Friday, December 14, 2007

Making peace with the Senseo

Well, I've been using the Senseo Coffeemaker for about two weeks now, and we've reached a bit of accommodation. I'm still not sold on it, and certainly don't understand the reverence that the Dutch have for it, but I think I'm starting to warm up to it in the mornings.

On the plus side, it is fast and convenient. Toss some water in the reservoir, and it steams up in about 30 seconds. While that's going, I find the coffee packet in the cupboard and lock it down into the chamber. Add a cup with a bit of milk and it's ready to deliver. It's not disturbingly noisy (lots of comforting whirring and hissing), and it delivers a nice foamy cup of coffee in another 30 seconds. I was a press-coffee person, and the scooping, filling, waiting, and pressing probably takes five minutes. The process is facilitated by the apartment's boiling water tap, a truly marvelous invention: Coffee-making probably would take 15 minutes without it.

Senseo 4

On the minus side, the coffee is weak. I've experimented with the Dark, Extra Dark, Espresso, and Cappuccino packets, and I like the texture and taste of the Cappuccino best, but it isn't strong enough to have a good coffee color, flavor, or aroma. I've fiddled with combinations of the others, using two packets, but that seems excessive just to get one cup: there must be several tablespoons of coffee in there. The use of packets seems wasteful too: I imagine coffee packets spilling over to fill the landfill. Worse, a Senseo only makes a 4 oz (half) cup or 8 oz (full) cup. I like a bit of milk in my coffee, and so have had to find a 10 oz cup to use with the machine.

So, for now, I'll use it for convenience and speed, struggle with the taste and quantities, but "Big Blue" has displaced the toaster on the kitchen counter.

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