Nescafe Dolce Gusto Infinissima full review
The Dolce Gusto range is Nescafe's line of pod coffee machines - not to be confused with the distinct Nespresso range, which tends to focus more strictly on espresso-based drinks (the name gives it away a little). By contrast, Dolce Gusto machines will let you make drinks ranging from a simple espresso to a latte, a tea, or even a hot chocolate, all from pods.
A year or so ago I bought an Dolce Gusto Oblo from Tesco for £30. It did a decent job, could be a little tricky to put the jug in place, and eventually it gave up the ghost after about a year (a combination of me not using it for a while and limescale I think). So when I got the opportunity to take a look at the infinity-shaped Dolce Gusto Infinissima I thought I’d give it another go and find out if it could earn a spot in our best coffee machine guide.
Price and availability
Like most Dolce Gusto and Nespresso machines, the Infinissima is available from either Krups or De'Longhi, but there's no real difference beyond which logo you'll find on the body - my review model is a Krups, for what it's worth. The two models can sometimes be sold at different prices though, so it's always worth searching for both just in case.
At full price the Infinissima costs £99 (it's available in the UK and Europe, but not the US right now), but at the time of writing you can find one for less than that. You can find the Krups model on Amazon here, or the De'Longhi variant here. Again, remember to check both in case there's a price difference!
My theory with these coffee machines is that they tend to be discounted by the shops as a means to get you to buy the coffee, which isn’t cheap. Printers are the same - if you buy a printer for £30 I can guarantee that the ink cartridges will cost an arm and a leg. Remember to check out our guide to the best coffee machine deals to help you at least save as much as you can on buying the machine itself.
I’d already been drinking the Dolce Gusto coffee and I knew I liked it though. You wouldn’t want to buy one of these machines if you didn’t like the coffee. But I warn you, Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee costs a lot more than a jar of Gold Blend. You generally get 16 pods of coffee for £4 a box. So it works out at 25p a cup. Still, that’s better than Costa or Starbucks, and cheaper than Nespresso or some of the other pod brands.
There are lots of choices when it comes to Dolce Gusto coffee, apparently over 40. Americano, Latte Macchiato, Cafe Au Lait, Flat White, Cappuccino, Caffe Crema, Espresso, Chocolate, and Mocha, to name a few - and unlike Nespresso the range covers plenty of drinks beyond coffee, and also includes white coffees that can be made entirely through pods, with no need for faffing about with a milk frother.
Using the Infinissima is really easy. Designed to look like an infinity sign or a figure of eight, the lower part is where the water tank sits, and the top part is where you pop the pod. We used to struggle a bit fitting the tank onto the Oblo so we were pleased to find that it is really easy to sit the water tank in place and attach its lid - you just need to make sure the lid properly positioned or it won’t work.
You lift the door and insert the coffee pod and shut the door, which pierces the pod releasing the fragrance of the coffee. There is a small on/off switch just below where you put your cup. Press this and wait a couple of minutes for it to go green. When it’s green the machine is ready.
There is a switch on top which you flick in one direction for hot and in the other for cold. Some of the coffee options call for hot and cold water (and of course in the summer you can make yourself a cold coffee). Some of the boxes of coffee pods contain separate coffee and milk pods, so you may need to switch pods half way through to get some froth.
No Dolce Gusto - or any pod machine really - will match a proper espresso machine for quality, but then you won't find many half-decent espresso machines below £100 anyway.
Convenience is really the selling point here: you can make a huge range of hot and cold drinks with just a couple button presses and a few pods, without giving up loads of kitchen counter space or having to learn how to be a barista by yourself.
The drinks you get aren't quite proper coffee shop quality, but they're a massive step above instant, and if you're a fan of lattes and cappuccinos then this really is hands-down the easiest way to make them at home.
You could just boil the kettle, but if you want to feel like you are making yourself (or your guests) a special cup of coffee the Infinissima will do you proud without making you work for it. The coffee tastes great, it is easy to make, and works quickly.