Simply encapsulated: Nescafe’s Dolce Gusto Circolo reviewed

A little bit more fancy than the Nescafe machines you’ll find in your local supermarket, the Circolo is the premium model in the range, bringing with it a bigger tank for less water refills per cup, heavier parts, and a design that can fit in with a more modern kitchen.

Features

The fourth model in the Nescafe line-up launched last year, the Dolce Gusto Circolo exists to provide more than just a hot cup of coffee or hot chocolate without the fuss.

This model brings with it a premium look, while still containing the same basic parts that allow it to remain in the Nescafe Dolce Gusto system.

Those parts are quite specific, with a 15 bar pump for the water, a tank for the said water, a dial-in system to decide how much water you want pumped through the pod (made of an LED and scroll wheel), and a pod tray, with a mechanism that locks this in place.

As per most of the Nescafe and Nespresso machines released in Australia, this one is manufactured by Delonghi locally, and is offered with a two year warranty.

Aside for the dial wheel, there are three buttons on this machine, with the power button, hot button (for hot water and hot drinks) and cold button (for cold water and cold drinks). A lever locks the pod in place and pierces the pod with the built-in drink needle.

A stainless steel grill covers a drip tray, which itself is height adjustable throughout the machine.

Included as a bonus is a container for spent capsules.

Performance

We’ve said it before, but coffee machines don’t have to do much more than work, provide coffee, and for something like the pod machines, it’s really just a variation on a theme.

In the case of the Dolce Gusto line-up, that “theme” is a 15 bar pump machine that drags water from a tank and pushes it through a small needle that punctures a beverage pod, with the water filling up inside each pod, and pushing the desired liquid through the bottom.

As we reviewed in the Genio model, this isn’t the same technology at play inside a Nespresso unit, but it can still offer a decent cup of joe, just a different style.

Instead of the pure coffee aluminium pods you get for the Nespresso system, Nescafe uses larger plastic capsules with different types of drinks, not just coffee. There’s hot chocolate, iced tea, chai, and several types of that caffeinated pleasure that we call coffee, many of which have pods specifically for milk.

To use these in the Circolo, you simply need to grab one, place it in the pod tray, lock that in place, pull down the lever, and then – as it was on the Genio we checked out last year – dial in the amount you want (or the amount it says on the box) using the simple green LED and dial, and follow it up by hitting either the hot or cold button for desired water temperature.

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