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Senseo HD7810

The Senseo HD7810 (www.senseo.com) touts a coffee-brewing system that claims to automatically regulate the brewing process to ensure that the proper amount of water passes through the coffee pods quickly and evenly. Retailing at $69.99, the HD7810 can also be found on the Internet at prices ranging from $49.99 to $64.99. Available in blue, raven black or white, the HD7810 is the latest single-serve low-pressure filter coffee system from Senseo available on the market.

Reservoir Capacity and Serving Size

Removable 50 oz. water reservoir without a water filter option. Brews coffee at two serving settings: 4 oz. and 8 oz.

Capsule/Pod Format

Of the 44, 55 and 62mm-sized filter paper pod formats currently available in the single-serve pod brewer market, the Senseo HD7810 takes 62mm-sized pods, each containing about 8 grams of coffee. The Senseo pod holder has one small hole in it for the brewed coffee to pass through. This single brewing hole creates a distinctive layer of froth atop Senseo coffee, doubtless a feature important in some parts of Europe, where coffee without proper froth is like dinner without wine. The HD7810 comes with two pod holders: a single pod holder and a double-pod holder for producing long drinks or stronger drinks.

Machine Quality and Ease of Use

The Senseo HD7810 is composed primarily of plastic, but looks sturdy enough to last. The priming and first-brew were easy and quick to execute. The brew lid shuts easily and is secured by a simple up/down lock lever that makes a reassuring audible "click" when securely in place. This machine generally appears to aim at simplicity. It has an uncomplicated design and the control panel on its cup-tray base is intuitive and performs exactly as one would expect it to: no techno curve balls.

Range and Availability of Coffees

The Senseo line of coffee pods, produced by Douwe Egberts, is as straightforward as its machine design: four choices, Mild, Medium, Strong and Decaf, plus three flavored options. However, the 62mm size of the pod holders allows for use of coffee pods from other well-known brands, as well as third-party roasting companies. However, I found postings on the Internet in which people reported needing to hold the top of the machine down while brewing with a paper-formatted pod that didn't properly fit the HD7810. If you should find yourself in a similar situation, you can try brewing the larger pod in the double-pod holder. Senseo-brand pods currently cost about $0.28 per pod.

Other Beverages

The Senseo HD7810 is not designed to brew teas or other specialty drinks.

Dimension and Style

The HD7810 weighs 8 lbs. and has a fairly small footprint AT13 ½ inches high, 8 ½ inches wide and 12 inches deep. It has an odd if distinctive curved back design that makes it look as though it is hanging its brew head over the cup tray in expectation of its next target.

Notes and Other Features

The Senseo HD7810's simplicity and ease of use made it a pleasure to use. It is worth noting that a refillable plastic-and-mesh coffee pod is available under the name Presto MyPod that fits the HD7810 perfectly, in theory making it possible to brew any coffee. Unfortunately, when we tried this pod it brewed a terrible coffee: simultaneously watery and thin and bitterly gritty.

One complaint: the coffee pod in the pod holder invariably was soaking wet after brewing, making removal a rather dribbly procedure. If this is a consistent characteristic of the HD7810, then quick and easy clean-ups may be one feature this coffee pod brewer doesn't provide.

A good price, simplicity of use, and a versatile 62mm pod size makes the Senseo an attractive choice for those looking for an inexpensive single-serve option.

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