Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio

The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio capsule based coffee machine can make both hot and cold beverages

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Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
  • Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
  • Expert Rating

    3.00 / 5
  • User Rating

    2.00 / 5 (of 4 Reviews)


  • Makes hot and cold beverages
  • Range of drinks available
  • Ease of use & cleaning


  • Small capacity water tank
  • No used capsule storage
  • Milk based drinks can be expensive

Bottom Line

Nescafe's Dolce Gusto Genio is an automated, capsule based machine that makes both hot and cold beverages. Its compact design and wide range of drinks available are significant advantages over competing products, but the powdered milk capsules won't suit all tastes and can become expensive.

Would you buy this?

Capsule-based coffee machines are a quick and easy way to produce a decent quality cup of coffee. The latest attempt in what is quickly becoming a crowded market is Nescafe's Dolce Gusto Genio machine. This fully automated machine is one of the first we've seen that makes both hot and cold drinks but the powdered milk capsules won't suit all tastes and can become expensive.

Compact design but small water tank

Manufactured by De'Longhi, which also produces a number of Nespresso machines, the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio is a very compact machine. It measures just over 11in tall, so it will be ideal for those with limited kitchen bench space. Our review model came in a matte silver finish on the sides, with a matte black front and glossy plastic surrounding the small screen and controls on the front. It's also available in a gloss black model. Although it's largely constructed from plastic, the Dolce Gusto Genio feels well built and there's no sign of poor or cheap craftsmanship.

The detachable water tank on the back only holds 600ml of liquid.

The main downside to the small design is the detachable water tank on the back, which only holds 600ml of liquid. Depending on the coffee or drink type you're making, you can often find yourself needing to refill the Dolce Gusto Genio's water tank after just three drinks. On the upside, we like the detachable cup holder. It can be fixed in three different height positions in order to fit large, medium and small cups under the spout.

The Dolce Gusto Genio is a compact machine, but the water tank is fairly small.
The Dolce Gusto Genio is a compact machine, but the water tank is fairly small.

Easy to use, wide range of drinks

Like most capsule-based machines, using the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio is a simple and effortless process. To make a drink, simply press the power button on the left side of the machine and wait for the green LED to stop flashing (around 18 seconds). Place a cup or mug under the spout, lift the chrome bar to open the capsule lock, pull out the plastic pod holder, drop in a Dolce Gusto pod, slide it back into the machine and push down the capsule lock again.

The scroll wheel allows users to select the amount of coffee or milk they'd like to extract.
The scroll wheel allows users to select the amount of coffee or milk they'd like to extract.

From here you simply use the scroll wheel on top of the screen to select the amount of coffee or milk you want to extract and then press the hot or cold button on top of the machine to begin extracting the drink. Nescafe advises to follow its recommended amounts, which are clearly labelled on the boxes of pods and on the pods themselves. However, you can experiment and adjust the amounts to your required taste if you wish.

Loading a Dolce Gusto coffee capsule into the machine.
Loading a Dolce Gusto coffee capsule into the machine.

The most unique feature of the Dolce Gusto Genio is the wide range of drinks it can make.

Perhaps the most unique feature of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio is the wide range of drinks it can make. Unlike comparable capsule-based machines from the likes of Nespresso, Aldi and Lavazza, the Dolce Gusto system can make coffee, hot chocolate, teas and iced teas.

Among the drinks it can extract include caffe americano, espresso, ristretto, espresso decaf, cafe au lait, cappuccino, latte macchiato, chai tea latte, nestea peach and cappuccino ice. A range of these capsules are sold in Coles supermarkets across Australia, with the rest available to purchase online. The milk based drinks work out to be around $1.00 per cup, which is rather expensive for a capsule based solution.

The Dolce Gusto Genio making a milk-based cappuccino.
The Dolce Gusto Genio making a milk-based cappuccino.

The milk based drinks all use powdered milk capsules, which won't suit all tastes. In addition, these drinks require two capsules — one capsule holds the coffee and the other the powdered milk. There's two pods available that use skimmed milk powder, but the rest use whole milk powder with sugar. We obviously prefer the taste of natural milk, but the capsules are definitely more convenient.

The most annoying aspect of the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio machine is the fact there's no pod disposal system. Unlike most other machines, which eject used pods into a container, the Genio requires users to manually remove each capsule every time you use the machine. On a positive note, this makes the machine very easy to keep clean.

A wide range of cold and hot drink capsules are available to purchase.
A wide range of cold and hot drink capsules are available to purchase.

Nescafe includes an introductory pack which provides a selection of 3 capsules (Capuccino, Hot Chocolate and Caffe Americano), while De'Longhi covers the machine with a two year warranty.

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Read more on these topics: gadgets, Nescafe, coffee, coffee machines, Dolce Gusto



I have the ALDI one which works very well, however this being more compact may just serve me better for mounting in the top box on my Goldwing...:-)



I have had the Dolce Gusto Genio since December last year. I find if terrific, easy to use, easy to clean and the coffee aint half bad either...At 75 I like life to be easy and this is just the ticket. I have tried with success to re-fill the pods to use up my old coffee. But once that has gone I will use the Nescafe one ... I don't think much of the milk ones. I make my own milk by whole milk + two tea spoons of full powder milk + sugar ...makes a great latte
Just experiment you will find you will come up with the perfect cup to your own taste.
Great little machine ...Just spent some time in hospital ... could not wait to switch on the Dolce Gusto Genio... don't like hospital coffee... best of luck to all users..



I find the coffee to be bitter and the milk to seem to be instant.

Is the coffee instant too??

Robbie Green


Can someone please answer a question for me? We have the manual machine. If we only want one cup of coffee e.g. cappuccino, do we have to measure the exact amount required. The machine uses 240ml of water, but it doesn't seem to know when to turn off at 200ml for the milk component and then use only 40ml for the coffee. It seems to be a whole lot of trouble measuring water.



I bought this machine recently and love it.
Yes the milk is powdered milk and has that powdered milk taste, however if you put the milk in last that particular flavour gets masked by the coffee.
Only the combined coffee and milk capsules (e.g Cafe Au Lait) use instant coffee and yes it is bitter and unpleasant. However, the real coffee capsules such as Cappuccino, Ristretto etc are ground coffee beans and the flavour is really good!
The only real CON with this machine is that the used capsules retain quite a bit of water. You need to drain them in the sink or in a bowl first before throwing in the trash. Or, you can remove the water tank and run the machine through its lowest setting which will force the remaining water or rather the milk/coffee/chocolate out of the capsule into your mug.
The machine is currently available at most retailers for $149.

Chai fan


This is a great machine with so many different drinks to choose from. I chose this above the others because it makes hot chocolate and chai latte.
I love the fact it tells you on each pod which setting to use so you can get the perfect amount of water for the drink you are making. You do that with a simple scroll of the wheel. No guesswork required!
The fact that you have to manually dispense the pods is neither here nor there. They give you a container to tip them into so they drain before you put them in the bin.
The small reservoir is not so small and we get quite a few drinks out of it. Considering it sits close to the sink, it's a piece of cake to refill.
It's so easy, quite fun, and I really like the drinks that I normally go for (peach tea though... yuk!)



Do anyone know what other machine i can use the nescafe dolce gusto pods in?



I love this machine, however, I appear to be having a run of bad luck with the machine refusing to work I have had the machine replaced 3 times now, conveniently after spending a couple of$ 100 on coffee pod. However I do not think it is due to the machine more so an issue with our electrical system. I am thinking about getting this refunded and buying from a different retailer and also getting some surge protects for the power outlet to see if it is reserved current that is causing the issue.



can you use other pods in the Dolce Gusto machine?



Do you get a hot coffee? Some machines don't heat the water to hot!



Yes Christine, the water is very hot!

Chris Taylor


Just wondering can you still use the machine without the milk. I am lactose intolerant and need special milk.

Steve F.


In answer to Chris Taylor, yes, just use the coffee capsule and add your own milk. The flavour of the milk from the powder is appalling, I bought my machine hoping to make nice lattes and cappuccinos, that idea went out the window as soon as I tasted the foul milk capsules. I went and bought a separate milk frother (about $25 at Aldi) and make great drinks by adding real milk to the coffee base. The coffee flavours are excellent from the cafe americano and espresso capsules (the only ones I use), the machine gets the water termperature and pressure just right for a good coffee with nice crema. Like somebody mentioned above, the capsules retain a bit of water and drip everywhere when you're trying to dispose of them. The tiny water reservoir is a pain if you're trying to make coffee for more than two people.



Have only had it 1 day and would return it if I could.

As mentioned above - the pods leak after use since they retain a lot of hot water after the 'extraction' (I hesitate to use the word extraction without quotes here, due to the taste - or lack of).

My sample pod set contained 2 pods labeled 'hot chocolate' and 'cappuccino' which actually only contained milk powder (poor quality control somewhere).

The coffee itself seems of very poor quality, hence perhaps why most pods seem to be some concoction containing milk powder. The output is very lacking in taste and has no aroma at all. Mostly just a hot, bitter drink.

Overall I'd say the drink quality from this is on par with sachets of instant 'cappuccino' mix etc from the supermarket.

Not for anyone serious about coffee, but better than pure instant coffee.

Only real plus is that it's pretty cheap so not a big waste if you don't like it.



can you just get a cup of hot water from the machine to make tea??



I was wondering if it possible to somehow put real milk into a pod, instead of using the powdered capsules or buying a separate milk frother.



I have enjoyed my machine for the past year. I gave up on the milk based drinks early on due to the flavour, but my wife enjoys them. As a result, I enjoy the flavour of the coffee only products, Espresso Ristretto and Intenso. Unfortunately, I have to use 2 ristrettos to make a strong enough coffee. The big problems are as follows. Intenso is only available online, which is a pain, and is regularly out of stock. As of mid December, no stock is available till January. Now Ristretto, which is available in the supermarkets, is continually becoming harder to find, with none of my local stores having stock. According to Nestle it is due to high demand, which is a surprising response considering the amount of promotional activity they are doing. It appears they don't have a clue about Australian Coffee machine tastes, and haven't ordered enough of the stronger varieties.



In response to Paul. The hot chocolate and cappuccino varieties (amongst others) have a separate milk pod. You need to use the milk first and then the other coffee/chocolate one. So the sample pack contains one hot chocolate and one cappuccino. :-)



I bought our machine for $49 and although doubtful I'd like the powdered milk, I'm finding I really enjoy the drinks this machine makes. My kids love the hot chocolate, and I find I can 'stretch' one milk and one chocolate pod between three drinks.
I believe there are enough varieties of pods to suit most tastes. I'm not too keen on the coffee & milk combined pods.
I only have one coffee a day, so I'd like it to be a nice one, but couldn't justify the cost of a more expensive machine. I believe this little gem to be perfect for our needs :-)

Graeme Smith


My wife bought me a Dolce Gusto (Auto model) for Christmas.

And I love it to bits! I really enjoy the whole range of coffees which it offers, but the lack of need for significant cleaning is also a great plus.

But the BEST bit is that my kids love using it, this means that I am often treated to coffees being made for me! (At the cost of hot chocolates usually LOL!).



I have tried to register my newly purchased Dolce Gusto but it will not register-I purchased through a supermarket and wonder if this is the problem or has this particular automatic genio model been superseded and that is why I cannot register online?



A faulty hot chocolate pod destroyed my machine. Now going through the process on trying to get it repaired or replaced. Would advise users to check that the pod they are inserting into the machine has a good seal or you'll end up with a big mess and/or a machine that no longer works.



I bought the dolce gusto genio about a week aga as I love a good cup of cappuccino but as yet I have not found away to make a decent cappuccino, from what I have been reading it may be to do with the powdered milk capsules, may have to do as one person suggested and invest in a milk frother, very disappointed.



We bought this today and will be getting rid of it asap. Coffee is horrid. Coffee tastes like instant coffee



Fantastic machine! Pity about the taste of the coffee.



The pods' are not recyclable, the capacity of the tanks is very small. The volume of coffee you actually get is miserly , even by vending machine standards.
While we are drawing comparisons to vending machines, the quality is very similar as is the price per cup.
If you enjoy good coffee, stick to using a cafetierre. These machine will be forming the next stratified layer of waste in the landfill site of modern fads, right next to the foot spas' and DVD recorders.



We changed from an Aldi machine to this unit and find the coffee lacking in flavour and strength.We have tried different water/capsule combinations with little result. Sorry we ever changed. Ps it was the look and style which made us try it.



The latte is lovely. Tried the cappuccino and it comes out black. Is this right? I thought it would have milk in it.. Have tried two and both black....



Di you need to use two pods for the cappuccino. The box contains eight white pods and eight brown pods. Run the machine with the white pod first (setting 6) and then the brown pod (setting 1, although I usually put it to 2, to run it through a bit longer and make sure I get all the coffee flavour out). It's really pretty yummy - obviously not quite as good as a $4.50 shop coffee, but at $1 a pop, I'm not complaining!

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Really Disappointed



Easy to use
Horrible tasting coffee, No ability to use different pods
• • •

I now have a really expensive kettle till I work out how to use different coffee, This machine would be great for people who dont really like coffee, you know the coffee chain customers..... that get coffy with so many flavouring options added it is no longer recognisable as a coffee... this works in that case.




The size
The range and taste of the coffee
• • •

I drink black coffee so the range for me is very small (just two). Also, the coffee tastes dreadful - like instant coffee. I bought this for work - I wish I had bought another ALDI machine like I have at home, which has a large range of capsules that taste a lot better. I bought the Dolce Gusto thinking it took Nespresso pods, as I wanted to use Piazza Doro capsules. This Dolce Gusto is just going to end up in the skip. This machine might be good if you are the kind of coffee drinker that likes Gloria Jean style coffees - probably designed for the American market.




coffee is good but very inferiorto the one one made from ground coffee.
relatively expensive consumables, and produce a lot of waste plastic nd foil.
• • •

I regret buying it. It will be feasible if refillable capsules can be purchased.

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