Machine brews one delicious cup of coffee - or two

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April 08, 2004|By Kevin Washington

MACHINE BREWS ONE DELICIOUS CUP OF COFFEE — Coffee is not my thing. So when a representative of Philips called me to try out the Senseo Coffee Maker, I called in an expert. My mother loves coffee, and I made a few cups for her using this art deco machine.

The Senseo ($69), designed by Philips, launched in 2001 in the Netherlands where it became a big hit with the Dutch, according to the manufacturer. Now, it's available in American stores and at

Sleek and cool-looking, the Senseo looks like it means business. The idea is that the gadget uses coffee pods - ground coffee in a porous package - to make single servings of coffee. That means that if you're making coffee for a brood of folks, you'll want to skip the Senseo. My only complaint is that for its size, it only heats up a couple of 4-ounce cups of coffee or an 8-ounce mug of coffee at a time.

Sara Lee's Douwe Egberts coffee pods ($3.99 for 18 in a pack, which is 22 cents for one mug of coffee) are the secret to a good cup of coffee. My mother found the coffee delicious with a robust flavor. And a few others whom I gave coffee to agreed that the Senseo produced a great cup of coffee.

Unlike some other coffee pots with a hot plate, this device is purely for making coffee for immediate consumption. It won't keep your coffee warm or produce enough coffee for you to have several cups one after another - unless you set it up to make more cups of coffee. The water reservoir, however, does hold enough water for six cups.

You'll need to be careful with the pods. I might have ripped one of the pods the first time that I made coffee, because there were grounds in the coffee. Enough for my mother to chew on, she said.

I haven't run across the problem in 10 more servings of coffee. I thought the Senseo was about as easy to clean as most coffee makers, although cleaning the reservoir required a bit of effort with a sponge.

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