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on April 23, 2012
Me & my wife researched a coffee maker for our new house for months - I'm talking 6 months; and that's before we even bought the house. We both love capps & lattes so were looking for a single serve coffee maker. We looked at all of them - Keurig, Tassimo, Senseo, Dolce Gusto. We were looking for variety, quality of brew & product, durability, & price.

Obviously Keurig gives you the most variety as they are the #1 Single Serve company in the US; they also do have a Fill-Your-Own-Coffee pod which is nice. Price was OK too, but the quality of the product & durability were issues. We've read mass amounts of reviews with horror stories of pods exploding, water leaks - not something we wanted to get into. Plus with the Keurigs you need to get the expensive ones to get the best out of it & you're still dealing with break downs regardless. Also, people complained about the temp of the coffee.

Tassimo's coffee quality seemed OK. Price was good too - we liked that you could buy the pods at BB&B easily. But once again we heard stories of pods exploding, but not to the extent of the Keurigs. But we were still very interested in Tassimo.

Senseo was never really in the game considering the quality is substandard & variety is small.

Which brought us to the Dolce Gusto line from Nescafe'. The variety is average in all honesty with only Nescafe' producing the pods, but the price points of the machines were good actually - the cheaper one I think was $89 & it has good reviews but we were looking at the expensive ones to see about quality & if it were worth it. Quality of the brew was something we heard good things of, especially on the higher models due to the pressure systems.

After it was all said & done we decided on this one, The Genio. We have been loving this thing! The quality of the standard blend is OK, strong but OK. The others are awesome! Capps have been great, Mochachinos have been wonderful, the latte was outstanding! My wife tried a Chai Tea Latte the other day & has been in love with it. The machine is a little loud, but in the other room its barely noticeable. We have been very pleased with the coffee maker & pods. Buy them in bulk on Amazon - saves money & join their rewards program! 10 points per box - 100 points = free box. You buy the bulk boxes from Amazon you get $30 purchase - you can't go wrong!

**EDIT, 2 YEARS LATER** (6/7/14)
After having this for 2 years, I have downgraded my rating. "But you gave it such glowing remarks! You loved the machine!?!?" Yes, the first few months are great. But the flame fizzled out. The price of the cappuccinos began to creep into our opinions of the machines - yes, they're priced well (around $1.25/cap) but how many times does the average person enjoy a cappuccino?

Here's the jest of what I'm getting at: I love coffee, I love cappuccino. But I don't have cappuccinos as much as coffee. This machine has always made a average to below average cup of coffee. Even using a refillable cap product I found (which you can find I gave a bad rating on), I will find that this machine just doesn't cut it AT ALL with coffee.

I have decided that soon I will get a Keurig because my wife & I drink coffee more than anything else. We just don't enjoy all the other drinks this machines can make. If you want a cappuccino machine or espresso machine this is actually a good brewer. But you have to really want to use it just for that; which still stink because you can only get almost 8oz in the end out of this machine. If you wanted a large drink, get ready to spend close to $2.50 on 1 cappuccino. Anyways - for specialty drinks, it's great. For coffee - your wasting your time.
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on December 30, 2011
I got one of these for Christmas, and I wasn't sure about it. I'm not a fan of buying capsules, but I figured what the heck. So I gave it a try, and I absolutely love this thing. It's cool, it's really small and doesn't take up much counter space. It fires up in no time, and it makes a top notch cup of espresso. I really like the lungo pods (long shot of espresso - 4 oz.) These come out a bit weaker than an espresso, but a good bit stronger than a regular coffee, and I've been drinking way too many of them lately.

The Americano (regular) coffee from this is decent, although the pod selection is less than a Keurig, but this is really an espresso machine. Also the pod based cappucinos are surprisingly good. Forget the cost of the pods, I'll have saved enough Starbucks cash to pay for this in no time. Unless you plan on dropping a grand on a real espresso machine, this is the guy you want.

Also, it leaves a really nice crema. Very impressed, and couldn't recommend this more.
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on September 12, 2013
I purchased this coffee maker after seeing it at my friend's. It does make great coffee. I had to ask for a replacement unit bc mine had the same problem as most of the people that gave a 1 star review had...the water wouldn't flow through the unit. When I got the replacement, the same thing happened. I was so frustrated that I decided to read some more reviews. One person mention that he tried to make a coffee a couple times and after let the unit rest overnight and it worked on the next day. Guess what? I tried the same thing bc I couldn't believe I had to ask for another replacement. The unit worked! I called Nescafe customer service to make sure it was normal and they said it is. If you buy this coffee maker, don't return it before you called them. What happens is that if the unit is pressurized inside, the water won't flow. Just called them and they can guide you on how to flush the air out and make the machine work. You can also try what I did bc I got this hint from someone else and it did work for me. The reason I really wanted to buy a Dolce Gusto is bc it makes hot and cold beverages. I love the hot chocolate and the cold ice tea, My husband is a coffee person and loves all their coffee blends. The reason I'm giving it a 3 stars is bc there is no information about this on their troubleshooting guide and it could have taken me much less time and frustration to make this machine work.
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on July 29, 2012
We ordered this machine after doing a lot of research online, and the first one didn't work. The lights kept flashing and the water wouldn't come through. We called the helpline, and they sent out another which arrived only several days later. That one also didn't seem to be working, as the water didn't come out. My husband was so annoyed. However, after reading a few comments by other reviewers which mention this problem, I kept at it, "priming it" as others suggested. This entailed repeatedly putting more water in the reservoir, keeping my finger on the start button although it was blinking (I felt I had nothing to lose), and the water came out in small spurts after touching the hot water button on the top. I did this over and over. Finally, I unplugged it, let it rest overnight, and in the morning simply hit the start button, which went from red to green, once green, hit the hot water button, and it worked perfectly.
We have had to adjust the amounts for the size cups we bought, but once we got the proportions figured out (6 stripes of milk to 3 stripes of coffee for lattes) it is GREAT. We love this little machine.
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on December 6, 2014
Needed to replace a K-Cup brewer and Consumer Reports and others gave the Dolce Gusto its highest rating.

As others noted, coffee is not readily available in grocery stores. Check first. Ordering coffee with Amazon is fine but in a pinch, I can't pick up a box ANYWHERE locally and my local grocers have plenty of gourmet, organic, etc. coffee choices.

If you like a tall cup of quality coffee (like I do) black this is not the best machine.

If you like small cups (European style) and coffee drinks such as lattes, cappuccinos, and other "complicated" coffee drinks, this will justify the positive reviews.
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on September 19, 2015
FIRST WARNING !!! There are many units out there that will not work (pump the water) see the many reviews here. Delonghi will take you thru a bunch of useless steps in order to (1) get you to destroy the pump and not get a warranty replacement, or (2) after wasting time, ask you to send it in for repair. that's right send a NEW unit in for repair.
SECOND WARNING !!! Delonghi advertises a variety of flavors, which were all ONCE available for order on their website. They had an auto monthly shipment program for regular coffee drinkers. Also, you could enter the box code and get a free box for every ten ordered (or twenty ordered, I don't recall) - they abruptly ended this nice little benefit. NOW, when you select a coffee, you are sent to external sites such as Amazon, BB&Beyond, JCpen, etc.. The problem is, not all flavors are readily available, and some flavors have a 6-8 week delivery on these sites. I called them about sites they link to that only carry 2-3 flavors out of the 18 or so available, the person from delonghi commented, "the sites carry the flavors THEY CHOOSE" well, hmmmm, so Delonghi does not care about the flavors "WE CHOOSE". NOTE: Amazon has all the flavors, but delivery times and prices are all over the map... with some prices and/or delivery times being outrageous. The coffees are good, BUT I STRONGLY RECOMMEND AGAINST DELONGHI COFFEE MAKERS UNTIL DELINGHI WORKS OUT FLAVOR AVAILABILITY. I RECOMMEND AGAINST THIS UNIT UNTIL THE RELIABILITY WOES ARE ADDRESSED AND NOT GLOSSED OVER. I write this review with sadness, because I liked the coffees.
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on December 24, 2014
A very good cup of coffee, but a new machine has no capsules included so you don't know what/how/if the thing works out of the box. You'd better order some from Amazon when you buy the thing or you've got yourself a $100 paperweight! the company offers a free box of capsules if you register online, but the offer didn't work for me via the DeLonghi website, which insisted on charging me for the "free" capsules. I happened to have ordered coffee with the brewer so I know it works and works well -- but good luck with the "welcome" offer of coffee capsules!

(As a postscript follow-up: I finally was able to decipher the DeLonghi website and order up my free box of brew, so it's not a bogus offer. But like all things in the cyberworld today, DeLonghi requires you to register and that ritual takes you off the path that would be more easily followed to redeem the freebie offer with the code included with the new machine. Persevere.)

Another point others have made: if you cycle each capsule only once, it appears that you're not only throwing away good coffee but you can't get a full "venti"-sized (12/16-oz.) drink. So I dial up the max size on the first run, let it run and then dial half way up for a second run using the same capsule to top things off. Brewing is quick so there's not a lot of inconvenience and there's no loss of the tasty 'pond scum' (OK, barista pundits, "crema") when you do this. I think it lets you get the max. return on your coffee purchase.

All in all, except for the lack of a courtesy capsule or two with the new machine and total unavailability of the coffee locally at retail outlets here in Denver, I think the coffee's pretty darn good. Next we'll be trying hot chocolate (when the order arrives via UPS, that is...).

May 20 followup:

I am significantly downgrading this product due to an announcement today that Dolce Gusto suddenly is discontinuing their savings program and shutting down their website as of 6/23. Anyone who doesn't redeem their credit point by then will lose them.

This was a good incentive for buying Dolce Gusto capsules whereby one could accumulate credits toward more coffee -- ten boxes of capsules earns a free box. Until now, the chronic shortage of certain flavors on the Dolce Gusto website was worth tolerating to get the credits and free shipping once the missing flavors were again available (this is also a problem with BB&B where the prices are a bit higher but shipping is also included -- recently, however, a minimum purchase of $50 is required as with Dolce Gusto).

The tendency, of course, was to order a quantity ahead to avoid the shortage issue. But now, the credits that purchase would give you will no longer be available. This adds to the overall cost of Dolce Gusto coffee, which was pretty economical compared to Shultz's "Bigbucks".
Sadly, however, Dolce Gusto seems to be on the ragged edge. Their coffee machines are suddenly deeply discounted, their flavor selections are nearly half unavailable (as of 5/19/15) and they are screwing present customers. Oh, they claim they're "redoing the website" -- so why discontinue the incentive program?? One has nothing to do with the other.

6/16/15 followup: Since Nestle/Dolce Gusto is scrapping their coupon code program as of 6/23/15, the first person to "ask" me a question about this brewer with the words "...dump Dolce Gusto..." can have the rest of my coupon codes...but remember that you use them in an order before 6/23, 11 more days!
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on October 15, 2013
I ordered mine new, read and followed all the instructions carefully, and it never worked. I got to the point where it was about to flush the system, and I got an error message. Again, I followed instructions (unplug for at least 20 minutes, try again). I did that four different times because I did not want to send it back. I wanted it to work! I called customer service and they said I had to send it back. That was two weeks ago, and I have heard absolutely nothing from them. I am so frustrated. They wanted to "repair" it, but it was brand new and I feel it should be replaced. Unfortunately, I bought it directly from DeLonghi.

Update: Remarkably, the repaired unit arrived today (the same unit I sent off). It was not shipped inside of a shipping box, it arrived it its own exterior box fairly dirty and banged up. (I paid $12.00 for it to be shipped inside of an exterior box, just to keep it from damage). Nonetheless, it does work today. In summary: Ordered August 26, working October 15, with a great deal of time wasted in between. I cannot recommend this product and I have been overwhelmingly unimpressed with DeLonghi's customer service. It's ironic that today was the first time I heard back from DeLonghi's customer service (they just wanted more information, they weren't helping yet), and it actually arrived. Try another coffee system, one with a better working record.
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on February 11, 2015
It's difficult to separate the review of the equipment from the review of the coffee since the machine would not exist but for the availability of the coffee. I've been searching a long time for decent coffee in the US and I had never heard of the Dolce Gusto system until a French friend of mine introduced me. For the record, I've tried: Illy iperEspresso capsules, Keurig K-Cups, Lavazza ECL, Lavazza Blue, Nespresso (including their new North American exclusive Virtuo line) and Tassimo. Lavazza Blue capsules blow all of the rest out of the water for espresso.... but both the machine and the capsules are near-impossible to find and the machine runs around $800.

The machine worked just fine after following the instructions on running two tanks of water through the system to get it primed and ready to go. I did not experience any of the issues that other reviewers said they had. I have zero problems. The reason why it's 4 stars instead of 5 is that the vibration is a little harsh, not room shaking, but enough that you have to hold the cup in place or it will vibrate off the pedestal. Heat up time is quick (about 60-90 seconds) and then there's only 6 seconds between making cups. I also like that it shuts off after 5 minutes automatically. Also, the pods can be a little messy if you're not careful. Don't try to take the pod out of the tray, you might push liquid out of it and onto your hand and/or floor... instead just take the pod holder over to the trash bin and toss it. There are no recycle programs that I've found for this, sadly.

Now, if you like a huge big gulp of coffee in the morning in a mug the size of a soup bowl, don't even bother with this, go buy a Keurig or other machine specifically geared towards American coffee. The maximum you'll get out of this is 8 ounces (for the record a standard US coffee measure is 6oz so when you're drinking your 20oz grande, you're having over 3 servings of coffee).

Buying into the Dolce Gusto system means: 1) you must order online (except in a few place in California), 2) you are bound to only Dolce Gusto capsules of which there are many varieties and variations by country, 3) you'll be paying about $10 for 16 capsules if you stick to ordering from Nestle, more if you want to venture on to eBay or buy non US market capsules.

I've tried almost all the espressos, both the ones available in the US and a couple from overseas. The best one is the Ristretto Ardenza .... which is not available on the US website as of this writing. The espresso intenso is drinkable, but not nearly as tasty. I could go on and on, but taste is subjective. I can only say, that Keurig lovers, Starbucks lovers will hate this machine and the coffee (and vice versa). If you're looking to replace your American drip coffee with this, you'll probably be disappointed unless you make really bad coffee yourself. This coffee is made by shooting pressure through a small quantity of coffee. I've found them to be weak and lacking flavor (doctoring them with cream and sugar only makes them worse).

The milky drinks are better. But you'll want to dial back the milk or you won't taste any of the coffee. You'll have fun experimenting with the different capsules and I think everyone should find something they like, but this machine will not satisfy all categories: espresso lovers, drip coffee lovers and cappuccino/milky drink lovers. You just can't have it all!
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on May 3, 2013
Just received the Nescafe Gusto Genio today ( ordered from Amazon ). Took it out of box and read instructions. Followed the "rinsing the machine before first use " steps and the unit turned on and sounded like it was working but NO water came out!!! Followed the trouble shooting steps but still, NOT WORKING!!! So now I basically have a fancy paperweight or doorstop.
I now see from other reviews that this is a common problem. The water will not pump out. I now have to return it and hope that the next unit is functional ( and for how long? ).
I have made numerous purchases from Amazon and this is the first time I received a product that didn't work. I have been very happy with Amazon so maybe I should cancel on the Nescafe and switch to Tassimo or Keurig.

Ok, so now I feel bad. After researching on the internet, I discovered that it takes multiple attempts and pushing buttons/ turning dials/ unplugging and plugging back in. The unit worked the next day after sitting overnight.
I would like to change my rating on this product to three stars. Unit works fine now and the coffee tastes good and hot. Just disappointed that I had to go through all this to get it working and that the manufacturer failed to add anything in the instructions about what happens if water fails to come out.
I would like to thank all those that added their tips and helpful advice in getting this product to work.
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