Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio
The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio capsule based coffee machine can make both hot and cold beverages
- 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
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.
Price$ 229.00 (AUD)
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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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