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I like coffee.  I mean I REALLY like coffee.  So when I got pregnant with Lulu, I was thrilled when my doctor told me I could have one cup a day.  So that I wouldn’t be tempted, I donated my coffee maker to a local thrift shop and began searching for a one-cup coffee maker.

I was familiar with the Keurig machine – having used it at work.  And, I had heard that Starbucks coffee (my favorite) is available with the Tassimo system.  However, both systems use a plastic cup to hold, filter, and dispense the coffee. The Tassimo T-Disc uses a kind of plastic called polypropylene, and the Keurig K-cup uses a multi-layer plastic. While neither company uses BPA in their product, a recent study by Chemical Engineering News confirms that all plastic leeches some kind of chemical.  I didn’t want to take any chances.

That left me with only one option: coffee “pod” machines.  They use a paper filter to hold the coffee that can be thrown in the compost bin. There is no mess and there are a variety of coffee flavors to choose from.

My mother-in-law swears by her Senseo coffee machine.  So, I decided to give it a try.

The machines themselves are very reasonably priced.  The basic model will set you back an average of $65.  I found it on sale at a Market Basket grocery store for $49.99.  This machine will suit your needs just fine – it has two cup sizes (4 ounce and 8 ounce) and a water reservoir that makes about four cups of 4 ounce coffee before needing to be refilled.  Senseo also makes a gourmet machine.  But, at $140, I’m not sure it’s necessary.  The only advantage that I can see is the larger water reservoir.  Although, it does allow you to choose additional cup sizes: 3-oz., 4-oz. and 5-oz. cup and 6-oz., 8-oz. and 10-oz. mug. Both offer automatic shut-off.

The Senseo coffee machine doesn't take up much counter space!

The Senseo coffee machine doesn't take up much counter space!

While I haven’t had any problems with my machine, nor  have I been able to find any major problems associated with the machines, there was recently a product recall on some older models, for which Senseo offered an exchange. Click here to see if you have a machine that is eligible for the exchange.

My Senseo machine was incredible easy to use.  You simply turn the machine on to heat the water, add the coffee pod in the machine and press a button.  Viola!  The soft hiss of the machine lets you know your fresh cup of coffee is brewing.

The big test was the taste of the coffee.  Since I could only have one cup a day, I knew that I wanted to make that one cup of coffee count.  It had to be good! With over 15 flavors available, it’s hard not to find a cup of Senseo coffee that will make you happy.  As an added bonus, the Senseo machine finishes each cup with a frothy layer of foam.  I’m lactose intolerant, so I was worried that the coffee might contain some kind of milk ingredient to make the foam, but it does not.  The froth is made with the coffee and water through a process that I’m not qualified to explain.  While you won’t confuse it for a latte from Starbucks, it’s definitely a nice added touch.

As far as coffee flavors go, my husband likes the new Kona blend.  I prefer the flavored coffees. Paris has a hint of caramel and vanilla.  Vienna is hazelnut flavored. They even make two Godiva flavored coffees – chocolate cream and crème brulee.  The nice thing about the flavored coffees is that the flavors are subtle and not overwhelming. Nor do they have a weird artificial taste that sometimes accompanies flavored coffees.

It may take a few tries to get a cup of coffee that is exactly the way you like it.  For example, I like to use one pod and press the two cup (8 ounce) button.  My husband uses two pods for an 8 ounce cup.  My mother-in-law uses two pods but presses the one cup button twice. There are dozens of options.

Buying the Senseo pods is easy.  They’re sold in packs of 18.  I got mine at my local Target on sale and paid about .22 a cup.  Grocery stores also carry the pods, and they run about .27 a cup. You can buy them direct from Senseo for about .29 a cup.  Senseo also offers a subscription service.  You’ll save about 15% and get coffee automatically shipped every two months. It’s about .25 a cup.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for from Senseo, the Coffee Pod Café and the Coffee Artisan offer a variety of coffee, tea, and hot chocolate in pods. While I haven’t tried either, the Snickerdoodle coffee has my attention! Just know that you’ll pay about .40 a cup for these pods.  It’s still less than Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts, though!

I’m so in love with my Senso machine, that after Lulu was born, I continued to use it.

Check back tomorrow to see how you can win your very own Senseo machine with a package of new Kona blend, courtesy of the folks at Senseo!