A little while ago I was invited to a Dolce Gusto coffee bloggers' event, and as a coffee addict I of course leapt at the chance!
It was held at a really cool little bar, which originally opened in 1652 as London's first coffee house (and Samuel Pepys visited!). We'd be told that they'd be filming the event, but it was on a much larger scale than we'd presumed. Turns out it would end up as a Youtube ad, not just a filming of the event. Eeek!
Once they'd sent me a coffee machine to use at home, I was in an interesting position to be able to review and compare two of the main coffee pod machines. We use the Tassimo at the salon, and I know use the Dolce Gusto machine at home. So which is better?
The Tassimo machine is currently £119, and the Dolce Gusto machine is £89. The price of the coffee pods are about the same, but the Dolce Gusto ones do seem to be a little cheaper (maybe by 20p a box, not much!)
Ease of Use
The Tassimo machine has a mini barcode reader, which reads the pod and tells the machine how much water to pour, and how hot to pour it. This means that drinks are all configured differently for optimum yuminess. It also means the machine only pours the exact amount of water needed per cup. The Dolce Gusto machine isn't automatic (although they do sell automatic ones I believe), so it has just two heat settings - hot and cold. It also needs you to stop and start the water, so you can't walk away from the machine. At work, the ability to leave the Tassimo is priceless, but I guess it isn't such a big deal at home.
One of the things that initially made me buy the Tassimo was that it makes such a range of coffees, teas and hot chocolate. The coffee at the salon gets a lot of compliments from clients. The coffee comes out much hotter than the Dolce Gusto machine, and I do enjoy not having to wait so long to drink it with the Dolce Gusto machine! Coffeewise, I slightly prefer the taste of the Dolce Gusto, but as the water amount isn't automatic, I sometimes make it too diluted, which is a shame. So in some ways the Tassimo makes nicer coffee as the water ratio is fixed. It's easier to make a poor coffee with the Dolce Gusto, but I do like the taste more when I get it spot on.
Choice of Drinks
As I mentioned the range of drinks is bigger with Tassimo, which even does herbal teas alongside more regular teas., whereas the Dolce Gusto just has 3 teas (none of which are regular tea). This may not matter to you, if you just want a coffee machine, but at work it means we don't need a kettle.
My little tip for making the perfect coffee? As I quite like a coffee with a lot of kick, I add in some extra instant coffee, along with the sugar. Yum!