It has a new temperature control feature with four different heat options. There’s also an espresso boost function, to give the coffee an extra hit of intensity. This may not be enough to win over the home brew crew but it does give pod coffee lovers a reason to upgrade.
Pod coffee is king for one reason: convenience. Making fresh coffee at home is a messy, multi-stage, time-consuming business and pods provide a clean and simple alternative.
But what you gain in convenience, you lose in control and personalisation. Pod machines tend to be one-button devices, which don’t give you the option to make anything other than a standard drink.
While that can be a good thing, as when you’re bleary in the morning you can’t really go wrong with a pod coffee, it's also a long way from the options that fresh brewing brings.
Pod coffee can't get much simpler, so it's likely that companies will follow Nescafé in creating ways for users to personalise their drinks without affecting the convenience of the process.
Like the best pod machines, the Genio S Plus is nice and compact, measuring 27.3 x 12.1 x 27.6cm. It’s also got the features common to the rest of the Dolce Gusto range, such as adjustable drink sizes, which now includes an XL option if you like your coffee long.
The machine also has an eco-mode mode, which means it’ll switch itself off after a minute of inactivity, and a descaling system so that it’s easy to clean and maintain.
The Genio S Plus is available from a number of retailers. At the time of writing, it’s out of stock on AO.com (which had the best price, of £89) and Very (£89.99) but it’s still available on Amazon UK for £106.02. With that price difference, it's worth checking the other sites to see if it's back in stock yet.
Like the other machines in the Dolce Gusto range, the S Plus is compatible with pods that make mixed drinks, such as cappuccinos and macchiatos, so you don’t need to invest in a separate milk frother. There's a huge variety of different drinks, including Starbucks-branded pods. Vegans and lactose-intolerant pod coffee drinkers will be happy to hear that you can also buy Dolce Gusto compatible soya milk pods.
It can be used to make both hot and cold drinks, and you now have the option of cold brew coffee pods.
Dolce Gusto capsules are also pretty competitively priced. You can get them for about 19p a serving and there are plenty of non-brand compatible pods you can buy that are less expensive. There are often deals on pods, so it’s a good idea to check prices online regularly and buy in bulk when you see a bargain.
Pod coffee drinkers can minimise their environmental footprint by returning their pods to Nescafe for recycling. You’ll get a free returns bag with every online pod order and can drop off a bag when it’s full at your nearest Collect+ point. There’s more information on the Collect+ site.
If you're still deciding which type of coffee maker would be best for you, have a look at our round-up of the best coffee machines we’ve tested.