Whether you live in the UK or any other part of the world, you’re no doubt one of the millions of people who can’t start their day without the energy boost provided by a fresh, great-tasting and piping hot cup of coffee.
Let me tell you; there’s never been a better time to be a coffee lover than today. Currently, there are so many different types of coffee machines and technologies that have turned a simple beverage into both a science and a delicious art.
Presently, coffee capsule machines are the hottest trend in the coffee world. Not only do these capsules brew once heck of a barista-like cup of coffee, but they also save you a ton of time and money.
But that’s not the best part: these capsules provide a hermetically sealed environment that allows your coffee to preserve all its tasty and aromatic qualities for months on end. And since they’re recyclable, the capsule system is friendlier to the environment.
We know you love your coffee, but which coffee capsule brand is right for you? We’ve compiled and compared three of the biggest names in coffee capsule brands both locally and globally.
We’ll be looking at how exactly Nespresso, Tassimo, and Dolce Gusto’s coffee capsule systems work, the differences between each brand, the variety of coffee machines available for use with these capsules and any inconvenience surrounding each brand.
So stick around fellow coffee lovers, because we’re about to dive neck-deep in coffee capsules.
Nespresso vs Tassimo vs Dolce Gusto
1. Nespresso (Cost per capsule: 29p-35p)
There’s no question about it; the Nespresso lineup of coffee capsules and compatible machines is definitely designed for the seasoned cappuccino and latte drinker. Why?
Well, in addition to offering 13 varieties of different roasts and strengths superior blended coffee, Nespresso also offers an incredibly large number of machines for various tastes. Of course, a lot of these machines are primarily commercial grade, but there are some great residential models in there as well.
The design of Nespresso machines is a bit more complex than both Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, but you’d kind of expect that given what they do. You can expect a few buttons for controlling as well as a couple other settings for a more precise blend.
Being basically the younger cousin of espresso machines, Nespresso models tend to have higher pressure but a slightly lower water temperature. As for the capsules, Nespresso uses hermetically sealed, durable aluminium capsules to preserve their wide range of both pure to flavoured coffees and prices them at an average cost of 29p to 35p.
But without the same barcode system as Tassimo and Dolce Gusto, you’ll have to put in more thought when it comes to the settings. But once you’ve used up all your capsules, the brand has a system in place for eco-friendly recycling.
2. Tassimo (Cost per capsule: 50p-66p)
As we speak, there are five different Bosch manufactured coffee capsule machines that proudly carry the Tassimo name. While they are all generally the same, each model has its own price point as well as varied features.
Thanks to features like the T-Disc system that comes with a broad range of assortments and flavours and a patented INTELBREW system, Tassimo has been aptly promoted as the smart coffee maker.
Tassimo machines actually read the barcode on the capsule and decode what kind of drink you are making. The machine then automatically fiddles with the temperature and other settings accordingly and presto; you’ve got the perfect brew in a few.
Now, Tassimo coffee capsule machines stand out in the fact that they make more than just coffee. They cover the entire spectrum of hot drinks including tea, hot chocolate, café-style coffee, cappuccino, latte, or any other hot beverage.
But that’s not the major difference; while Nespresso and other machines use a high 19 bar pressure system, Tassimo only uses 3.3 bar pressure which translates to low cream on espressos.
We’ve already seen how the T-Disc system scans barcodes on capsules and brews your drink accordingly. But did you know that there are well over 35 different flavoured capsules?
These include Carte Noire coffee, Costa-branded capsules and a wide range of teas with separate milk capsules. As a bonus, Tassimo T-discs are completely recyclable with more than 200 UK recycling points. Each capsule sells for around 50p to 66p.
3. Dolce Gusto (Cost per capsule: 49p-60p)
Being a globally known and widely trusted name, it was actually Nescafe that came up with the popular lineup of Dolce Gusto capsules and compatible machines. Dolce Gusto now boasts of a wide range of compact machines such as the Piccolo that all work fundamentally the same way.
Dolce offers single-serve coffee capsule machines that are either manual or automatic; which means that you can choose a machine that either allows you to set the temperature and flavour strength personally, or one that automatically does that for you. Don’t even get me started on how cheap, easy to use and simple to maintain their machines are.
When it comes to the coffee capsules, Nescafe has designed their pods to deliver the goods in such a way that you’ll never be satisfied with an ordinary cup of coffee.
The own-brand capsules sell at 49p to 60p and they aim to emulate the trendiest coffee shop style beverages such as caramel macchiato, flavoured teas, and other milky drinks. But while Nescafe has the technology to recycle their mixed plastic capsules, it’s not widely available in the UK.
Dolce Gusto capsule coffee machines offer the best of both worlds for coffee lovers; that’s a full range of different capsule flavours and the perfect machines for each.
Parting shot: Comparing the 3 coffee capsule brands
As you’ve seen, selecting the perfect coffee capsule system to suits your style and taste is never easy. But one thing you should be ready for is the increased costs. Going for a single serve capsule pod machine now means that you will be paying more for every coffee than your coffee pot counterparts. But in return, you will always get the same, high-quality cup of coffee with all the aromas and subtle intricacies intact.
As for the brands, it’s clear Nespresso has focused all its products specifically to coffee gourmets with 13 fixed varieties of blended coffee and distinctive aroma flavours. If you consider yourself a the seasoned cappuccino and latte drinker interested in making a great cup of coffee with style, then the Nespresso capsule system is just what you need. The only con of the original Nespresso coffee capsules is that they can’t be found in supermarkets. You’ll have to buy or order them directly from Nespresso, or rely on Nespresso compatible capsules from other manufacturers.
Dolce Gusto, on the other hand, is the opposite of Nespresso in that you can taste a broad range of other beverages such as Nestea, Nesquik, and other varieties of coffee. And since users have the choice of manual or automatic operation, you have full control over the brewing process. And thanks to Dolce Gusto’s widely available coffee capsules, you can grab a few at you nearest supermarket.
Lastly, Tassimo can be viewed as a smart combination of Dolce Gusto and Nespresso. In addition to offering tech packed coffee machines, Tassimo capsule systems also support a spectrum of other drinks such as tea, hot chocolate, café-style coffee, cappuccino, latte, or any other hot beverages. However, Tassimo capsule coffee machines have one significant disadvantage – they only provide 3.3 bars of pressure whereas most models offer 15 to 19 bars.