This machine is so fun, you'll drink more coffee just to use it.
Positive Product Points
very cool looking, very stylish
fun to make coffee
no mess to clean up
frothy "crema" coffee is out of the ordinary
Negative Product Points
somewhat expensive per cup
brew is designed for european taste ... fine if you're from europe, I suppose
small water reservoir
The machine is very easy to use. Probably the only tricky part is filling up the boiler, but the instructions are pretty good. You just have to have a large bowl or something like that, because the entire reservoir empties at once.
I find that the coffee actually tastes quite good. I don't even need sugar. The machine has "one cup" ( 4 oz) and "two cup" (8 oz) buttons. (NOTE: the 8 oz. setting exactly fills a regular mug). With one cup you use a single pod. With two cups you use a different pod holder with two pods. After some experimentation, I found that actually the best taste comes from running "two cup" with a single pod. The 4 oz cup is simply too small. The 8oz cup with 2 pods is really too strong, and I like my coffee pretty strong. The 8 oz cup with one pod is just about right ... it is a HAIR on the weak side, but overall I like it the best. I wish philips would just put a bit more coffee in the pod, but know that's where they're making their money. At this rate I'm paying about $.25US per cup, which is really not too bad for decent coffee. This is not as good as what I brew at home, but it beats ANY "club coffee" I've ever tasted.
The kicker is, this machine makes it really fun to make coffee. I actually look forward to the process, and I think I'm drinking more coffee just because I like making it.
The reservoir is kind of small. Basically you get two 8 oz. cups from it. Apparently a larger one is available. I just keep jugs of water nearby since I'm in an office setting. If you have it in a kitchen, it shouldn't be an issue.
We haven't had any problems with this machine, except when the boss forgot to lock down the lid before running his coffee (= huge mess). Also you have to remember to change the pod (= coffee).
I purchased one pack of "Cappuccino" pods, which were really oversold. They're basically a double pod with creamer, and you get fewer for the price. The taste: coffee with creamer. I'll stick with the regular pods. I've tried both "medium" and "dark roast". Both taste fine to me.
I would buy this machine again, at least for the office. I'm not sure I'd use this for my sole household machine. The coffee (even using one pod for 8 oz) is more expensive than what I'd pay for gourmet beans, and the taste is not as good as what I brew. Still, I like the machine, it's fun to use, and it really is quick. Sometimes at home when I'm grinding beans, filling up my water, rinsing out the carafe, spilling grounds ... I wish I had a Senseo. The convenience is nice and might just make it worth the compromise in flavor, especially since the coffee is really not bad. Heck, on a bad day I've certainly brewed worse.
I decided to purchase this coffee maker for the office coffee pool, since we have a small team of 8 people. I looked around and it turned out there was this "Share Senseo" promotion where you could get a free machine if you answered some questions. I thought it was too good to be true, but I ended up getting a free machine. So full disclosure ... I could be biased.
I wasn't sure what to expect, but I figured, "hey it's free." I know those reading this probably won't have the same luxury, but have confidence: you won't waste your money on this machine. Maybe they're still offering it, though. Google up "Share Senseo".
Three Month Followup
I still love this machine! I've noticed that the newer packs of pods now indicate you can use the two cup setting with one pod for "lighter" coffee, to my mind confirming my earlier comments. I'm wondering how long it will last with daily use, but it hasn't broken yet. I'm seeing more flavors of the pods out there (not really for me) and also new blends (yes!). One thing I hadn't noticed before: this thing is really LOUD when it brews. Kind of a humming, vibrating sound. Only lasts about 30 seconds, but still.
One Year Followup
Still going Strong! Did I mention this thing is loud?