Operation of the Dolce Gusto machines is actually quite similar to the pod operation of other Nespresso machines, only with a little more manual control thrown in.
Each pod is loaded into the capsule tray and then pushed in the machine, using the dial on the top of the coffee machine to tell the machine how much of the drink you want. Nescafe’s boxes and pod labels show you the recommended amounts, but you can always override this and make it more or less, depending on what you want.
Once you’ve dialled the amount in using the scroll wheel at the top of the machine, you close the lever down, locking the pod in place and piercing the capsule with a small needle.
From here, it’s as simple as pressing the hot or cold button, filling the pod up with water, which will cause a little piece of plastic inside to rise and release the brewed coffee, or other drink, flowing into your cup below.
Once your drink is made, the machine will stop, and you can pull up on the latch, releasing the lock and letting you take the spent capsule out, throwing the small piece of plastic out in the trash.
Unlike its Nespresso siblings, however, there is no automatic spent pod disposal box underneath, forcing you to take the capsule out each time you use the machine.
Milk drinks are possible from the Dolce Gusto machines, too, with two pods needed for these drinks, the first of which makes the milk from a powder and the second delivering the coffee, hot chocolate, or other drink.
Using the Dolce Gusto Genio is certainly easy, to the point that anyone could use it, even our grandparents. Loading the capsules in and out is simple, and the drinks are relatively tasty.
The milk has that slight aftertaste that powdered heat-treated milk normally has, but if you make yourself one of the hot chocolates, you don’t even think about it. In fact, our favourite drinks were the hot chocolate, iced coffee, and iced teas, with the flavour of the latter resembling that of what’s served at American restaurants. Hardly surprising, given the Nestle connection, but still neat to know.
It’s worth noting that when releasing the capsule from the machine, you should wait a second or two for the pod to stop dripping. If you move the capsule tray with a just used capsule in it, you may find drippage, and scalding hot drippage at that.
Outside of that, the machine’s only noticeable flaws are that it tends to vibrate quite a bit, moving your glass around the platform, and that the 600ml water reservoir just isn’t as much as you’d think. We managed about three cups from it, but if you like a big cup, it may only give you two before it needs to be topped up.
Not everyone likes straight espresso, and while the Nespresso system still serves the convenient coffee crowd well, it doesn’t cater for people who want a hot chocolate, or a chai latte at that.
Nescafe’s Dolce Gusto system does, and it manages to produce a decent cup, and one of the better hot chocolates and iced coffees we’ve had in a while.
If the idea of a pod machine intrigues you, but you’re after more than just that simple cup of coffee, it’s worth checking out what Nescafe has cooked up here.
Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating0 Votes
Easy to use; Pods can be found in supermarkets; Makes more than just coffee;
Small water tank only allows for three or four cups; No automatic pod disposal system, forcing you to take each pod out manually;