Nescafe Dolce Gusto Genio S Plus full review
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The Dolce Gusto range is well-liked for its ease of use and for the variety of pod options, which include Starbucks-branded coffees. One of the things that makes this range king for convenience is the fact that the pods offer mixed drinks. If you buy a box of cappuccino pods, half of the pods will be milk and half coffee.
Unlike many other coffee machine brands, this means you don’t need to worry about a milk frother or preparing milk for coffee in another way. Stick in a coffee pod, then stick in a milk pod and your latte is ready to go. It's fast and much better than instant, although it's nowhere near as good as freshly ground.
There are about 50 flavours of coffee, tea and hot chocolate pods available. Price-wise, they work out to about 20-25p per cup but you can often find deals if you shop around.
If you’d like to see more coffee maker options, have a look at our round-up of the best coffee machines we’ve tested.
Design and features
The Dolce Gusto machines are characteristically petite, with a shiny finish and modern design. The Genio S Plus is no exception. It’s 27.1 x 27.2 x 11cm, which means it’ll be easy to find a place for on your kitchen counter.
As with many machines of this kind, the water tank is at the back of the appliance. That’s the only problematic aspect of the design. It’s likely you’ll have it on the kitchen counter, slightly shadowed by the overhang of the upper cabinets. That means that whenever you’re topping up the cold water, you need to drag the machine forward, or risk a bit of a spill. It’s not ideal but it’s common to almost all coffee machines, regardless of brand.
The Genio S Plus is very straightforward to use, with a flip-up section at the front, under which the tray sits to hold the coffee pod. Add your pod, close the lid and decide on your settings. On the front of the machine is a well-designed control panel, with a dial that’s satisfying to use and illuminated buttons that give you a number of brewing options.
And that's really what's great about this model: the number of brewing options. We’ve reviewed other machines in the Dolce Gusto range - the Piccolo XS and the Infinissima - which you can check out by way of comparison. They don't have much in terms of customisation.
The Genio S Plus has more options than any other machine in the range.
For a start, you can select the temperature of the water. As well as hot and cold (for cold brew coffee), there’s a medium setting. This turned out to be a handy feature in my household, as I like to drink my coffee right away, like a rational person in need of a caffeine hit.
My partner inexplicably lets his sit until it grows lukewarm and abhorrent. So, when I made my morning beverage, I chose the medium heat setting and avoided a burnt tongue. Meanwhile, I used the highest setting for my boyfriend’s coffee and when he finally got around to drinking it, he was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t the temperature of a puddle.
There’s also an espresso boost option, which ups the pressure to deliver more of a bang to your espresso shot. That's a nice touch for those of use who find the drinks too milky to be ideal.
The dial itself gives you exact control over the amount of water in your beverage. There are seven settings, which correspond to the levels on the pods, plus an XL option, for big, to-go cups and tall drinks. This is a lot more precision than you get, for example, in the Piccolo XS, where you guesstimate the amount of water needed to brew each drink.
There’s also an indicator that lets you know when the machine needs to be cleaned to remove limescale buildup.
Price and availability
Most of the models in the Dolce Gusto range are made for both Krups and De’Longhi. Although the machines are the same apart from their branding and minor cosmetic differences, prices can vary between brands and retailers, so it’s a good idea to shop around if you’re after one.
The Genio S Plus is one of the more expensive machines in the Dolce Gusto range but compared to other coffee makers, it's still competitively priced. At the time of writing, the best price is £79.99 on Amazon in the UK but it's also available from Argos for £89.99.
If you want a Dolce Gusto coffee maker and you have the budget, this is the machine to get. It's as easy to use as any other model in the range, fully automatic and you have many more options to get your coffee just the way you like it.
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