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This was a Christmas gift and as people who don't really like coffee our first thought.......supermarket must have had a deal on!! Second thought.....who can we give this to next year!!
But sorry folks - we have decided to keep this one after all!!
Positive points: Compact; minimum preparation time, quick switch from cold to hot drinks and back; minimal cleaning required; easy to see water level
Negative points: No easy way to measure out amount of water for each pod and therefore can put too much through the milk pod and run out of room in the cup for the coffee pod; have to top up water after only 2 cups have been made; bit too easy to switch to cold if not concentrating!!
Overall, I would recommend everyone trying this product - we use it as a treat and really enjoy it. The pods are fairly inexpensive if bought for occasional use. Definitely does the job it was designed for!!
I bought this machine as a replacement for another 'automatic' machine that I had for several years, but was not functioning properly any longer. I was looking for a decent not over priced coffee maker so that we could continue to enjoy our posh coffees. I had seen the Dulce Gusto pods whilst shopping so did some research on the machines. This particular one stood out because it had a nice modern design about it and does not take up much room on the work top.
I managed to get mine on sale at the time, but I think the regular cost of this machine is very good (around £70.00 I think, or less if you search on the Internet). There are a wide variety of pods available for this machine, and the quality of the drinks that it produces are of high standard.
When using the coffee machine, the fact that it is manual and not automatic means you have more control over the quantity ratios depending on the size cup or mug you are using. The pods always tell you how much you will need to fill your cup, as some drinks require more than one pod at a time.
Cappucino is one of my favourites - The froth of the milk is so smooth, just like what you get at at some well known coffee shops, and the taste of the coffee is really nice.
When using the machine, you create an 'art' to it, and it makes it so simple to produce some real nice quality professional hot beverages. The reservoir for the water is quite compact to some other machines, but filling it to the max line is plenty for the two of us. Saying that, it only takes seconds to remove the reservoir to refill it, and the machine heats and is ready again in no time.
Cleaning the machine is so simple, with a damp cloth and you can easily clean any drips. The pod holder is removable for washing up along with the drip tray and rack.
I am so happy with my drinks maker. I love using it and it's a real treat when you looking forward to coming home and enjoying a Cappucino, Latte, Macchiato, Grande Cafe Creme, Chocchino or Mocha. These are the pods we have tried so far. Can't wait to try some of their other varieties that I have seen on their on line store. What's more is that when I registered my machine on their website, they credited me with £10 to use in their online store where you can get pods slightly cheaper than the supermarkets (but you have to pay postage) or some nice espresso cups and lots of other cool accessories. Usually when you buy a machine, you get a starter pack of pods within the box too.
My overall opinion is that if any of you reading my review enjoy a high quality tasty hot beverage after a meal, with friends or just in your own tranquility, at a price that is comparible to going out to a Coffee shop, I highly recommend you to try the Dulce Gusto Piccolo Coffee Machine.
~ The Purchase ~
I don't really like coffee, however my fiancé does. So, we ended up with this coffee machine. He bought it at the end of February, and I only started using it myself at the end of last month upon discovering that it makes hot chocolate too!
~ Price ~
My fiancé paid around the £60 mark for this I believe. It is one of the cheaper models and the retail price is around the £80 mark, which isn't too expensive for such an easy to use, good quality coffee machine in my opinion.
~ My Opinion ~"
We have had this coffee machine for nearly two months now and I only quite recently started using it. Since discovering that it makes hot chocolate I have been using it most days and I think I'm a little addicted! It actually makes quite a lot of different drinks and there are a lot of different capsules available to buy.
We buy the multi packs which have a decent amount of capsules in them, but the price can add up when you drink a lot of coffee or hot chocolate.The main reason I was annoyed with my fiancé for buying the coffee machine was that I thought it would be a waste of money when he could have just bought a packet of coffee granules but seeing a glass of the coffee he makes in this compared to a mug of instant coffee is an eye opener and I can see now why he wanted a coffee machine.
The design of the coffee machine is really nice and very modern. There are three different colours including red, black and white. My fiancé wanted a red one however he ended up getting a white one, as for some reason this was the only colour on offer. The design is very simple and surprisingly compact, which was a pleasant surprise considering the enormous box that it came in.
It sits on our kitchen worktop looking quite cool and modern and it doesn't take up very much room at all. If need be, say if I am struggling for space on the worktop, I can unplug it and move it into a cupboard or something as it doesn't have any fiddly attachments or anything so it can be moved around very easily. It feels well made and the plastic has a nice, smooth finish. Though it is quite solid, it is still light enough to move around easily.
Using the coffee machine is surprisingly simple! Basically all you need to do is plug it in, then take the back off of it (which is a plastic jug which slots into place), fill the jug up, put the jug back on which is easy to do then press the button on the left, waiting until it turns green. The button usually takes under a minute to turn green and this means that the machine is ready to make your coffee.
Once the button is green I will get a coffee glass and put it on the plastic grid in the machine (I think it's called a grid I'm not sure, it is basically a solid piece of plastic which has gaps in it). Once my glass is underneath I will then put my chocochino pod in the machine. To this I need to pull the top part of the machine down, pull out the pod tray and put the pod in, slot the pod tray back in and push the top of the machine back up again, then pulling the switch which usually sits on the top middle part of the machine to the right.
The machine will begin to make a noise which is not too loud while the contents of the pod pours into the glass. In the case of my beloved chocochino, the contents looks like melted chocolate. I fill the glass half way full, then move the switch back to the middle, remove the pod tray, remove the empty, slightly waterey pod, put the chocochino milk pod into the slot and put it back in, and move the switch back again - milk will come out, and when the glass is full I remove it from the grid.
There will be a bit of dripping still from the spout that the liquid comes out of but this is easy to clean up quickly with some tissue and there's no worry it will damage the electrics as it goes into the compartment under the tray which is just an empty plastic compartment. The liquid always comes out smoothly and ive never had any problems with the machine not piercing the capsules properly or anything.
The drinks are always delicious and hot enough, but still drinkable straight away so they're not boiling which I guess can be seen as both a disadvantage or an advantage depending on how hot you like your drinks.
~ All In All ~
An easy to use, good value and stylish coffee machine which I recommend highly.
I have to admit that I'm just a tiny bit partial to a decent cup of coffee, not that one-dimensional instant brew, but the real thing. I guess it harks back to my formative years, when the ultimate in luxury was our weekly visit to a coffee shop when the family would partake of a tea cake and our choice of freshly brewed beverage. It was during this weekly ritual that I would be allowed my one and only cup of coffee of the week and at that time I would drink it black and sweet with cream floating on top (that seems to be a bit of a dying art, floating cream on top of coffee). Fast forward (ahem) thirty years and the small independent coffee shop of my childhood has been replaced with the generic coffee shop chains, and there now seems to be a million ways of drinking coffee. While a black coffee with the cream on top is still the height of nostalgia, I have to admit that I'm partial to latte or the occasional Americano. For the last I don't know how many years I've had to either indulge my coffee cravings by spending a small fortune in coffee shops or faff about with a filter coffee machine (I've never gone so far as buying the old fashioned glass peculator my father used to use), while lusting over the "pod" machines that could produce coffee shop style coffee in minutes. With a monetary gift handily coinciding with the Dolce Gusto Piccolo being offered at half price (£49.99) at Tesco, I decided to lust no longer and now enjoy lattes whenever the mood hits me.
The Krupp Dolce Gusto Piccolo is the most basic of the Dolce Gusto range, is available in three colours (black, red and white) and takes pods that are manufactured by Nestle. Those of you who are actively boycotting Nestle should stay clear as all pods are made by the company. (The Nestle Boycott is a boycott in response to the way the company aggressively market Baby formula in third world countries). With the only colour being available at the reduced price being black, it was that colour that I purchased, which was fine as all the different small appliances in my kitchen are a mismatch of colours anyway. The Piccolo is supplied in a rather snazzy rounded box which I found held it slightly too tightly but did provide plenty of protection from bumps. As well as the coffee maker itself a small starter pack of coffee pods was held within the box (with a couple of different flavours) along with an instruction manual. I have to say that I did not find the instruction manual that helpful, rather than written instructions, it was pictorial and I personally find it harder to process information in this way. Looks-wise the black model is fairly understated, the rounded profile is almost art nouveau in design and looks sleek while having a small enough footprint to fit in a spare corner.
Using the Piccolo is simplicity itself (thank goodness), the power lead is of a reasonable length (1.5M), long enough to allow me to position the coffee maker where I want on my kitchen side and can be wound around the base so as not to create a pulling hazard. Before first use the Piccolo needs to be flushed through, which is simply a case of filling the water tank, sliding it on the back, switching on, placing a mug on the drip tray, waiting a few moments and then pressing a lever. OK, that doesn't sound simple, but really it is. The water tank is cleverly designed to make it easy to fill from a tap, it slides easily into place and as it only holds a maximum of 0.7 litres it's not too heavy to move around (0.7kg). The drip tray can be held in any of three positions, so that almost any size mug can be accommodated.
To actually make a cup of coffee you will need some coffee/drink pods and there is a reasonable selection of these available, from espresso to latte to nestea (a cold drink) to hot chocolate, although it does have to be said that there is not so large a selection as there is with other makes. Inserting a pod into the Piccolo is simply a case of lifting a chunky lever to release the pod holder and then putting the pod in before sliding the pod holder back into place and pushing the lever down to pierce the pod. Then after making sure there is enough water in the tank, the Piccolo is switched on and a red light will flash while the machine gets ready. Once the light turns to a steady green you are ready to go, simply moving a lever to either hot or cold depending on whether you want a hot or cold beverage. Rather than the Piccolo being able to recognise the pod and then adjust the pressure appropriately each pod is designed in such a way as the water pressure is increased as it passes through up to a maximum 15 bar (means nothing to me either), meaning that those drinks that require higher pressure (espressos) will get it and that a nice froth is easily obtained. With the water being heated instantly as it passes over an aluminium thermo-block, the amount of energy used is only what is needed to make that one cup of coffee (unlike a kettle) and there is no risk that the water will be too hot and burn the coffee.
To say that the Piccolo is silent in operation would be a lie, it is noisy, far noisier than my kettle, and if I'm honest it does vibrate quite a lot while in operation. There have been a few times where I've had to readjust my cup so that it doesn't fall off the drip tray. How long it takes to make a cup of coffee depends greatly on what size cup you are using and the intensity of flavour. From first switch on to be ready to go takes an initial thirty seconds, and then it takes up to a minute to fill a mug. While some of the different coffee types only use one capsule, many do require two and as the machine is not automatic you do need to work out exactly when to change capsules (although each capsule does have a guide as to how far to fill a cup/mug). While I appreciate that the small amount of water the reservoir holds makes it easy to carry, I also find that it means that I need to refill after a maximum of two mugs of coffee, which can become highly annoying when making drinks for a house full of guests. I also appreciate that if the Piccolo is not used for twenty minutes it will turn itself off, saving electricity on the rare occasion that I forget to switch off myself.
Now lets get to down to the bare bones of cost and quality of the coffee, which does also depend on which capsules you are buying. Capsules are generally supplied in boxes of sixteen, but many drinks require two different capsules, meaning that you only get eight cups from a box. Although some of the capsules are widely available in supermarkets others are much harder to find and with a standard price of around £3.77 per box (of eight or sixteen cups) it can get quite expensive. Personally I find the cheapest way of buying my capsules is by setting up a subscription on Amazon so that a pack of three boxes costs me around the £10 mark. The full range of capsules can also be purchased from the Dolce Gusto website (www.dolce-gusto.co.uk), although there is also a delivery charge. It's also worth registering your machine on that website as you will then receive a voucher worth £10 to spend in their online store.
Taste-wise, I absolutely adore the lattes that this machine produces, they are easily on par with coffee shop chains, full of multi-dimensional flavour with a smooth frothy topping. And at only 47p a cup, it's a far cheaper way of indulging myself than a visit to a coffee shop. For those mornings when only a stronger brew will do (we've all been there), the Americano gives a larger mug of very robust black coffee, perfect for floating cream on and works out at just 23.5p per cup, which is actually really good value on a par with instant coffee. Although I personally do not enjoy hot chocolate, my partner does and he finds those made with this machine absolutely delicious. I'm really looking forward to trying some of the more unusual flavours such as caramel or vanilla lattes and the nestea in the summer.
With everything being encapsulated, cleaning the Piccolo is simplicity itself. There are no coffee grounds to remove, it simply is a case of throwing the pod away (not exactly brilliant for the environment though), emptying and washing the drip tray and wiping the machine down. Depending on how hard your water is, you will also need to de-scale on a semi-regular basis and special kits can be bought for this purpose.
I'd been lusting over one of these machines for some time now and it was definitely worth the wait. Yes, it did take me a while to find the perfect amount of water to make my perfect coffee, but now I can enjoy lattes to my heart's content. In fact I think that my Piccolo has rather fuelled an addiction to coffee as it is far more convenient than setting up the filter machine, waiting for it to finish and cleaning up afterwards. Plus as it only makes the one cup/mug at a time I don't feel I need to finish off the rest of the eight cups the filter machine makes. Yes it does become annoying to keep refilling the reservoir if I'm making more than a couple of cups, but this is definitely offset by the fact that I can make a number of different drinks depending on my guest's taste. So if I were asked if I were to recommend the Dolce Gusto Piccolo, I would definitely say yes as although it's not perfect, I would definitely not be without mine.
My parents bought my husband the Krups Piccolo coffee maker for his birthday and it has gone down a treat. They certainly aren't the cheapest things on the planet, but the end result is so worth the initial outlay.
Whilst my parents do like my husband, they didn't like the price tag of the machine which is between £80 and £100 (depending on where you get it from), which is how he ended up with the red one. The red one for some reason is much cheaper (and by that I mean just less than £60). It is available in various colours, including white, black and silver all of which are probably more likely to fit in with most colour schemes, but to be honest the red is quite nice and I don't think that the other colours are really worth the extra.
The machine is ridiculously easy to use. I was worried that it might be a bit complicated to use as these things often are and would therefore not get used because it is just not worth the trouble, but this is not the case. The initial set up just involves sliding the drip tray into place and then running some water through the machine. There is a really handy instruction manual that also has picture instructions which really help. Actually making a coffee is even easier and there are instructions in both the manual and on the individual capsules. This might seem a lot, but there are different instructions for each capsule type so it is actually very useful.
Keeping the machine clean is extremely easy even for a cleaning phobic like me. The drip tray is pretty pointless because there are never any drips. The only thing that can happen is a few splashes on the back bit where the cup sits, but it only needs a quick wipe.
The capsules come in lots of varieties - obviously with a mainly coffee theme. My husband's favourite are the cappuccino. I am not a coffee fan, but the chocochino hot chocolates are delicious. Considering that they are only little capsules that you combine with water, the resulting drink is very thick and creamy. The only problem with the capsules is that they are on the pricey side. In the big supermarkets, the boxes are £3.77. For some kinds of drink this gets you 16 capsules, but for anything that is milky you get eight lots of two capsules because you need two to make each drink. This, as you can see, works out pretty expensive but I would say that the drinks the machines makes are easily as good as those you'd get in a coffee shop so it is comparatively cheap really. You can also buy them slightly cheaper in bulk on Amazon.
The Krups Piccolo is the newer version of the traditional machine and it is also smaller, which means it fits a lot easier into kitchen corners. Aside from the size, I can't see any difference between the two because the pressure is the same and it works in exactly the same way.
Overall I would definitely recommend the machine if you can afford to splash out and if you are a fan of fancy coffee, aside from the price tag it is great!
The Dolce Gusto Piccolo coffee machine is a good investment for big fans of coffee as it enables you to serve up authentic coffee shop tasting coffee in your own home simply and effectively.
This coffee machine is sleek in design, coming in a simple domed shape with a tray on which to put your coffee cup, a compartment to put your coffee pod in, a clear water dispenser that clicks on and off at the back and a little spout which delivers the coffee into your cup. It is as simple as that.
Coffee machines can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Some are huge, domineering boxes with several dispensers and numerous buttons, which appear daunting to use. This coffee machine can be worked by anyone and does not take up too much space in the kitchen.
To use you plug it into the mains, fill the water dispenser at the back up with cold water - you can take it off to do this - and place a coffee pod of your choice in the pod department at the top of the machine. Once you have a cup in place you press the on button on the side of the coffee machine. When it has turned from red to green, which only takes about a minute, you pull down the lever at the side and this releases the coffee contents in the pod and the boiled water simultaneously into your cup. Your coffee is ready.
If you take milk you can add this afterwards or some of the coffee varieties come with special milk pods which you put in with the coffee pod.
The coffee is ready to drink straight away as the water is not warmed up completely to boiling point.
The coffee pods are little circular containers containing coffee mixture. You can buy them in pretty much any coffee variety you wish from espresso and Americano to cappuccino and mocha. The taste of the coffee is as good as any bought in a coffee shop. You get 16 pods in a box for around £3.99 from most supermarkets. This is one of the draw backs as this type of coffee is much more expensive than buying a jar of instant coffee. Because of this you may choose to use this machine only once a day and use other coffee the rest of the time but for people who love coffee and are happy to spend a bit more money on it this won't be a stumbling point.
I bought this coffee machine for £50 but that was when it was on offer at 50 per cent off. Usually it costs about £100. This coffee machine is certainly value for money at £50 but I do not think it is worth the full price.
The machine is easy to clean and maintain. It generally just needs a wipe down with a damp cloth and the tray upon which the cup sits can be removed and rinsed under a tap.
The only other negative is the water storage at the back could be a bit bigger as it only holds enough for two cups.
This coffee machine is ideal for those looking for a simplistic, easy to use model but it is worth looking out for it in the sale as it is not worth its full retail price.
The Dolce Gusto Piccolo by Krups is a compact Pod Machine featuring a unique Thermoblock technology which heats the water as required ensuring fresh water for every cup / The high performance 15 bar pressure ensures consistently good Coffee every time and the removable water tank allows for easy refilling / Also features a removable drip tray and a built-in magnet within the pod holder.NESCAFE? DOLCE GUSTO?Exclusive to NESCAFE? the clever easy-to-use pod system has been designed so you can enjoy coffee shop quality at home / The pods are sealed for maximum freshness and are packed with flavoursome coffee as well as frothy milk and tasty hot chocolate so you can look forward to coffee shop quality in every cup. / Short name: Krups KP100040