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"Pod" Coffee Makers

Ok, I already know most people hate these machines, average coffee, problems with the machines themselves, etc.

Having said that - the point of contemplating one is for my HUSBAND'S the ease of creating several types of beverages himself, while I'm not around. As I've pointed out in many threads, said husband is a kitchen disaster waiting to happen. As for the making of coffee, tea, hot chocolate and such - can never remember measurements other than the tearing open of the hot chocolate package and the microwaving of hot water. Even putting a kettle on to boil water for tea is a production (since I personally am not nuts about microwaving water for tea).

Anyhoo, I digress.

I'm trying to find the machine which a) has the best brand name array of drinks available. Best coffee brand, best tea brand, best hot chocolate. I think that is the main criteria. I can't remember which one it was, but there is one which brews Seattle's Best and Twinings, and a few other big name brands of beverages which I could live with.

Any thoughts? Remember - this is for convenience sake, not for perfection of flavor. I'm not expecting a miracle from one of these machines, just something adequate and quick (and maybe easy to take care of too).

Thanks!

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  1. I was given a Senseo last week. It is fast and easy to work, the resevoir holds enough for 10 cups. That is 10 cups, not 10 mugs. If I use a large mug I have to make it a double. The available coffee from Senseo is not vey good and in fact is stale or gets so quickly. Decaf is hard to find. Too much caffeine and I get wired. Do-it-yourself filter packages are available, but then you might as well make a pot of regular coffee, if you are going to fool with filters and loose coffee. It has a larger footprint than a standard coffee pot. My plans are to give this to my Mother when I get bored playing with it. I have a small 4 cup(2 mug) drip pot that takes up less space and makes better coffee. The Senseo is a fun gadget, but I wouldn't waste my money buying one unless it was for somewhere clean-up and having coffee paraphenalia around was an issue(like work). My mother only drinks 8ozs of coffee a day, but makes 16 ozs and leaves the rest in the pot to be discarded, this makes me crazy! I can't convince her to use half a scoop and make 8ozs. The Senseo will address this issue.

    1. We bought a Keurig maker a few months ago and LOVE it. Easy to use and makes good coffee. Bed, Bath and Beyond sells them and a limited selection of the coffee cups. You can also get them from Keurig.com (as you can get the maker also) and at CoffeeCow.com.

      1. I posted a thread a month or so ago asking for opinions on the Keurig and the Tassimo, you could search for that. I had done a lot (a lot!) of reading and was settling between those two. I haven't gone either way yet. Mostly because I saw the DeLonghi Magnifica, or whatever it's called, and now I'm wondering how insane it would be to spend $1500 on a machine like that.

        But it's so pretty! And the others all seem kind of cheap to me.

        3 Replies
        1. re: themis

          The Keurig (and we got the basic one) is not cheapy made at all. We have been very pleased with it.

          1. re: Janet from Richmond

            WE just got the basic one for our office, too. It holds 48 ounces of water and as you said, its SO easy to keep clean. We buy our coffee from coffeecow.com, too. The box of 25 cups from Keurig is about $13.99, vs $8.99 from coffeecow. And you can select which brands you like. ALso can get tea and hot chocolate.

          2. re: themis

            Try the Nespresso units. Home version has little cup-like pods, no mess, easy to use, coffees available are great! Very popular in Europe, if you like Portuguese or Italian type espresso, with perfect creama, this is the machine/pod. I found mine on the net, but Sur la Table carries this line now.

          3. I gave the Melitta One to my husband and it lasted about a year. We replaced it with a Keurig and it's been great. Keep in mind that these have a huge footprint and take up a lot of counterspace. Keurig makes a lot of different pods and he even uses it for tea which I don't get because it's not as if microwaving a cup of water and adding a teabag is hard.

            1. It might just be the different pods being used, but I've had better coffee from the Senseo than from a Keurig. Every time I've been served Senseo, the espresso has has a nice thick crema and the flavor is smooth. The Keurig coffee I drank had no crema to speak of, and tasted thinner and more bitter.

              However, based on the rave reviews here I wonder if it wasn't just because the person who served me coffee from the Keurig used a cheap brand of coffee. I would definitely consider the Keurig because it allows one to make tea as well as coffee. The person who owned the Keurig said he upgraded from the Senseo, so he must think the coffee is better (or maybe he drinks tea and serves guests cheapo coffee?)

              1 Reply
              1. re: Pei

                The Keurig is a single cup coffee maker, it sounds like the Senseo with "crema" is a pod espresso maker. Does it really surprise you that the Keurig would make a crema-less, thin beverage? That's what coffee is compared to espresso!

                None of these pod machines will make the quality beverage of a proper semi-automatic machine, but that's not what you're looking for. My parents have had a Keurig machine since they first came on the market and it works beautifully, without leaks or any failure. It is really what every product should be - simple, reliable, consistent, and it works as advertised.

                If you can taste the coffee from it and like the taste, then the Keurig is a great COFFEE brewer, but as far as I know it will not make fancy milk-based drinks. I've had excellent hot chocolate, coffee, and tea from the machine however.

              2. I don't know - I found a website which is devoted to this subject. None of these sounded good. Hence the original problem. I think I'm just going to have to wait around a while longer and see if they get any better as time goes on. Tough luck to my husband - he's going to have to continue to just deal with things the way they are! Thanks for all the advice tho - it was helpful and reinforced what I've already heard.

                3 Replies
                1. re: sivyaleah

                  I responded to your request for:
                  " convenience sake, not for perfection of flavor. I'm not expecting a miracle from one of these machines, just something adequate and quick (and maybe easy to take care of too)."
                  The small Keurig we got for the office fits all of these criteria- and we can serve tea, coffee or hot chocolate for our clients. There is a large selection of cofee varities to choose from. I don't think the coffee is as good as the coffee from my Bumm or Bodum, but it is drinkable. Now I read your next post- what exactly are you looking for?

                  1. re: macca

                    Macca, I'm not being ungrateful, which is how you seem to be taking my reply. I am very concerned about the machines performance as far as repairs too - and from what I read on another website - all of these types of machines seem to have many issues with such things as leaking, exploding, not getting the drinks warm enough, etc. Also, they all seem to have as many steps to preparation of the coffee as a regular coffee maker does.

                    So in the end, it really does not seem to save any time or make it any more convenient. I was under the impression it was sort of a "load and go" system, which apparently, they are not.

                    1. re: sivyaleah

                      No problem- our Keurig is a load and go- we put in 48 ounces of water, add the cofee pack and press go. The coffee comes out immediately. When finished, we take out the coffee container and throw away. There are no coffee grinds, no water drips. We replenish the water as needed. Not trying to be argumentative- just trying to understand. I will say our machine is new, so we have not had any issues- but we bought the machine on the advice of one of our clients- who have had their machine for 2 years with no issues. i will have to go to some websites to take a look- I cannot imagine any fewer steps to get coffee quickly. Though I will say that it does probably increase trash output per cup of coffee, as each cup has has its own coffee grinds encapsulated. But I will admit that was not one of the concerns we had before purchasing the machine.
                      Some of the larger models can also be tapped into a water supply- so there is no filling up the 48 oz capacity. Good luck- and let us know if you find a good product.

                2. Which Keurig pods are people buying? I was thinking about one of these for my office but tried two different pods at Sur La Table - one the Tullys French Roast and the other one of the Green Mountain Extra Bold. I found both to be very bitter yet weak - this particularly surprised me with the Tully's as I regularly drank and enjoyed Tully's when I lived in Seattle. So not sure about purchasing the machine now...

                  We have a Nespresso at home. Admittedly we're not into the art of espresso so we're more than happy with this machine. The ease of how quickly we can prepare two cups after dinner in the evening is wonderful and we've found that we like the Arpeggio, Roma, and Decaf Intenso varieties the best.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: ziggylu

                    I am not in the office now, but will check tomorrow. I know we got a variety pack, and three boxes of something else. Will post back.

                    1. re: ziggylu

                      We have a Keuring at work -- it brews one cup at a time, with a 10 cup water reservoir. It does excellent service for us; we've had it for 2 years with only one mechanincal problem to speak of (someone poured water all over it rather than in the reservoir and shorted out something).

                      Anyhow. The coffee pods we get are called Timothy's World Coffee KCups. The office has an assortment of 3 kinds -- San Lorenzo Dark, German Chocolate Cake, and Decaf. I drink my coffee black, and this is what I can report: The German Chocolate Cake and Decaf KCups are terrible. BUT, the San Lorenzo Dark is actually pretty good, and frankly often better than what the Starbucks or the Espresso Royale Cafe down the street are serving (consistency is not a strong suit of either one of these particular cafe outposts). You can check out their selections at www.timothys.com, but I see from a quick google search that you can probably get better deals on the Timothy's KCups by ordering from third parties.

                      I know Timothy's also offers tea KCups, but we haven't tried them. I usually use the Keuring to make tea by instead of putting a coffee pod in, just pressing the button for "brewing," then letting the hot water run over a teabag in my mug. It's a hella lot hotter than what comes out of the "hot" spout on the water cooler, and faster than the microwave.

                      Other KCup options (not from Timothys) include Celestial Seasonings, Twinnings, Green Mountain, Coffee People, Gloria Jeans, Diedrich's, and Ghiradelli. www.coffeeforless.com has some good selections.

                      1. re: litchick

                        Thanks for the post. This will help the next time we order the K cups. We have Timothy's Italian roast now- wn it is good. Though I am not sure where the Italian comes in.
                        The store where I sometimes stop for a coffee for my drive to work uses Green Mountain- and it is not too bad. Maybe we will try that.
                        And the website you sited is cheaper than coffeecow.com. Will have to check out the shipping costs and see. I know that the Keurig website is really a lot higher. Thanks for the post.

                        1. re: litchick

                          Since this post has been revived, I'll give an update...

                          I now am at a different workplace, and because of the Keurig's consistent performance, I ended up getting one of my own (a B40) for my new work situation. I'm the only one who uses it, and it's now in its 2nd year. It has been great. I happen to work somewhere with no kitchen and no truly accessible sinks, so having a way to get coffee quickly and easily (a french press would be impossible here) makes this a great solution for me. I've played around with different k-cups, but I find I come back over and over to Timothy's San Lorenzo Dark. The Green Mountain Sumatra is also good, but to my tastebuds not as good as the San Lorenzo. After some experience, I say don't even bother with the cocoa or tea k-cups -- they come out too watery. And I have yet to find a decaf that I really love.

                          Anyway, I think pretty much most coffee lovers would agree that the Keurig isn't the best cup in the world -- but that's not what it's for. It's not a french press, it's not perfectly brewed temperature controlled fresh ground, etc etc. It fills a niche for a lot of people, and I'll attest that I would be walking around as dumb as a post for most of the morning if I didn't have mine close at hand.

                          1. re: litchick

                            It fills a niche for a lot of people, and I'll attest that I would be walking around as dumb as a post for most of the morning if I didn't have mine close at hand.
                            ~~~~~~~~~
                            Gosh I just love that statement!

                        2. re: ziggylu

                          My favorite k-cups are Tully's Madison blend. Most stores only carry Tully's French and Kona so I have to order them online.

                          Lately I've been brewing Lion brand in the reusable filter.

                        3. My sister bought me a Tassimo last Christmas and I love it!! Excellent quality and the selection of teas, coffees and hot chocolates, as well as espresso's and latte's is tremendous. It's foolproof. My sister has a Keurig and after seeing how both work and quality of the finished product, we both voted that the Tassimo is the winner here. I recommended this to 5 friend who all purchased one and they are all hooked now.

                          1. I took an online survey and was sent a free Senseo with 18 pods directly from the company. I used it once for guests and it was fun. But unfortunately from that point forward the machine started acting up. Pods didn't brew right in the double cup, the timer was off for brew...I wound up throwing it out.

                            1. I have the Keurig. It is over two years old and still works like new. We got it at Costco. Costco has the best deal on Keurigs. The package came with 90 k-cups and a reusable filter attachment.

                              We bought the machine because I am the only coffee drinker in the house. I wanted a convenient way to make a cup of coffee on the weekends. (I drink coffee at work during the week.) I used a regular drip coffee maker for a while but I found that I was wasting too much coffee. The Vietnamese brewer and the french press was a little too time consuming and messy.

                              Keurig does have quite a few brands and varieties of pods (k-cups) but I find many of them too weak. You will have to experiment to find your favorite. My favorite is Tully's Madison blend. I recently started using the reusable filter with my own coffee but it is not as convenient as the prepackaged pods. They also have tea and hot cocoa k-cups but I never buy them. I use the Keurig to heat the water and use my own tea bags and cocoa mix.

                              We have four plumbed Keurig machines at work but also have three 16 cup brewers. We mainly use the regular brewers during the day but have the Keurigs for those who want coffee at the end of the day.

                              I like my Keurig. The coffee is not like coffee from a regular coffee brewer but for the convenience, the coffee is pretty darn good.

                              1. I LOVE my Dolce Gusto. Makes awesome espresso, cappuccinos and lattes and hot chocolate. It doesn't make tea but it does make hot water and I'm sure your husband can manage dunking a tea bag in it ;-). These coffees and hot chocolate are the equal or better than any coffee shop, but they are about $1 a drink as you need a milk and coffee capsule. Couldn't be any easier to make and the machine is about $120 now. You can buy the capsules much cheaper on Ebay, online (Amazon often has sales) or in a lot of stores now. Awesome product!

                                1. I found this interesting video on YouTube how to refill and reuse Dolce Gusto beverage pods. There is no talking in the video, but the screen notes appear to be in French. The process seems to work ok.

                                  YouTube video how to refill and reuse Dolce Gusto beverage pods
                                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flTqJv...