You have to search for a while before you find the best Dolce Gusto capsule machine. There is a very large selection from different manufacturers.
Summary of knowledge about Dolce Gusto capsule machines
The Dolce Gusto coffee capsule system was developed and patented by Nestlé (Nescafé). Currently, only different Dolce Gusto machines from the two well-known manufacturers Krups and De`Longhi are available in stores.
A variety of different capsule systems for tasty hot drinks have been designed for the innovative Dolce Gusto machine system. With these machines, you can quickly and easily prepare your favourite coffee, cappuccino, espresso or even a delicious latte macchiato.
Whether in a kitchen with limited space, for several users and frequent drinkers or for office use – the wide range of different models, sizes and designs gives you a high degree of flexibility. You decide individually which Dolce Gusto machine suits your needs and requirements.
Top 10 Best Dolce Gusto Machines
Our guide section: Important questions and answers to consider before buying a Dolce Gusto machine
Coffee is said to have both calming and invigorating properties. In any case, the popular hot beverage has a positive effect on health and concentration. Whether right after getting up, at work or at home for relaxation, coffee is by far the number one drink – even ahead of beer. Even though UK lags a little behind in Europe in terms of coffee consumption, people here enjoy an average of 3.6 cups per person per day. According to the “Coffee Report 2019”, filter coffee is and remains the favourite. But with a share of 23.8 percent, coffee capsule machines such as Dolce Gusto machines have long since established themselves at the top of the list. The manufacturers of coffee capsule machines add that around 12,300 cups of the capsule coffee are drunk worldwide – per minute.
This is certainly not surprising, because the practical coffee makers provide coffee lovers with their favourite hot beverages quickly and easily. Losses in terms of quality, aroma and taste need not be feared.
What is a Dolce Gusto machine?
If you are a true fragrant lover and want to enjoy the variety of different hot drinks, a Dolce Gusto machine may be for you. The innovative system with state-of-the-art technology was developed and patented by the Nestlé company. The distribution and manufacture of the stylish designer coffee machines is carried out by the well-known brands Krups and De`Longhi. There you will find an extensive range of high-quality products with which you can conveniently conjure up coffee and many other specialities from the various capsules in just a few seconds:
- Latte Macchiato
- Chai Tea Latte
- Café Crema
- Coffee with milk
- Hot Chocolate
- Café Lungo
The design of all Dolce Gusto machines is almost identical. However, some versions are equipped with various useful additional functions that open up more diverse possibilities for perfect enjoyment.
How does a Dolce Gusto machine work?
Operating your new Dolce Gusto coffee machine is no magic trick. Rather, you benefit from uncomplicated handling so that you can make your hot and cold favourites in just a few steps. Another advantage for you is that almost all machines work according to the same functional principle.
Before using the machine for the first time, the manufacturer recommends that you rinse the water tank manually. To ensure the correct procedure, you should read the operating instructions included in the scope of delivery. Alternatively, you can find the relevant information on the manufacturer’s website.
For manual preparation, fill the tank with drinking water and place the capsule of your favourite beverage in the capsule holder. With the selector lever, you decide individually for a cold drink, such as an iced tea, or a warm drink. Depending on your preference, you position the lever, which is colour-coded in red and blue, in the corresponding direction. Now switch on the Dolce Gusto coffee machine. Thanks to the modern aluminium thermoblock, which is integrated in many machines, you don’t have to wait long until the water is heated and you can enjoy your favourite coffee speciality. All models work with a constant pressure of 15 bar. If you move the lever to the middle, you stop the water supply.
How can you determine the strength of the coffee?
You can adjust the strength of your beverage according to your personal taste. If you prefer a strong blend, you need to add less water to the water tank than for the mild version. However, you will also find instructions for a tasty preparation on the capsule packaging.
For some coffee specialities, such as latte macchiato, you need two different capsules – coffee and milk. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the order in which you use the capsules. This is the only way to achieve the optimum production of your speciality. The process is completed after a short time and you can enjoy your chosen beverage.
In addition to manual machines, you can also find Dolce Gusto machines in stores that allow you to make your hot and cold coffee favourites simply by pressing a button. You will find the recommended dosage on the capsule package. As soon as you have inserted the capsule, you can set the dose with a wheel or on the touchpad. Now all you have to do is wait a few seconds for a delicious drink.
What are the advantages of a Dolce Gusto machine?
With a Dolce Gusto machine, you benefit from many advantages. Unlike conventional coffee machines, your favourite coffee speciality is prepared in no time at all. You don’t have to wait long to enjoy the drink. In addition, capsules in different flavours are available. In addition to your favourite, you also have the opportunity to simply explore the variety for yourself. But even if you have friends over, the element of surprise is on your side. In no time at all, you can conjure up one of your diverse creations on the table and enjoy it together in a cosy atmosphere.
It’s not just the numerous drink variations that have their appeal. The rich flavours, such as latte macchiato with flavoured caramel or vanilla, also provide plenty of variety.
Furthermore, you have the option of preparing both hot and cold drinks. While you can enjoy a warming Café Lungo on a cold day, a cool iced tea will refresh you on a hot day. The Dolce Gusto machines also score points for their convenient and simple operation and low maintenance. Finally, you set visual highlights with the noble design that immediately catches the eye of every observer.
How do I descale the Dolce Gusto machine?
To enjoy your Dolce Gusto machine for a long time, you must treat it with care. Depending on the water hardness in your region, you may need to descale the machine from time to time. This will maintain the functionality and beverage quality and increase the life of your innovative coffee capsule machine. Otherwise, limescale from the tap water will build up inside the machine and in the hoses and heating unit. This creates a breeding ground for bacteria that get into the coffee and ultimately into your body during the brewing process. You should allow about 10 to 15 minutes for descaling.
In principle, it makes no difference whether you have chosen a Dolce Gusto machine from DeLonghi or Krups. Descaling is almost identical for both brands. However, if the manufacturer recommends a different method, you will find the instructions in your user manual, which you should follow accordingly.
The following procedure is advisable:
- Mix liquid descaler with water according to the manufacturer’s information.
- Pour the mixture into the water tank and insert it into the machine.
- Place a sufficiently large container in the cup holder to collect the liquid.
- Press and hold the power button for about 5 seconds until the green light flashes
- Move the selector lever to the hot water position – depending on the model, you can also press the button for hot water
- Set the dosing scale to the maximum range
- The machine now pumps the descaling solution through the system in about 2 minutes.
- When the power light turns solid green, the process is complete.
You should definitely repeat this process a second time. To do this, proceed exactly as you did the first time, but instead of hot water, select the cold water lever or the cold water button. Finally, you must also clean the water tank. Fill it with fresh, cold water and place it on the machine. After you have placed the drip tray in the cup holder, select the maximum dosage and the hot water function again. After completing this cycle, repeat the rinsing process for the last time, but with cold water. Then switch off the Dolce Gusto and the descaling mode ends automatically. Now clean the outside of the machine with a soft cloth.
How often do I have to descale a Dolce Gusto machine?
The frequency of descaling depends primarily on the water hardness in your region. You can ask your local water supplier about this. The manufacturers recommend the following intervals for the process:
- Soft water – descale after about 1500 uses.
- Medium-hard water – descale after about 900 uses
- Hard water – descale after about 500 uses
Of course, counting the applications is quite tedious and hard to do. If you assume a consumption of around 100 cups per month and your water is classified as hard, you should descale your Dolce Gusto machine in this case at four-month intervals. So that you can keep track of the intervals, we advise you to make a reminder note in your smartphone or on your calendar.
What parts do I need to clean on a Dolce Gusto machine?
To increase the lifespan and maintain the functionality, you should clean the machine regularly, ideally daily. You can clean the capsule holder, water tank and drip tray in just a few steps.
After opening the locking lever, you can easily remove the capsule holder. Rinse it on both sides with clean water to remove any residue. Use a standard tea towel to dry it. Alternatively, you can clean the capsule holder in the dishwasher. After cleaning, put the component back into the corresponding device.
Rinse the water tank under running water. If it is stubbornly dirty, add a few drops of washing-up liquid. However, you must always clean it by hand, as the tank is not dishwasher-safe. Then fill it with fresh water and place it in the Dolce Gusto machine for the next use.
How do I rinse the drip tray?
The drip tray and the drip grid are also rinsed using only clean water and a washing-up brush. Manual cleaning is also necessary here, as the dishwasher is also taboo for these elements. After drying with a cloth, put everything back in its place.
Although you should clean the components mentioned daily, the time required to do so is minimal. Since the capsules with coffee specialities and milk additives are built up in several layers and have their own outlet, the contents do not even come into contact with the Dolce Gusto machine. This means that there is no dirt inside the machine that could impair its function.
The manufacturers also recommend that you never use vinegar to clean the models. This agent is unsuitable and can damage the machine or cause it to leak.
A thin, pointed needle is usually included in the delivery. You can use this to clean the nozzle if it is clogged. With some machines, the nozzle can be removed so that you can easily remove dirt or limescale from it.
Best Dolce Gusto Machines
Make your purchase decision: Which of the Dolce Gusto machines presented here suits you best?
Dolce Gusto machines offer you the possibility to prepare a variety of coffee specialities and other tasty cold and hot drinks quickly and conveniently. The advantage for you is that the operating principle is almost identical for all machines. The manufacturer Nestlé relies on modern and innovative devices with smart capsule technology.
The models from the manufacturers Krups and DeLonghi usually only differ in terms of design and some features. Since the machines have many things in common, we present the two most important distinguishing features of the Dolce Gusto machines for your orientation.
- Dolce Gusto machines with automatic function
- Manually operated Dolce Gusto machines
Dolce Gusto machines with automatic function
If you value excellent convenience, a Dolce Gusto machine with an automatic function may be a good choice. With this option, you simply insert the capsule with your favourite drink and lock the locking lever in the designated position. After you have selected the automatic dosing and the cold or hot function, you simply activate your coffee maker at the touch of a button. The Dolce Gusto does the rest in a few seconds. However, you can of course also dose your drink according to your individual taste. The values on the capsules are merely recommendations by the manufacturer.
Many models are also equipped with an automatic shut-off function. As soon as you have brewed your coffee, the device switches off, saving a lot of energy and is ready for the next process. In many cases, a flow stop is integrated into the smart vending machines. This ensures that only the desired amount flows into your cup and that the cup does not overflow.
Manually operated Dolce Gusto machines
The manually operated version is also easy to use. After you have placed your desired capsule in the holder and locked the lever, you start adjusting the Dolce Gusto machine. You decide whether you want a cool or hot drink by hand using the control knob.
The dosage of your coffee speciality can also be regulated by hand. As soon as you move the function lever to the centre, the water supply stops. In this way, you determine the strength of your drink via the amount of water and prevent your container from overflowing. Especially during your first attempts with your new purchase, the intensity will certainly vary due to the manual dosing. After a few experiments, however, you will quickly succeed in finding the right mixture.
What is the difference between a Dolce Gusto machine and a pad machine?
Pad machines, like their Dolce Gusto counterparts, belong to the so-called single-serve coffee machines. While the former often has an integrated milk frother, the milk of the Krups or DeLonghi machines is already in the capsules. With the pods, you can usually only brew coffee, because other tasty drinks such as espresso, latte macchiato or cappuccino are not available.
The capsules also have a clear advantage thanks to their airtight packaging. This means that the aroma is not influenced by external circumstances and the flavour only develops during the actual brewing process.
So as soon as you prefer a full taste and an intense aroma, Dolce Gusto machines are certainly a good decision.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of a Dolce Gusto machine?
Fast coffee enjoyment, a wide variety of flavours, easy handling and low maintenance are certainly among the advantages of a Dolce Gusto machine. In addition, you have a huge selection potential in terms of design, size and functionality.
However, we would not want to deprive you of some less positive aspects at this point. For example, the capsules are mainly made of cheap plastic that has to be disposed of after use. Due to the large number of fans of Dolce Gusto machines, a considerable amount of waste is generated worldwide.
- Extensive selection of different models and sizes
- Chic and elegant design
- High availability
- Huge assortment of different hot and cold drinks
- Variety of flavours and variants
- Uncomplicated and quick preparation
- Low maintenance and cleaning effort
- Long-lasting and fresh aroma
- Does not require a lot of space
- Purchase price of Dolce Gusto machines relatively low
- Variable use – at home, in the office, etc.
- Plastic waste is produced during the production of the capsules – not environmentally friendly and sustainable
- Capsules relatively expensive to buy
What should I pay attention to when using the Dolce Gusto machine?
To avoid injuries and to ensure the functionality of the practical all-rounder, you must read the manual. Proper use is only possible if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions:
- Never fill the tank with hot water.
- Never loosen the lock while the beverage is being prepared.
- At the end of the brewing process, the on/off symbol flashes for approx. 5 seconds; do not open the locking lever during this period either
- Never operate the selector lever when the lock is open
- Do not touch the capsule with your hands immediately after brewing; the hot surfaces can quickly cause burns.
- Remove the capsule from the capsule holder after it has cooled down.
- The tank must only be filled with fresh water (tap water); other liquids, such as milk, can damage the Dolce Gusto machine
- For cold drinks, never use excessively chilled water; fill it at room temperature. For a cool drink, ideally add 1 or 2 ice cubes.
- Small children should not handle the coffee maker unsupervised.
What are the buying criteria and how can you compare the individual Dolce Gusto machines?
If you want to buy a Dolce Gusto machine, you should not act hastily and go for the first model that comes along. You can ideally compare the numerous models with regard to the different properties and features. We therefore present some important criteria that you should take into account when making your purchase decision. In this way, you will surely find your individual favourite that meets your needs and requirements:
- The volume of the water tank
- Size and design
- Height-adjustable drip tray
- Manual operation or automatic function
- Automatic switch-off function
- Colour and designs
- Extras and features
The volume of the water tank
The capacity of a Dolce Gusto machine usually varies between 0.6 and 1.3 litres. The capacity that suits your needs depends on various factors. If you live in a single household, a water tank with a smaller capacity is usually sufficient. If you prefer to use your coffee maker in the office with several people or if you consume several cups of the black gold with your family every day, a tank with a larger volume is probably a good choice for you. This saves you frequent refilling and you can immediately start the next preparation.
Size and design
Size and design are also important criteria that you should consider. You can find Dolce Gusto machines in different sizes so that you can choose the machine according to the space available in your household or office. The most common models have the following dimensions:
- Approx. 16 x 30 centimetres
- Approximately 20 x 32 centimetres
- and 30 x 38 centimetres
With regard to the design, you should pay particular attention to the removal of the water tank. If the water tank can be removed to the rear, you will need a little more space in this area. This makes installation and removal easier and you don’t have to fiddle around in hard-to-reach places.
Height-adjustable drip tray
Once you have decided on one of these useful all-rounders, you will certainly want to take advantage of the variety of preparation options. For an invigorating espresso, you will probably choose an appropriately small cup, while for a latte macchiato, a much taller vessel comes into question. With a height-adjustable drip tray, you can optimally align the vertical position of cups and glasses of different sizes with the spout. This avoids unnecessary splashes and saves you the time-consuming cleaning of the machine and storage surface later on.
Manual operation or automatic function
Both variants score points with their uncomplicated operation and quick preparation of your favourite drink. Dolce Gusto machines with automatic function also offer a little more convenience. While you can make cool or hot drinks simply by pressing a button with these models, you have to carry out the process manually with the manual counterparts. In principle, however, it doesn’t matter which version you choose – you don’t have to compromise on quality or taste.
Automatic switch-off function
Dolce Gusto machines with this feature are energy-efficient and can save you a few pounds in electricity costs. As soon as the machine is not used for some time, it switches off automatically and therefore does not require any energy. With some models, you can change the factory-set time period individually. For example, in the office you benefit from a longer time interval from the switch-off function. If several colleagues are in the mood for a tasty hot drink, there is no need to constantly restart the coffee maker.
Colour and designs
The manufacturers offer a wide range of different colours and designs. You are therefore extremely flexible when choosing your favourite Dolce Gusto machine. You can choose a model that suits your personal taste and at the same time can be perfectly integrated into your interior. From modern appliances to models with a retro look, you will find a wide range that will cut a fine figure in any kitchen.
Extras and features
Many Dolce Gusto machines offer various additional functions that allow you to benefit from even greater ease of use. Of course, you have to pay a few pounds more for these features and extras – but in many cases, such an investment is well worth it.
If you want to adjust the amount of water individually, we recommend a machine with an auto-stop function. As soon as the amount you have selected has run through, the Dolce Gusto machine stops automatically. Alternatively, there are also versions where you can regulate the water supply manually via the lever.
The drip-stop function is certainly a useful extra. If, while preparing your coffee speciality, you notice that there is already a sufficient amount in your cup, some models allow you to stop the water flow before the actual brewing process is finished.
An energy-saving option is a Dolce Gusto machine with a thermoblock. Here, there is no need to preheat the water and you can create your drink immediately without waiting.
There is an XL water tank
For a particularly high demand for coffee, you can also get versions that are equipped with an XL water tank. This has a considerable capacity of 300 millilitres, so you can prepare lots of hot and cold drinks without having to refill the water.
A capsule waste container is also one of the practical features that some machines are equipped with. This feature is especially useful if you use your Dolce Gusto frequently. You can collect the coffee capsules in the integrated container so that you only have to dispose of them together after a few brewing processes.
Some models from the Esperta series by DeLonghi offer a special highlight. You can operate the machine very conveniently via an app on your smartphone, so you don’t even have to stand next to your machine. Here, too, you should plan for additional costs and consider to what extent this function is useful for you. However, once you get used to the convenience, you probably won’t want to do without it.
What different models of Dolce Gusto machines are available?
The trade offers an extraordinary variety of models that have been designed for the individual preparation of delicious drinks. We introduce you to the most popular models available under the Dolce Gusto label:
- Melody III
- Mini Me
How much does a Dolce Gusto machine cost?
The price depends on various factors such as size, functionality and additional features. The more comfort, the more expensive the machine. However, you don’t necessarily have to invest a small fortune to enjoy the coffee specialities. The small models from Krups and DeLonghi are already available for around 35 pounds. For high-end appliances with many useful functions, you need to budget around 150 to 200 pounds. In any case, these are quality products, so you can expect a worthwhile investment and long-lasting machines. However, you should definitely assess your needs and choose a Dolce Gusto machine that really suits you. Otherwise, you will spend significantly more money than is actually necessary.
However, you should not lose sight of a recurring cost factor. The coffee capsule systems. Their prices depend in particular on the type of coffee they contain. While you have to calculate 16 capsules in a set for between 3 and 5 pounds for a standard coffee, you will have to pay twice as much for a cappuccino or café crema. It is advisable to compare the prices of the different varieties before buying so that you can save a considerable amount of money.