A few weeks ago, someone on the Lime & Violet message board mentioned the Share Senseo program, where you can apply to get a Senseo coffee maker, the kind that makes individual cups of coffee using prepackaged pods) for just the cost of shipping and handling. You take a little survey, and if they determine that you are the sort who will chat up your friends about their product, you are eligible.
I actually spent some time with my personal assistant, Miss Google, looking at the pros and cons of the product before signing up. The major gripes were that cup sizes were small, pod selection was limited, and pods were pricey. Since I don't drink, nor want to drink, a lot of coffee, the promise of small servings was actually tantalizing. The price of the pods seemed less than the price of buying, or brewing, more coffee than I wanted and throwing most of it out. I'm not much of a fuss about coffee varieties. Once it gets past Colombian, my mind starts wandering.
In short, I am their target customer. I filled out their survey, was selected for the special, and sent them my $15.
I've had the Senseo for a few weeks now, and it it exactly what I need it to be - an easy, non-messy way to get a small cup of coffee. By small cup, I mean about 4 oz., perfect for the "cups" with your grandma's china service. You can double the pods and fill a small mug with the two cup setting. I know, for some people, four or eight ounces is merely an appetizer, but for me, it is just about right, especially with a little milk added.
As I said, I'm not terribly picky about varieties, but I have purchased a few pod packs besides the one included with the coffee maker. I think the Colombian and Kenya blends were somewhat better than the generic Medium Roast, and I wasn't too crazy about the flavored "Paris" coffee.
Cleanup is easy, since the coffee is completely contained in the pod, and most of the parts that come in contact with the actual coffee, as well as the water reservoir, are removable.
One downside for me is the size of the unit. The footprint is about 12" x 9". I have a small kitchen with limited counter space, so this takes a huge hunk of it.
All in all, I am happy with the Senseo. I don't know that I would have spent the money to buy one at retail price, but I'm glad I have this one.
If you want to try getting your own freebie, go here. If they turn you down (the cads! How could they?), I still have the discount coupons they included. Write to me at gmail if you want one.
Why am I writing all about coffee today? Because Nanowrimo has started, and I am already looking for any excuse not to write. But I have started. That's good.