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I've always been a huge fan of 'proper' coffee and loved the treat of a Costa or Starbucks during a family day out or after a hard day of shopping. This year, my husband provided me with the perfect Christmas present when he bought me my Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee machine and has quickly become one of my most treasured possessions! My coffee is now my daily treat and I look forward to having that 10 minute 'me time' and relaxing with a magazine. Receiving this as a gift, I am not sure how much my husband paid for my machine but after doing a bit of research, it is priced at £139.99 in Argos. The instructions are very clear and concise and the product very easy to use. Firstly, before using the machine, guidelines are given for its first use which cleans the machine with hot water. This only takes a few minutes and then it can be used straight away. The back of the machine contains a water tank which can be lifted out for ease of use. This is filled to the 'max' line and replaced and then a button is pressed on the base of the machine. The button flashes red for about 20 seconds and then goes green. After choosing which coffee to have, the pod is places in a section at the top of the machine. This is very easy to use. This consists of a lever which lifts up and a drawer pulls out. The pod is placed in the drawer and it is returned to the machine. The coffees which use one pod per cup are relatively straight forward to use. Just turn the dial to 'hot' and the coffee flows into your cup. Some coffees such as Americano need use just one pod per cup and some, such as a Cappuccino, need two. This creates the delicious frothy layers on top of the coffee. When using two pods, it is still relatively straight forward, but you have to change the pod to the second one half-way through in order to create the drink. The only drawback with this is that the ratio of how much of each pod to use is indicated by an illustration on top of the pod (for example pod one will show 5 of the 8 bars shaded in and pod two will have 3 of 8 shaded), so a lot of the time it feels like guess work when adding water to each pod. I even re-read the instructions at this point, just to check that is wasn't me just being daft! However, I have to say that even though this is not appear to be an accurate measurement, I don't believe it has any bearing on the taste of the coffee. When using the machine the first thing I noticed was the strong, freshly ground, coffee aroma which filled the kitchen. The machine has a very professional quality about it and I was delighted with the look and taste of the coffee I had produced. There is also a huge range of coffees available for this machine, to suit every taste, which you can vary to suit your mood, or the time of day and keeps the machine interesting. The machine I received came with a sample pack containing 8 different coffees to try. I have to say I am now hooked on trying different flavours and have yet to find one that I don't like. My personal favourites are Americano -a rich, intense 'wake you up in the morning' coffee; Cappuccino -creamy and indulgent and tastes like its straight from a high end coffee shop; Chococcino -Cappuccino with a hint of chocolate, yum! And Caramel Latte -for those with a sweeter tooth! The range also includes many other varieties such as Café au Lait, Grande Intenso, Lungo Decaf, Mocha, Latte Macchiato, Espresso and many, many more, including the more unusual Marrakech Style Tea and Chai Tea Latte. The pods come in boxes of 16 and currently selling for £3.77 in Tesco and £3.69 in Asda. Some varieties take two pods to create, so you need to take into account that you may be paying nearly four pound for 8 coffees not 16. It may seem that the price of pods is a little expensive, but far less than what you would pay for a Starbucks, and you certainly can't compare the product to an instant coffee. There is also a cold water feature for creating Cappuccino Ice, Nestia Peach, and Nestia Lemon. These I have never tried, so I can't really comment on this function. The instruction booklet also features an ice cream dessert which the more adventurous can have a go at, but as this takes 6 coffee pods to create, I decided this is a very expensive dessert and have not attempted it myself. My experience has been that all the pods are relatively easy to find and are stocked by most leading supermarkets. They are also available from the Dolce Gusto website - https://www.dolce-gusto.co.uk with free delivery on orders over £25 pounds. The website also provides you with ten pounds to spend on coffee or machine accessories when you register your product using the code provided with the machine. Another added bonus! I absolutely adore my Nescafe Dolce Gusto and am giving this product 5 stars. It is quick, convenient and easy to use and the coffee it produces is second to none. Pregnant women and those with heart problems should limit the amount of Caffeine taken on a daily basis. Thank you for taking the time to read my review.
Coffee options: espresso, cappuccino and latte / 1500 watts / 15 bar pressure / Water capacity 1 litre / Transparent water tank / Drip tray / Auto shut-off / Size H38.9, W21, D28.3cm / Manufacturer's 2 year guarantee / By Krups / Short name: Krups KP301040