When it comes to home-brewed coffee using coffee pods, you’d have to say that Dolce Gusto is up there. Competing with Nespresso, Keurig, and Tassimo, the Dolce Gusto machines have some of the competitors beaten. If you’ve never heard of Dolce Gusto machines, you may want to familiarize yourself with their many products.
The best Dolce Gusto Machine in 2022 is the Dolce Gusto Genio 2 or the Piccolo. Both of these options are compact, feature versatile brewing, and are the best bang for your buck. That being said, close runner-ups include the Genio S Touch and Mini Me.
Why Listen To Us? Well, because we KNOW coffee! In fact, we make our own coffee, coffee machine cleaners, and reusable capsules which we've sold to over 41 countries. Our team ouf experts include Tristan (an engineer), Claire (a food writer) and Richy (a barista). So, whether you're looking for a recipe or repair guide, we've got you covered 💚
Dolce Gusto has a wide variety of machines, each with its own unique features. If you’re looking to purchase one, you will want to understand the differences between each. Below, we’ve crafted a helpful overview of Dolce Gusto’s machines and a helpful buying guide.
Table of Contents
What Are Dolce Gusto Coffee Machines?
Owned by Nescafe, Dolce Gusto is a coffee pod machine that serves approximately one-cup servings of coffee. Unlike other coffee pod brands, Dolce Gusto is known for crafting high-quality coffee brewed at particular temperatures to ensure maximum aroma and flavor. Each pod is sold by Nescafe and includes a wide array of drinks, including Espressos, Cappuccinos, Lattes, Macchiatos, and Lungo.
The Difference Between Each Dolce Gusto Machine
|Machine||Water Tank Capacity (liters)||XL Cup Function||Dimensions (W/D/H cm)||Price||Rating|
|Genio S||0.8||Yes||11.21 x 27.32 x 28.65||$$||4/5|
|Genio S Touch||0.8||Yes||12.1 x 27.2 x 28.1||$$$||4/5|
|Genio S Plus||0.8 l||No||12.1 x 27.3 x 27.6||$$||4/5|
|Genio 2||1.0 l||Yes||16.5 x 29.6 x 25.7||$$$||5/5|
|Lumio||1.0 l||Yes||18 x 22 x 37||$$||4/5|
|Mini Me||0.8||No||24 x 30.5 x 16||$$||4.5/5|
|Infinissima||1.2||No||15.5 x 37.2 x 28.5||$||3.5/5|
|Piccolo||0.6||No||14 x 28 x 27||$||5/5|
|Esperta||1.8||No||26.16 x 25.65 x 23.87||$||4.5/5|
Dolce Gusto Genio S
The Dolce Gusto Genio S is an entry-level machine that comes at an affordable price for its functionality. The device supports over 40 pod flavors, including hot chocolates, teas, cold brews, and classic coffees. Additionally, it offers the XL version of drinks, which is perfect for brewing a larger cup of coffee.
It also has milk pod compatibility and a drip tray that can help prevent spills. There is also a wide range of options for making cappuccinos, lattes, etc. So, it’s perfect for anyone wanting a large variety of beverages, both hot and cold.
Dolce Gusto Genio S Touch
The Dolce Gusto Genio S Touch includes some advancements from the previous Genio S. This machine allows us to customize your beverage to your liking fully. The device has four temperature settings, an espresso boost option, and supports XL.
A newer change from previous models is its unique, easy-to-use touchscreen control. You’ll be able to adjust everything with a few taps, which is more convenient for some people. The only downside is that it has a small tank capacity of 0.8 L and will require frequent refilling.
Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus
The Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus has all the previous features of other models. Still, it differs in terms of brewing and controls. The main difference from the Touch is that it doesn’t include a touch screen but instead has buttons and a LED bar. The design allows users to customize their coffee formula to their liking and switch between four temperatures.
Aside from that, there is also an espresso boost function that can help those who want extra caffeinated drinks. Besides that, it features an eco-mode that switches the machine off after a minute of inactivity. There is also an XL option for brewing if you need a bigger cup of coffee.
Dolce Gusto Genio 2
The Dolce Gusto Genio 2 compact machine model includes a small 21 oz tank. It features seven different brewing sizes and is compatible with all Dolce Gusto pods. Specifically, this model is perfect for brewing cappuccinos and mocha-style drinks.
Newer features included in this model are an automatic shutdown after five minutes of inactivity, a compact design, and an easy-to-use interface. The machine can brew up to 15 different beverages, either hot or cold. Although you won’t be able to customize your espresso drinks, it has a small water tank that needs to be refilled often.
Our Take: We regard this as a simple but effective design that does exactly what it says it will do and nothing more. For the price, this is our BEST OVERALL Dolce Gusto machine
Where to buy: Amazon
The Genio 2 Features: (BEST OVERALL)
- 1L Water Tank
- Hot and Cold brewing
- Value for money
Dolce Gusto Mini Me
The Dolce Gusto Mini Me is the smallest and most compact of their machines. It’s suitable for espresso lovers, as it can only brew small 8-ounce drinks at a time. The biggest downside is that it can only brew a small drink, which makes it limiting in terms of using other pods.
NOTE: The mini-me has now been discontinued
Dolce Gusto Infinissima
The Dolce Gusto Infinissima features an infinity symbol-inspired shape and has a large 1.2 L water tank. With over 45 varieties of drinks to choose from, it’s the perfect machine for a family. Drinks include anything from Starbucks branded pods, hot chocolate, tea, or iced drinks.
Additionally, the Infinissima enables users to brew drinks to their liking in strength and volume. It features a manual stop, which means that you’re fully controlling how much water gets poured into the cup. The only buttons included on this machine are the on and off switches with a lever on the top that can adjust hot and cold brews.
Dolce Gusto Piccolo (Best Small Machine)
The Dolce Gusto Piccolo is the smallest of the machines and features very basic controls. Its design has been made space-saving and features a compact design, making it perfect for those with limited counter space. However, it features a manual design, which means you’ll have to be in control of how much water comes out.
With over 35 varieties of drinks to choose from, you’ll have plenty of variety. However, the downside is that you won’t have any brewing options and that there is no automatic shut-off. Since it’s small, you won’t be able to fit taller glasses or mugs underneath the spot, even with the adjustable drip tray.
Our Take: This machine is sexy and stylish with over 35 designs to choose from. We like that it’s all about saving space on a kitchen countertop when real estate is a limited commodity. If you want a cheap and compact dolce gusto machine, the piccolo is for you!
Where to buy: Amazon
The Piccolo Features: (BEST VALUE)
- 0.6L Water Tank
- Hot and Cold brewing
- Manual Controls Only
Dolce Gusto Lumio (Best Looking Machine)
The Dolce Gusto Lumio is a breath of fresh air when it comes to coffee machine design aesthetics. Its an appliance we actually WANT to have on our kitchen bench!
It has an average 1.0L water tank, however the unique see though design of the body of the machine meant that we were able to see the water level getting low and kept it topped up more regularly.
Our Take: We just can’t stop looking at this machine. It also features a 1 minute ‘Eco Mode’ where the machine will go into standby after a minute of inuse. That makes it the most energy efficient Dolce Gusto machine on the market!
Where to buy: Amazon
The Lumio Features: (BEST AESTHETICS)
- 1L Water Tank
- Hot and Cold brewing
- 1min Eco Mode
Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine Buying Guide
Dolce Gusto has a wide variety of machines, making it difficult to choose one. Luckily, we’ve taken the time to break down the process and provide you with helpful information on how you can select a Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine. Below, we’ll list the criteria and features you should consider in a machine.
1. Ease of Use
Performance-wise, Dolce Gusto machines aren’t that different when it comes to brewing a cup of coffee. Almost all machines use a coffee capsule that you can insert into the holder. All you will need to do is select your cup size and, in some cases, temperature.
2. Brewing Options
The standard machines include 15 bars of pressure that assure temperature control for the best cup of coffee. However, milk-based capsule drinks have lower pressure to ensure that the milk is frothy. A few of the newer models come with temperature control. Still, we’d only recommend these if you are brewing more than just an average cup of black coffee.
Every machine uses Dolce Gusto pods, but you won’t be able to use competitor machine pods such as Nespresso. However, the Dolce Gusto pods have a wide variety of drink options, including partnerships with Nescafe and Starbucks. The pods also provide various options, including frothy drinks like flat whites, lattes, cafe au lait, etc.
4. Adjustable Drip Trays
Each Dolce Gusto machine includes a helpful drip tray that can prevent spills and leaks. The grates can be adjusted so that you can brew a larger cup of coffee or use shorter cups. Although some previous models don’t include adjustable drip trays, you need to keep an eye out for them.
5. Manual vs. Automatic
Manual machines require you to stop the lever from pouring water while the automaker will select the amount brewed. This can be tricky for some people, as it requires you to understand the ratios. However, if you like to customize your cup of coffee, then a manual may be better for you.
According to a scientific study, the optimal temperature for drip brewers is 92 degrees celsius. Most Dolce Gusto machines brew between 90-92 degrees celsius. It would be best to be wary that anything below 92 degrees Celsius would not properly brew coffee beans. So, Dolce Gusto machines that offer temperature controls may not optimally brew coffee.
The 3 Best Dolce Gusto Machines of 2022
- Best Value: Piccolo
- Best Overall: Genio 2
- Best aesthetics: Lumio
Dolce Gusto FAQs
Q. What are the best Dolce Gusto capsules to buy?
Yep, we know it’s confusing with so many options available both by Nestle themselves and by 3rd party manufactures.
Check out this article where we round up our favorite 5 dolce gusto coffee capsules you NEED to try!
Q. What’s the difference between the Genio S and the S plus?
The main difference between the Dolce Gusto Genio S and Genio S Plus is that the S Plus version has an upgraded pod coffee system. The upgraded system allows busters to tweak the standard coffee formula to fit their tastes, allowing customizability. It also includes a new temperature control setting that provides four temperature brewing options.
Q. What’s the difference between Dolce Gusto by Krups or Delonghi?
Both machines are similar to one another, and there isn’t too much difference between them. However, the main difference one may spot in their appearance. They include different coffee button positions, colors, drip grids, and coffee outlets.
Q. What machine is better Dolce Gusto or Nespresso?
Out of the two, the better machine is Nespresso. Nespresso machines have better quality coffee products and high-end coffee pods. Aside from that, Nespresso coffee pods are eco-friendly and recyclable.
Q. Can you use reusable coffee pods in the Dolce Gusto machines?
Absolutley! In fact, we’ve reviewed the 7 best reusable dolce gusto capsules in this article here.
We’ve found reusable Dolce Gusto pods the best out of all capsule coffee brands. That’s because they are the largest and can hold almost the same amount of coffee as a cafe espresso machine portafilter.
You can check out our Dolce Gusto Green Pods here.
Q. What to the numbers on Dolce Gusto Pods mean?
The small integer number refers to the intensity, much like Nespresso use on their pods. This is an overall intensity to summarise roast, body, bitterness, and caffeination. The bar icons on the pods however represents how much water you need to set your dolce gusto machine to use when extracting the capsules.
This article explains the meaning of the markings in a little more depth.
The Bottom Line
Dolce Gusto has a wide variety of machines, each with its own features. When choosing one, it’s best to weigh which machine brews the coffee you’re most likely to drink. If you’re looking for customization, then select the Genio line. However, if you enjoy espresso or simple drinks, the Mini Me or Piccollo might suffice.