August 31, 2010

Review: Cappuccino Ice capsules for Nescafé Dolce Gusto

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With the end of Summer drawing closer, we continue our reviews of iced single serve beverages with another one of our favorites in the Dolce Gusto line-up… their Cappuccino Ice capsules. Most of you are likely used to making your own “iced caps” with a brew-over-ice K-Cup and adding your own sugar & cream or perhaps you’ve had a go at some of the new Gevalia iced coffee T-Discs for the Tassimo recently, but when we tried the first cold water drink for the Dolce Gusto (it’s been around since the machine’s launch this side of the pond) we were a bit skeptical. How much of a crema layer could powdered capsules create anyway & just what kind of espresso flavor would powdered coffee yield?

Well, lots it would seem. You get 8 coffee capsules and 8 milk capsules in each box and you start by prepping the milk capsule first, followed by the coffee capsule afterwards for a drink that’s roughly in the 10oz range. We didn’t notice much of the crema until we started adding the coffee and saw the various layers slowly build up from seemingly nowhere. Aromas kicked-in when brewing the coffee capsule to reveal very light, earthy, somewhat smoky notes of Arabica (not a small feat considering this is powdered coffee after all).

Our first taste yielded sweet creamy notes of the milk immediately followed by a satisfyingly strong punch of espresso flavoring underneath. This wasn’t as “rich” and thick as something you’d get at your local Starbucks for almost 3 times the price, but was a much more light & refreshing alternative which was likely quite a bit lower in calories. Acidity was well balanced by the milk but there were still a bit of typical sour notes in the aftertaste which we thought would be washed out. The body was neatly layered with a beige coffee & cream portion in the middle sandwiched by a lightly frothed crema on top & a small milk ring on the bottom.

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Flavor was spot-on with just the right amount of sweetness blended together with a nice espresso kick. We feared the ice would water things down too much but such was not a problem at all in this case. Mouth feel was light & silky with faint hints of a creamy texture lurking in the background as we neared the bottom of the cup.

  • Aroma – 9 – Lightly earthy, somewhat smoky notes of the espresso punch through the milk. We weren’t expecting to smell anything at first.
  • Acidity – 7 – Mostly present in the slight sour notes on the aftertaste but mostly muted by the milk capsule.
  • Body – 10 – Nice crema layer on top with a beige coffee layer in the middle and a white milk layer on the bottom.
  • Flavor – 10 – Compared to some other varieties we’ve tried, these capsules perfectly blend sweet creamy milk & notes of bold espresso into a delicious iced drink.
  • Mouth Feel – 9 – Mostly light & silky with creamy notes of the milk appearing as we neared the bottom of the cup. Quite good overall.
  • Coffee Drinker – Suited best for iced coffee drinkers or those who have a bit of a sweet tooth. Darker roast drinkers might not care for this too much as they’d likely want something considerably stronger.

Overall Rating: 95 - Excellent

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Every time we test Dolce Gusto capsules, we can’t help but be amazed by just how good most turn out to be. It doesn’t matter if the drink is hot or cold, the results just seem brilliant either way & Nescafé come out on top of their competitors almost every single time. We feel most coffee drinkers will like this drink except for maybe those who fancy a considerably stronger brew. Overall, these capsules make for a perfect addition to any Summertime patio party or just as a simple treat on a hot afternoon. If you like frozen coffee drinks, give these capsules a try as we’re sure you’ll enjoy them.

Nescafé's Cappuccino Ice capsules will work in all Dolce Gusto models and are available online in 16-pack boxes (8 coffee & 8 milk) for $8.49 USD at Nescafé's www.dolcegustostore.com or $8.99 CAD at Nescafé's www.dolce-gusto.ca. You can also purchase them in 3 packs at Amazon.com and other online retailers.

Check out our full review of the Dolce Gusto single serve coffee machine here. We would like to note we purchased these capsules for the purpose of this review.

Read how we review and rate single serve coffee and other single serve coffee beverages here.

A special thanks to SH for providing this Single Serve Coffee staff review.

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Posted by Jay Brewer at August 31, 2010 7:55 AM

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