Many of the 1-cup coffee makers on the market, such as The Senseo Coffee Machine, use round pods to brew coffee. Pods contain a pre-measured dose of coffee grinds, sealed between two layers of material that acts as a filter. Fans of this type of coffee maker like the convenience and ease of not having to measure the right amount of coffee to brew a great-tasting cup. One disadvantage, however, is feeling locked into having to purchase a certain brand of pods, forced to choose from a limited selection.
Pods Made by Similar Coffee Makers
The coffee makers that brew using the pod method are each designed to accommodate a specific size pod. Most pod diameters, no matter which brand, fall within the 44 to 62mm size range. Senseo pods are on the larger side of the range. They are available in a wide selection of flavours, but trying pods made by different brands will provide a much greater variety.
The manufacturers that make one-step coffee makers with pod holders similar in size to the Senseo are Krups, Mr. Coffee, Black and Decker, and cuisinart. Pods made by any of these brands will work in a Senseo coffee machine.
Other Pod Brands
Since the size difference among the different pod brands is small, most are interchangeable in any one-step coffee maker. As long as the pod is soft and round, and designed for a one-cup coffee brewer, chances are it will work in a Senseo machine. There are many coffee brands that don't sell coffee makers, but they do sell pods. If a pod is not compatible with a specific machine, it will usually state that on the label.
Mass-market brands, such as Maxwell House and Folgers, make pods that are inexpensive and available in supermarkets. Pods made by speciality coffee brands, such as Wolfgang Puck, includes coffee varieties sourced from beans grown all around the world.
Making your own pods at home is economical and provides the benefit of using any brand of coffee. Also, it provides the opportunity to easily create your own gourmet flavours by blending different flavoured coffees, adding spices, extracts, or powdered cream.
The electric Perfect Pod Maker machine will heat-seal loose grinds between 2 round, pre-cut filters. Refill packages of the filters designed for this machine are sold separately. The pods will be 71mm in diameter, which is approximately 10mm larger than the size of the pod holder in Senseo's coffee maker. Since it's only a slight difference in size, these home-made pods will work in Senseo machines.
What Not to Use in the Senseo
If you use pods that are slightly larger than the pod holder in a Senseo coffee maker, make sure the pod isn't so large that the ends hang out, keeping the machine from closing properly. Never try to use loose coffee grinds in a machine's pod holder, or pods that haven't been securely heat-sealed. If grinds get into a Senseo machine, it may break.
Any type of espresso pod, such as Starbuck's, is not compatible in a Senseo coffee machine. Espresso pods require an espresso machine, which uses a different brewing method. Also, coffee contained in k-cups, discs, or other speciality shapes aren't the same as pods. These aren't compatible with a Senseo machine.