Finding the best Dolce Gusto machine for you
There isn’t a lot of difference between the models featured. In fact, there are only two big decisions to make really:
- Automatic or manual?
- The design
Automatic machines pour the water without you having to monitor the pouring and stop it when it is at the required level, whereas manual devices need you to stop the lever when there is enough water in the cup.
The former is excellent for those who want a pod machine because it is convenient and can make your coffee with little input from you. Just set it to brew in the mornings, and your cup is ready when you are. The latter could be a better choice for anyone who doesn’t like standard measurements with their hot drinks, perhaps preferring a stronger or weaker coffee or wanting to experiment.
The design doesn’t vary a large amount – most are rounded with the water tank at the back and the controls at the top. But there are a few on the list, such as the Movenza and Eclipse, which really do offer something different if you want your coffee machine to stand out and look almost futuristic.
How to use a Dolce Gusto machine
Before you buy, you will want to know how easy they are to operate.
Simply pop the pod in, switch the lever to hot or cold, and either choose the water amount which will be poured (automatics and touch) or turn off the lever when done (manuals).
All machines will need to be placed through at least one cleaning cycle before being fully used for the first time.
This is something which doesn’t vary much with Dolce Gusto machines. You’ll struggle to find a device retailing for above £200, and the price doesn’t even make much of a difference regarding the efficiency and any extras. We found that models on the cheaper end of the scale seem to work just as well as those twice the price.
What can make an impact on the total continuing cost is the price of the pods. Nescafé are usually praised for their wide availability of their pods, which unlike Nespresso pods, are widely available in supermarkets and other online retailers as well as through their own store. This gives you plenty of choices to shop around.
All Dolce Gusto machines operate at a maximum 15 bar pressure. This is seen as an ideal to emulate real coffee shop drinks.
The pressure can’t be adjusted by the user, but depending on the pod you use, it will automatically choose which is best. An espresso requires the highest level of pressure, and a cappuccino a minimal amount for added crema, for example.