Sorry for the brief diversion into home appliance review, but I'm pleased enough with my recent purchase of the Philips Senseo that I just had to share my thoughts. About a month ago I noticed that Target was having a sale on these devices. I had been looking for a solo, cartridge or packet based coffee maker for a while but wasn't willing to spend the $100+ the European models were going for. I'm the only one in the house that drinks coffee, and I prefer to grind my own beans. Sometimes I like to make espresso as well, so our counter was consumed with a grinder, a plain-old-brew style coffee maker, and an espresso machine. Clean-up is very much a pain, especially when you grind your own beans and have a tile counter.

The Senseo uses mesh pods, minimizing clean-up mess.

I would suspect that the cost-per-cup is higher than alternatives, but when you factor in that there is no waste (I drink every bit that I brew) it seems very reasonable. A package of 18 pods costs about $3.35, and new suppliers (like General Mills) are getting into the business of making pods which should create some more price pressure.

You can make either a single cup or two cups at a time. My preference is two cups into the same mug.

The resulting coffee is about half-way between a standard brew and espresso, which is just about perfect for my taste. If the coffee is too strong or bitter, you can run a second cup through the same pod to weaken the flavor a bit. I wouldn't say it makes the best cup of coffee I've had I still prefer the output from a good espresso machine. Still, it is much better than a standard brew and much easier to deal with.