled. While I had no problem with the old machine, Philips made it very simple by shipping the new machine by FedEx and requesting that the old one be shipped back at their expense in the same packaging. And I was surprised with a pretty white one which replaced the old black one. The white one goes better in my kitchen, a silly thing to obsess about, but I like it.

All in all, the Senseo is quick, easy, fun, and convenient. It's also a lot cheaper than buying on the road.
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186 of 212 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2010
For the most part I love the coffee that comes out of my Senseo. Unfortunately there's too little of it.

Before you start railing against over-sized everything, look at your coffee cup. I bet it's a 12 ounce cup, or at least a 10. A 4 oz cup is an espresso cup, tiny, great for espresso, too small for coffee.

So, it takes 2 pods to brew an 8oz cup. I've lived in Japan, and it'd be perfect for the way they drink coffee, but not the way people seem to drink it in the states. Mug in the morning to get going, mug mid day to keep going. Two "cups" of coffee would mean using six senseo pods in a day, every day.

The coffee is delicious, rich, soft... yes its crema. Very yummy. But it costs roughly 40 cents per 8oz, depending on which pods you buy and where.

My buddy gave me his Senseo machine because it was impractical to fill a travel mug with it, and it only filled his coffee mugs (12oz) 2/3 with the 8oz max pour (yes, you could do multiple runs, but doesn't that defeat the purpose of a pod system?)

So I like the coffee a lot, but the servings were too small, the water reservoir too small, and the coffee too pricey. Great espresso machine, not so great coffee machine.

I've stayed with a pod system, but switched to Keurig. Their K-Cups are roughly the same cost, but you get a lot more variety, and more coffee per pod. 12oz instead of 4oz. Also, you can do tea and even fill a mesh pod with your own coffee.

Keurig has a better system with about the same upfront cost, same pod cost, but you get more coffee, more conveniently, and it tastes great.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2010
Verified Purchase
I purchased this coffee maker to replace the same make and model that has become less efficient after 3 or 4 years of daily use.

The new machine has a STRONG plastic or burnt electronics smell that permeates the water and coffee making it undrinkable. We cleaned it repeatedly with no improvement at all. I returned the machine for replacement. The replacement is just as bad and has been returned for a refund.

Amazon should pull this item from the site and send the remaining stock back to the manufacturer. I suspect the entire lot is BAD.

The Senseo working properly makes the best coffee I've ever had, but I am now afraid to purchase another. I switched to another more expensive brand, it's not as good as an original Senseo, but at least I don't feel that I might be drinking toxic coffee.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2010
Verified Purchase
Some days, I don't need to brew a full pot of coffee, so a one-cup system was a good option. I was attracted to the Senseo because the machine is relatively inexpensive, and the pods are compostable as opposed to wasteful, toxic plastic. The machine works well, with some caveats.

1) There's a learning curve on the machine. If a good seal isn't formed, it will leak. If you don't position the pods properly, the coffee will be weak. Prepare for some trial and error when you first get the machine.
2) The one-cup option is very small, designed for a 4 ounce European style cup as opposed to a big American mug. That means it basically takes two pods to make a mug. That suddenly makes the coffee much more expensive per cup if you use pre-packaged pods.
3) The quality of the coffee made depends totally on the quality of the coffee used. The coffee that came with the machine was terrible, but when I used my own gourmet coffee - it was good.
4) I bought a coffee duck, which eliminates the need for pods and allows you to use any coffee. The coffee duck also requires some trial and error, but I can fill it in about 30 seconds at this point - so it's not much more labor intensive than using pods and it rinses easily. It's a must if you're going to get this machine and make it cost-effective. As others have said, a dark espresso grind with the coffee duck makes a great cup of regular coffee.
5) This thing brews good coffee but downright excellent tea. And you can use regular tea bags instead of pods or the coffee duck for loose tea.
6) As others have said, the water is not hot like in some more powerful machines. Heat the milk and cup, and this is fine. I developed a routine to do that while the machine heats up in the morning. It works great.
7) It's not an espresso machine. Don't expect it to be. But it does put a nice bit of froth on the coffee.

All in all, if you know what you are getting and develop a good system, this will work for you. I still use my regular drip machine if I know I need a pot. But this is great for quick morning cups, late night decaf and tea.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
I've been a long time fan of Senseo coffee makers and D-E coffee pods. This last order was my fourth coffee maker from them and for the first time I am disappointed. Make that disgusted. The coffee maker and the coffee coming from it have an incredibly strong plastic odor and taste that makes me think of decaying Chinese Drywall. My last maker from the end of 2009 did not do this nor have any of my others but looking at the reviews it seems that the new ones do. DO NOT BUY!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2011
Verified Purchase
I also experienced the very strong plastic taste that others are reporting. The taste is so bad that coffee didn't taste like coffee at all. The way to determine if your machine is putting this into your coffee is to make a cup without coffee grounds, let the water cool down and taste and compare it to your tap water, or whatever you put into your machine. The amount of plastic was unbelievable. The way I got rid of this was to run 25, 2-cup brews through the system without coffee. I tasted the water a few times along the way and compared it to my tap water. I have a whole house filter and water softening system - my water tastes better than bottled water. I noticed at around cycle 18 that the water taste was identical and the plastic taste was removed - but I just continued to 25 to be sure. Now the coffee tastes wonderful and exactly how it should. My biggest concern is wondering - what did I drink the first two times I made coffee, before removing the plastic taste.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2009
Yes, you have to use two pods per cup to get decent coffee and that is exactly what you'll do. It still has far and away the most choices of good pods here on Amazon and in stores, and is much cheaper to use than Keurig. We like to use two Baronet Coffee Organic Espresso Dark, Fair Trade, 18-Count Pods (Pack of 3) with one Wolfgang Puck Coffee Pods, Sorrento Colombian Swiss Water Process Decaf Blend, 18-Count Box (Pack of 3) and one Café Halo Ethical Addiction Coffee Pods, 16-Count, 4.23 Ounce Bags (Pack of 6). This is 25% decaf coffee that is delicious for about 50 cents per cup. Black coffee fans will love the orange foam on top of the cup produced by the Senseo, but we pollute ours with 2 T. of Starbucks mocha powder, a little SB Carmel sauce, some cinnamon and milk. It tastes exactly like SB's Mocha, much faster, without the extra calories and saves us $3 every day.
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33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2010
Verified Purchase
I fell in love with Douwe Egbert coffee several years ago. A friend who has a Senseo machine is always telling me how much she loves hers. As I am still using a cheap, drip coffee-maker, the coffee gets stale, bitter and cold after a few hours.

It is hard sometimes to "treat" myself to what I consider luxuries but given all of the above, combined with a $20 rebate on the machine and a sale on the coffee I finally splurged. Visions of delicious, fresh coffee on demand were prancing in my head.

Amazon came through like the champ they are with the machine and coffee delivered the next day using Prime Shipping. (Prime Shipping is WONDERFUL!)

So, it was with great anticipation that I opened the box and pulled off the plastic bag. The smell of plastic fumes was immediately evident, which concerned me as I had read the reviews and somebody else said after going through a whole bag of pods and cleaning the machine multiple times their coffee tasted and smelled of plastic.

I too have the same issue, the coffee tastes and even smells like plastic. It is undrinkable. To give a clue how bad it is, instant - decaf tastes better! This is after running 3 tanks full of water through the machine, running all of the removable parts through the dishwasher and wasting 6 pods on undrinkable coffee.

After throwing out the last cup I went back to the drip coffee maker. I will contact Senseo and if they cannot resolve the issue I will have no choice but to return this machine.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2010
I am a little by of a coffee snob and used to own a $600 Saeco. After our $aeco broke and was going to cost a fortune to fix, I came across the Senseo.

The quality of the coffee it makes almost compares. Definately close enough to $aeco, for a fraction of the price.

However, to really enjoy the potential of this machine - learn how to make your own pods.

Check the web, search for how to make your own senseo pods , or try to understand my instructions..

All you need are flat 4 cup US paper coffee filters, a measuring spoon that approximates the circumference of the Senseo pod holder and something to push into the measuring cup to form the pod shape. I use a shot glass. Lay the filter over the measuring cup, press it into the measuring cup with the shot glass and voila, you have a pod raeady for YOUR favorite coffee. Fill it up and fold the rest of the filter over and enjoy.

Not only can you enjoy your own favorite coffees, you will also likely save a lot of money vs buying the pricey pods.

I found that my system works best with the double pod holder and coffee very finely ground.

Anyway I love this machine.
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