Single-cup coffee machines are a popular product, with around 40% of American consumers owning one. But with the many options on the market, it’s hard to choose the right one.
When shopping, the Dolce Gusto machine’s low price is understandably appealing to many, but is it a quality product?
This is a complete review of the Dolce Gusto machine, including competitor comparisons, pros, and cons, to help you decide if it’s suitable for your coffee needs.
What Is a Dolce Gusto Machine?
The Dolce Gusto Machine is a coffee capsule system from Nestle. Manufacturers Arno from Næver, Krups, and De’Longhi produce the hardware and build the coffee machines for Nestle. The Dolce Gusto machine is slim and compact, weighing less than three pounds.
The device has an intuitive interface with well-lit and labeled buttons that allow you to control the size and intensity of your coffee. You can brew hot or cold coffee, so it’s helpful in winter and summer! Because the machine is pressure-based, it uses 15 bars of pressure to vary the extraction level.
This feature allows you to optimize aroma, body, and flavor. The Dolce Gusto machine also has customizable features, so you can toggle the stick to select sizes, temperatures, and strengths. The custom options mean everyone can have their perfect cup of coffee. You can make espresso, americanos, cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas.
The system is easy to clean and has impressive blending power. It delivers the perfect flavor and aroma in every cup, so each capsule creates your idyllic beverage.
The machine only works with the designated capsules, so you cannot use fresh coffee grinds or capsules meant for other machines. It can only brew one cup of coffee at a time, so it’s ideal for small households and kitchens with limited counter space.
Main Differences Between Nespresso vs. Dolce Gusto
The Nespresso machine has been one of the most popular capsule coffee machines for years, but the Dolce Gusto is a worthy adversary.
Both machines use specially designed capsules with coffee grinds to brew single cups. But how do these two machines differ? And which one is better? If you’re torn between these two coffee makers, consider their differences and similarities outlined below.
The pungent aroma and intense coffee flavor from Nespresso machine coffee are undeniably better than what you get from Dolce Gusto. The beautiful flavor you get from Nespresso machines can be attributed to the better build quality.
Nespresso uses higher-quality and barista-level materials and components, while Dolce Gusto uses cheaper parts to increase affordability. If you take your coffee very seriously and want an impeccable brewing experience that results in a spectacular taste and fragrance, Nespresso is the better option.
Types of Capsules Used
Even though both machines come from Nestle, the capsules are not interchangeable. But the steps to use the capsules are essentially identical. There is a capsule location at the top of each coffee maker where you insert the pod you want to brew, close the machine, select your brewing preferences, and start the brewing process.
Both types of capsules require water, which you can add to each machine using the water tank. The pod prices vary depending on what coffee or other beverage you purchase. But the prices are comparable, with Dolce Gusto usually being slightly cheaper.
The main difference between the types of capsules is that all Dolce Gusto pods work with all Dolce Gusto machine models. But the Nespresso machines have two options: OriginalLine and VertuoLine. So when buying Nespresso pods, you need to be cautious of the type. The Dolce Gusto capsules are also easier to find at grocery stores or coffee shops.
Dolce Gusto has a wider range of beverage options but more limited coffee flavor choices. On the other hand, Nespresso has fewer beverage varieties but a plethora of coffee flavors to choose from. For example, Dolce Gusto pods can be:
- Black coffee
- Flat white
- Hot chocolate
- Iced coffee
- Iced tea
- Flavored coffee
Nespresso has a limited supply of tea and cocoa pods, and is difficult to find. They have a massive selection of specialty and gourmet coffee pods that are perfect for coffee connoisseurs. Here are just a few of the coffee options for Nespresso machines:
- Peru Organic
- Tamuka mu Zimbabwe
- Esperanza de Colombia
- Amaha Awe Uganda
- Tokyo vivalto lungo
- Miami espresso
- Istanbul espresso
And the list goes on. If you love trying different coffee from around the world, the selection of Nespresso pods will be more appealing. But if you enjoy simple coffee flavors but like to make other beverages, like tea or hot chocolate, the Dolce Gusto is more versatile.
A significant downside of the Dolce Gusto machines is the lack of a milk frother or steam arm. Many people enjoy cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos, all of which require foam or steamed milk to make the drink properly.
Most Nespresso machines include a steam arm, allowing you to warm milk and create foam. However, not every Nespresso model has a steam arm, so pay attention to the model’s features. If you prefer straight espresso or black coffee, the lack of a steam arm is irrelevant.
Pros and Cons of the Dolce Gusto Machine
Read about the top pros and cons of the Dolce Gusto machine below.
Let’s look at the benefits of the Dolce Gusto machine and the reasons it might be perfect for you!
One of the number one pros of Dolce Gusto is its affordable price tag! This machine usually costs around $100, while Nespresso machines can cost $200+.
Dolce Gusto is better for people who like long coffees or switch up their coffee sizes. Dolce Gusto comes with at least seven different size options, ranging from single espresso to extra large coffee.
As mentioned above, Dolce Gusto capsules come in a range of beverages, including tea, hot chocolate, coffee, or even apple cider. Some people drink coffee as their exclusive hot beverage, but for people who enjoy other drinks, Dolce Gusto is flexible. Plus, it makes the machine more accessible to kids and people who do not drink coffee.
Nespresso users often report struggling to find the capsules at their local grocery store. But Dolce Gusto capsules are widely available. You can always order them online from Nestle or Amazon or find them in grocery stores and coffee shops near you.
People often buy the Dolce Gusto machine because of its incredibly compact and sleek design. It’s perfect for tight homes and kitchens. Finding space on the counter for a large coffee maker is sometimes impossible.
The Dolce Gusto has a few cons to be aware of if you’re considering buying one for your home.
If you love fancy coffee and specialty flavors, you’ll be disappointed by the Dolce Gusto capsule flavors. You can find fun coffee flavors, but nothing gourmet or limited edition, like coffee from Africa or South America.
Sadly, the Dolce Gusto does not deliver the most flavorful or aromatic coffee. If the pungent aroma and intense flavor of coffee are important to you, the Dolce Gusto beverages may be a letdown.
No Milk Features
As mentioned, the Dolce Gusto has no milk steaming or frothing capabilities. If you enjoy making lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and other milk-based coffee beverages, Dolce Gusto is not ideal.
The compact design, affordable price, and capsule availability make it suitable for people who enjoy coffee and other hot beverages but aren’t too particular about flavors or origins. It’s an excellent at-home capsule coffee machine but lacks some barista-quality features that more expensive machines have.
In the end, the Dolce Gusto is not the best machine for serious coffee connoisseurs, but fine for the average coffee-drinking joe.