2/20/08 | Free Senseo Coffee Maker
[ Currently Eating: Homemade Chicken Soup ]
Free. F-f-f-free. Phree. Fwee.
That has a wonderful sound to it, hey? It’s the sound we like to hear the most here on Cheap Eats. But, it always seems there’s a catch to free goodies. Like you have to lend your email to unscrupulous marketers. Or you have to sell out your blogging integrity to thee man. Or you have to walk around like a living sandwich-board advertisement. I haven’t tried that one yet, but the year is still young.
So, I was sent this Senseo Coffee Pod System for free the other day. Now, what is the catch? The catch is that like free cell phones, free dish/cable network installments and free magazines, they want to make it as easy possible to rope you into a monthly “subscription” based type of payment. Sure, the phone is free, but you’ll be paying them a monthly fee that will eventually eclipse the cost of the “free phone” by far.
OK, so you don’t HAVE to sign up for any coffee subscriptions. However, because you need to use the special circular coffee packets with the Senseo machine – it’s pretty similar. They’re just reducing the barrier to entry by making the machine free – getting a lifelong coffee customer is completely worth the $70.
Incidentally, even though I was sent this machine without asking, it’s not like I’m special or anything. ANYONE can signup to apply for a chance to get a free Senseo machine as of right now. You just go to the Share Senseo website and fill out a quick questionnaire. The thing is – you are signing up for a CHANCE to get a free machine. You’re not guaranteed one. Needless to say, I’m told that if you use this link instead of just typing in sharesenseo.com, your application might be, er, expedited. And no, I’m not getting a kickback for sending you to them.
Ok, back to the coffee maker. Yes, so it does require their little “coffee pods” in order to use the machine (I’m debating whether or not it’s worth the effort to try and find a way to circumvent this by “making my own”. Right now, I’m leaning toward it being too much work). Also, you should note that I am NOT a coffee snob. I’ll drink pretty much anything as long as it’s not too burnt tasting. So if you really like coffee, your mileage will vary.
The first thing I noticed about the Senseo machine is that it is really WEIRD looking. To me at least. I wasn’t used to how curved everything was. It sort of looks like a cylinder that is leaning over to touch its toes. Now, I’m all for cool and unusual design – but I have to say that I wasn’t so happy with the way the main cylinder curves over the bottom plate where you put the cup.
I noticed right away when the instructions said to first flush out the device once by putting a bowl underneath to catch the excess water. I couldn’t find a bowl that would fit on it because the curved neck wouldn’t allow a large bowl to sit there without hanging off the edge. (Note: if you do get a machine, to flush it you can simply use a large wide cup that holds at least 10 oz. and you’ll be fine.)
My next complaint is the somewhat “unwieldy” curved nature of the detachable water reservoir. The shape just really makes it awkward to fill up and carry around – it’s shaped like a curved flat cannister, maybe like a warped hip flask or flat canteen. I guess it needs to be that way because the neck is so curved – anyhow, a minor complaint.
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