Coffee with Foam at Home

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iPod, meet coffee pod.

Unlike standard coffee makers and espresso machines, pod-style systems like Senseo, Tassimo and Nespresso use single use pods or packs to make their brew. The advantage of these machines are supposed to be: ease, the ability to make different flavors and styles for different folks, and the foam.

We're wondering if you've tried pod-style coffee systems. What do you think?

I've tried Senseo (on Amazon.com Friday Sale for $55.99) and a Nespresso machine ($399, Amazon.com).

I found the flavor of coffee from Senseo to be average, but the coffee was not hot enough. My last few sips were always cold. The body of the Medium Roast Senseo coffee that came with the machine had a mouthfeel more like tea. Also, as Bloggle explains here, the Senseo foam is strange, more similar to dish soap suds than cappuccino. Turns out, that foam is not true crema.

While the Senseo is a bit easier to operate, the far more expensive Nespresso system produces much better coffee and espresso. The crema from the Nespresso system tastes like the real thing and the drinks come out truly hot.

When pod machines first came on the market, fair trade coffee was not always available in pods. SingleServeCoffee.com explains that this is changing, but still keep in mind that your favorite coffee might not be available in pod form. Though some people have created hacks to re-use or create DIY pods, when used according to manufacturer's instructions, these systems create more garbage than my Mr. Coffee.

If you'd like to try a pod-based machine, Ruth in downtown Manhattan has a Bodum Granos for sale through our Kitchen Classifieds. "Great design," she says. This Bodum is one of the best looking single-serve coffee machines around.

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