July 26th, 2005

default, pepper

BetterPods suck less

As a quick followup to my post on the Senseo pod-based coffee brewer, the pods from BetterPods came in yesterday and I’ve been trying them today. While nobody’s going to mistake it for freshly-ground, freshly-roasted coffee in a French press, the coffee the Senseo is producing is no longer gas station swill with added fake crema (espresso foam). Now, it’s about the equivalent of coffee ground the day before, brewed in my cone brewer. With, uh, added fake crema.

Through a bit of trial and error I’ve discovered how to optimize the coffee from this thing:

  1. Don’t use the Senseo brand coffee pods.
  2. While the water’s heating up, take the pod holder, put the coffee pod in it, and soak it with hot water.
  3. Stop the coffee pouring out just before it gets to a “full” 8 ounces.
  4. Stir the coffee up before drinking it, because all the strong coffee is on the bottom.

The two big problems with the machine, rather than the coffee, are that it doesn’t brew long enough—only Bunn seems to have mastered the trick of brewing coffee at insanely short speeds and still have it come out right—and that the charm of the fake crema lasts up until the time you, um, make a cup. This is something else the Bunn would avoid, but it’s stuck in a Catch-22: I wouldn’t spend that much money on a coffee maker that I wasn’t going to use at home, and at home, I don’t have any desire for a pod-based coffee maker.