7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Practical, Potentially VERY Cheap to Run - and Great Coffee !,
I have owned an 'original' HD7814 for some years and was quite happy with it, but due to a reason not attributable to the machine itself it needed replacing so I bought this 'upgraded' HD7825 model to replace it.
I drink about 5/6 mugs of coffee a day but am not fussy about the type of bean it is made of. I drink my coffee black, no sugar and having used a range of coffee in them have always been satisfied with the taste and temperature of a mug 'serving' (ie a 2-cup machine 'portion', BUT made with just one coffee 'pad' as I don't like my coffee that strong).
[I am not a coffee 'aficionado', so resent paying what I consider inflated prices for what is for me such a basic commodity. Last week I was in Madrid where a cafe coffee/croissant cost about EU2, whereas a very well-known coffee outlet was pushing out 'just' a cup of coffee for over EU3 - we all have different tastes/desires, but for me the price difference is massive whereas the quality is the same....]
Leaving cosmetics aside, over the HD7814 model this HD7825 version offers the advantages of a larger water tank, a re-designed pod holder (which means a used pad remains in the holder, rather than being lifted out when you open the lid allowing it to drop out - as it will do with the original model), a 'calc' indication feature and in my opinion makes coffee which is served slightly hotter. It also features a height adjustable nozzle (now 'stylishly' finished in chrome), the benefit of which escapes me - especially as it can be set no higher than the original model !
It's worth the upgrade, especially as it retains compatibility with the older model so you can continue to use the separate basic ground coffee 'pod' (which I cover later on) and makes the Senseo potentially so financially economical to use.
Both machines work on the same principle and share the same basic qualities (but note my observations are between them and do not necessarily include other types of coffee machines, eg Tassimo, as I've never owned them) :
1. Easy to operate.
2. Slightly noisy.
3. Quite easy to clean.
4. Relatively cheap to buy.
5. A bit top heavy.
6. Not too bulky.
These Senseo machines can 'only' make coffee from grounds - so, without further preparation thereafter no Cappuccino/Latte options or the like...
HOWEVER, the special qualities these Senseo machines possess is that you are not 'bound' to manufacturers coffee supplies etc and they do manage to produce a 'cuppa' with an enticing frothy head from the forced percolation process....
**** This makes them potentially much, MUCH cheaper to run and also allows you to use ANY ground coffee you desire (by using a pod 'insert') or own-brand ready-to-use coffee pads (ie the normal way the machine is used to make coffee).
Until my stocks are depleted, I use own-brand ready-to-use coffee pads (as they involve no ground coffee 'mess'/pod-filling).
The first BIG economical saving you can make is if you buy the ready-to-use coffee pads when abroad, in France for example where coffee is a more staple product and has a significantly lower 'fad'/price 'premium' on it.
In May 2013 a bag of 50 pads Hypermarket 'value' own-brand cost about EU2, branded on offer cost about EU3 - that's about 25% of the price of UK supermarkets ! So you are effectively paying for the weight of coffee, with no price 'loading' for the coffee being supplied in the portion-sized pads.....
Secondly, even better value and (more importantly !) a method which allows you to use whichever ground coffee you want is to buy a 'pad filter'.
This is a 2 pad-sized plastic container which you fill with ground coffee, then use as you would normally for 2 pads in the additional 2-pad holder (which is supplied with the machine).
The only faff is that after use you have to empty the container of used coffee, then give it a quick water 'flush' to remove whatever grounds are still in it - you don't have to be THAT fussy about ensuring it is completely clear of used coffee though and it is a very quick 'job' to complete...
There is a bespoke contraption (eg 'the Coffeeduck') which does the same thing as this plastic 'pad filter' but directly replaces the machine pad holder - BUT this means it is tailored for use with the exact Senseo model you buy it for, whereas the plastic 'pad filter' can be used in any Senseo model as all it does is replicate the 'form' of 2 pads....
An alternative Philips Senseo machine is the cube-like HD7860 model, which might be preferred for it's appearance. As far as I can see it works in the same way as these type of Senseo machines but, despite appearing to be bigger, has exactly them same size of water tank as this HD7825 model.
Buy, drink and enjoy !