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Mo’ Bitter Brews — Philips Senseo Review

July 10, 2004

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One Response to “Mo’ Bitter Brews — Philips Senseo Review”

  1. ploeg on November 1st, 2004 7:53 pm

    I agree, the main flaw in the concept is the coffee (the quality and freshness thereof). By design, you’re using preground coffee, which drastically reduces the shelf life of the product. So your Senseo coffee is never going to be as fresh and good as the stuff you make from freshly ground beans. If the pods were made locally so that you could buy and use them soon after they were packaged, it might not be such a bad tradeoff. Unfortunately, the Senseo pods are imported from Belgium, so just guess how long they’ve been sitting on the docks before being shipped to the store. Further, it looks like the “freshness” dates on these things are set to allow the pods to sit on the shelves for six months to a year after they’re made (and for the current market saturation of these things, they might be sitting around for that long before you buy them).

    Alternately, there are places online that sell Senseo-compatible pods with quality name coffee (like Columbian Supremo). Whether they are any good, I know from nothing. And in any case, but it’s just not the same as being able to go to the store if you run low.

    As for me, I bought one of those Melitta one:one deals ($30 at Fleet Farm). On the good side, their pods hold more coffee than the Senseo pods (0.32 ounces of coffee per pod vs. 0.25), which makes for a good stiff cup. Plus the pods are made in the U.S., so you cut out the trans-Atlantic voyage. Unfortunately, I’m not too keen on the coffee itself, and the coffee’s still pricey ($5 for 18 cups worth).

    For an alternative, there’s the Maxwell House pods. They say that they’re compatible with Senseo and HomeCafe, but I’ve found that they work OK in the Melitta if you tuck the paper part into the chamber using your index finger (so that the paper part doesn’t stick out). The French Roast is acceptable, and probably cheaper and fresher than what you get from Belgium.

    One thing’s for certain: these guys need to take care of the coffee end of things a little bit better for this idea to take off around here. I think that my coffee maker does a pretty good job at extracting the flavor in the coffee, it’s simply a matter of having coffee that has good flavor in the first place.

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