Keurig and Nespresso are the most prominent options if you’re in the market for a single-serve pod coffee machine. However, they’re not the only coffee brands offering machines promising a convenient and quick cup of beautiful coffee. Nescafe Dolce Gusto is another excellent range to consider.
With some Dolce Gusto coffee capsules and the touch of a button, you can get a rich and aromatic cup of coffee within a minute, including espresso, Americano, cappuccino, and latte. It can make either hot or iced drinks, too.
This buying guide goes in-depth on the Nescafe Dolce Gusto line-up, including a rundown of our seven favorite machines.
Features Common To Every Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machine
There are many models in the Dolce Gusto line-up, which can be overwhelming. However, after reading our Nescafe Dolce Gusto review, you’ll find they share some common features. Let’s examine those, so you have a better idea of what to expect, regardless of the one you choose.
Ease Of Use
Although each design is different in the Dolce Gusto range, not much separates how they brew coffee or their performance.
Each machine has a coffee capsule holder for inserting the capsule. From there, you select your cup size depending on the capsule you’re using.
If you’re using an automatic Dolce Gusto machine, press the start button to begin the specialty coffee brewing. If you’re using a manual machine, move the lever to either the hot or cold water option, and stop when you have the desired volume of drinks.
The Dolce Gusto range uses a temperature control system for the best coffee extraction. Meanwhile, most of the line-up uses 15 bars of pressure. This ensures intense espresso with a rich velvety crema. Meanwhile, for milk-based capsule drinks, the capsule design ensures the pressure is lower so that you get frothy milk.
Whichever machine you’re using, it’ll produce coffee in a maximum of a minute. It’s very suitable for coffee lovers who want a quick cup of coffee.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Capsules
Every Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine uses unique Dolce Gusto pods. Unfortunately, this means that even though Nescafe has the same parent company Nestle as Nespresso, you can’t use the coffee pods interchangeably.
If you’ve used Nespresso capsules or Keurig K-Cups, you’ll probably be aware of the wide range of drinks options they offer, and the Dolce Gusto capsules offer a similar variety. Also, you can choose between several brands, including Nescafe and Starbucks.
In fact, you’ll have even more choice with Nespresso Dolce Gusto capsules than Nespresso, particularly with milk-based espresso drinks. Among the options are frothy cappuccinos, flat white, caramel latte, cortado, and cafe au lait. Meanwhile, there is also hot chocolate, and more. The coffee-based drinks need two capsules – one with milk powder, the other an espresso pod. However, if you require black coffee, you only need one capsule.
Adjustable Drip Tray
Every Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine has an adjustable drip tray. This means you can avoid making a mess through splashing by reducing the clearance while using shorter cups. Alternatively, it also allows you to use taller cups if needs be.
Hot And Cold Beverages
If you don’t enjoy a cup of hot drink in summertime, your Dolce Gusto machine can oblige, as all the models in the range offer both hot and cold water options.
Things To Consider – Differences Between Dolce Gusto Coffee Machines
Hopefully, you now have a clear idea as to what Dolce Gusto machines offer. However, they differ in certain ways, too. Let’s explore how.
Most Dolce Gusto machines are compact with a minimalist design. These include the Genio, Mini Me, Infinissima, and Lumio. However, others, including the Majesto, Jovie, and Eclipse, are more uniquely stylish. Also, despite the fact they’re not new releases, they still look cool and contemporary in any kitchen.
Most machines in the line-up look beautiful, making them stand out from standard single-serve coffee machines. For example, we’ve used the Eclipse model for several years. However, it still offers an elegant and pleasing way to make coffee. You may wonder why we don’t feature it in our list, but that’s because nowadays it’s not so widely available.
Manual Or Automatic Coffee Machine
The manual machines have a manual lever to stop the water pouring, meaning that when you’re happy with the amount of coffee or milk in your cup, you need to stop it yourself. These machines are usually less expensive than the automatic machines, but they’re still easy to use.
However, to get the best flavor, you’ll have to experiment to find the optimum volume. Another issue is that you need to stay close to the machine as it brews to stop the water flow at the correct point.
On the other hand, automatic Dolce Gusto machines allow you to set the volume of water for different coffee and milk pods. It automatically stops the water flow. So you can push a button and go away and get your coffee later when it’s brewed.
The suggested volume is printed on the lid of the Dolce Gusto coffee capsules. So just follow the official recommendation to set the water level, then you can get a very consistent flavor each time. Of course, you need to pay extra for the convenience.
Availability In Your Country
In the US, you can only buy three models via the official website and Amazon. These are the Esperta 2, the Genio 2, and the Majesto.
No products found.
In Europe, you’ll have more choices, with the Genio S, Infinissima, Mini Me, and Piccolo available in most countries. Meanwhile, you can get the Lumio in countries including the Netherlands and France.
Despite these limitations, you might still be able to find other models via third-party retailers, either online or offline.
Knowing the similarities and differneces help you choose the right Dolce Gusto machine, we listed our best picks to narrow down your list further.
7 Best Nescafe Dolce Gusto Machines In 2021
1. Genio 2
The Genio 2 is notable for its slim appearance, measuring just 6.5in wide. This makes it ideal for people with smaller kitchens. In addition, the overall design will appeal to anyone who likes a cute aesthetic. How cute? Well, its shape resembles a penguin, so it’s pretty adorable.
On the front of the round head is an LED display, which has several bars backlit in green. Meanwhile, at the top of the machine is a toggle stick for selecting the number of LED bars to match the suggested number on the capsule.
As an automatic capsule coffee machine, the Genio 2 is easy to use. For example, if you fancy a latte macchiato, position a cup beneath the spout. Then, place the first white milk capsule in the tray. Next, lock the lever and choose your cup size. Now choose either hot or cold water. After brewing is complete, replace the milk capsule with a black espresso capsule and repeat the process. You’ll have a delicious and nice-looking latte macchiato within around a minute.
Finally, the Genio 2 has a water tank with a 45oz capacity – the mid-range size of the Dolce Gusto range.
2. Esperta 2
The Esperta 2 is a more traditional machine resembling a Keurig coffee maker. It falls into the mid-range of the Dolce Gusto line-up.
The machine is relatively compact but larger than most of the others in the range. However, it won’t take up too much countertop space with dimensions of 10.1in width, 9.4in depth, and 13.3in height. One of the advantages of its size is the larger water tank capacity, at 60oz. This means it won’t need refilling every three or four drinks.
The Esperta 2 has a dial at the top, which is more user-friendly than the toggle switch found on the Genio 2. Like most other Dolce Gusto machines, there is a 15-bar pump. Higher pressure doesn’t necessarily mean a better result with standard espresso machines. However, this is not true of capsule machines. That’s because the higher pressure enables better extraction, leading to a thick velvety crema and more robust coffee flavors.
The Majesto launched several years ago, but you wouldn’t notice, as it has a futuristic aesthetic that is sure to be a talking point for guests.
In fact, there’s nothing else quite like it. When it starts to brew, a light comes on to showcase the coffee. That, combined with the red background, almost gives the impression that you’re watching a show!
The machine has a touchscreen display on top, which lends it a high-end look. On the display are some pre-programmed images of drinks selections. So, you can touch the image of the drink you want, and the machine will get to work. Meanwhile, for customized drinks, there is a setting to adjust the volume of water, while you can add new drink options.
There is also a machine care feature, allowing you to descale or rinse the Majesto at the touch of a button, which could barely be easier. Nevertheless, the screen display offers instructions to ensure you do it correctly. It also alerts you when it’s time to refill the water tanks or if there are any other issues.
The touchscreen makes everything intuitive. Even better, you can connect it via Wi-Fi to ensure the coffee menu on the screen stays up to date.
At the back of the machine is a removable water tank with a 60oz capacity.
Overall, the Majesto is a large machine best suited to offices or kitchens with plenty of space. However, it’s also the priciest of the Dolce Gusto range in the US.
The next four models are unavailable in the US via the official website. However, you can still acquire them through third-party online retailers or on European Amazon options.
The Genio S is one of the best-selling Dolce Gusto models worldwide. It’s also cheaper than the models we’ve highlighted so far.
This machine is only 4.3in wide and 10.7in tall, making it compact enough for limited countertop space. But, of course, this means it also has a small water tank holding just 27oz of water.
If you lift the front panel, you will find the coffee pod holder, where you load the capsule. The control panel has two buttons. The left button is for choosing either hot or cold water, while the right button starts brewing. Turn the control panel’s outer ring to select the amount of water you need for the capsule. The water flow will automatically stop, ensuring an easier brewing process.
The Genio S is made of plastic, which helps reduce the cost. However, there is no diminishment of brewing performance compared to other Dolce Gusto machines, as they use the same capsules and have identical components on the interior.
An upgraded model, the Genio S Plus, has an additional temperature option and espresso boost function, offering an even better coffee flavor.
5. Mini Me
The Mini Me, as its name implies, is a compact Dolce Gusto model. Indeed, like the Genio S, the water tank capacity is only 27oz, meaning it will only brew two or three cups before needing refilling.
There is a straightforward interface with a toggle stick and slider on top. The slider is for selecting the cup size appropriate to the capsule, while the toggle stick is for selecting hot or cold water for brewing. When brewing is complete, the toggle stick returns to the stop position.
Meanwhile, the Mini Me turns off after five minutes without use, making it an eco-friendly option.
Finally, the machine is one of the least expensive Dolce Gusto models. However, the quality of the coffee it produces is identical to pricier machines.
6. Piccolo XS
The Piccolo XS is one of the least expensive of the Dolce Gusto range. This means what you save on the machine, you can spend on the most premium coffee capsules!
This machine is as compact as many other machines in the range and has a minimalist design.
The Piccolo XS is manual, but what does that entail? Well, it means it doesn’t switch on and off automatically, and the water volume needs controlling using the manual lever. This seems easy, but it is challenging to begin with. However, once you work out the brew time of each bar of water, it will brew tasty coffee drinks consistently.
For example, if you’re brewing a Nescafé dolce gusto cappuccino, you should use six bars of water, which takes around 30 seconds. However, you’ll need to watch the cup as the coffee brews so you can determine how much water and milk you require.
The machine automatically turns off after a minute of standing idle, so it saves on energy consumption.
Overall, despite requiring a learning curve to get the best possible coffee, it’s a great deal for those with limited budget.
One of the best elements of the Dolce Gusto line-up is the beautiful designs. The designs vary from model to model while always looking stylish. The Infinissima is no different.
One of the things you’ll immediately notice about the machine is its slim build. Also, if you take a side-on view of it, it resembles a tilted hourglass or a figure eight. This gives it an elegant aesthetic, but it’s not all style over substance.
The Infinissima is practical, too. The water reservoir has a capacity of 40oz, which is larger than the Mini Me, Genio S, and Piccolo XS. However, despite this, it retains its compact footprint thanks to its slim build. Also, the water tank is positioned lower than the other machines, so you can fill it easily without removing it.
The drip tray is adjustable and attractive, too, with a well-thought-out design that makes it easy to move it up or down.
Like the Piccolo XS, this Dolce Gusto coffee maker is manual. However, the design is so user-friendly that it shouldn’t bother you at all. In fact, using the Infinissima makes your morning coffee ritual a pleasure.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto vs Nespresso vs Keurig
A 2020 study revealed that 40% of US coffee drinkers own a single-serve machine , only trailing drip coffee makers as the most popular domestic brewing method. But should you opt for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto, Nespresso, or Keurig? After all, they each use a special coffee capsule. However, the drinks they brew are not the same.
Keurig mainly specializes in regular drip-style coffee. Yes, there are many K-Cup options, from black coffee to flavored drinks. However, they don’t really resemble espresso-based drinks. If you’d like to read more on Keurig coffee machines, head to our best Keurig coffee makers round-up.
Nespresso concentrates on espresso and has fewer milk-based options. This means that for espresso quality, Nespresso is hard to beat. However, if you prefer milk-based drinks, it’s not your best option. Also, Nespresso coffee machines are pricier. For more on Nespresso machines, read our best-picked Nespresso machines for higher-quality coffee.
If you like milk-based coffee without any hassle, you can’t go far wrong with Nescafé Dolce Gusto machines. That’s because there are more drinks choices than Nespresso, including latte, cappuccino, macchiato, Americano, and espresso. There are also many specialty coffee pods. However, the espresso they brew isn’t as high-quality as Nespresso espresso.
We compared the Nespresso Vs. Dolce Gusto side by side, check it out so you’ll know which one suits you.
Our Verdict – The Best Dolce Gusto Coffee Maker Is…
Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee makers are an excellent choice for anyone who wants hassle-free milk-based coffee at the touch of a button. Not only that, but they have beautiful designs, setting them apart from standard single-serve coffee makers and offering a real talking point of any kitchen.
For the most value for money and best performance, the Genio 2 is the best Dolce Gusto machine we picked. You can buy it in the US, it’s easy to use, and it’ll fit neatly even on limited countertop space. With it, you don’t need to travel to your local coffee shop for your daily caffeine fix anymore.
Dolce Gusto FAQs
Only Cafe au lait and mocha use instant coffee. The other Dolce Gusto capsules use roasted ground coffee.
No, the capsules aren’t compatible with Nespresso, and vice versa. That’s because Dolce Gusto capsules are significantly bigger than Nespresso capsules.
Nescafe Dolce Gusto milk capsules use whole milk or non-fat milk. Unfortunately, there are no alternatives like almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk. However, you can make a single cup of coffee and add the milk of your choice separately.
 Share of U.S. consumers who own a single-cup coffee brewing system from 2005 to 2020 – by Jan Conway – https://www.statista.com/statistics/316217/us-ownership-of-single-cup-brewing-systems/