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182 of 199 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2009
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I want to love this machine. If you are considering purchasing the Dolce Gusto machine I STRONGLY suggest you sample the coffee first (I think Sur La Table has demo machines). Here's what I like about the machine:
* The design is sleek.
* It's well made and sturdy.
* The machine heats the water up really fast- once you turn it you're ready to make coffee in well under a minute.
* The machine is incredibly easy to use. (see attached video for a demo of a cappuccino)
* No real cleanup required after each use.

Now for the bad...
* The machine comes with a latte macchiato glass, a cappuccino cup and saucer. Unfortunately the packaging was very poor (not enough bubble wrap) and the saucer arrived cracked.
* The coffee is horrible. As good as the physical machine is... it is only as good as the coffee it makes. All the milk based Dolce Gusto drinks are excessively sweet, taste artificial and have a ton of sugar and have anywhere from 3.5g-6g of fat.
*The non-milk drinks are very disappointing as well. Both the espresso and lungo aren't very strong and taste very average.

I have posted video demonstrations for each of the drinks in my reviews of :
Cappuccino
Espresso
Chococino
Caffe Lungo
Latte Macchiato
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119 of 129 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a GREAT coffee machine. I have purchased a Sanso, Tassimo, Keurig and now the Nescafe Dolce Gusto. I threw away the Sanso (lousy coffee), gave away the Tassimo, (lousy coffe..good cocoa), love the Keurig and love this Nescafe Dolce. Here are the differences that I have noticed between the two, in my opinion, best machines on the market. The Nescafe makes great coffee. This machines also allows you to make your coffee any way you want it. You must MANUALLY turn off the water out pour when you feel coffee is done to your liking. It DOES NOT automatically turn off. That is cool. I like my coffee very dark so I turn the water off 3/4 of the cup. My daughter, a little longer for a lighter cup. Still delicious. The Keurig has more variety, but I am sure the Dolce will catch up soon enough. The Keurig also has a K-Cup that allows you to put in your own coffee or tea to use rather than using a purchased k-cup. I love that feature. I also love having tea from the Keurig something the Nescafe Dolce doesn't have. What I love about the Nescafe are the gourmet/specialty coffees. Keurig doesn't have these. The Nescafe coffees are amazingly tasty. Much tastier than I had anticipated and take moments to make. Follow the directions in the pamphlet that comes with the machine for the best tasting coffees you will ever have from a machine. Actually, probably from anywhere. I am keeping the Keurig at my home for my morning green tea and evening mint tea, but bringing the Nescafe Dolce to my office for my afternoon specialty pick me up coffee Best of both worlds all day long!!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine makes coffee drinks almost instantly using their brand of little "capsules" or cups. You turn on the machine, insert a cup, wait for the light to tell you the water has been heated, then move the lever to dispense the water through the capsule into your cup.

These instant machines are nice because if the speed and ease. I also have a Keurig machine that I use daily for regular coffee. I like it very much. However, the Keurig doesn't have choices for things like cappuccino or macchiato, especially with the little cups that foam milk (very clever, Nescafe!!) But, I do find it odd that Nescafe doesn't offer regular coffee with this machine yet...only the fancy drinks...no plain ol' coffee. I also thought it was both a plus and a minus that you control the amount of water. It doesn't measure for you. The cup provided helps you gauge the amount (the provided directions instruct you use the handle as a guide.) Trouble is, Nescafe doesn't sell these cups (I emailed to make sure) so you either use this cup all the time or you better be a good judge (or count the seconds elapsing or something!) I suppose this can be good if you like to tweak things to your liking, but you better use the same cup all the time. Too bad it doesn't count ounces (or even seconds) for you instead of "on" or "off". You can also turn the lever to "cool" to make iced drinks which isn't an option with Keurig.

Pros:
1. It is fast
2. It is easy (especially using the provided cup to with which to measure)
3. It is simple to switch from one beverage to another
4. The drinks it makes are pretty (I like the flavor, too, but each person may have to judge that for themselves)
5. It lets you enjoy drinks like cappuccinos or espressos without the expense of a big machine

Cons:
1. No choices for "regular" coffee
2. The machine itself and the capsules aren't super cheap
3. You have to judge (or watch) the amount of water for each drink yourself, the machine doesn't measure water
4. lack of variety of flavors so far
5. Temperature of the beverage is not super hot (it was fine for me, but others may like it hotter.)
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46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2008
I've tried everything but the $800+ machines. Nothing gave me real high-pressure brewing and real steamed milk. Until now. The Dolce Gusto's cappuccino, espresso, latte and coffee are among the best I've ever had. The hot chocolate alone would justify buying one. I can literally have a cup of excellent cappuccino within two minutes of walking into the kitchen in the morning. The unit is simple enough to use when half asleep, and is a snap to clean.

The heart of the Dolce Gusto is a 15-bar pressure pump coupled with a flash heater: water is ready for brewing instantly, and at espresso-making pressure. No warmup and no pressure tank to worry about. The pressure is so high that only a needle-sized hole in the top of the cartridge is required for brewing.

The cartridge is shaped such that the beverage never touches the machine.
I rinse the easily removed cartridge holder after every brew, but it's not really necessary--nothing gets on it. Other occasional maintenance includes rinsing the drip tray and water reservoir as necessary, and examining/cleaning the injector needle periodically. The system is so well designed that the cartridges rarely drip after being removed from the holder.

Brewing is simple. For coffee, put the cartridge in the holder, flip the locking lever down, and push the water selector to the hot setting. Stop the water when the coffee is done to your liking. For milk-containing drinks (cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate and iced latte), it's a two step process. The milk cartridge goes in first, the milk is steamed until the proper amount is in the cup, the coffee cartridge goes in, and the appropriate amount of coffee goes into the cup. Done. No preheat time, and no fixed cycle like some other cartridge brewing systems, so you can get the coffee exactly the way you want it.

An undocumented feature is that hot water can be obtained without a cartridge being installed: cups/mugs can be preheated before brewing, ensuring the coffee remains steaming hot, and hot water is instantly available for oatmeal or tea. Beats an expensive hot water dispenser.

The Dolce Gusto makes the best hot chocolate I've ever had. It's rich, dark, not too sweet, and it's frothy, steamy, and completely smooth. My wife was sold by the hot chocolate even before she tasted the coffee. Apparently a mocha flavor is scheduled for 2009: a coffee cartridge and a chocolate cartridge. Yum.

There's one nit, though. The cappuccino and latte drinks don't come as decaf. The drinks are packaged as sets of coffee and milk cartridges together in a single box, so mixing and matching say, decaf espresso with a milk isn't possible. This is a bit of an issue with me, since a late night cappuccino may result in my being wired all night. Not sure why Krups hasn't addressed this, because I suspect it's an issue for a lot of potential buyers.

The out of box experience is great. Krups includes 2 each of all available drinks, along with a latte glass and a cup. Having the latte glass is nice, because you can see that the coffee does indeed form a layer between the hot milk and the froth, just like in the picture. The cup and glass both have handles strategically placed to act as guides for the first few brews, and the brewing instructions are a picture for each type of beverage, showing the cartridges used, the order, and the approximate volume of milk and coffee to brew. No annoying manual to read before using the product. I was brewing coffee within minutes of unpacking.

We're absolutely delighted with the Dolce Gusto. I'd given up on ever having real cappuccinos and lattes at home, and could rarely justify the drive to the local chain and the cost. Kudos to Krups for a breakthrough product.
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2008
This is an excellent coffee maker. I am military stationed in Germany and have owned one of these for about a month now. It is one of the best kitchen items I have ever bought. The variety of coffees that can be made "one" cup at a time is awesome. My family and I have tried the Cafe Lungo (regular coffee), Latte Macchiato, Cappuccino, Mocha, Espresso, and Chococino (hot chocolate). They all came out tasting great. The froth on the cappuccino and latte is perfect. I have always wanted a cappuccino machine and this definitely fits the bill...and then some. It's a lot easier to use than a cappuccino machine and a lot easier to clean and maintain (almost no cleaning involved). Also, once you have water in the big reservoir and flip on the switch, I can have a cup of coffee in about a minute.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2009
We've owned this for a week now after seeing a demonstration at Macy's and talking with the demonstrator. [...] 3 boxes of new drinks. First impressions, good tasting cappuccino, my favorite drink for about 3 decades now. So that's why we bought it.

A little background, I was raised on San Francisco North Beach coffee before coffee shops came into vogue and way before Starbucks. I like good, strong coffee, and have owned many coffee espresso machines over the years. This machine is maybe TOO easy to use, taking some of the fun of brewing a good cup of java. But it "brews" coffee HOT, a feature lacking in many machines.

Design-wise, it's odd-looking on the countertop, duck-like and inelegant. The 40 oz. carafe is awkward to fill...make sure you have a good grip.

It came with 6 different samples. Coffee luongo (straight coffee) was the biggest disappointment. Demonstrator said that pods would be good from 6 oz. to 12 oz. NO WAY, maximum is 8 oz. before things get watered down to the point of unacceptable.

So in order to get a decent sized cappuccino, you have to double the recipe. Which is what I do.

As far as the quality of the lattes and cappuccinos, they're tasty. Slightly too sweet (for me) and too milky...but HOT, which I like. If you're a coffee aficionado, you may be disappointed.

Boxes of pods average [...] Cafe Luongo (straight coffee) and Espresso have 16 servings per box. The other "milk" drinks have 8 servings per box (1 milk pod, 1 coffee per serving).

All this means that cappuccinos and lattes are roughly [...]serving. 6 ounces isn't that big, 8 ounces isn't enough to get *me* started, so it takes 2 servings. What I'm getting at is that this particular system, while easy to use, is expensive compared to what you can do with an old-school espresso machine.

Even if the machine were FREE, I figure it's 6-8 times as expensive compared to buying and grinding beans at Costco. Plus there's the storage space (3 weeks = 10 boxes or so), and quite a bit of non-recyclable waste.

Including the cost of the machine, it is probably about the same as picking up daily coffee at Starbucks or Peets.

Pros: Fun, no-brainer-easy-to-use, fairly tasty, creamy, HOT drinks. Good for a dinner party.

Cons: Expensive daily use, small servings, quirky appearance, a lot of waste materials, proprietary pods.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2010
I rarely write reviews for things (mostly b/c I have 10 million other things to do) but this machine warranted my time on a review. I've had a dolce gusto now for about a year and a half. I have used almost everyday and in the process have saved god knows how much money in comparison to what I used to spend at Starbucks. The coffee it makes is great and with a shot of vanilla syrup (I prefer a homemade vanilla simple syrup...tasty and cost effective)I might as well have purchased it at Starbucks. I've tried pretty much every variety of coffee and espresso and have been pleased with them all, I look forward to trying the peach tea now and love that they are offering a wider variety of drinks, with more to come I'm sure. So long story short it does what its supposed to quite well.

What really warranted this review is that a few months ago my machine started working off and on, I followed all of the trouble shooting advice and alas it just kept getting worse, eventually it wouldn't even pretend to work. I called up CS to see if there was anything further I could try. They asked me a few questions then told me to print off a prepaid shipping label they'd emailed me and to send it in. I was surprised they were going to fix it for me given I had owned it for over a year so I was pleasantly surprised. About two weeks later I received a package back from them, it was a brand new machine! Now that's what I call standing behind your product! The new one works perfectly and I expect it will continue to for many years to come and if for some reason it doesn't I know I can count on Dolce Gusto to do me right.

In short: buy this machine you'll be glad you did

Oh and don't forget to use their rewards system, points are found inside each box of capsules(the points required to redeem are a bit steep but hey something is better than nothing....and they even offer amazon gift codes!)
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I love my coffee. When I was first given the opportunity a few months ago to try the Dolce Gusto, I thought it was a gimmick that would make gas-station-style, mediocre coffee-like beverages. I am pleasantly surprised by the quality of espresso that this machine makes. I have reviewed all of the varieties elsewhere, so that's all I will say about that.

Espresso & coffee use only a single pod. The custom drinks take two, and therefore are twice as expensive, but still well within budget.

The best thing about the maker is how easy it is to use. My 15-month old can run it. She can open the bin, put the pod in, close it, push the on button, wait til it turns green (meaning the water's heated), flip the lever on, and then flip it off. It is seriously simple and quick.

Finally, I have found a use that I have not heard many talking about: tea maker/water heater. If you take the pod out of the bin and run the Dolce Gusto, you have an automatic water heater. I will often put a tea bag in a cup and run the hot water directly in. Quick cup of tea without having to boil or microwave water.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2012
How to re-use your existing capsules and add your own coffee. Took me a couple of minutes to re-purpose an existing milk and coffee capsule and create a re-useable capsule what I can add my own coffee. Save expense; save plastic waste; choose your own coffee. Just grind the coffee to taste, compact down with a spoon and hey presto you get excellent coffee and little cost. The grind will have to be quite fine and compacted to prevent too much grind passing through, but after a couple of attempts, you'll get the idea
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2008
I recently purchased this remarkable machine after hearing about it at a local department store. I have always struggled with brewing cappuccino's and expresso's at dinner parties and have finally found my answer! This machine does all of the work for you, from frothing the provided milk to letting you choose how strong you would like your drink. It is amazingly easy to use with virtually no clean-up. The coffee is phenomenal too! If you are even a little wary of purchasing the Dulce Gusto, take my advice, smarten up and get it...
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