Phillips Senseo (Black), Model HD7810:
1) I did not pay for this product and it was not a gift. I got this product free as part of an online survey.
2) I roast my own coffee beans and I expect products to make great coffee.
3) I am planning on giving this away to someone who will enjoy it.
Brew Temp = 178 - 193º F (as tested)
Brew Time = < 1 minute for a single cup
Dimensions = 13 tall x 8 1/2 wide x 12 deep
Weight = ~4 lbs with water
Cord = polarized plug, not a three prong grounded plug, 38 long
Electrical = 1450 watts, 120 volts
Capacity = ~24 oz., 6 4 oz. cups, 3 8 oz. cups
Filter = Coffee Pods
Certification = None that I know of
Warranty = 2 years U.S.
Made in China
Outlet voltage where tested = 121.5 volts
Arrival, Setup & First Impression:
This product is packed at the top and bottom with pieces of egg-carton type material and the box is the typical glossy packaging that includes smiling faces indulging in the aroma, but not actually consuming the brew.
The instruction manual is a well-written booklet (8 1/4 x 5 3/4) of 20 pages including the front and back covers. It is written in only one language, English. Read the manual.
It takes a few minutes to set it up because you have to go through the process of filling the internal boiler. The instructions make this a simple task and also include directions for brewing, cleaning, descaling and storage.
The exterior of the brewer is made of lots of glossy, black plastic which enhances all of the curves. The chromed grate on which the coffee cups rest awaiting the brew adds a nice touch. Around the on / off button, the plastic bevels outward and around the brewing buttons, the plastic bevels inward. The buttons have a positive tactile feel.
After setup, brewing is simple and quick.
1) Fill the reservoir and reinstall on the back of the brewer
2) Turn the brewer on
3) Select one or two pods and the single or double pod holder as appropriate
4) Place pod(s) in pod holder
5) Lift lever to open the top
6) Place pod holder into brewer
7) Close the top
8) Lock the lever down
9) Place cup(s) under spouts (it can brew 2 - 4 oz. cups simultaneously)
10) Press the button
It is a shame that something this easy to use comes up short on one of the most critical factors, brew temperature. Optimum brew temperature is 195º 205º F (closer to 205 for my taste) and unfortunately this brewer does not get that hot which negatively affects the brew. The absolute hottest reading I could get was 193.2º F, but the temperature readings averaged about 185º F.
I went out and bought an insert to replace the pod holder so that I could brew some of my fresh, home roasted coffee that I had brewed in another brewer earlier the same day so that I could do an objective comparison. After several attempts culminating in using 25% more coffee than recommended, I did get some flavor out of the brewer. It was reminiscent of the coffee brewed earlier, but the flavor was very thin, mouth-feel was similar to hot water and the brew was devoid of body. The creama maker in the pod holder is pointless and I understand that you can get the pod holders without this by calling Philips.
If you like store-bought coffee with (or without) cream / flavored creamer and / or sweetener, then you may thoroughly enjoy the convenience of this brewer.
On a positive note, there is no hotplate to cause burns; however the liquid is still very hot and you will want to keep children away from it; near the end of the brew cycle it drips into the full cup and it can spatter a little of the hot liquid. Once you remove your cup, there are two holes in the chromed grate that are directly beneath the spouts. Further drippings fall through these two holes and into the plastic drip tray beneath
Carefully, because things are still hot, lift the lever and open the top. Remove the pod holder and discard the pod out of reach of children (it is still hot). Towel dry the inside of the top, and wash and dry the pod holder, coffee outflow unit (spouts) and the drip tray. Wipe or wash the chromed grate (coffee cup tray), but be careful because the edges are sharp. According to the manual, these parts can be run through the dishwasher.
This is a relatively inexpensive brewer especially given the convenience it can provide as it averages at about $60.00. The pods can get to be expensive which is good reason to buy the pod holder replacement and use the coffee of your choice.
If you like this machine, or the idea of it, I strongly suggest getting the pod holder replacement that allows you to use the freshest coffee of your choice.
There are other factors that go into making a great cup of coffee:
1) Good, fresh coffee ground immediately before brewing
2) Use of a quality flat or conical burr grinder
3) Use of good quality water
4) Filter medium and quality thereof
5) etc., etc., etc.
6) Patience to tweak things until its just the way you like it!
I hope this is helpful ... If I left anything out or you wish to ask me questions, just email me.