When iconical Dutch brands Douwe Egberts (DE) and Philips joined hands and came up with the single serving coffee maker Senseo in 2001, they revolutionized the consumer coffee market. In no time, shelf-space in Dutch supermarket was reassigned to the special pads needed for this machine, and this extended to multiple other countries. By proving that consumers were more than eager to switch to the more expensive single serving coffee, DE and Philips paved the way for many other companies that followed suit. Tassimo (Bosch and Kraft foods) and Mio (Seaco and Lavazza) are some examples. For a couple of years, I have to admit, I was rather happy with our Senseo. It worked perfectly for what was asked from it: an easy way to brew the functional morning coffee. My taste for coffee had been severely damaged by years of getting coffee from office coffee machines, so standards were on the low side of the spectrum. But with the availability of pads from different coffee brands, we were able to find our favorite coffees, even some great ones. Later, our Senseo was joined by a Mio, but I never felt much love for that apparatus. And I never liked the idea of getting a Nespresso maker. For several reasons – wear and tear on the Senseo was one of them, more about the other reasons in a later post – we decided however to retire our machines and get ourselves an espresso maker that works with just coffee beans. We chose, in the end, the fully automatic Jura ENA 7. We also brought back some specialty coffee from the Netherlands, and after three weeks of making our coffee this way, the only regret is that we haven’t made this decision earlier. Now, the quest for the best coffee beans is on. And for the best places to buy them in Riga.