October 17, 2008

Review: Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod Reviewswtb_img.jpg

There's a new single serve coffee coffee and hot beverage system in town - the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto. This amazing machine not only makes a perfect cup of single serve coffee, it can also make lattes, cappuccinos, shots of espresso, chococinos (hot chocolate), and even iced cappuccinos. And not only does it make an amazing range of drinks, this is one of the first single serve coffee makers to have a "round water reservoir", and to also look truly different than any other single serve coffee maker we've seen. The unique styling puts it on a path of it's own, and it's no wonder the design is so different.

Nescafe has teamed up with Krups and Nespresso to make this machine. You can see touches of Nespresso innovation, along with truly wonderful design choices from Krups. We also had the opportunity to test both the European and the recently launched US Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto that is now in stores in the US. The differences in the two machines show a revolution in thought on how to make the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto a nearly perfect single serve coffee maker, from an already successful machine designed for Europe.

Key Features of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto

We were fortunate enough to test both the US and the European versions of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto. The updates like power switch location, capsule insertion and pucturing, and the controls are much improved over the European Dolce Gusto. The US version (which is what this review covers) is truly a redesigned machine, and even though we think the redesign is truly well done and needed, we would have been happy with the European version as well after using it for a few weeks.

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Unboxed and ready to go.


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The chrome controls are easy to use and feel great.

The machine comes with a tall glass for latte macchiatos, and a cup and saucer for espresso and coffee based drinks. It also comes with a sampler pack of the different drinks outlined below. The packaging is really well done, and the instructions that come with the machine are also well designed and easy to follow. You can see our earlier article on Unboxing the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker here.

We like the design of this machine, and found using all of the controls, capsule insertion, and other features very easy to use. The water reservoir was a bit disappointing - no filter and the round shape makes it hard to fill in our filtered fridge water dispenser. But even with that one shortcoming, the coffee produced (as you see below) is excellent, so there's always a tradeoff on some features. The machine also features an auto-off unlike the European version, making this machine both safer and more eco-friendly.

The power button is also on the front. We want to say that again - the power button is on the front. If you're going to design any consumer appliance - this is the place to put it, and we love the little green glow around the edges.

Key Features include:

  • 15-bar pressure system (similar to coffeehouse machines)
  • Custom Control Lever, combined with airtight capsules, makes for very fresh and perfectly extracted espresso and coffees
  • KRUPS® Thermoblock technology heats the water in less than one minute
  • All smart coffee capsules feature only 100% Arabica roast and ground coffee
  • Stylish and sleek design that will stand out on any kitchen counter
  • Drip Tray - Height adjustable with stainless steel cover for any size cups and glasses (Dishwasher Safe)
  • Capsule Bin - Non-Dishwasher Safe
  • Capsule Holder - Dishwasher Safe
  • Capacity of the removable water tank - 0.4 Gallons (51 fl.oz.) (Non-Dishwasher Safe)
  • Boiler - Aluminum Thermoblock, no pre-heating, no waiting

Coffees and Hot Beverages Available for the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto

There is a variety of hot beverages available for the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker. All of the beverages are branded under the Nescafe coffee brand, and the coffee produced is very Nespresso like in taste in quality. Also, all of the coffee produced has a very rich thick creamy crema-like frothy top. So, if you like the Senseo crema-like coffee, we think you'll like this coffee even more. The coffee produced has a very bold flavor, and there is a mild version of the Lungo coffee if you want something a little less bold.

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A cafe lungo smart capsule for the Nescafe Dolce Gusto.

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The smart capsule is loaded in to the front of the machine.
You then pull the lever down, and start brewing.

IMG_6605.jpg
The brewing and pressure is built up inside. We took
this capsule apart to show you the familiar filter points
where the coffee is pushed through in the capsule.

And we always have to answer this question: Can I use my own coffee in the Nescafe Dolce Gusto? No. The Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto uses it's own delivery system for the beverages it produces in the form of smart capsules. Each smart capsule is designed to make a perfect espresso, lungo, or latte drink (you'll need a milk and espresso capsule for these drinks). The smart capsule can not be refilled, and currently is not recyclable. If you're looking to use your own coffee, you may want to check out a Keurig or any coffee pod machine. But this inability to use your own coffee is a design choice and a beverage choice - in order to make the quality of the beverages the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker produces - it's necessary to have a closed system. So are the drinks excellent?

The lattes and cappuccinos produced from the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto are excellent. We thought with the milk being powered we'd be a bit fussy and not like the drinks - but the frothed milk is delicious. We found both drinks to be right on par with one you could purchase at our local Starbucks, and we really like the ability to dial up or down the amount of milk or espresso in each beverage. And that's one of the strengths of this machine.

nescafe_dolce_gusto_11.jpg
A latte macchiato - our favorite from the Dolce Gusto.

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Both the coffee and espresso has a creamy crema top.

Unlike the Tassimo, the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto is manually controlled by you. You can pull as short or as long of a shot of espresso you want. You can do something similiar on the Tassimo by stopping it earlier, and you can push the button to add more water - but it feels like you're taking over. The Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker makes you feel like a barista. The lever at the top goes right for cold water, and left for hot water. You then push it back to the middle to stop the flow. We love the control, and we love being able to say how we want our beverages mixed each time.


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There's an entire line of hot beverages available.

Drinks available for the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker

  • Cafe Lungo - smooth cup of single serve coffee
  • Cafe Lungo Mild - it's a bit more mild
  • Cafe Lungo Decafe
  • Cappuccino - a two disc drink and excellent
  • Cappuccino Ice - Decent iced drink
  • Chocococino - hot chocolate
  • Espresso - excellent Nespresso like flavor
  • Latte Macchiato - a two disc drink and our favorite - buttery and yummy

Pros and Cons of the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Maker

Pros

  • Heats up quickly
  • All the beverages the machine produces we really like - some we love
  • Insertion of the smart capsules into the machine is easy
  • Controls are easy to use and are made out of high quality metal - great feel
  • Both cold and hot water brewing options are available for all drinks
  • Really solid milk flavor and taste in all milk based drinks

Cons

  • Bin for used smart coffee capsules can get messy and full quickly
  • Limited amount of coffee flavors and blends available
  • No water filter - for the price we'd expect a water filter in the reservoir
  • Water reservoir is hard to fill in our fridge filtered water dispenser
  • The machine is priced about $30 more than the Tassimo Hot beverage system for similar functionality

We really like the Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto, and think if you want the ability to make a full range of hot beverages like lattes and cappuccinos along with your morning cup of single serve coffee, this machine is for you. We love the bold design, and the reddish color of the machine is also really striking.

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How's that for a perfect shot of espresso?

One of the things we'd like to reiterate - we really love all of the hot beverages this machine produces, and you can also mix and match any of the coffee capsules, milks, and chocolate to make a variety of other drinks not marketed directly - like Chocolate Latte Macchiatos. Given this flexibility, and the excellent quality of the beverages produced, the $169.99 for the machine seems almost too low. Pricing for the smart capsules is $8.49 per box of 16 smart coffee capsules.

At Dolce Gusto US, Coffee Whiz, and Nescafe Dolce Gusto Single Serve Coffee Machines

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Posted by Jay Brewer at October 17, 2008 9:21 AM

Recent Comments

i noticed there is a Dolce Gusto by Krups, and one by T-Fal. What's the difference between the two?


Posted by: Tianna at December 23, 2010 11:59 AM

I love my original dolce gusto machine and now my new Circolo. Unfortunately while putting on the Circolo water tank, it slipped and cracked on my counter. Any ideas as to where and how to get a replacement shipped in/to Canada?


Posted by: susan at October 17, 2010 1:12 PM

It seems not many people talk about this machine now while the Nescafe is introducing the toy-liked plastic Dolce Gusto in Hong Kong these two weeks. I'm checking if it can beat the Nespresso machine.


Posted by: Norman at September 25, 2010 8:40 AM

I am very pleased with my Dolce Gusto machine. Those people who say the taste is bad - well that's exactly what I thought when I first tried it. But I'm now inclined to believe that the poor taste must have been due to the fact the machine was brand new. From my experience, all coffee machines produce better tasting coffee once the machine has been 'lived in' for a while. Now that I've had the Dolce Gusto for a few weeks I am more than satisfied with the coffee it produces. Personally I dont like seriously rich, bitter coffees - I like the milder blends. If you have similar coffee preferences then I think you'll be pleased. But it goes without saying that everyones taste buds are unique, so a perfect coffee for one person might be a terrible coffee for someone else. For me, the Dolce Gusto is a winner!


Posted by: Philip at April 14, 2010 11:50 AM

Sooo Sad, but Wonderful Customer Service

I received my machine yesterday (ordered a new one on Ebay) and the lever broke while I was setting it up. However, when I called the Nescafe customer service, they were very polite and apologetic about the defective machine. I will have to send the machine back to Krups for replacement, BUT Nescafe is picking up the shipping charges. I also ended up speaking to the Krups customer service area and they were equally polite and helpful.

Bottom line- perhaps I just got a defective machine, but it's being made right, and with no hassles whatsoever. I hope the wonderful customer service continues and that I have a functional Dulce Gusto machine in a couple weeks. I am really looking forward to using it!


Posted by: Lydia at January 6, 2010 6:28 PM

Could mention 10-15 Good things (especially the great froth and crema) and only a couple of Not Good things but that would pointless because the bottom line is ...

The COFFEE DOES NOT TASTE GOOD.

I am terribly disappointed with the taste and quality of the coffee. I've tried all varieties using various amounts of wates (except the "Iced" and "Mocha"). They are just not good, with a tast similar to instant.

Also, just finished my 3rd cup of Espresso (usually have max of 2) and am still sleepy.

Very disappointed.


Posted by: Susan at December 16, 2009 12:45 PM

If you have all the time in the world to grind coffee beans, heat milk and stirr it untill a nice creamy layer occurs, yes than a dolce gusto is not the machine you are looking for. But it's an outcome when you have a lack of time but do want to enjoy a good, stong cup of coffee with creamy milk. I enjoy my Dolce Gusto latte machiato every day!


Posted by: Tim Thompson at November 11, 2009 4:37 AM

In the review you mention US version of the Krups coffee machine? There are no US and European versions. The 20x series have been available in Europe long before any machine arrived to the US. The 21x series arrived to the US at the same time it was introduced in Europe. All new machines are 21x series, it is NOT an US exclusive... in Europe we also have the 50x series, did they arrive to the US yet?


Posted by: John at October 4, 2009 3:54 PM

I'm really surprised at how many people here like this overpriced plastic piece of crap.

Received it as a gift and wow, talk about bad product design and bad coffee.

You know it's bad when even the folks at Sur La Table call it Dolce Disguto


Posted by: JB Mooney at September 30, 2009 11:33 AM

I went ahead and purchased this, but it had to go back. There is only one thing I couldn't live with, but I've yet to see it stated in current reviews, but it's a real showstopper for me. The Coffee Lungo (your only option for real coffee with this machine) at 8oz is WEAK...WEAK...WEAK!! This is not an exaggeration...it's just not drinkable if you're looking for a normal medium to bold coffee. I suppose you could stop the brew cycle at 4-6oz and do better, but that's not much coffee. I'm going to either go back to a Keurig or just live with my Tassimo, but for certain, this machine is not the answer (for me).


Posted by: Larry at March 20, 2009 5:10 PM

I'd like to purchase this...but I'm really concerned about the coffee temperature being too cold. Krups specs the HOT temperature as 113 F but the Tassimos and Keurigs (I have both) run between 180-192 F. I don't want to have to microwave every cup of coffee I make.


Posted by: Larry at March 14, 2009 9:46 AM

After sampling the coffee product (the "drink"), I have ordered a Krups Nescafe Dolce Gusto (KNDG) from Bed Bath and Beyond. I had to put order one in their store because they were all sold out! The KNDG will be shipped to my house. I used the BB&B 20% discount coupon. I will go back to BB&B later and use another 20% discount coupon for the KNDG coffee and hot chocolate after I try the samples. I do know the Chococino is "killer"! :) Thanks to "Jay Brewer" (clever name!) and this web site for the SSC education!


Posted by: Gary K at January 5, 2009 6:27 PM

I saw both the Bosch Tassimo and Gusto at B,B,& B, and is it me or is does the Gusto looks more plasticky/toyish than the Bosch one. Everything about it seemed flimsy.


Posted by: Benjamin at December 11, 2008 6:59 PM

The new model in the US doesn't require filter paper so I'm thinking the UK version won't either.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at November 24, 2008 6:14 PM

Wow, its really proving difficult to buy the latest 2nd generation Nescafe Dolce Gusto online in the UK. Firstly, the older model (Oct 2006, KP200) is more expensive than the new model (Oct 2008 KP210) on many websites. What is confusing is that some websites state that the new KP210 model requires filter paper whilst the older one doesn't. Please could you verify if this is correct. The website https://www.dolce-gusto.co.uk/UK/Pages/default.aspx has both models but makes no mention of filter paper? Your help on this will help greatly in securing a safe online purchase! Much appreciated, Marco.


Posted by: Marco at November 24, 2008 5:49 PM

We have our comparison article up:

http://www.singleservecoffee.com/archives/022946.php


Posted by: Jay Brewer at November 18, 2008 8:47 AM

Wow, 18 reviews on Amazon so far and a perfect five star score. Jeebus, gotta get my hands on one of these. I don't need the comparo anymore (to make up my mind at least), I've seen enough from user reviews that confirm that taste wise, the Gusto is superior in every way to the Tassimo.

Not crazy about the lack of variety, as others here, but for me personally, quality trumps variety any day.


Posted by: bruce at November 17, 2008 9:48 PM

Thanks for this info David - from the general consensus, I am positively swayed to the Nescafe Dolce Gusto - that is of course unless Mr Jay "Brewer's" much anticipated direct comparison throws a spanner in the works.


Posted by: Marco at November 17, 2008 4:48 PM

To Marco: I previously owned the Bosch Tassimo for a few weeks and decided to return it to Bed, Bath, & Beyond once I had a chance to taste the Nescafe Dolce Gusto. If your two main factors are quality and, to a lesser extent, more flavors, then the two choices seem to be at odds with each other. In my opinion, the Dolce Gusto wins easily on taste quality. However, the Tassimo has many more choices of flavors. In the end, I decided that I'd rather have fewer choices of excellent tasting coffees rather than many choices of fair to good tasting coffees. The price difference was insignificant to me given the superior taste quality of the Dolce Gusto.


Posted by: David at November 16, 2008 9:01 PM

You can find this machine in Fl.in Estero, Bed, Bath and Beyond. Wonderful flavor and aroma, as good or better than Starbucks and more economical. $1.00 for Cappuccino and Latte's, .50 for reg. coffee. easy to use, no clean-up.


Posted by: Phyllis L at November 16, 2008 5:02 PM

I would really like to read a review dedicated to a direct comparison between the Bosch Tassimo and Nescafe Dolce Gusto. Price difference appears to be marginal - so therefore it all "boils" down to quality of the coffee produced (and to an extent the availability of choice through more flavours).

Thanks!


Posted by: marco at November 15, 2008 2:10 PM

If money is no object which single seve coffee maker s the best for coffee and lattes?


Posted by: lena at November 13, 2008 5:01 AM

I bought the Dolce Gusto on Saturday from the same Sur La Table in which I taste-tested a week ago. Over the last two days I tried all of the coffee varieties included in the sampler pack and the latte macchiatto is my favorite. This is not a surprise to me because my favorite drink at Starbucks is the caramel macchiato which I order almost everytime I visit there. To put it simply, this machine very closely replicates a European coffee-house style coffee in both flavor and texture. This is particularly true for milk-based coffees such as cappucinos and lattes. While I have not had the privilege of trying the upper-end machines such as the Nespresso Lattissima, I think that the combination of cost and taste of the Dolce Gusto make it hard to consider buying a premium machine. If you are the type of person who cares less about having many varieties of single-serve coffee and more about consistent, high quality coffee, then I think the Dolce Gusto is worth a try. I cannot wait to read the direct comparison between the Dolce Gusto and the Tassimo as I fully expect the Dolce Gusto to carry the day.


Posted by: David at November 10, 2008 10:55 AM

Awesome! Thanks, and looking forward to it.


Posted by: Bedwards at November 6, 2008 1:50 PM

We'll have a direct comparison soon.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at November 6, 2008 1:42 PM

Any other comparisons to the Tassimo? I am undecided between the two. Cost is exactly the same for both where I am looking.

Just concerned about the lack of variety for the DG vs the Tassimo. BUT, if the quality of the drink is that much better with the DG, then I would go that way.

I wish someone could do a direct comparison between these two models.


Posted by: bedwards at November 6, 2008 1:38 PM

Yesterday I went to a demo of the Dolce Gusto at the local Sur La Table store. I tried the Latte Machiatto and the Chococino and I have to say that they were both very good. I have recently tasted the comparable drinks from the Tassimo and the Dolce Gusto was superior in basically all respects. I plan on purchasing one very soon.


Posted by: David at November 2, 2008 3:27 PM

I have three Pod Machines. The last electronic Home Cafee, the Original one on one Melitta and the new Melitta.

Unfortunately Pods have not caught on in the US. Both Maxwell House and Folgers apparently have ceased to make them. I buy my pods by mail from Melitta. There coffee is very good.g


Posted by: Titus Mendell at October 28, 2008 5:28 PM

Pods are not available in stores here in Detroit. I have to get all my pods by USP delivery from Melitta.


Posted by: Titus Mendell at October 28, 2008 5:27 PM

I have three Pod Machines. The last electronic Home Cafee, the Original one on one Melitta and the new Melitta.

Unfortunately Pods have not caught on in the US. Both Maxwell House and Folgers apparently have ceased to make them. I buy my pods by mail from Melitta. There coffee is very good.g


Posted by: Titus Mendell at October 28, 2008 5:25 PM

I think the deciding factor for this machine would be the 15 bars of pressure, which is closest to a commercial machine. The foam is also a huge plus since other models do not offer this. Very versatile. It has a neat look to it as well - remember Rosie from the Jetsons? lol I think this is going to be a hot seller for the Christmas giving season - better than a coffee shop gift card - priced at about a dollar a cup for the fancy coffee and about 55 cents for a regular cup - it's definitely a gift that'll keep on giving - without having to leave the house for a cappucino! Very cool.


Posted by: MJK at October 27, 2008 9:12 AM

this coffee machine is awsome. the variety, tastes, cleaning, easy to use and quickness is what impressed me the most. i purchased it and love it.


Posted by: joe luzarraga at October 27, 2008 6:53 AM

I have to say I am supporting the Krumps Dolce Gusto machine with my entire heart. I personally do not like the smell of coffee or drink coffee but i honestly do believe this is the BEST product on the market. I am going to be starting as a Demo rep next Saturday and honestly I am SO EXCITED. I honestly am going to try to sell out the store of them because i support both these fine companies.
This product is the BEST PRODUCT ON THE LINE. I honestly hope more and more people buy the product for home use and save money from going to StarBucks. Its time we celebrate such an amazing product!


Posted by: JON C, at October 26, 2008 11:40 PM

Thanks again Jay. I can't wait to try the Dolce Gusto at the next tasting event at Sur La Table.


Posted by: David at October 22, 2008 12:00 AM

I really like it. My kids loved it. I can see drinking some this winter for sure.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at October 21, 2008 3:24 PM

Has anyone tried the Chocococino from the Dolce Gusto? If so, how is it?


Posted by: David at October 20, 2008 3:52 PM

I purchased the Dolce Gusto this weekend and also have a Nespresso Le Cube and Keurig. Here are my thoughts: The Dolce makes great cappacchino and latte but is a little weak in making espresso and coffee. It takes some practice to get the mix right between the milk and coffee capsules as the handle is manual. Overall it was a great purchase but unfortunetly I have to keep my nespresso for espresso and keurig for coffee


Posted by: Rich Meyer at October 20, 2008 2:24 PM

Thank you very much for all the info. This site has been an invaluable resource in my search for a new coffee maker.


Posted by: David at October 20, 2008 12:37 PM

Just one milk and one coffee.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at October 20, 2008 11:51 AM

Just to be clear, in the photo of the latte macchiato from the review of the Dolce Gusto, how many capsules were used to produce that drink?

As you can probably tell, I'm very interested in the Dolce Gusto because up until this review I was set on getting the Tassimo.


Posted by: David at October 20, 2008 10:45 AM

You could always force the Tassimo to add more - the Dolce Gusto is all user controlled - so you can add as much espresso or milk as you want provided you don't run any capsule past it's saturation point and it's just adding water. You can on both machines use multiple disks.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at October 20, 2008 10:29 AM

Thanks for the quick response. It appears from the photo that the latte macchiato from the Dolce Gusto is greater in quantity than the one produced by the Tassimo. Is that the case?


Posted by: David at October 20, 2008 10:26 AM

As I stated above - it's really about taste. We like both machines but found the Dolce to be very buttery. The frothy top on the gusto is also a bit more pronounced.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at October 20, 2008 10:09 AM

How does the Dolce Gusto compare to the new Bosch Tassimo, especially when it comes to preparing milk-based drinks such as latte macchiatos?


Posted by: David at October 20, 2008 10:08 AM

Actually SurLaTable has the exclusive on the units right now. They are in-stock there. You can go to there dot com site or visit any SurLaTable store. You will find them in-stock!
Warm regards,
BJ


Posted by: BJ Jones at October 18, 2008 2:44 AM

How does this compare to the Nespresso line of espresso makers? I know Dolce Gusto is more focused on making different drinks, but how does it compare to the Nespresso espresso taste wise? Thank you.


Posted by: Howard at October 18, 2008 12:21 AM

They are out of stock at the Gusto website and Amazon expects to start shipping in December but I ordered from the Coffee Whiz who expects to ship in two weeks


Posted by: Rich Meyer at October 17, 2008 3:18 PM
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