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Nespresso vs. Dolce Gusto – What Are The Major Differences

Are you curious about the difference between Nespresso and Dolce Gusto? Or, perhaps you want to know which option is better for you? Well, regardless of what you’re looking for, here is your breakdown of these coffee machine. We have looked at everything you should know about them to make an informed purchasing decision that you won’t regret.

Nespresso vs. Dolce Gusto – The Main Difference

On the surface, the two coffee machines can seem pretty similar. For one thing, they are both produced by their parent organization Nestlé. They are also both based off the same capsule system. So, what is the real difference between these two machines? Well, it largely has to do with the type of drinks produced by the machines. With Nespresso, the main focus is espresso. While newer models do allow users to create other concoctions, the line is very much focused on producing high-quality espressos and strong, authentic coffee drinks. As a result, you will often find pods that contain exquisite coffees from all over the world. Dolce Gusto, on the other hand, is more about making fun coffee drinks. Here, you get to choose from a wide variety of blended drinks, often sweetened or flavored in some way. Over the last few years, Dolce Gusto has also begun offering up hot chocolates, teas, and a variety of other beverages.

The Cost

There is no denying that Nespresso is the more expensive of the two. On the lower end of the scale, you can find a Nespresso machine for between $150 and $200. The more expensive line can cost anywhere from $170 to $700. It isn’t just the machines that are more expensive. On average, the pods cost quite a bit as well. So, in general, Nespresso will be the greater investment.
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The cheapest Dolce Gusto machine will cost a little over $100. The most expensive model on the market is less than $350. The pods also fall within the mid-range in terms of price.

The Models

Here is a brief introduction of the models of Nespresso and Dolce Gusto:

Nespresso Models

With Nespresso, there are two main lines to select from – Original and Vertuo. The original is largely focused on espressos and cappuccinos, and it is all about keeping things simple. As a result, there is a high pressure extraction with the coffee pods, much like you would expect from a traditional espresso machine. With the Original, you can brew coffee in four different sizes – 0.85 to 5 ounces. Within the Original line there is:
  • Creatista Plus
  • Lattissima Pro
  • Gran Lattissima
  • CitiZ
  • Essenza Mini
  • Lattissima One
  • Pixie
  • Creatista Pro
With the Vertuo line, it is more about coffee-based drinks. Here, the machines read the barcode inscribed on every capsule. Then, the machine adjusts the brewing settings accordingly. This gives you the opportunity to create a wider variety of drinks. The coffee sizes with this line go from 1.35 ounces all the way up to 18 ounces. The models in its line are:
  • Vertuo
  • Vertuo Next
  • VertuoPlus
  • Evoluo

Dolce Gusto Models

With Dolce Gusto, there are three models to select from: Esperta 2, Genio 2, and Majesto. Unlike with the Nespresso, there isn’t nearly as much choice or variation between the models. For the most part, they function the same way, using pressure to extract the coffee. However, with Genio 2, there is 15psi of pressure, while with the Esperta 2 and Majesto, there is 17psi of pressure. Also, with Genio 2, there are 15 different coffee flavor variations, while Esperta 2 and Majesto boast 17 different flavors. Some other differences are based on the settings as well as how the capsules are brewed.

The Capsules and Pods

Now, let’s take a look at the capsules or pods used for each type of coffee machine. Both these machines use independent brand-name pods. However, there are now an increasing number of generic capsules that are compatible with many of these models. These are often more affordable and offer other flavors as well. It should be noted that there aren’t any compatible Nespresso Vertuo pods as of yet. As a result, you will need to purchase the capsules directly from the manufacturer. The main variation exists in the type of coffee you can find for each of these machines.
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With Nespresso, the pods mostly consist of 100% coffee. They vary in terms of the regions they are sourced from. They will also differ in intensity. Due to this, you won’t feel like you’re drinking the same cup of black coffee. Rather, you will be able to observe various notes and flavors in every cup. As mentioned, Nespresso has been branching out recently, particularly when it comes to the Vertuo line. So, you will find that there are hazelnut, chocolate, and various other flavors mixed in with straight black coffee. However, Dolce Gusto is the real connoisseur of coffee-flavored drinks. While you can get pure black coffee, most people turn to these lines for their blended drinks. There is a wide variety to choose from. In addition to coffee grounds, the capsules often contain milk powder, flavorings, sweeteners, and other ingredients. However, the quality of the coffee grounds isn’t nearly on par with those produced by Nespresso. This is one of the reasons that the price of these capsules are significantly less.

Using Nespresso vs. Dolce Gusto

It should be noted that each model from each line for both Nespresso and Dolce Gusto come with their own instructions. So, the steps you have to take can vary quite a bit. Furthermore, there is often a similar process for rinsing out and cleaning the machines as well. In the case of both Nespresso and Dolce Gusto, they will require specific rinsing or cleaning processes that is mentioned on the manual. Apart from this, however, Nespresso can be the easier machine to function. This is because it often involves filling out the water reservoir, popping in a capsule, and waiting for the machine to warm up before brewing the coffee. With the Vertuo line, you will be required to stop the machine when making drinks of various sizes and capacities. With the Dolce Gusto, there is more effort involved. This is especially true if you are making fancy, blended drinks. In many instances, you will be required to put two separate capsules, one after the other. You will also have to select various bars depending on how you want you drink to turn out. The instructions will differ with each drink you want to brew. Naturally, espressos and Americanos will be a lot easier to brew. However, the rest will require several steps and a learning curve.

How Can the Nespresso Pixie Leaking Water Issue be Resolved?

Are you facing the frustrating problem of your Nespresso Pixie leaking water? Don’t worry, there are a few nespresso pixie leaking water solutions you can try. Firstly, check the water tank and ensure it is properly positioned. Secondly, inspect the seal and replace it if necessary. Finally, descale your machine regularly to prevent any clogs.

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Who Are These Coffee Machines Meant For?

The Nespresso is for true coffee connoisseurs. If you enjoy the taste of high-quality espresso or black coffee, this is the machine you should go for. Even though the machines now offer some coffee-based drinks, the focus is still mainly on producing a well-brewed cup of strong black coffee. With Dolce Gusto, though, it is all about having fun with flavors. There are numerous options to choose from and with a little bit of creativity, you can whip up even more coffee drinks, not just those that the capsules have to offer.

Which One is Best?

Well, this all depends on your idea of “best”. If you are looking for a coffee that produces a high-quality brew, then the Nespresso is naturally your top choice. It is a compact and easier alternative to a high-end espresso machine. Of course, you will be paying for this quality as the machine and the pods are far more expensive. However, for some, the coffee offered by Nespresso may feel too limiting. If you are someone who loves coffee drinks from Starbucks and other coffee chains, you will delight in what Dolce Gusto has to offer. In this instance, you would feel that this line of coffee machines is best. It also works well as a more affordable option. In the end, it is all about choosing a machine that is right for you and your needs.


Here are the most frequently asked questions about these coffee machines:

Is Nespresso Better Than Dolce Gusto?

Well, this all depends on what you are looking for. If you are interested in high-end espresso or black coffee, then Nespresso can be considered superior. However, for flavored drinks, Dolce Gusto has a greater number of options.

Can Nespresso Capsules Be Used in Dolce Gusto?

No, these capsules can’t be used interchangeably. The Nespresso capsules are strictly meant for that machine. In the same way, Dolce Gusto capsules can’t be used in Nespresso machines either.

Can I Use Other Pods in Dolce Gusto and Nespresso?

There is now an increasing number of pods and capsules that are compatible with either Nespresso or Dolce Gusto models. These can be more affordable and offer up greater variation in flavor as well. However, it is important to always double check the compatibility.
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About the author


Samuel is a coffee lover and a writer. He's travelled extensively throughout Southeast Asia and has soaked up the sun, the culture, and of course - the coffee. He loves to write about his experiences, and he hopes to travel even more in the future.

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