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Dolce Gusto Reviews: Does it Work? (Dec. 2014 Update)

Dolce Gusto Reviews: Does it Work? (Dec. 2014 Update)

Dolce Gusto is an espresso/coffee system by Nestlé. It has been available since 2006, but has recently been seen in television infomercials featuring celebrity Mario Lopez. Read our Dolce Gusto reviews from editors and readers.

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About Dolce Gusto

Although the Dolce Gusto line has been available for several years, the current “official” website for the product is dolcegustocoffee.com, which was registered in August 2013. Another “official” website is dolce-gusto.us, which was registered back in 2006.

dolce gusto website

This is the dolce-gusto.us website in December 2014.

Dolce Gusto Models

A variety of models are available, including the Piccolo, Mini Me, Genio, Genio Fiorucci, Melody 2, Melody 3, Esperata, and Circolo. When we first evaluated the product, there was also a Creativa model which no longer appears on the website. Genio is the model which has been featured in recent advertisements, and Mini Me appears to be the newest in the line.

How much does Dolce Gusto cost?

Dolce Gusto machines vary from about $99 to $180. The Piccolo model can be found as low as $40 online, although it retails for $99.

You can find some models in stores such as Bed Bath and Beyond.

Available Flavors

There are a variety of flavors available, sold in boxes of 16 capsules. Below are the flavors currently available for Dolce Gusto products:

  • Black coffees: Espresso Intenso, Espresso, Caffé Grande Intenso/Dark Roast, Caffé Lungo, Caffe Lungo Decaf, Morning Blend
  • Specialty drinks: Cappuccino, Skinny Cappuccino, Latte Macchiato, Skinny Latte Macchiato, Caramel Latte Macchiato, Vanilla Latte Macchiato, Chococino, Mocha
  • Exotic drinks: Chai Tea Latte
  • Chilled drinks: Cappuccino Ice, Peach Iced Tea

Our Dolce Gusto Coffee Review

Although there are several Dolce Gusto units available, we tested the Genio model which has been featured in recent infomercials, and retails for $129. We invited several taste testers to give the product an honest evaluation. Our group included an array of coffee drinkers, from self-proclaimed aficionados to occasional drinkers. Our tests revealed that some of our “coffee snobs” were less impressed than our “standard” coffee drinkers.

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Our aficionados were happy with the 15-bar pressure pump-driven system. They were, however, disappointed by the use of powdered milk capsules. Overall opinions varied wildly among our testers, with the cappuccino rating highest among all of the flavor choices.

While Nestle offers high-end espresso machines with their Nespresso line, Dolce Gusto is marketed at the more forgiving masses who do not share the advanced palates of hardcore coffee aficionados. And while not all coffee lovers may be keen on the flavors produced by this unit, those who want an occasional espresso may find Dolce Gusto to be a viable option.

Because the capsules look strikingly similar to other coffee pods, the question was raised whether Dolce Gusto capsules were compatible with Keurig K-cups, or vice-versa. The answer is no. Dolce Gusto capsules do not appear to be compatible with any other system, and vice-versa, including Nestle’s own Nespresso units.

Other Observations

  • There is a learning curve involved, and brewing a drink suited to your taste will take some trial and error.
  • Availability is limited. While capsules can be found in some stores, most Dolce Gusto users purchase the capsules online.
  • Most drinks require two capsules, meaning a box may only provide 8 drinks at a cost of $1.19 each.
  • Not all drinks require the same amount of water. You can customize drinks by using more or less.
  • Some reviewers have pointed out that some Dolce Gusto models did not produce coffee at a high enough temperature. It has been suggested that putting very cold water into the unit could be the culprit in such a scenario.
  • Leakage. Some online reviewers have reported leakage with their units, but we did not experience this. It isn’t clear if this is a widespread problem, unique to certain models, or simply isolated incidents.

Browsing other reviews online yields about a 4-star rating for most Dolce Gusto machines. Many of the individual flavors boast 4 and 5 star ratings from third party websites such as Bed Bath and Beyond. The only universal complaint about the product is limited availability of the capsules.

Bottom Line

Although Dolce Gusto is advertised as a solution to make all of your coffeehouse drinks in one machine, if you are only interested in purchasing a coffee maker, you may want to consider a Keurig due to the wide availability and variety of pods for that brand. If, however, you are interested in cappuccinos, espressos, lattes, and machiatos, the Dolce Gusto should be on your short list of items to consider, provided the powdered milk capsules and limited availability of of pods do not concern you.

Your Dolce Gusto Reviews

Have you used Dolce Gusto? Let us hear from you in the products below.

Updated December 17 2014
Originally published December 2013

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  • Alice

    I purchased the Esperto unit on sale at Target and was able to find a limited range of capusles at my local supermarket. After six months of happy Dolce Gusto use, it became increasingly impossible to find the capsules in any local supermarkets. I even called Nestle to find out where to get the pods but the Customer Care agents said they don’t know which stores sell the pods. I tried ordering on-line once. Besides having to pay for shipping and handling on top of the cost of the capsules, it took more than one week to actually get the pods. I wasn’t given tracking info, so I just had to trust the pods would arrive. Apparently, outside of British Columbia, it is next to impossible to get the capsules at a grocery store. I am considering giving my Dolce Gusto away, but can’t bring myself to give someone else what is essentially a useless machine due to the scarse availability of pods.

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