|This article may rely excessively on sources too closely associated with the subject, preventing the article from being verifiable and neutral. (June 2012)|
The first series of 2006 consisted of the models KP2000 (Black/Silver), KP2006 (Black/Silver/Red) and KP2002 (Black/Silver/White), all of them operating in a standard pressure of 14 bar. The device itself consists of a water tank, an internal water pump and an electric heater. The dispenser is in the top, where a lever lowers a plate with a single needle on the capsule holder.
The machines debuted an proprietary capsule system called smart capsule, with 8 g each, and could prepare hot or cold beverages — the heating is done internally, but for cold beverages the water has to be manually chilled in the water tank with ice.
In late 2008, Nestlè launched a new series, KP21xx/Melody2, with new colors and some other improvements:
- 15 bar pressure (instead of 14)
- Power-saving automatic switch-off (after 5 min)
- Partially chromed parts
- Wider drip collector
- Magnetic capsule holder
Since September 2010 there is a new series, Creativa Melody2, that has an LCD display. This allows the machine to be programmed and customized, for example, set it to automatically turn on in a given time and brew the capsule already in the holder. In addition, the outflow can be personalized, to obtain the same taste regardless of the cup used. There are pre-programmed settings to different capsule varieties, that can be further customized.
Circolo, Piccolo and Fontana
In Mid-2009 Nestlé added the Circolo series to the line. This machine, as the name suggests, sports a rounded design, with the same technical specifications of the Melody2 devices, but with a LED light in the water tank.
In September 2010, the previous two series were supplemented by three more. Besides the Creativa mentioned above, there is the Piccolo (small, KP10xx), aimed to customers with limited space, as it is smaller, with a 600 ml water tank. Other than that, it is technically identical to the Melody2 machines.
Similarly, the Fontana (KP30xx) has the same underpinnings, but with a design reminiscent of a water tap (Italian Fontana).
The devices work, depending on the series, with 14 or 15 bar pressure.
In contrast to Nespresso system, which is also made by Nestlé and has Krups as one of the major hardware vendors, the Dolce Gusto capsules are freely available in stores — with Nespresso you can only buy it either online or in special Nespresso stores.
Each pack contains 16 capsules. These are sufficient for 8 or 16 cups, depending of the type of beverage. In almost all beverages with milk, two capsules are needed: one capsule with milk powder and other with the other ingredient (be it coffee or chocolate). The amount of time of preparation for each one varies.
Inside each package there is a code number printed, the so-called pleasure points system. These can be redeemed at the online Dolce Gusto shop (i.e. a pack of coffee capsules are available for 220 points). There are also coffee and tea equipment.
The variety of flavors varies from country to country. The following list provides information on the varieties available currently (March 2012) listed by country (D = Germany, A = Austria, CH = Switzerland, ZA = South Africa):
- Americano Houseblend (ZA)
- Espresso (D, A, CH)
- Espresso Ristretto (D, CH)
- Espresso Intenso (D, A, CH, ZA)
- Espresso Decaffeinated (CH, in D)
- Espresso Macchiato (Cortado), (D, A)
- Barista Espresso (D)
- Buondi caffè (espresso) (online only)
- Cafe Au Lait (D, ZA)
- Caffè Lungo (D, A, CH)
- Caffe Lungo Mild (D, A, CH)
- Caffè Lungo Decaffeinated (D, A, CH)
- Caffè Crema Grande (formerly Caffe Aroma) (D, A, CH)
- Caffè Grande Intenso
- Caffè Grande Mild (online only)
- Caramel Latte Machiato (ZA)
- Dallmayr prodomo
- Mocha (D, CH, ZA)
- Latte Macchiato (D, A, CH, ZA)
- Unsweetened latte (D, A, CH)
- Latte light (only D and CH)
- Vanilla Latte Macchiato
- Nestea Peach (peach iced tea) (D, CH, A)
- Cappuccino (D, A, CH, ZA)
- Ice Cappuccino (iced) (D, A, CH, ZA)
- Chococino (hot chocolate) (D, A, CH, ZA)
- Cappuccino Light (CH, in D)
- Nesquik cocoa (hot chocolate), (D, A)
- Chai Tea Latte
- Green Tea Latte (Exclusively available in selected countries)
The pod and coffee capsule system draw some criticism due to the lock-in effect. This means that the low cost of acquisition for each coffee machine is illusory, since the costs of the capsules for it exceeds that of conventional coffee — sometimes several times — and can cost more than the machine itself in a short time span unless a refillable Cuckoocapsule is used. A further disadvantage is the increased amount of waste due to the disposable nature of the Nescafé capsules. The Nestlé capsule systems are currently not compatible with each other, and each system requires different types of coffee capsules.
- Dolce Gusto, Germany: Krups.