The question most people have when they’re considering buying a coffee pod machine, is whether to go for Tassimo Vs Nespresso , Dolce Gusto or Douwe Egberts senseo. If you’ve not yet decided on a pod machine then you may be trying to decide whether to go for a single cup pod coffee maker or a traditional espresso machine or fully auto bean to cup, but if you’ve already decided that a pod machine is for you, then you’ll probably be trying to decide which is the coffee pod machine for you.
By the way, if you do decide on Nespresso, see Best Nespresso Machine 2017. Nespresso Machines, Reviews & Comparisons.
The table below, shows a comparison of these machines on the following areas: Machine cost, pod cost, pod range, compatible pods available, and refillable pods available.
|Type & Machine Cost.||Pod Cost||Pod Range||Compatible Pods Available||Refillable Pods Available||Milk Drinks|
|Nespresso Approx £60 +||Genuine 29p & up.||Over 20 genuine coffee pods and 3 variation pods (Vanilio, Caramelito & Ciocattino).||Via separate milk frother such as the aeroccino.|
|Tassimo Approx £40 +||Coffee approx 25p. Milk based pods such as latte & hot chocolate approx 50p - 66p||Over 36 genuine Tdisks available, including alternatives such as hot chocolate and tea.||Via pods, many available.|
|Dolce Gusto Approx £40 +||Coffee approx 25p. Milk based pods such as latte & chococino approx 50p.||Over 40 genuine pods available including alternatives such as hot chocolate, cappucino ice, Mocha, Tea & Chai Tea Latte.||Via pods, many available.|
|Senseo Approx £80 +||Coffee approx 17p. Milk based drinks such as Latte and Hot chocolate approx 30p - 50p||12 genuine pads including three milk blends.||Via pods, three available (genuine).|
As you can see above, the Tassimo and Dolce Gusto are the cheapest machines, Nespresso start slightly higher. When it comes to the pods, Senseo are the the cheapest (they call them pads, they’re like big tea bags), Tassimo and Dolce Gusto are similar although Dolce Gusto are slightly cheaper than Tassimo when it comes to the milk based drinks.
Pod machines are not the cheapest when it comes to the dry weight of coffee, in fact if you work it out that way the pods would seem very expensive, and a bean to cup machine or a grinder an an espresso machine would certainly be cheaper in that regard. Pods tend to use less coffee per cup though, so when you work it out based on price per cup pod machines can actually work out fairly reasonable.
Nespresso pods cost slightly more (genuine Nespresso pods, there are cheaper compatible pods), and Nespresso are all coffee pods, they don’t do any milk pods. If you want hot frothed milk drinks such as Latte or Cappuccino, you heat and froth your milk via other means, such as the Nespresso Aeroccino – or other frothers, or heat your milk in the pan or microwave and froth with a caffetiere or an aerolatte or similar low cost hand frother thingy.
The one main thing I think you need to keep in mind when it comes to Senseo Tassimo & Dolce Gusto Vs Nespresso, is that they’re not quite the same.
Nespresso machines are basically the younger cousin of the Espresso machines that they’re based on. They’re not exactly the same, Nespresso is actually higher pressure and the water temp is slightly lower, there is a smaller percentage of coffee in Nespresso vs Espresso too, so it’s different, but it is based on Espresso. With Espresso you would pull a shot and then mix it with textured milk to make cappuccino or latte etc., or with water to make Americano or long black, and the same is true with Nespresso.
Tassimo Dolce Gusto & Douwe Egberts senseo are slightly different, as there are two part coffee and milk pods available allowing you to make the entire drink from the pod. So if you want a Latte Macchiato for instance, with Dolce Gusto or Tassimo you put in the milk pod, press the button, then put in the coffee pod, press the button.
With Nespresso you would make the same kind of drink more along the traditional lines, by heating and frothing your milk, pouring this into the cup, and then you would use the machine to pour the shot (as with Espresso only without having to grind the coffee, dose the portafilter and tamp) into the milk, or the other way around for a standard latte. You could of course do it the same way with Tassimo or Dolce Gusto, and use an Espresso disk with heated and frothed milk, and many of the pods are just coffee pods, but I think for many the attraction of these machines is the convenience of just sticking a pod in for both the coffee and the milk.
Personally speaking, I don’t want milk from a pod. When I make flat white or Latte, I use fresh whole milk – and the very best tasting milk based coffees are made with the locally produced milk delivered by the milk man. When I did have the Tassimo machine, the only time it was ever used with milk pods was when the kids were using it for hot chocolate, other than that I was using it only for coffee, not for milk. So the availability of milk pods wouldn’t swing it for me, and I’d be looking at all of the other aspects including price and variety and how well the machine does at purely making coffee.
In terms of choice of machines, there are a few Senseo machines, quite a few Tassimo machines, lots of choice with Dolce Gusto and Nespresso. I even walked into my local Aldi yesterday and discovered that they’re selling a Nespresso machine, for about £45! See the best nespresso machines 2017 for a run down of the most popular machines.
When it comes to the availability of the pods in supermarkets, Tassimo, Dolce Gusto & senseo are widely available, although I do recall when I did have a Tassimo that it was frustrating at times having to visit various supermarkets when one was out of stock of the Tdisks I was looking for. They’re on offer occasionally at Tesco and Morrisons, and I used to stock up on them when they were. Nespresso pods aren’t available in supermarkets, only in the Nespresso boutiques or online – but there are some compatible pods available in supermarkets now, Aldi have just launched their own range, and there are many compatible pods available online.
When it comes to which type of pod coffee machine you should go for, if you’ve decided that a pod machine is right for you, then it’s a case of figuring out what’s most important for you in a pod machine. If it were me, as you’ll know if you’re a regular reader, that I’m really into speciality coffee, I like trying different coffee from different coffee roasters, different origins, different varietals and blends, and I wouldn’t be interested in drinking the stuff that Nestle or Douwe Egberts put into their pods. So for me, I would want to go for a machine for which there are speciality compatibles available, so I would rule out the Tassimo.
We had a Tassimo for a while, and the kids were the biggest fan of it because of the Cadbury hot chocolate pods. I found it to be a really good machine, never had any problem with it, the only reason I don’t use it is that I don’t want to drink the commodity coffee that is put into the disks by the big second wave coffee manufacturers. Also the kids got bored of the hot chocolate, and I ended up throwing a load of expensive Cadbury hot chocolate disks away.
So for me personally I’d be focusing on the three for which I can get hold of compatible pods, and refillable pods, which means I can look for roasters who’re supplying pods, and so I can grind my own & fill the pods with whatever I want. So this would leave the Dolce Gusto, Nespresso and Senseo.
I’d then be trying to figure out which system has the best range of compatibles and refillable pods available, and as far as I can see Nespresso wins hands down for this. There are quite a few suppliers now including Colonna coffee, pact coffee, roastworks, Real coffee, & Volcano selling compatible pods for Nespresso. There are compatible pods for the other two machines, but it seems that the roasters who’re starting to create pods with their freshly roasted coffee are mainly focusing on Nespresso compatible as there are probably more Nespresso machines in the UK than any other pod machine.
When it comes to refillable pods, there are plenty of refillable pod systems for Nespresso, and quite a few Dolce Gust refillable pods, and a few Senseo refillable pods. I haven’t tried the refillable pods, and I’m not about the grind for Nespresso, but I will be trying this at some point.
I’m just talking about my own preference here, if you’re not so worried about being able to use compatible pods or fill your pods with your own coffee, then you’ll probably be thinking more along the lines of the choice, quality and cost of the pods.
Anohter good thing about Nespresso, is you can go to the Nespresso boutiques and try the coffee before buying one. If you do have a local Nespresso boutique then you’ll be fine when it comes to topping up on pods, you can order them online too of course.
If you’re wanting to be able to pop into a local supermarket to pick up coffee pods though, you’re better off looking at one of the others. You can pick up Tassimo, Senseo and Dolce Gusto in most of the big supermarkets, as well as buying them online. That’s if you want to drink supermarket coffee though, if like me you prefer to drink freshly roasted speciality coffee, then having a machine that takes compatibles and refillables gives you the option to use your own freshly ground freshly roasted coffee beans, and to use supermarket disks / pods / pads if you’re caught short.
Life is like a box of chocolates, so follow me on twitter, and that’s all I have to say about that.