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.

Side By Side Comparison

Before you get into the details of each type of machine, how it works and what it does, here’s a quick side by side comparison. But do continue reading the details below so you don’t miss on any info…


Dolce GustoNespresso OriginalLineNespresso Vertuo
DrinksCoffee and non-coffee drinksEspresso and Espresso based drinksEspresso, coffee and espresso based drinks
Machine TypeBeverage makerEspresso makerEspresso and coffee maker
Serving SizesSeveral depending on drinkEspresso , LungoEspresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Coffee
Pod CompatiblityDolce + 3rd PartyNespresso + 3rd partyNespresso only
Milk PreparationPowdered milk capsulesMilk frother (use fresh milk)Milk frother (use fresh milk)
ProgrammableNoYesNo

Difference in Pods and Capsules

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

NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Genio 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine, Silver
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Esperta 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Genio 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine, Silver
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Esperta 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine
Water Tank Capacity
45 oz
60 oz
Hot and Cold Drinks
Control Buttons
Toggle Stick
Scroll Wheel
Used Capsule Drawer
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Genio 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine, Silver
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Genio 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine, Silver
Water Tank Capacity
45 oz
Hot and Cold Drinks
Control Buttons
Toggle Stick
Used Capsule Drawer
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Esperta 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, Esperta 2, Espresso, Cappuccino and Latte Pod Machine
Water Tank Capacity
60 oz
Hot and Cold Drinks
Control Buttons
Scroll Wheel
Used Capsule Drawer

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

Dolce Gusto Genio 2 Coffee Maker:

One of the earlier Dolce Gusto machines, the Genio 2 is a somewhat compact brewer that can make all your favorite coffee drinks using Dolce Gusto capsules. You can toggle between cold or hot drinks using a toggle stick on top. Although the machine is able to make ‘cold’ drinks, it doesn’t mean that it brews the coffee cold, but adjusts the intensity to make it taste bolder and better when ice or cold milk is added to 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. It is a newer model than Genio, and has a slight design update that uses a scroll wheel instead of the toggle stick to alternate between the cold or hot beverages.

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, Essenza Mini, 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: Vertuo Next, VertuoPlus and VertuoPlus Deluxe.

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.

Dolce Gusto vs. Nespresso – Which Do You Pick?

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 like cappuccino, latte, hot chocolate and more.
  • 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.

Capsule Availability:

One of the most important things to consider before committing to a pod brewer is how available these pods are to you. Since each system has its own capsules, you’ll want to make sure they are available to you, and you’ll also want to make sure that they offer all things you enjoy to drink.

Dolce Gusto pods are usually available from different brands, are sold online or in major supermarkets or grocery stores.

Nespresso OriginalLine capsules are widely available, too. They are available from Nespresso, Starbucks or many other 3rd party brands. Nespresso capsules can only be bought from their boutiques or websites, but for other capsules, you’ll find them online or in many supermarkets.

As for Nespresso VertuoLine capsules, these are only available from Nespresso’s boutique or online store. So they’re definitely the most ‘limited’ of the bunch.

Conclusion:

Although Dolce Gusto seems to offer a great variety of coffee drinks, my ‘personal’ issue with is the packed milk capsules and sugary content of some of the coffee drinks. and the few coffee pods that are actually instant coffee (major waste of money, if you ask me). Of course, the user has the choice of buying espresso or americano capsules only, and not to go for anything instant or sugary. In that case, I would go for a Nespresso OriginalLine since the capsules are more premium and they are now more available thanks to 3rd party brands.

Nicole