Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Me Not Jane

I don’t get money or free stuff for saying this. Just a friendly consumer to blog reader product review.*

I love coffee. It gets me out of bed in the morning and the smell of it makes me swoon with anticipatory delight. If I shall ever have the misfortune of falling into a coma, please grind and brew a pot of La Colombe coffee next to my bed and I will snap out of it and demand fresh Half and Half and a very large mug.

We go through lots of coffee makers too. I don’t know why, but we average a new coffee maker about once every 12-18 months. I have worn out my eligibility for free Gevalia pots, so it was with great delight that I responded to an offer via my Urban Baby**
daily emails for a “free” Senseo coffee pot.

I say “free” because first you had to take a survey to see if you “qualified” for the “free” offer and then you had to pay $15 shipping (which is a crock but still better than paying the $65 retail price for the coffee pot). So I “qualified” and yesterday I got the pot. It comes with a pack of 16 Douwe Egberts coffee pods. I love Douwe Egberts coffee. It’s rich and strong and meaty, the way I like my men coffee.

This morning before I left the house I brewed a cup of it in my fancy new Senseo pot. As it was the first use of the pot, I initially had to fill the little water reservoir tank and run a clear cycle, which took less than 2 minutes. Then I refilled the reservoir with fresh, filtered water. The only time I am a snob about tap water is when I make coffee, otherwise our tap water is delicious. I popped in my Senseo pod and hit the button. In no time, it was done, but where was the coffee? Oh look there it is! All 1.5 inches of it, lost in the bottom of my standard size coffee MUG.

Apparently Senseo serving sizes are designed around those teeny little pretty teacups that Jane Austen liked. I am no Jane Austen.

I like my coffee in a big mug, and I like a minimum of 12 ounces. To start with. I brewed another “cup”, using another Senseo pod. From my pack of 16. So I am already two pods in and I haven’t filled my mug yet. Well, let’s taste. Oh sorry, I said “Taste”. TASTE. T A S T E !!!! Where was the taste??? OK, I know I like my coffee on the strong side, but this was only slightly darker than, and barely as flavorful as a cup of grocery store tea.

I noticed that I could use two pods if I liked a Stronger brew, so I dumped out the weak tea coffee and tried again with two new pods, got my 1.5 inches of stronger coffee, and then to get a decent cup worth, had to run through the whole process again with another two pods. And finally, 6 pods in, I got a small, but decent cup (not mug) of coffee.

Lets do the math. The retail price of 16 pods of coffee is about $4.99. I need four pods to get a decent cup of coffee. And I need at least two cups to get me out the door in the morning. So I will go through 8 pods each morning, to the tune of about $2.49. Which is 79 cents more than I would pay for a Starbucks grande coffee, at $1.70. Isn’t brewing my own coffee supposed to SAVE me money? Right now we save money by buying our Kirkland coffee in three pound cans from Costco and it costs about $7 a can. A can lasts us about a month (I am guessing. Tom is the coffee supply manager in our house). So what I am doing now, at roughly $7 a month plus the cost of tap water, gets me really good coffee. If I want a treat, I can hit Starbucks for $1.70 for an equally good cup, or I can be a damn fool and spend $2.50 a day on just OK coffee in a sexy Senseo pot.

I think the Senseo pot will be relegated to the bottom shelf of the pantry, to be pulled out for parties where someone needs decaf or tea. But if you like your coffee weak and served in tiny teacups, a la Jane Austen, I do have some $20 off coupons to use towards the purchase of a Senseo pot. Email me at with your address.

*I would totally do a product review for free stuff, but I don’t think I have the readership for that. But if your people want to talk to my people…

**I totally need to dish with someone about the Urban Baby message boards some time. Anyone??


Bitsy Parker said...

Have you ever used Toddy cold brew coffee system? It makes great coffee, but it takes a while to make it. Of course, it lasts for about a week once it's made. I like the Toddy, but I stopped using it because I got a fancy espresso maker with a great frother (sp)

Ditch that Senseo!!

JMC said...

I love my Keurig coffee maker so much that I wrote an ode to it. The B70 model brews an 11.25 oz cup for its largest size. Mine brews a 9.75 oz, but if I use a strong coffee, I can run another small-sized 5.25 oz through the same K-cup thingy for a whopping 15 oz!!

Anne Glamore said...

Had to check it out when I saw you have twin boys!

Julie R said...

Thanks for the review! I've been thinking of getting one of those, but now....