Nescafé Dolce Gusto: An In-Depth Review

Dolce Gusto Features

  • 15-bar Pressure System
  • Adjustable Brewing Temperature
  • Aluminum Thermoblock Boiler — heats water instantly (no pre-heating, no waiting)
  • Adjustable drip tray with steel cover allows for any size cup or glass
  • Drip tray and capsule holder are dishwasher safe
  • Airtight capsules for optimum freshness
  • Modern, stylish design
  • 51oz Water Reservoir

Specs

  • 8.4" wide, 12" deep, 13.1" tall
  • 6.6 lb empty
  • 1500 watts
  • 120VAC/60hz
  • Brewing time: under 1 minute
  • One year limited warranty

Price — $139.95 Retail

Nescafé Dolce Gusto Review
This machine is the result of a team effort. Nescafé worked with Krups and Nespresso in order to come up with this machine. One thing we really like about the Nescafe Dolce Gusto is that it's not simply another one cup coffee maker. Everything about this machine screams that it is not the same old same old. The "box design" of most one cup coffee makers has been replaced with a round reservoir.

Every time I look at this machine, I can just see Pixar making an animated movie on it (it reminds me of the lamp in the opening sequence of their movies). It just looks cool.

OK, now that we've covered the "coolness factor," let's take a look at how the machine actually works. Nescafé uses its own proprietary capsules. Depending on which coffee drink you want, you will use one or two of the capsules. For example, if you want a cappucino, you use one of their "cappucino coffee" capsules and one of their milk capsules.

In the world of one cup coffee, these capsules are on the expensive side, running a little over 50 cents a piece. This may not sound like much, but since a number of the drinks call for 2 capsule, the cost adds up pretty quickly.

The 15-bar pressure system works well. It produces a nice creamy foam on top of the coffee and seems to do a solid job at extracting full flavor. Our general take is that if your looking for a one cup espresso machine, the Nespresso CitiZ produces better quality; however, if you want a machine that will do the whole realm of coffee drinks, the Dolce Gusto is about as good as it gets at combining quality and convenience. The Tassimo coffee brewers are almost as good, but our tasters felt the Nescafé was just a touch better.

This machine will make you feel a bit like a barista. You manually control the temperature of the brewing and the amount of coffee or milk. We really like this because we could tailor each cup of coffee to our tastes.

There are two negatives about this machine. The first is that you are restricted to the coffee varieties that Nescafé offers. This is isn't a big deal if you're just wanting cappucinos, lattés, and other coffee drinks; however, if you're looking for a machine that will brew a number of different types of coffee, then you need to be looking at a k cup brewer or pod brewer. The Dolce Gusto just doesn't have enough variety at the moment. Ideally, you would want a k cup or pod machine for your coffee and the Dolce Gusto for those special evening coffee drinks. The second negative is that this machine uses powdered milk pods. We're not a big fan of these as we always think they have a taste that's a bit off. If you're looking for an automated machine that uses real milk from your refrigerator, check out our review of the Keurig Rivo R500.

The following drinks are currently available:

1 Capsule Drinks

  • Caffé Americano — Mild, morning coffee
  • Caffé Lungo — Smooth, bold coffee
  • Espresso

2 Capsule Drinks

  • Caffé Lungo Decaffeinato (Decaf)
  • Cappucino (2 capsules)
  • Cappucino Skinny (2 capsules) — Only 50 calories
  • Cappucino Ice — Nice for a hot day
  • Chococino — Nescafé's version of the hot chocolate
  • Latte Macchiato — Highly recommended
  • Mocha — Great combination of chocolate and coffee

Reliability
We have not heard of any consistent problems with the Nescafé Dolce Gusto. You may want to watch out of you have hard water because there have been some complaints of significant hard water build up after a few months. Krups does sell a scale remover in case you run into this. Our general take after using the machine for 6 months now is that it has held up quite well. Our one concern is that most of the parts are plastic. The machine is not built to be a commercial-quality machine that runs forever with problems; however, the quality is sufficient for most home users.

Customer Service
We have not had any personal experience with Nescafé's customer service (which is a good thing), but the online reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Nescafé responds quickly and politely to any problem you might experience while the machine is under warranty.

Bottom Line
This is a pretty easy machine to give a bottom line for. This is not the machine you want for your day to day coffee. The k cup and pod machines are much better for that. However, if you want coffee drinks, the Nescafé Dolce Gusto would be a great choice. It makes great cappuccinos and lattes that rival what you could get at your local Starbucks. The machine looks good and can usually be purchased for under $130. Click here to check out this machine at Amazon and read even more reviews.


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