Capsule coffee makers are the greatest advent of humanity in recent times. No, just kidding, but for those who like me just want to make a unitary coffee quickly, they are the best solution. But what is the best of capsule coffee makers? Which to buy? That’s what I’m going to try to answer today after many, many tasting boxes.
To start, let’s put a few things on the table: capsule coffee makers are not for making coffee in quantity. The big issue here is practicality and speed. Then, the main machines do not allow you to exchange capsules between them, so buying any of the three that we talk about here means that you will be “stuck” to their products.
We compared Dolce Gusto , Nespresso and Três Corações coffee makers to answer which one is the best. I advance that the answer is not simple, so we analyze some points that we will list below.
The first one is the versatility of the drinks. If I’m looking for just coffee, everyone can supply the need, but only a few of them can make other types of drinks.
To start, let me talk about Nespresso. Basically, it only offers coffee. We have coffee, strong, weak coffee, a lot of different flavor, sometimes with a note of caramel or chocolate, but always coffee. No milk, no tea. The company trapped by this more “purist” bid, which is just the opposite of the other two brands.
Três Corações compensates for the smaller variety of grains by expanding on other fronts. In addition to the espresso, we have filtrates, cappuccinos, creamy drinks and teas. All of these other types of drinks come in single capsules and are already fully prepared.
The company, for example, already puts sugar in simple cappuccino, which makes it super tasty. Unfortunately this also takes away some of the freedom of those who like to do it their own way, but remember, the idea is practical. They are adding very cool options like selling a separate milk capsule for a little more affordable price and chai latte.
Dolce Gusto is another very versatile machine. It brings the same as Três Corações, but adds cold drinks, where you have to put the ice. The problem, in my view, is that we have situations where you need to use 2 capsules to make your drink complete. So, there is a single capsule version of coffee with milk, but there is one where it separates coffee and milk, making you spend twice as much.
In fact, I think it’s time to talk about it: price. Until the date I produced this guide, Dolce Gusto was the company that fought the most for price. You can buy capsules separately for R $ 1.39 if you follow some promotions that are constant. But if you are going to make these double drinks, it is the most expensive.
The company provides some combos, and when you buy 36 boxes, or 576 capsules, you get the machine – that’s exactly what we did to get one for testing. The subscription option manages to further improve the base value to up to R $ 1.18. Anyway, it is interesting to note that apart from the subscription discounts, Dolce Gusto maintains the static price on all capsules.
Três Corações also has a combo of 300 capsules for R $ 600.00 reais that comes with the machine. As it has the cheapest entrance price, with a machine of R $ 200.00 reais, this combo does not bring many gains. What is interesting is that the brand permeates both strategies: it has cheap coffees that are slightly more expensive than Dolce Gusto and brings some more premium coffees options with prices below the initial Nespresso, bordering on a maximum of 2 reais.
Nespresso has a slightly more aggressive attitude with its discounts. It is possible to win a machine only in the subscription for 1 year of the different plans, which vary from 100 to 195 reais and do not offer discounts when compared to the unit price.
Its capsules are also the most expensive, starting at R $ 2.20 and reaching up to R $ 2.50. Price that only looks like Dolce Gusto double capsules. An uncomfortable point is that the combos do not give any discount, they only facilitate the process of buying.
On the other hand, when you have the Nespresso card and participate in the benefits club, you can go to any physical store – nespresso is the only one you have – and take the opportunity to do a tasting and learn about other brand products. It may sound like bullshit and a marketing ploy, but sometimes it’s nice to go there to take the capsules for recycling, get some more and have a cup of coffee.
Capsule coffee makers
We have already talked about the types of drinks each one has and its price. The time has come to talk about the entry machines. We tested Arno Lumio 15 , Inissia by Nespresso, and Pop by Três Corações, which is already going out of line.
The only one that already has a sort of automatic capsule collection system is Nespresso, and the most annoying process of changing them is for Arno Lumio 15, a step back compared to Mini Me, which dripped less and had no that second locking system.
The Dolce Gusto , on the other hand, is the machine settings with larger size, indicating the box and in which each capsule should be measured. She is also the only one able to prepare cold drinks, which yes, is kind of “room temperature”, so she will need ice.
All of them have generous reservoirs, but Três Corações wins in this regard. All of them have an initial warm-up time below 30 seconds and a very similar noise, I don’t have much to talk about in this regard.
Is there a problem with a machine?
To close, they all give trouble once in a while. Dolce Gusto forms an air bubble and you have to reposition the tank at one time or another, Três Corações asks you to do a washing cycle quite often and Nespresso loses a lot of pressure with those plastic capsules from other brands, which makes the coffee much warmer and out of the expected standard.
Knowing this, let’s take a quick look at the service notes: in Reclame Aqui, Três Corações is the company with the highest rating and the best repurchase rate. Dolce Gusto has the highest number of complaints, which shows that it is selling well, but also has the worst score. In general, they complain about the quality of Três Corações coffee and the late delivery of the two companies. Other problems are broken equipment and misleading advertising.
If you want pure, black coffee, without a doubt Nespresso has the best options. This is my personal choice for home – along with other non-electric coffee makers – Italian and French press.
The nuances of the cheapest coffees when compared to the special edition ones are very small, they are details, which usually only if you don’t put sugar or if you like coffee a lot you will care. I may be talking nonsense here because I’m not a coffee expert, I just like it a lot.
Still in terms of coffee, I must say that I liked Dolce Gusto more than Três Corações. The team here also agreed, but we were missing some more enhanced coffees that they launched recently.
What won us at Três Corações were some very specific drinks. Their cappuccino is better shot than Dolce Gusto, with a cinnamon taste in the bottom. I think chocolate drinks on both machines are weak, but my father, for example, likes them.
The cold drinks are cool, they taste great at Dolce Gusto, but it is easier for me to buy an Ice Tea than to do the whole process and having to wait for it to get cold with the ice. Anyway, it is complicated to say what goes best in each one because it is really a matter of preference and they have their differences.
What is the best capsule coffee maker?
The summary of all the conversation we had in the last few minutes is that basically there is no capsule coffee maker that far outperforms and the others, each one has a market segment.
Do you want an extremely cheap capsule coffee maker that makes cold drinks? Dolce Gusto. Just like pure coffee and want to have a physical store experience? Nespresso. Do you love cappuccino, want a versatile machine with good options for hot milk drinks? Three hearts.