Post brought to you by Nescafe and my Christmas list in 2013.

Twas the weekend before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, certainly not a freaking mouse. And I wanted a coffee machine. Something with pods to replace my coffee grind machine that was a pain in the butt, messy and never quite right. Being the sort of girl who doesn’t wait around for anything I went to Aldi and picked up a pod coffee machine. Merry Christmas to me from Mr Suger. Yaaaay.

It’s been 12 months since then, and goodness know how many coffees. Then a couple of months ago I was offered a very sleek little unit for pod coffee machine review purposes. I considered turning it down. I have what I need, why say yes to a second machine? Greedy. Curiosity got the better of me though, and a desire for a machine at work (or perhaps for a family member still trapped in bean grinding hell), so I said yes.

Introducing this baby from Nescafe Dolce Gusto Circolo.

nescafe dulce gusto home pod coffee machine-2 coffee machine

Isn’t she pretty? Woot woo. Now let’s pod coffee machine review, shall we.

We purchased our Aldi Expressi machine last year for around $90 (I’ve just seen them online for $89 now) and another $30 for the partnering milk frother in the single serve unit. A total outlay of around $120.

Compare that to the retail price of $230 for the gifted Nescafe Dolce Gusto would have to be pretty good, right? And it is, to be honest, but is it TWICE as good? The jury is still out and for me that will be about how it lasts. How it performs in 12 months, two years or more compared to the Expressi machine. That’s always the sign of a quality item, right? How it continues to perform over time.

We are two months into our ownership of the new machine, and there are some things I DO know. I love the look of the machine on the bench. It’s just cool. I love that it heats quickly, and my latte can be made in the one pod action instead of having to use the separate milk frother. The Dolce Gusto is fast, and it’s tidy and I hardly ever forget to fill the water tank because it’s so visual.

The Dolce Gusto feels a higher quality. I know that you would assume it’s a given since they are miles apart in price, but that’s not always the case. I know what you mean when I say that, sometimes you just don’t get what you paid for (or didn’t, cough cough ME) these days. But this machine is beautifully built, and all the parts move together beautifully.

As our Expressi machine ages, the pods have begun to stick, and sometimes you have to throw pods out unused because they get stuck and mangled a little. This is a cause of frustration for me. It appears the top handle that pushes the prongs into the pods to allow the water through is off-balance. AND there’s no way to realign it (that I’ve found) so it’s very hit and miss.

And let’s face it, when it comes to your morning coffee you don’t want hit and miss. Haha.

nescafe dulce gusto home pod coffee machine-5 nescafe dulce gusto home pod coffee machine-8 coffee machine 02

The pod packs are another thing that there is some price variance. We $6 for a pack of pods at Aldi, which contains 16 pods. My normal flavours are the decaf and the Abruzzo which is a 10/10 for the strength category. Yum yum. Great value and a good range of items available.

The Dolce Gusto pods start around $8.50 for a milk/coffee pod set you would get 8 coffees from that pack, while you get 16 in a latte or espresso pack (no separate milk pod). Does that make sense? I agree with the folks online that said that the single pod varieties are much better value compared to the milk pod/coffee pod ones.

A few of you asked me about the milk pods. MILK in a pod, hmmmm.

I’m a little on the fence with this one. It’s super fast and easy when I’m running late. Flick the machine on, turn up the dial, hit go. Done. Waaay easier than having to use the separate milk frother with my Aldi machine. My choices for fast as black or none. So in that way it’s good but the taste is still weird. It’s that long life milk taste thing. I agree. It’s there, and it’s not entirely ignorable. But when you’re in a jam it’s fast and gets you out the door with no mess.

Now this is for those of you concerned about the waste from all these pods. It’s a consideration for a lot of you I’m sure. It’s something I’ve been wondering about. Where do they all go? Do they break down EVER? I stumbled across this company via a Google ad and have recently placed my first order. Eco Caffe with cardboard pods. Win!

I’ll keep you posted. Especially since all companies always say to use genuine in their machines. Well I have always used Aldi pods in my Expressi machine and look how THAT turned out for me. Now I’m going to rebel. Haha.

STAR-BLACK-NEW

And that’s about it from me. I’ve been living with both for a while now and I love them for different reasons. If you were looking to enter the market, test the water on whether you’ll use it or not, start with the Aldi machine for sure. My favourite decaf is the Aldi pod. Soooo good. So they each have their own pluses and minuses and I hope this helped you determine which would work for you with my little pod coffee machine review.

Got any questions? I’m happy to answer them. Shoot.

  • I have looked at buying one of these for ages.. I haven’t made the leap just yet. For now I just use the Nescafe Sachets, but this does look really good!

    Tegan xx – Permanent Procrastination

    • Might be worth dipping your toe with the lower priced machines and see if you like it. We use ours a lot but I know of friend who got theirs and hardly ever use them after a while.

  • We have the Aldi machine after going through two of the Lavazza ones. When I was on hols, my friend had the Nespresso and I found the coffee a bit weak. I tried out a variety of pods and just couldn’t get enough hit. But then I drink the 12s in the Aldi ones! Overall, the Lavazza ones are the best that I’ve tried but they are $$$ and with the machines seeming to give up the ghost the minute the guarantee runs out, it works out pretty pricey.

    • Andrea

      I have a Map
      Pod machine which i love and have just recently switched to the Lavazza pods – they are the best!!

      • When I had a cafe we served Lavazza, it was such a great, easy to work with bean. Glad to hear the pods are just as good.

    • Now that you mention it, you’re right. My Aldi big guns are the only one that give that real espresso hit. Because I drink so much decaf, I hadn’t really noticed. What happened with the Lavazza ones? Do you know? I’m keen to hear more.

      • We actually have had three of them. The first one was replaced under warranty. The first two were Saeco or something like that brand and the third one was Electrolux so two different machine manufacturers but they all leaked really, really badly. The Aldi machine leaks a bit sometimes but those machines would flood the benchtops. it was a bit of a pain in the bum having to go to Myer or else order online for the pods too.

  • Thanks for your honest reviews. Hubster would love one but we haven’t taken the plunge (a coffee pun – haha!) yet.