In an amateur capacity I have been interested in (as everyone here surely is also) trying to make the perfect cup of coffee/espresso. I have tried all kinds of coffee making process, Moka pot coffee, espresso machines, drip coffee, French press. As well as trying various professional barista type establishments.

I quite accidentally discovered coffee pad machines, such as the one made by Senseo: enter image description here

And it, to my taste, produces the smoothest least sour/bitter coffee I have tasted.

My question is: Why? I am curious as to the chemical and physical processes that make coffee prepared in this way so smooth. I realise this is of course subjective. My own pallet comes into play, the type of coffee pads I use and so on.

Another question: Is this a "true" espresso? It seems unlikely to me that these types of machine can produce the types of pressure seen in the more traditional espresso machines. It produces a crema, but I suspect that this is artificial from aeration, similar to how some of the cheaper espresso basket systems have an actual aerator in the basket to produce the appearance of a crema.

Has anyone had a similar reaction to this type of coffee preparation method? I find it some what ironic that with all the science that goes into coffee preparation -- especially in the context of espresso -- that this simple thing -- for me -- makes the best cup of coffee

  • That's not a Sensco, that's a Senseo. Developed by Douwe Egberts and Philips. – Mast May 13 at 12:03
  • @Stephie I have less than 3k rep here, so I'd need more characters to change than that. – Mast May 13 at 19:12

The appeal of espresso is the ability to extract, using high pressure, lots of oil within the coffee itself. That isn't easily achieved with any other type of machine.

So for low pressure you can have filtered (anything with paper in between you and the beans), unfiltered (without paper), poured (think drip filter) and full immersion (french press).

The senseo is using a paper filter, removing more oils from the coffee than without a filter and not allowing any "fines" very small coffee particles into the cup. It uses only moderate pressure and it is extracting rather fast.

So these are the variables that seem to create a smooth cup for you. I suggest looking up (or trying) what different extraction durations do to the taste, as well as what the grind size and filter will achieve, both things taht could fill pages ;-)

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