Dolce Gusto vs. Nespresso – What’s The Difference Between Them?

We continue our comparisons between single-serve coffee maker to help you decide which is the best one for your needs. This time, we’re looking at the difference between Nescafe Dolce Gusto and Nespresso. Two coffee makers that are seemingly similar, but serve two different uses.

Although both Dolce Gusto and Nespresso come from the same parent company, Nestle, they’re not similar. And that’s what we will discuss in details below.

What Is Dolce Gusto And How Does It Work?

Let’s start with Dolce Gusto. It’s a single-serve beverage maker that uses its own pods to make popular hot or cold beverages like coffee, cappuccino, latte, iced tea, iced coffee and more. Using a Dolce Gusto machine is fairly simple. Insert a pod, set intensity level – which is usually instructed on the box of the drink you’re making but can also be customized, and hit the brew button. A switch on the machine allows you to toggle between hot or cold drinks, but for cold drinks, you’ll have to use Dolce Gusto pods that are made especially for cold brewing.

Dolce Gusto Machines:


There are several Dolce Gusto brewers available, the most popular models being Esperta and Genio, which we compared in a previous post.

Let’s do a quick recap of their features:

Dolce Gusto Genio 2 Coffee Maker:

  • Pressure pump with power up to 15-bars to provide the best quality of coffee no matter what pod or drink you’re preparing.
  • LED bar indicator with 8-level intensity  and volume control.
  • Switch between hot or cold drink brewing with a toggle.
  • 45 oz water reservoir capacity.

Click here to learn more about Dolce Gusto Genio 2, read the customer reviews and buy it.

Dolce Gusto Esperta Coffee Maker:

Esperta offers everything the Genio 2 has but with a larger 60 oz water reservoir and some design changes.

Click here to learn more about Dolce Gusto Esperta, read the customer reviews and buy it.

What Drinks Can Dolce Gusto Make?

  • Coffee (different roasts available, from light to dark roast).
  • Cafe Au Lait
  • Espresso
  • Cappuccino
  • Espresso
  • Mocha
  • Chococino (Hot chocolate)
  • Americano
  • Caramel Latte Macchiato
  • Vanilla Latte
  • Peach Iced Tea
  • Iced Cappuccino

Varieties of these drinks are available either in different flavors, or as decaf or skinny. In total, Dolce Gusto offers over 20 variety of drinks.

Is Dolce Gusto Instant Coffee?


For the most part, no it is ground coffee packed inside the pods. Dolce Gusto also makes milk pods for their milk-based drinks. However, as their website says, there are three drinks which contain instant coffee and they are: Iced Cappuccino, Mocha, and Café au Lait.

Note On How Dolce Gusto Milk Based Drinks Are Made:

Dolce Gusto machines do not include a milk frother to make traditional milk-based drinks like Cappuccino or Latte. Instead, it packs powdered milk in pods. So when it comes to making a milk-based drinks, you’ll use two pods: the milk pod then the coffee pod. If you prefer to use fresh milk, you can always buy a milk frother separately.

Can I Keep Using the Same Dolce Gusto Pod More Than Once?

No, Dolce Gusto pods are made to be used just once. The same goes for all pod coffee makers, except, of course, for reusable pod filters.

Can You Use Other Coffee in Dolce  Gusto Coffee Makers?

If you want to use your own coffee with a Dolce Gusto coffee maker, you can use refillable pods. These are not official pods, though, and are made by 3rd party companies. So, quality of the pods and coffee is not guaranteed.

Capsule wise, Dolce Gusto is compatible with its own capsules only. So you can’t use Nespresso, Keurig K-Cups or any other capsules with it.

What Is Nespresso and How Does It Work?

Nespresso is a single-serve espresso and coffee machine. Using Nespresso capsules, you can make espresso and espresso-based drinks like Cappuccino, Latte or Macchiato.


There are two type of Nespresso Machines:

Nespresso OriginalLine: These are the original Nespresso machines that make Espresso only (and any espresso based drink, of course). OriginalLine machines include: CitiZ, Pixie, Inissia, Lattissima and more.

Nespresso VertuoLine: This line of Nespresso machines can make espresso as well as coffee. They use capsules that are entirely different in design than the OriginalLine capsules. Yet, you can expect the same premium quality. The VertuoLine line includes the machines: VertuoLine, Evoluo/Evoluo Deluxe, Vertuo and Vertuo Plus.

Let’s have a look at the features of popular Nespresso machines:

Nespresso Inissia:

  • Compact espresso maker by Nespresso.
  • Delivers 19-bar pressure pump power.
  • Fast 25-second preheat time.
  • Two adjustable cup sizes for espresso or lungo.
  • Folding drip tray can accommodate small or tall cups.
  • 24 oz water tank
  • Energy saving mode turns machine off automatically after 9 minutes of no-use.
  • Available as a standalone machine or bundled with Aeroccino electric milk frother.
  • Available in many colors.

Click here to learn more about Nespresso Inissia, read the customer reviews and buy it.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus Espresso and Coffee Maker:

  • Nespresso VertuoLine machine that prepares espresso and coffee drinks.
  • Motorized head automatically shuts and punctures the capsule.
  • Moveable water tank makes it easier for the machine to accommodate to your counter space. The water reservoir can be moved to the back or sides of the machine.
  • Patented extracting technology called Centrifusion brews coffee by rapidly spinning the coffee capsule while saturating it with water for a full and even extraction.
  • Machine automatically adjusts parameters to optimal settings for each capsule. It identifies capsules by reading the barcode on the rim.
  • Brews sizes: 1.35 oz for espresso, 8 oz for coffee and 14 oz for Alto capsules.
  • VertuoPlus is available bundled with Aeroccino milk frother or without it.

Click here to learn more about Nespresso Vertuo Plus, read the customer reviews and buy it.

Nespresso Capsules:

Since there are two type of Nespresso machines, there are also two type of Nespresso capsules:

Nespresso OriginalLine Capsules:


One of the great things about OriginalLine is that it has a great variety to choose from. There’s the capsules available officially from Nespresso, and then there’s Nespresso-compatible capsules, which are capsules made by other brands but are certified to be compatible with Nespresso OriginalLine machines.

OriginalLine capsules are available in many different roasts, blends and flavors. Some brands even make capsules for hot chocolate and tea, which expands the use of an OriginalLine machine.

Nespresso VertuoLine Capsules:


Unlike OriginalLine, VertuoLine capsules are only available from Nespresso. And there’s a number of blends and roasts available to choose from, but it is limited in comparison to what’s available for OriginalLine. On the other hand, VerutoLine is relatively new, so we might see more available for it soon.

VertuoLine capsules are available in three sizes: Espresso capsules, coffee capsules and Alto capsules, which are made for brewing larger 14 oz cups.

Is Nespresso Instant Coffee?

No, none of Nespresso’s capsules is filled with instant coffee. The aluminum capsules pack fresh ground coffee and remain properly sealed to keep freshness until you use it.

Making Milk-Based Drink Using Nespresso:

Unlike Dolce Gusto, Nespresso machines don’t have powdered milk capsules. Instead, you use fresh milk that you can heat and froth using Aeroccino milk frother or your choice of other frother. This means that the quality of a Nespresso drink is more authentic when it comes to milk based drinks.

Can Keurig K-Cups be Used in a Nespresso Machine?

No, these are entirely different systems and can’t use each other’s pods.

Can I Use Verismo Pods in a Nespresso Machine?

No, although the look similar to Nespresso’s OriginalLine capsules, you still can’t use them in a Nespresso machine. If you’re a fan of Starbucks though, you can buy their coffee capsules made for Nespresso.

Can Nespresso Machines make Drinks other Than Coffee?

Since OriginalLine Nespresso machines are compatible with capsules from other brands, you’ll find that some brands offer tea and hot chocolate capsules. Nespresso VertuoLine though, can only make coffee and espresso, as well as espresso based drinks.

Can You Use Nespresso Pods in Other Compatible Machines?

If we’re talking about OriginalLine capsules, then yes, you’ll find machines from other brands that can brew Nespresso and Nespresso-compatible pods.

Which One Do You Choose?

The main difference between Dolce Gusto and Nespresso is:

  • Dolce Gusto is more of a beverage center. You can make coffee, but you can also make other beverages.
  • Nespresso is mostly an espresso / coffee maker. It’s not meant to make other beverages.

That makes Dolce Gusto a great choice for someone looking to create and enjoy more variety of drinks. Although we feel like this comes at a price of less freshness than Nespresso, since you’ll be using packed pod that contains powdered milk or flavors/sugar.

On the other hand, making your drink with Nespresso guarantees freshness in coffee and milk. And if you feel like adding flavors, you’ll have control over what you add to your drink.

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