Pod Invasion

Pod invasionI’m not much of a coffee drinker when it comes to drip brewed coffee. It’s bitter, and even with milk and/or sugar the average cuppa joe doesn’t do anything for me. My morning poison has been Orange Cappuccino from GFIC for 20 plus years, though I do like “regular” coffee if it’s made into something like a real Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato or something equally frou-frou and high maintenance.

ITMan started drinking the Orange Cappuccino instant coffee by default at some point shortly after we married, since he’d make a pot of coffee and drink one cup and the rest would still be sitting there when he came home from work. He doesn’t hate the instant (he’s not that picky), but he still might prefer brewed coffee in the morning. The “cup at a time” solutions we tried over the years tended to be too much fussing around for him to use just to make a cup of coffee before work.

Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker

The last single serve solution we tried was an AeroPress from Aerobie, which really does make the absolute best cup of coffee ever with no bitterness whatsoever, but it’s just too much work and too many steps in the wee hours of the morning no matter what they say about 30 seconds from start to coffee in your cup. I love it for making cappuccino in the afternoon or after dinner, but I almost can’t push the plunger myself with my weak wrists, I’m always afraid that the cup is going to tip over under the pressure during the pushing stage and leave a giant mess all over, and ITMan just isn’t going to go there in the morning and I can’t say I blame him.

Enter the Pods. ITMan’s been raving about the coffee maker that someone in his office has and lets everyone use. He says something about it at least three times a week, how simple it is, how good the coffee is, or that he must go buy more pods to contribute to the communal supply because he’s been drinking more than his fair share. I nod and smile, knowing that he’s less picky about bitterness, and even more of a techie gadget guy than I am, and that the machine is undoubtedly a “gadget.” Despite all that, I knew it was only a matter of time and opportunity before the gadget would arrive on my counter top.

Philips Senseo Pod Coffee MakerSure enough, while shopping for an air conditioner at Media Markt (more on that later), ITMan couldn’t resist the call of this very special machine. I finally just shook my head at him, insisted he get a silver one instead of bright blue, and watched while he collected half a dozen bags of pods in all different types and flavors to go with his new gadget.

And does it make the grade? Well, as single-serve coffee solutions go, this one ranks high for ease of use, and the coffee itself is pretty good, though still rather bitter, to me. Part of the “big deal” about this type of coffee maker is the foam, or “fine crema layer” it leaves on the top of the coffee, though not being a coffee aficionado, I’m not sure why it’s such a big deal. I will give it high marks for making cappuccino, since it’s ever so much easier than the AeroPress, and when you add the frothed milk and sugar I can put up with the bitterness a bit better than if I was drinking black coffee straight up. Cost is a factor though, since the Philips Senseo Coffee Machine costs 5-6 times what the AeroPress does, and of course, there are those special coffee pods to consider, which naturally cost more than even loose ground gourmet coffee. Surprisingly though, the Pods are quite a bit cheaper here in Europe than in the States, even with the dollar being as weak as it is these days.

My coffee cabinet has now been invaded by little bags of pods in seemingly infinite varieties, and using the new coffee machine is the deal of the day for everyone in the house. You can get pods to make Cappuccino and Latte Macchiato (without having to froth your own milk), and even tea if that’s your poison. Not wishing to be left out, LittleOne even uses it to make her SwissMiss hot chocolate, by running the water through without a coffee pod in the machine. I may try to get a different brand of pods, since the Senseo brand is made by “Europe’s renowned” Douwe Egberts, and I wasn’t too awfully impressed with that brand before it was sold in pods. Perhaps Illy would be smoother and less bitter. All in all, I’d give the machine an A++ for speed and convenience, and the coffee it makes a B.

What does all this have to do with quilting, you ask? Sometimes quilting requires chocolate, coffee, and Cosmos, though not necessarily all at once or in that order. Anything that makes coffee quicker or saves cleanup time is a good thing. Now, if only Cosmopolitans came in pod form, I’d be even happier. 😉

4 thoughts on “Pod Invasion

  1. I’m married to a man who couldn’t find his, um, head in the morning without coffee and we’ve tried a number of solutions over the years. I bought a Black and Decker pod machine a few years ago and gave it to him for Christmas. I made him open it the night before, so that it was waiting on the counter before all the ten million Lego pieces were scattered all over the floor and fifteen building projects were begun. Sixty seconds after the kids woke us up, he had the coffee and camera in hand. It’s the best purchase I’ve ever made for him.

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  2. Cosmos in pod form?!?! Oh, I’m totally there!

    I got a cappucino maker with my gas station “swops” and am now totally addicted. My drip coffee pales in comparison. Only problem is, I only make one — maybe two — cups in a day and it takes 15 minutes to heat up the machine. Since it’s 220 power, I’ve decided to leave it in Germany and buy a Senseo when I get to the US. I hadn’t researched pod costs though. Maybe I’ll have to pay some nice friends to import pods for me 😉

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  3. Well, the Senseo isn’t a cappuccino machine really, since you have to froth the milk separately, BUT it is much faster than 15 minutes to make the coffee, and the cleanup is easier (meaning virtually none) than any cappuccino making solution I’ve ever tried. While the machine is heating the water (takes about two minutes) I heat and froth the milk in my Bodum frother, the best milk frother ever, and the whole process takes about 3-5 minutes.

    I don’t know that the pods are exactly prohibitive over there, but my automatic reaction to buying anything “shippable” on the German economy here is to see if it’s cheaper to buy in the States and have it sent over. With the Senseo pods it isn’t, though sometimes because of the value of the dollar things are, as I’m sure you’re aware.

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  4. Hi Cindy, and welcome! My man isn’t quite so dependent on the caffeine as he is on the quick, easy, not too many steps and low maintenance value of the machine. So far, it seems to be working out well for him!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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