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Don't you just love a feel-good tale? I do, as long as it's not one of those Americanised saccharine sweet one's that induce chronic vomiting, but maybe that's just me. Anyhoo, this is one of the former variety; just a simple tale of a bargain crazed ciaoer being washed in a satisfying wave of pure bargain joy.
I warn you, this review will date. You see at the mo there is a super-duper sale on in Boots. They are calling it the July sale, but I am absolutely sure that I took advantage of it in August, so perhaps its moniker is a tad misleading. Luckily it also means that there is still time! YAY! But time for what I hear you mumble, frustrated at my refusal to get anywhere near spitting distance of the point. Allay your fears that this review will do nothing for you. I am sure the tension is nigh unbearable, but it is all part of the theatre of the 'ciao' experience.
I have been recently indulging in homemade cocktails, and for the good ones it seems you need a blender. I had just over £30 worth of boots points and thought I might splurge them all on a £29.99 blender and juicer set that was being toted by my local Boots. Yes, I would have had a few points left, but they would have been negligible. I spit on them.
After careful deliberation with Mr Queenangella we decided that, yes, it was indeed a good idea. So off we trot on a Thursday (late night shopping dontchaknow), and GADZOOKS, it's gone. Cue embarrassing outbreak of sobbing and squeals of "WHY? Why does everything always happen to us?" After a few deep breaths we resigned ourselves to the awful truth of what our sensible reasoning had cost us, and vowed never to be so coy again. Before we shuffled off to our hollow lives, we thought we'd have a gander at what was still on offer. Mr spotted the black Senseo machine, which I had previously coveted in a shockingly open manner. Before I could dismiss his foolishness, he drew my attention to the price. I stood open mouthed- agog.
I happened to know that the RRP of the black Senseo machine was around £50. The label said: £12.50. Panic hit me; what if everyone else found out? What if I didn't get my bargain? It was a bargain wasn't it? Of course, and we couldn't delay. I threw caution to the ever present wind and grabbed the slightly dearer silver version (£15). We spotted an equally unbelievable toaster deal and hot-footed it to the till. The cashier was almost as impressed as us. I left my favourite store with less Boots points and an increased sense of pride; I would go so far as to say I was smug. I still am.
Our excitement lasted all the way home, and I simply had to try the glorious coffee making abilities of my new best friend. As always, the instructions are essential, but luckily Philips has supplied a quick-start guide. The machine needs to be 'flushed' before you can have your first coffee. This is a process of filling the removable back reservoir with water to fill the internal boiler. It's a quick and simple process and really no trouble at all. Once the button stops flashing, and is shining brightly your Senseo machine is ready to roll. Next you need to get out one of the coffee pods that have been provided with your machine and pop it in the pod holder. There are 2 pod holders in the kit, one to hold just one pod, and one with a two pod capacity. Almost inevitably, the formula is a pod per person. I was just having the one cup, as Mr does not drink hot drinks. So I popped the pod holder, holding the pod, into the machine. The obvious and essential component not contained in the pack is a cup. This needs to be placed on the grill under the outlet. Next up, the lid needs to be closed, and the one cup button pressed. My machine is a noisy blighter, and I'm sure they're all the same, but I can't blame it. It's proud too. The auto shut off is a nice touch, but it only kicks in after an hour, as it's keeping the water warm in case you want another cup.
Under a minute later there's a lovely cup of medium roast (or regular) coffee waiting for you. It's up to you whether you add your milk and sugar before or after the coffee. You might even want to add some baileys. Hmmmmm. The crema layer is a lovely touch, and the blend is smooth and full. It really does provide a lovely cup of coffee, and the aroma it fills the kitchen with is understandable enticing. I know why the smell of freshly brewed coffee helps sell houses.
The pods themselves are available in most supermarkets in packs of 18 for around £2.00, and are available in Mild Roast, Medium Roast, Dark Roast and Decaffeinated. A quick search online will reveal that there are other varieties available on the continent and in the States. Senseo.com is raving about a cappuccino version, and I've even spotted Tea pods. Be warned, using a standard teabag will result in weak tea. Don't bother. There are offers for wholesale rate pods too, although I don't know how reliable they are, and so won't be recommending them. I am hopeful that more flavours will soon be available, and a hot chocolate range would be splendid.
I bought my Senseo machine nearly a week ago, and I have barely stopped grinning. It fits in my kitchen perfectly, both literally and aesthetically. It's very simple to clean, all the parts that need cleaning just want a rinse and are completely detachable. The instructions warn that descaling is essential every 2 months, but it is a simple procedure with a normal descaler and doesn't put me off at all. I would never have paid the pull £50 for it, but at £15, it's a great bargain and it would be almost criminal to dismiss this opportunity.