Senseo – Is The At Home Coffee Brewing Pod Machine Worth It?

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Senseo is a coffee brewing system created by two Dutch companies. Like Nespresso and Keurig, the system uses coffee pods/pads to brew small servings of coffee. Here’s our Senseo review.

What is Senseo?

Senseo is a registered trademark owned by two Dutch companies, including Philips and Douwe Egberts. The coffee brewing system is similar to competitors like Keurig and Nespresso: it promises to brew good-tasting coffee in small servings.

Senseo is popular throughout Europe. It was first introduced in the Netherlands in 2001 before expanding across most of Europe and into the United States.

In 2011, the American distributor for Sense, Sara Lee, announced they would stop selling the machines in the United States – although they’re still available through third party vendors via Amazon and eBay.

Senseo coffee makers are priced between $150 and $250, with pods priced at around $1 to $2 per pod.

Types of Senseo Coffee Makers

There have been a number of different Senseo machines released over the years. the original Senseo machine was released in 2001, while the upgraded Senseo New Generation hit markets in 2007. The new version allowed users to adjust the system to accommodate different cups and sizes.

Later, in 2008, Senseo introduced its Latte Select machine, which allowed customers to make regular coffee (in three strengths) in addition to cappuccinos, café lattes, and latte macchiatos (coffee connoisseurs, however, are careful to remind you that the machine does not brew “real espresso”; instead, it just mixes regular coffee with foam milk).

How Do Senseo Coffee Makers Work?

Senseo coffee makers use a patented pressurized brewing system that creates a fresh cup of coffee in just 30 seconds.

You place a coffee pod/pad into the device, fill up the reservoir with water, then press a button to select your brew.

The device is shaped in a similar way to the Keurig machine. The main difference is the coffee delivery system: instead of using a cylindrical pod, Senseo uses a smaller container that holds a mesh bag of coffee grounds – similar to a tea bag.

You can purchase Senseo in plain coffee flavors or in specialized flavors like café latte and macchiato. When brewing special varieties of coffee, you may have to use the deeper filter, which holds two pods (or one larger specialty pod).

Sara Lee’s Douwe Egberts brand has been one of Europe’s premiere coffee brands for over 250 years. They spent 7 years developing the Senseo system in order to create something that, in their words, “brews a consistent, balanced cup of coffee each time with a unique frothy coffee layer”.

Senseo Features

Modern Senseo models come with the following features:

Single-serve coffee system that brews a fresh cup of gourmet coffee in under a minute (Senseo was the first machine to hit the market with a single-serve coffee system)

Fast and easy to use

  • Multiple types of coffee and pods/pads available
  • Pre-measured pods mean there’s minimal cleanup (just open the lid and toss the wet coffee pad into the bin)
  • Measures 13.5 x 12 x 8.5 inches (about the same size as a standard Keurig)
  • Includes two pod holders (one shallow holder for a normal cup of coffee and another deep holder for specialty brews or a larger, 8 ounce mug of coffee)
  • Brew up to 5 4 oz cups with one reservoir of water
  • All removable parts are dishwasher-safe
  • One year limited warranty

What Do Customers Have to Say About Senseo?

Drinking coffee is a subjective experience. Every single-serve coffee maker promises the same things: a gourmet, fresh cup of coffee with every brew. Does Senseo actually deliver on these promises? We turned to online reviews to find out more.

At the time of writing, the Senseo 7810 (The most popular model available today) had an average rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 on Amazon.com with a total of 450 customer reviews. That’s pretty good. Check out the specific pros and cons from these reviews below.

Pros

  • Works well even after nearly a decade of use
  • Push a button and 30 to 90 seconds later, you have a delicious cup of coffee
  • You get a layer of “creama” or frothy top similar to what you’d find on a nice espresso machine
  • Coffee pods are widely available at retailers and come in multiple strengths and varieties (you can buy from Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon, and ordinary grocery stores)
  • Dishwasher safe
  • “One of the best buys I’ve ever made”

Cons

  • One reviewer claimed that the machine gave his coffee a “plastic” taste out of the box, and that he needed to wash the containers to get rid of that taste
  • Other customers report having to clean and descale their unit periodically to ensure a consistent experience
  • Pricey

Ultimately, most customers agree that their Senseo coffee machines brew great-tasting coffee. Some customers report quality problems, but these problems are mostly solved after a brief cleaning, or by running boiling water through the machine without pods.

Senseo Flavors

Senseo currently offers all of the following flavors available to purchase online or in most grocery stores and supermarkets:

  • Paris French Vanilla
  • Vienna Hazelnut Waltz
  • Dark Roast
  • Breakfast
  • Decaffeinated
  • Medium Roast
  • Sumatra Blend
  • Colombian Blend
  • Kona Blend
  • Espresso Roast

Senseo Pricing

The Senseo 7810 Single-Service Gourmet Coffee Machine is widely available in Europe, but it can be difficult to find in other western markets.

In the United States, your best option is to order your Senseo machine through Amazon or eBay, where it’s priced at around $150 to $250 USD for a brand new model.

The pods, on the other hand, can be purchased at grocery stores and online retailers. Amazon sells 18 packs of the single-serve pods for around $28 to $35.

If Sara Lee re-introduces Senseo in the near future, then you can expect these prices to drop.

Senseo Review Summary

Senseo was the original single-serve coffee maker. Senseo machines are widely available throughout Europe, but have yet to become hugely popular in the United States and other western marketplaces.

However, if you’re interested in a single-serve coffee maker, but don’t like Nespresso or Keurig machines, then Senseo is an excellent alternative option backed by plenty of strong reviews online.

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