Thursday, September 14, 2006

Senseo.. drinkable coffee?

Okay, so I've been playing with this Senseo coffee machine a bit, trying to get a decent cup.

I decided to go back to trying various tactics using ONLY the provided pods, since that's what most consumers will be using.

After discovering that the brew is nothing more than a hyped up cafe crema, I got to thinking.

What if the reason the brew temperature is so low is because the boiler is being filled with water from the resevoir as the water already heated in the boiler is being pumped out.. Wouldn't the new water mix with the old?

What's the solution? Start with hot water.

NOTE: There is a good chance that you will burn yourself trying this, so if you do, be careful. I am not responsible for your own self-inflicted injury.
NOTE pt.2: I have no idea how this affects the warranty. Mine was free, so I'm not too worried about it. I can make a cafe crema with my espresso machine if I REALLY wanted to. Damaging the equipment isn't much a concern in my case.

So, you heat some water on the stove. I used a tea kettle, and removed it before it began to boil. I only filled the resevoir about half way so I could hold onto the top part of it without burning my hands.

Pour the hot water into the resevoir, put the resevoir in place, and turn on the machine. Do a quick flush through the pod holder by pressing the single cup brew button, and as soon as you see water trickling, turn the machine off, and then immediately turn it back on. (note: I use this water to pre-heat my cup)

For 1 4oz. cup, use 2 standard pods. Thus, you should have pre-heated the 2cup pod holder in the step above.

Place the two pods in the holder and close the unit. Allow the machine to recover, and immediately press the single cup brew button.

Ignore the faux crema. Note that the color of the flowing liquid remains a dark to medium brown color. It does not go pale, or as we say in espresso, it does not go blond.

Good news so far.

The brew has an improved body, less sourness, a little less bitterness, and you can actually taste a little sweetness in the coffee itself.. slight chocolate notes.

I never would have guessed it.

I think I'll give this a try with home-roast and home-made pods, and then on to the ground coffee adapter to go in place of the pod holder.

Stay tuned.


Amos Magliocco said...

According to the Senseo product points on Amazon, "With a 1450 Watt boiler, the water is always the correct temperature" and "Pods use optimum custom grind to provide the best coffee imaginable." Maybe you need to use more imagination when trying the brew from the original pods. LOL.

Seriously, congrats on drawing something from that machine resembling coffee.

Larry said...

slow day in Lubbock huh?

Jason Haeger said...

It happens.

I'm actually waiting for some Terroir Yirgacheffe roasted for SO espresso.

And possibly some Ecco Reserve.

In the mean time, I've got 15 pounds of Brazil Daterra Santa Colomba DP to play around with.

AdamTheMechE said...

I like the idea, but sadly I just brewed my cup for the day.

Why don't you pre-heat the coffee using the Senseo machine? Just fill reservoir with a little more water than you need, run machine with no pod, pour back into reservoir, repeat as necessary. Cuts out the extra tools necessary!

Jason Haeger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alexander said...

Does anyone have the design specs for the Senseo? I have been thinking of trying to modify mine to produce a full mug and make it warmer. I suspect that the thermostat is likely to be manually adjustable with a screwdriver on the circuit board itself for quality control purposes at the factory. I also suspect the amount of water permitted through for the 1 cup and 2 cup settings is manually adjustable as well, but I have been unable to find any product design specifications to check.

I actually like the coffee out of my Senseo but then good coffee is so hard to find in the UK prety much anything is an improvement.

The temperature issue is not just a Senseo problem, I have yet to find a single coffee making device that does make hot coffee, even the traditional drip systems with the jugs and hotplates make tepid coffee. I presume this is to avoid law suits from people spilling it on themselves.