I used to absolutely hate coffee; I thought it smelled of cigarettes and looked like dirt and never understood why anyone would want a hot cup of that. Then one day a switch in my brain changed position and I just couldn’t get enough of the beautiful taste of roasted coffee beans.
Christmas 2015 was on the horizon and my lovely parents pestered me daily about what I wanted wrapped under the tree. I still had no idea what I wanted until one day during a trip to Tesco I saw a Dolce Gusto coffee machine on offer. I took a picture and sent it to my parents as a possible Christmas gift from them to me. They bought the coffee machine and I knew about it before Christmas.
Here’s where it started to go wrong: I was looking at coffee machines on the Internet and saw that Tassimo offered many different brands of hot chocolates and coffees including Cadbury and Costa. I thought about the Dolce Gusto under the tree and regretted asking for it. I told my parents that I thought Tassimo was a better choice and asked if they still had the receipt so they could get an exchange. They had the receipt but decided to keep the Dolce Gusto for themselves and get a Tassimo for me. We went to curries and bought the Tassimo for my Christmas.
Here’s where it went wrong a second time: I started looking up the coffee ‘t-disc’ types and I was met with a very large number of terrible reviews. Almost everyone said the new milk pods (the recipe has apparently changed to reduce the packaging size) were disgusting and a lot of people said they were switching to a Nespresso or Dolce Gusto machine instead. The reviews on pods for Dolce Gusto were abundantly positive. I wanted to punch myself in the face for buying the Tassimo. I asked my parents to take back the Tassimo and give me the unopened Dolce Gusto. My parents decided to keep the Tassimo.
Christmas has passed and I have now tried coffee from both machines.
If only somebody had reviewed the machines against each other and saved me this ridiculous tirade. I guess I’ll have to be the one to review it for the coffee lovers who wish to purchase their own machine and face the same decision.
Tassimo: On paper, Tassimo looks like a far stronger machine for one reason. There are a vast range of coffee, hot chocolate and tea brands available as (pods) T discs. Milka, Costa, Kenco and Twinings to name a few. The drinks must taste fantastic why else would all of those brands want to be associated with Tassimo? The machine I tested was a Tassimo Vivy, an adorable little chunky machine with intellibrew technology. It would fit perfectly into any kitchen without taking up masses of space. The intellibrew technology means that when you put your t disc in the machine, the only other thing left to do is push a button; the machine scans the t discs bar code and knows how much to pour. This feature I admit is very cool and to my knowledge is also available on some of the more expensive Dolce Gusto Machines. I tried the Costa Latte, the ‘Morning Cafe’ and the pure Colombian Kenco. The Costa Latte was poor; it was watery, thin and the milk tasted a little too fake. I agreed with the reviews online without having actually tried the old milk t discs. The two other drinks I tried (both black coffee) were actually very nice but I had to add my own milk which in my opinion defeats the purpose of having a machine in the first place. The drink-making process also seemed to drag on for a long time, waiting for water to warm, hearing strange noises, not knowing when or if the water will pour after pressing the button.
Overall, the huge choice of drink brands available does not make up for the disgusting milk and slow drink-making process. I’d give the Tassimo Vivy a 5/10.
Dolce Gusto: With a selection of own brand drinks and not much else, Dolce Gusto doesn’t seem to be as trendy as the Tassimo. The machine I tested was the Dolce Gusto Jovia, a relatively small machine with a strange curved design. This machine is manual so in order to make a drink you have to manually stop-and-start the pouring with a little switch on the top of the machine. At first I found this very annoying but after I had made a few drinks I found this to be one of my favourite things; it’s hard to overfill a cup or use too much milk when you have total control. The milk pods for the Dolce Gusto are wonderfully frothy and taste fresh. The coffee and hot chocolate pods are also delicious. I tried the Latte Macchiato, Chococino and the Grande. The drinks have a classy feel to them and I cannot stress enough how good they taste. The machine heats up at the beginning before you even make a drink and the button you use to turn the machine on lights up green to let you know it’s ready. This is also a great feature the Tassimo was lacking in. It’s nice to know your machine is ready to use rather than waiting around unsure if your drink is gonna be ready in 10 seconds or 10 minutes.
Overall, the design is of the machine is aesthetically pleasing, the own brand drinks are delicious and it’s an easy system to use. I give the Dolce Gusto Jovia a 9/10.
These are my personal opinions and you may not agree but I hope this helps if you are struggling to decide on a coffee machine. I am now a proud owner of the Dolce Gusto Jovia and I think it’s wonderful.
Apologies to George Clooney and Jack Black for not trying the Nespresso. I’ll probably never try the Nespresso because I’m a -tiny and broke- student and this stylish machine is too expensive for my pot-noodles-and-smart-price-vodka lifestyle.