After I spent some time with the TRU Digital mentioned in my previous post my TRU ECO (http://inventocaturracafe.com/products/ ... eco-te-258
) arrived from walmart.com. I had high expectations for the Digital and low expectations for the ECO. However, the end results are the complete opposite. I was concerned by the single hole in the lid instead of a spray head. I was afraid that the coffee would end up tasting like it was brewed using the little Hamilton Beach brewers that they made to be used with Senseo pods. The poor reviews on walmart.com also lowered my expectations. After all, I wanted this for camping and vacations but if it can’t make a good cup of coffee it isn’t worth packing. In the end though, I was blown away with my first (and each subsequent) cup.
The lid of the machine lifts up and the pod holder lifts out. You then poor water into the water level guide which shows levels for a single (4oz) or two (8oz) cups of coffee. Once the water is in you put the pod holder in place then put 1 or 2 pods in. There is a dial on the bottom of the holder that tells it if you are putting 1 or 2 pods in. Then you close the lid, press the brew button and get your cup under it. Since there is no reservoir it won’t be ready for an instant brew. It will take about 2 minutes start to finish, heating the water and filling your cup. As the water heats it builds up lots of steam pressure. Once the brew process starts the steam pressure forces the water through the pod holder and finishes with a long and powerful blast of steam. The whole brew process is very quiet with the exception of the last blast of steam. That kinda sounds like an espresso machine frothing milk but not quite as loud. That blast of steam also leaves a very dry and compressed pod for easy disposal.
As I was waiting for this to arrive I was about 90% sure that I was going to return it because I thought it was going to make weak coffee. In fact, I almost cancelled the order before I even got it. Now I’m 100% sure that I’m going to keep it. The coffee that this makes actually rivals that of machines that are way more expensive. One thing I have to note, as I’m sure most of you know, the quality of the pods you use is just as important as the machine. I think some of the folks giving this machine poor reviews on walmart.com may have been using the only pods available at Walmart. Those would be Senseo (when they were available) and now the Melita soft pods which took their place. Those are all really bad pods. If you get this machine and order some good pods on-line I’m pretty sure you’ll be satisfied. This may not be the only machine for a household that brews back to back cups but its tiny footprint is perfect for camping, vacations/business travel, or for college.
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