Saturday, April 30, 2005

How do they compare?

Bunn & Senseo
Originally uploaded by Keichu.
I've been happily putting the Bunn coffeemaker through its paces, and here are some of the things I've noticed about how it stacks up against the Senseo:

First of all, the Bunn---with its innovative pod holder design--will hold any size coffee pod, while the Senseo works only with 62mm pods. This was a big selling feature of the Bunn for me.

Another huge selling feature is that the Bunn can make a cup of coffee ranging from approximately 4 ounces to 12 ounces, while the Senseo can make either a 4 oz cup, two 4 ounce cups, or one 8 ounce cup. The variable setting on the Bunn is a great feature. I did notice that the actual amount of coffee made may vary somewhat from the setting, depending on what pod you are using and how much water it absorbs. I did quite a bit of measuring the coffee I made for a few days in order to tinker with the setting.

The "Golden Cup Standard" of the Specialty coffee Association of America indicates that a 10 gram pod (such as those from "Cool Beans") is best for brewing 6 ounces of coffee. I've been enjoying those "golden cups" now that I have my Bunn.

The first thing I noticed while unpacking and setting up the Bunn My Cafe is how much better made it is than the Senseo. It has a number of clever design features. I like not having to remove the water reservoir in order to fill it. I've also enjoyed the special tea setting. (OK, tea purists will probably scoff, but I thought it made a good cuppa tea, and you can use any tea bag.) I really like that the Bunn can be used with any size mug.

Note in the picture that I've shown the largest size mug that I can use in both machines. The mug that I have in the Senseo is rather short; my standard mugs don't fit in it at all. The Bunn holds my tallest latte mug with ease.

When I did my side by side coffee comparison, using the same flavor of Senseo pod (see entry below) I noticed that the Senseo produced far more crema. Some may like this (I do) but others may not care. I also noticed that the Bunn made hotter coffee. Those who like their tongues scalded may not want the Senseo. Coffee flavor was good with both machines.

I liked the pod holder of the Bunn much better, especially because of the ease in getting it in and out of the machine. However, it is really designed for one pod, although one can use different sizes. The Senseo comes with both a one pod holder and a two pod holder.

One thing I miss with the Bunn is that it can't make two cups of coffee at the same time. This isn't a big deal to me, since it heats up the water and makes the coffee faster than the Senseo anyway---plus, I'm rarely making another cup for someone else anyway.

Which to choose?

The Bunn will open up a whole wide world of possibilities as far as coffee pods that you can use. Plus, you can also make tea. It's far better made and seems much more durable. It heats up faster. It's easier to use. You will give up the few little things I mentioned above. However, it's pricier than the Senseo. Whether or not it's worth it is a matter of preference, I suppose.

[Edited to correct ounces to grams. Oops!]

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