For those who don’t have a Dolce Gusto coffee maker, they’re slightly different from most other pod coffee machines on the market. Instead of buying espresso pods and preparing milk separately, you buy a box containing everything needed to make the beverage of your choice. So, if you buy Café au Lait, inside the box there are two types of pods: coffee and milk. Brew them into the same cup and voila! Café au Lait is served.

This makes Dolce Gusto machines an extremely quick and hassle-free way to get coffee shop-style drinks at home. There are at least 35 varieties of coffee, tea and chocolate-based drinks available.

Coffee aficionados are not likely be won over but for addicts of Starbucks' flavoured drinks, the machines are an easy way to get their fix at home. You can even buy Starbucks-branded pods. There’s a pick and mix selection of 36 Starbucks pods for £15.99 from Amazon, which works out at 44p a cup. That’s far from the cheapest type of Dolce Gusto pods, but it’s a huge saving compared to a visit to the coffee shop.

Up until now, the Dolce Gusto line has only made sense for people who drink traditional dairy milk. If you’re lactose intolerant or vegan, your options were limited to black coffee or tea - and that's not really playing to the strengths of the brand.

But now Dolce Gusto has introduced two new varieties of plant-based drinks: an almond and a coconut flat white. We’ve not yet had the chance to taste them, so we can’t comment on their relative deliciousness (or otherwise) but it's good to know that the brand is offering these options.

New vegan pods

To make your plant-based drinks more environmentally friendly, don’t forget to recycle your used coffee capsules. Here’s how.

Dolce Gusto machines are compact and easy to use. To find out more, you can read our reviews of the new and top of the line Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus, which you can buy for £69.99 and the straightforward Piccolo XS, which is now available for only £34.99.

For more coffee-making options at home, have a look at our round-up of the best coffee machines we’ve tested, complete with hands-on reviews.