It can be a fairly daunting prospect if you’re new to the world of Dolce Gusto products. There are just SO many – Where do you start?
Fortunately, we’ve done a lot of the legwork for you, and have sampled, tasted, and evaluated some of the top brands on the market today.
We have included the best Dolce Gusto pods below for your consideration, along with a description of what makes them so appealing. You won’t go wrong by purchasing any one of these Dolce Gusto products, so the only real question is – which one do you like the best?
Disclaimer: Coffee is subjective.. Its hard enough to get agreement among our team, let alone the whole internet. We suggest you try a few of these pods before settling on one in particular. That way, you won’t miss out on one that might have been your top choice.
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 💚
Table of Contents
What are Dolce Gusto pods?
Dolce Gusto pods are coffee capsules that are made to be used in coffee-making machines currently produced by Krups, Arno, and De’Longhi. They are particularly popular in the UK and New Zealand.
These capsules are similar to the well-known Nespresso pods common all over the world. The first series of Dolce Gusto pods debuted in the year 2006, and the machine used to heat the coffee then consisted of a water tank, an electric heater, and an internal water pump. The machines were capable of producing either hot or cold beverages and of adjustable volume from around 40ml to 250ml.
Note: Dolce Gusto pods are NOT compatible with Nespresso machines or Keurig machines, and vice-versa!
Genuine vs. Alternative Dolce Gusto pods
With the success of the Dolce Gusto pods, it was only natural that some compatible pods would be introduced to the market, so as to capitalize on that same success. In the years since Dolce Gusto was first launched, a number of alternatives have appeared in the marketplace, and many of them are just as good-tasting with the same high-quality as the original, genuine pods.
When you go shopping, you’ll see the alternatives on the shelves right alongside the genuine coffee pods, and they will be identified as alternatives that are compatible with genuine Dolce Gusto pods and the machines used to prepare them.
The most popular genuine brands of Dolce Gusto
- Nescafe Cappuccino – This pod comes packaged with two capsules, one of which is for the whole milk and sugar, with the other being for the espresso.
- Nescafe Café au Lait – A terrific balance of smooth milk and very intense coffee, all in a single capsule.
- Nescafe Café Lungo – A medium roast coffee made from 100% Arabica beans, and on the upper end of the intensity scale.
- Nescafe Espresso Intenso – This is a medium-dark roast coffee, and it has a unique blend of intense coffee aroma, coupled with a smooth body.
- Nescafe Latte Macchiato – This Italian beverage is even creamier than Cappuccino, and has a terrific blend of smooth espresso, hot milk, and delicious froth.
- Nescafe Espresso – This pod contains a medium roast coffee made from 100% Arabica beans and has quickly become a fan favorite.
- Nescafe Mocha – A cocoa drink with whole milk and coffee, this pod provides the ultimate in flavor and satisfying taste.
- Nescafe House Blend – This product is delivered in 3 boxes, each containing 12 capsules, so you can have 36 total days of great-tasting house blend coffee.
- Nescafe Chai Tea – This is a latte that makes it a great mild way to enjoy your Chai Tea, and to avoid the jitters afterward.
- Nescafe Cortado Macchiato – Made with Arabica beans, this Cortado Macchiato is both powerful and intensely flavorful.
- Nescafe Flat White – This excellent variety provides a smooth coffee break, enabling the consumer to enjoy its delicious, velvety flavor notes.
- Nescafe 4-Flavor Variety – The four flavors included in this variety pack are espresso, chococino, cappuccino, and latte macchiato.
- Nescafe Nesquik – This is the best-selling flavored milk around the globe, and it’s the perfect treat whether you’re just a youngster, or a full-grown adult.
- Starbucks Caramel Macchiato – You can’t fail to notice the delicious blend of caramel, espresso, and dairy in this coffee made from 100% Arabica beans.
- Starbucks Veranda Americano – A lightly roasted coffee, both flavorful and mellow, with excellent softness.
- Starbucks House Blend – Sold in 3 boxes with 12 pods each, the buyer gets 36 pods of delicious house blend coffee that’s good to the last drop.
- Starbucks Cappuccino – You get six boxes of 12 pods each, so one purchase of this excellent cappuccino will last you over two months.
- Friends Café Dolce – Even though this might seem like a novelty capitalizing on the popularity of the hit TV show, it delivers some serious taste for coffee lovers.
4. Cafe Royal
- Café Royal Café Lungo – You can try this coffee black, espresso, or with a dash of milk to delight your taste buds.
5. Green Pods
- Green Pods Refillable Capsules – If you aren’t keen on recycling your pods, you can purchase these refillable pods so you can keep your favorite coffee on hand indefinitely.
Summary of the most popular brands
|Brand||# of Pods||Coffee Type||Score||Quality|
|Nescafe||16||Café au Lait||9.5||B+|
|Café Royal||16||Café Lungo||9.4||A|
The 6 Best Dolce Gusto Pods Of 2023
As you can see from the above information, there are quite a few really excellent Dolce Gusto pods available in 2023, and that makes the task of finding the best Dolce Gusto pods a little more difficult. To make the task just a little bit easier, we broke down the outstanding performers into six different categories. The winner in each category is described below, and you are encouraged to taste-test these fine coffees for yourself, to see if you agree with our choices.
Best Overall – Nescafe Espresso Intenso
This coffee got our highest award, because of its intensity and tremendous flavor. It also got our highest ranking for overall quality and drinkability. This rich coffee will definitely wake you up in the morning, and since you get 3 boxes of 16 pods each, you won’t have to re-supply it for a while. We consider this to be the most intense medium-dark roast coffee on the market for 2022.
Best Value for the Money – Nescafe Flavor Variety Pack
If you’re looking for best value in Dolce Gusto coffee pods, this one should be at or near the top of your list. You get four boxes of 16 capsules each for a total of 64 pods, and there are four different flavors you can choose from each day. For the person who likes a little variety in their coffee, as well as some genuine affordability, this is a great choice.
Best Flavor – Starbucks House Blend Americano
There were actually several pods we could have chosen as best in this category, but the House Blend Americano was our choice because it is a very rich coffee, with some distinctive toffee notes that set it apart from most other pods.
Best Pick-me-up – Nescafe Espresso Intenso
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t have the same coffee pod winning multiple categories in our ‘Best of” summary, but in this case, we just couldn’t help it – the Espresso Intenso is one of the best coffees available for waking you up quickly in the morning and getting you ready to face the world again.
Best Cappuccino – Nescafe Cappuccino
This coffee managed to earn our highest score of the year, primarily on the strength of its tremendous flavor and the two-capsule delivery system (for espresso and whole milk) makes this the absolute best for great coffee taste.
Best non-Coffee Product – Nescafe Nesquik
There’s a reason why Nesquik is the best-selling flavored milk in the world, and now that it’s available in a pod, its popularity is bound to increase even more. We all grew up loving this great-tasting beverage, and now we can enjoy it as adults too, only it’s much easier to prepare as a Dolce Gusto pod.