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4.4 out of 5 stars
191
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 27 November 2011
I am lucky to have access to a Nespresso machine in work, and having enjoyed the various different types of coffee from it, which are really nice, so I was a little worried that by buying this 'cheaper' product that I would be compromising on quality.
However in my humble opinion, the Philips Senseo trumps the Nespresso!

After much research my reasons for opting for the Senseo were as follows...

1. Cheaper outlay cost (although this was not the deal maker for me, as more often than not, you do pay for what you get.....but not in this instance!)

2. Cheaper cost of the coffee pods as opposed to Nespresso pods and Dolce Gusto capsules.

3. More availability of coffee. Majority of leading supermarkets all stock the Douwe Egberts Senseo coffee pods.

4. Being able to use an adapter called the Coffeeduck, this enables you to use what ever type of coffee you want. This clever adapter just leapfrogged the Senseo ahead of any competition, as its so, so easy to pop 2/3 spoons of your favourite fine ground coffee in to the holder, make your delicious coffee, complete with crema! and then just remove the coffeeduck and a quick rinse under the tap and your done. Makes no mess and makes an excellent quality cup of coffee so much cheaper.
I use Lavazza finely ground coffee and its as good a cup of coffee as any coffee shop will give you! So you have COMPLETE control over what type of coffee you want.
Here is a link to a video of the coffeeduck [...]
Just be sure to purchase the right size duck as they are different sizes for each generation of machine.

5. The coffee pods are more bio friendly, as they can be put in a compost heap!

My review is of the above machine the Senseo Viva Cafe HD7825, which is an improved machine I am led to believe.

Very easy machine to clean. To sum up, delighted with my purchase.
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on 11 November 2012
I've just recently gone back to a Senseo machine. Had one when they first came out but the cost of the pods put me off so I sold it on. Since then I bought a pump espresso machine, a top of the range Tassimo and have a cafetiere.

I love my Senseo. The cost of the pods has dropped a great deal, all sorts of retailers (including a certain German Discounter) sell lots of different pods for it (I recommend the German Discounter's Brazilian pods, they're delicious). You can get a 'duck' adapter which enables you to use any ground coffee you wish, although if it's not fine ground (labelled as for espresso machines) then it's a good idea to grind it a bit more before putting it in the 'duck' otherwise you won't get much flavour.

It's convenient, quick and costs less than half of feeding a Tassimo, Nespresso or Dolce Gusto, but what I like best is that the coffee tastes better too.

Coffee machine systems run in fads that are driven by manufacturers and retailers trying to come up with the perfect system at the right price for people to actually use on a regular basis. Currently Dolce Gusto is being pushed by most retailers with it's quirky styling, but IMO it's slow, it's not even automated to cut off when the cup is full, it's very expensive to buy, and to run but worst of all IMO, the coffee doesn't even taste very nice - more like syrup.

Senseo has been around a very long time, the simple design of the mesh pods makes them very cheap to produce which has resulted in a lower price than competing systems. They're environmentally much friendlier than other systems too.

I recommend Senseo wholeheartedly to anyone who loves good coffee who prefers to do without the fuss and bother of a proper espresso machine, grinding your own beans and cleaning up the mess afterwards, and who cannot afford a bean to cup machine. It's really good coffee, really quick for people with a normal pay packet. If you're filthy rich then go and buy a bean to cup machine, otherwise give Senseo a chance, you won't get better coffee out of any of the other systems, you'll just pay more for it.

Like others, I also recommend warning the milk in the microwave for 20 seconds if you like a piping hot coffee.

Ultimately, good coffee beans that you grind yourself and use in a pump espresso will probably give you better coffee, but can you be bothered ? Senseo is great! It does the job of serving absolutely delicious coffee in around 30 seconds, just by popping in a pod, without breaking the bank to buy or to feed.

May I suggest also that you experiment - if you actually like good coffee then you will surely find at least one blend you love, even if it's an own brand or from a discount superstore. Please don't assume that the 'standard' Douwe Egberts Medium Roast is the only one you should use, it isn't, and it's nothing special. If you don't find any pods you adore then do use your personal favourite espresso coffee in a duck - it's still less bother than a dedicated espresso machine.

Ultimately it's all about coffee, don't be fooled by price tags on the other systems, or by buying specific branded pods. I've tried and even owned most of the other systems and I've gone back to Senseo, and I'm very pleased with myself for finally doing so after drinking inferior coffee for so long.
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on 9 December 2011
This is a great little machine. Doesn't take up too much space and I love that it can handle different sizes of mugs.

Of all pod style machines, the Senseo are the cheapest, but using a Coffeeduck allows you to you any coffee you want.

I had a lot of trouble find the correct coffeeduck for this machine, but eventually discovered it is the same as the one used on the Latte and Quanrante machines. You can find these on amazon, just search for "Coffeeduck for Senseo Latte Select"
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I have had the previous version of the Philips Senseo coffee maker for quite a few years now and have been very happy with it. The time has finally come for an update as it is now looking rather the worse for wear (probably because it gets used so much!).

This newer version looks just that bit sharper than the old one. The adjustable chrome spout is a nice new feature and the red illuminated buttons just give the machine a more modern look.

The slightly larger water tank (1.2L vs 0.7L) is also a bonus.

It is still as simple to use as the previous machine and produces the same delicious coffee with the same lovely crema layer on top.

One of the reasons we have stuck with a Senseo machine is the ease of use. My wife has had carpal tunnel operations on both hands, has arthritis in her fingers and also suffers from Fibromyalgia. She really cannot use a traditional espresso machine due to the force needed to lock/release the coffee holder/spout onto the machine. On the Senseo machine this is not a problem. The release/locking lever really is very easy to use. In fact this newer model seems even easier to lock closed than the old one.

The relative cost of the coffee pads was also a factor. The basic Senseo Coffee pod bags are still cheaper per bag than the competitors. The basic bags are made entirely of paper and are totally compostable as well. (Note that some of the flavoured versions such as the cappuccino flavour are both considerably more expensive and have a plastic frame inside the "pod")

You can also if you wish purchase a refillable Coffee Duck so that you can chose your own favourite type of coffee.

One last thing to mention - I make my coffee in the following way:

Take two large mugs and half fill them with milk.

Microwave the milk for 2 minutes.

Whilst the milk is heating, set up and turn on the Senseo machine so that the water will be ready at the same time as the milk.

Stand both cups of hot milk side by side on the drip tray and use the "Mug/2 cup" button. On the size of mugs I use, this will perfectly fill both cups to the brim with a pretty much perfect crema layered Café Latte and will only use one coffee bag . Perfect in my opinion - but might be a bit too mild if you like strong coffee.
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Bought this device from Amazon in May 2014 and it has quickly established itself as a firm favourite in the kitchen. The most obvious positive about it is the price; a couple of years ago it was just under £100 (which might be a bit too much) but now the price has come tumbling down to not much more than two-thirds of that. It is fantastic value, and it's better than a Krups machine we have (also acquired last year) which costs much more.

But perhaps the best thing about the Senseo is that you don't have to buy the pricey coffee pods. Oh no. Instead you can get a Coffeeduck Pad For Senseo which opens up all kinds of choices. For example, if your budget is tight you can, with the Coffeduck, use ground coffee from somewhere like Aldi - it's not the best but it's still very good and great value. Then if you want to you can buy something like Carte Noire Espresso No 9 Intense 10 Coffee Capsules 53 g (Pack of 8) which is tastier but pricier. Again, thanks to the Coffeeduck you can use this too. Same goes for the CafePod Nespresso Compatible Decaffeinated which again is on the pricey side but tastes very nice.

Where the Senseo also might have an advantage over similar coffee makers in this price range is that it can make two cups at the same time.

The Coffeeduck transforms the Senseo into a highly versatile machine that makes great coffee, and the price is very attractive. You can't go wrong with this one. With the near-essential Coffeeduck Pad the combined cost is (as of August 2014) under fifty quid. Brilliant!
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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 BUT it doesn't have the 'calc' indication feature.

Buy, drink and enjoy !
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on 14 May 2016
Our in-laws have one of these and we loved the Classic coffee pods, so we had to get one for ourselves, only to find that we could only buy the machines on-line in the UK. I prefer the taste of the coffee to Nespresso, too.

I love how easy and quick it is to use and the ease of disposing of the pods compared with the Bodums we previously used. Also that I can make enough cups for all my guests at the correct strength, quickly and efficiently.

I found the water container a little strange in how one must fill it to just over the minimum mark and how it slots into the machine, but quickly adjusted to how to get the best result. It would also help if the controls showed more clearly when the one or two cup button had been pressed.
I wish this machine was still manufactured as I am worried about not getting replacement parts. I contacted Philips and they replied very quickly and comprehensibly, which was refreshing.
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on 23 June 2012
I received one of these as a birthday present because I complained so much about not having time to make decent coffee in the morning.

I appreciate my coffee and I have cafetieres, a percolator and an espresso machine in my house but all take time and effort that I just don't have energy for whilst try to get ready for work and get an 8 year old ready for school.

This on the other hand takes less than 3 minutes to produce hot, strong coffee with no fuss and no more effort than putting in the pod/coffee, pressing 2 buttons and shoving a mug under it (said 8 year old has almost been trained to perform these functions without supervision provided I make sure the pod/coffee is already in).

I was also given a coffee duck which means I can use ground coffee rather than pods, which gives you more choice and control and as a bonus makes things a lot cheaper.

Now I just need a decent coffee grinder so I can grind my own coffee.......
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on 2 January 2012
My last senseo lasted 8 years, it was fantastic. This one seems to be just as good. Simple to use, easy to keep clean, and most importantly, very good coffee. I would recommend to anybody.
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on 10 January 2012
Excellent coffee machine, very quick to produce a fresh cup of coffee. Do buy a coffee duck for it, the quadrante coffee duck fits this specific machine. No need to buy expensive coffee pods as you can use whatever coffee you like with the coffee duck.
I use it every day.
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