Senseo. I think it would be safe to say this is a fairly popular coffee machine in the UK, and for it you can buy specific coffee pod; mild, medium, dark and decaf. Everything was right with the world.

Then I went on holiday to France, and discovered a whole bunch of other, very tasty Senseo coffee pods, and I felt cheated. So what did I do? I did what any consumer would do, I wrote to Senseo, and asked, what the devil's going on? They replied (I'm showing an excerpt).

We are very sorry that you feel that the choices of Senseo pods in the UK are very poor. The Senseo range of blends differs from country to country, and the Senseo brand is growing fast here in the UK. Although some of the blends you may have seen are not yet available here, they may be launched in the future. I am pleased to note below our full UK range for you together with their stockists:

Mild- Asda and Sainsbury stores.
Medium- Co-op, Sainsbury, and Tesco stores.
Dark Roast- Co-op, Sainsbury, and Tesco stores.
Decaffeinated- Co-op, Sainsbury, and Tesco stores.

Senseo City Rio de Janeiro- Vanilla- Tesco
Senseo City Sydney- Vanilla & Lime- Tesco
Senseo Vienna. Vanilla, Chocolate, and Hazelnut- Tesco

Senseo Selection Brazil- Waitrose stores
Senseo Selection Kenya- Tesco stores.
Senseo Selection Sumatra- Tesco and Waitrose stores

Fantastic, so they sell the varieties I'd seen France in the UK, just not down my local supermarket. So next on my contact list, you guessed it, Tesco.

My question was simple enough "could you possibly tell me which Tesco stores sell the extended range of Senseo pods?" The response was unexpected.

Thank you for your email.

We are unable to contact our stores on your behalf as our stock situation is constantly changing and we may inadvertently provide our customers with incorrect information regarding availability. For example, when a customer contacts us regarding product availability, our system may show that stock is available, however, when the customer visits the store, stocks have sold through.

However, if you would reply to this email providing us with your postcode, we will supply you with up to three stores in your area including the phone number so you may call in advance before you travel.

Phone numbers to ring stores, what!?!?! I tried again, hoping for a better response.

I understand you can't give specific stock advice as it might be out of date by the time you contact me. However I was hoping you could just tell me which stores generally stock the wider range of Senseo pods. Surely this is just a matter of seeing which stores have placed orders for the more unusual pods in the past? The actual number of available pods at this point in time isn't important, just knowing that a store generally sells the wider range is.

Failing that my postcode is S73 8** and I'll do some ringing around, but to be honest I thought it would be easier than this to find out!

And their response, finally, was:

Thank you for your email.

Your biggest selection would be at our;

Woodfield Plantation
South Yorkshire
Tel: 0845 6779207

So the conclusion of this long post? You can buy the better Senseo pods in the UK, but its the luck of who answers your email at Tesco as to how quick you find out where!

After all that I think I need a coffee.....