Monday, May 21

PRODUCT REVIEW: Dolce Gusto

Product Review: I want to start by saying this is not a paid advertisement, I speak for myself only, no companies have given me anything for this review. My opinions are completely my own.

"NESCAFE: Dolce Gusto" Overview: Love it, great money saver, quality cafe beverages from home!

(photo of the red Melody 2 model)

Before I dive right into the review, let's talk about coffee and coffee beverages for a moment. Are you a coffee drinker? Are you an espresso drinker? Are you a latte drinker? Do you visit a Starbucks or high end cafe often? Now sit back for a moment and really think about these questions.

If you answered yes to most of these questions, than this is the machine for you. In fact, this machine was designed for you! If you or your household tend to be more straight coffee drinkers, than honestly this machine may not be the one for you. My mother owns the Kurig machine, which is a nice machine also and that fits her needs better, but not mine. Which leads me into the Dolce Gusto (DG) and why it is better for me, my household, and "fancy coffee based drink" drinkers better.

The DG has been designed to create multi faceted drinks such as cappuccinos, lattes, and mocha. It operates similar to other machines on the market. You start with a pod, which contains their signature blends in a perfect size. These come in boxes which contain 16 or 20 pods, both boxes tend to retail for around 8.99 to 9.99. You can buy then online, at Stop n' Shop, and Walmart. You can also join the automatic refill club on the NESCAFE website, which will send you refills of you choosing and quantity at a minimum of every 30 days or up to every 90 days!

Boxes with 16 pods will make 8 beverages and boxes with 20 pods will make 20 beverages. This may sound a little confusing but, give me a moment to explain. As I stated before, this machine is geared toward multi faceted drinks, which contain more than one element. The boxes of 16 pods contain 8 milk based pods and 8 coffee/espresso/flavor pods which in combination will create an amazing high end beverage! In fact it is the only machine on the market (as of today) that allows you to do both the milk part and coffee part of a beverage in the same machine. The rest sell a milk frothier for the side (by the way they are a pain to clean). It also is the only machine where they are blend by the machine, not by hand, so you get the perfect blend of consistency each time!
(Photos all contain the Iced Cappuccino being made, but hot works just the same)

The box and pods are all color coded so you won't ever grab two pods of the same type or mix your pods. The photo above shows the two pods for and iced cappuccino on the left and a single pod for straight coffee on the right. As you can see they are all different colors, all the milk based pods are white on the bottom and their top label matches the label on the second pod (seen in machine photo on left). These pods are put on an easy pull out tray in the front of the machine.

The machine has a toggle on top which allows you to push cold water or hot water at at professional 15-bar pressure system into the pod. Don't worry if you don't know what that means, honestly I didn't at first either. It does however make for a foamy, rich, and creamy beverage every time. To begin each box will tell you how many ounces of each you want to make, at first and this WAS my one complaint, it was a pain but then I realized you can easily eyeball it and even use a little more water for a lighter flavor.

Almost all the beverages recommend using the milk pod first for a few reasons. It tends to be the larger quantity, it allows the milk to sit for a moment before blending in second pod, and really balances out the beverage perfectly. At first I was sceptical about the milk pod, but it really tastes like fresh milk that has been frothed.

Once you add in the second pod, you can actually watch a high end beverage being created in your glass. I used to visit Starbucks once or twice a day and usually everyday. Which means I was buying medium beverages for around 3-5 dollars a piece, you do the math. But this machine allows you to create 8 medium beverages for around .49-1.25 a piece, oh the savings!

Now I should discuss the bad: it is a little harder to find than most machines. The only retails that I know of are Sears, Walmart, and occasionally Bed, Bath, Beyond. I originally got mine in 2005 when they first came out, I recently replaced it (oh another good point mine lasted 6 almost 7 years being used minimum 2-3 times a day!) but replacing it was tricky, most stores only have the small version in the store, so I ordered mine online. They do tend to be pricier than most home machines, but it is the only machine with the professional bar pressure.

It has a small quantity of flavors available currently. I know of 3 cold flavors and around 15 hot flavors. Unfortunately there is not hot tea option but there is a Iced tea.  But as I said in the beginning if that is what you are looking for this may not be the machine for you. You also have to manual start and stop the water amounts, as opposed to other market machines where you can just push a button and walk away. The pods are finished in under a minutes so it isn't to timely, as long as you don't get distracted. I said before originally this bothered me, but as I got more familiar with its flavors, I realized it had to do with the quantity for each was slightly different so, the machine can't push out the same amount of water for each pod.

In general I love this machine, it has saved tons of money, time, and it is really nice to have one machine that requires little to no cleaning create a foamy, rich latte at anytime of the day!