Coffee + Booze = Winning Cocktails and Nescafe Dolce Gusto review

December 8, 2014

Nescafe Dolce Gusto review

***This post is review for Nescafe Dolce Gusto coffee machine. Opinions are my own***

If you told me that for the rest of my life I could have only EITHER coffee or alcohol it would be a fairly no brainer.

I wouldn’t like the decision one bit and I would miss my dear aromatic morning friend, but the fact is my love of my nighttime paramour outweighs the joy of caffeine.

Now that I’ve made it clear where my ultimate affections lie, let me also say I do adore my coffee…. and I’m a massive coffee snob.

In a former life I was a barista, and if my coffee was not perfect every time it would never see the restaurant floor.

Many a limp and lifeless latte was unceremoniously chucked in a sink with a ‘what the hell is that?’, until I got my coffee chops up and my coffee art on.

When I moved to the ‘burbs, away from the cafe culture I bought a $1000 coffee machine so I could have good coffee every day without having to travel in the car to get it.

I like good coffee.

I send back bad coffee.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto took a gamble when they sent me their whizz bang Circolo to review, and being as this is my blog I will tell you honestly what I think of it.

It’s better than ok.

The machine is dead easy to use, and super easy to clean. Set up is a piece of cake. The pods are convenient, and the machine itself looks sexy.

Its claim to fame is that it makes both hot and cold drinks….. and I had my heart set on some very cold drinks.

That had a kick. Like a mule.

I thought the best way to put Nescafe Dolce Gusto through it’s paces was to make some coffee based cocktails for the festive season.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto review

Ristretto Martini

Makes 1

What you will need : 

  • 70ml coffee, I used the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Ristretto pods
  • 1.5 teaspoons castor sugar
  • 60ml vodka
  • 15ml Kahlua
  • 1/2 teaspoon egg white, optional but it gives that wonderful frothy head
  • 3 coffee beans for serving, optional

What you will need to do :

When you pour your coffee add the sugar while it is hot and stir to combine.

Toss coffee and remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker or equivalent and shake it like a Polaroid picture. Strain into a glass and top with coffee beans.

Dance all night. 🙂

Nescafe Dolce Gusto review

Tropical Iced Coffee

Makes 1

What you will need :

  • 35ml coffee, I used the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Ristretto pod
  • 1.5 teaspoons castor sugar
  • 60ml spiced rum
  • 30ml coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon egg white, optional but it gives that wonderful frothy head

When you pour your coffee add the sugar while it is hot and stir to combine.

Toss coffee and remaining ingredients into a cocktail shaker or equivalent and shake it like a Polaroid picture. Pour into a glass filled with ice, and slurp that whilst pretending you’re lying under a palm tree.

Now, what do I think of the actual the coffee?

I received the Ristretto, Cappucino, and Chocoletto (hot chocolate) pods and I gave them all a proper go. There are 16 different pods available so there is something to suit most tastes in the range.

Nescafe Dolce Gusto review


Smooth, not acidic. Not bitter, easy to drink, has a little kick but not going to put hairs on your chest. Good flavour…. My friend (who was also a barista) commented that he’d paid $5 for much worse coffee.

Verdict – respectable

Capuccino –

This is where it’s gets a little strange. The milk coffees (cafe latte, cappuccino and the like) come with two pods. One coffee, the other milk, and its powdered milk so it has that Asian coffee in a can kind of flavour. Almost evaporated milk-ish…..that said, it’s far from unpleasant but for me it’s more like a coffee flavoured drink rather than an actual coffee.

Let me also say, it’s 5 gazillion times better instant coffee or even a plunger coffee so I would still drink it.

Verdict – convenient and does the job

Hot Chocolate –

I tried this one cold for the kids, and it probably would have been yummier hot. The kids downed it however so I reckon it was a thumbs up from them.

Verdict – kids say please sir I want some more.

Overall Nescafe Dolce Gusto verdict –

For the casual home coffee drinker it’s totally everything you need. When you consider all of the factors, like ease, cleaning and price point (under $300) it’s a great option.

Would I swap it for my espresso machine? No, however there is much less farting around to make a coffee and in the morning rush I would probably use it happily.

 Nescafe Dolce Gusto review


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  • Reply Genie December 8, 2014 at 8:35 am

    The Ristretto Martini looks perfect. Some of my girlfriends get an espresso martini at a few select bars when we go out (not that often). They cost a bomb though, never thought about making them at home. That’s genius.

    We have a manual espresso maker. It was under $250. It’s pretty neat, it doesn’t use any power so you use your well toned guns (or flabby batwing arms) and physically pull the espresso through.

    When I gave up a bunch of things this year for health reasons, I found coffee was way easier to give up than booze. I guess for me, alcohol was medicinal. Though I’m sure the same could be said of coffee for some people. I guess I didn’t drink enough coffee for withdrawals. Saying that, I’m back to a coffee a day now, the season is too busy to abstain.

  • Reply Darrell - Modern Father Online December 8, 2014 at 11:43 pm

    I mostly agree with you, but if I had to choose it would be the alchy that goes and coffee would stay.

    Great review. I am tempted to get one of these now.

    • Reply Danielle December 12, 2014 at 2:34 pm

      Really? Oh my god. That’s hurts my heart just hearing the words.

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