A great gift for the coffee lover

2014-07-01 00:00

ONE day, out of the blue, I received an e-mail asking whether I would like to review the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Circolo coffee machine made by De’Longhi. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I jumped at the chance after being very clear that any review I did would be completely independent and honest. Terms and conditions applied, the coffee machine arrived a few days later with an assortment of flavoured pods.

There’s really nothing to setting the machine up, bar plugging it in and filling the tank, which clips in and out at the back of the machine, with water. After perusing the little booklet detailing how to put together the various flavours, I was ready to put the machine to the test.

I’m not sure how those flavoured pods work, something to do with high pressure I think, but to be honest I really don’t need the technical details, as long as they do work and I get a lovely cup of whatever coffee I’ve decided on. It took us a while to figure out that the white pods contained the milk which had to be paired with their coffee flavour in order to make whatever beverage took our fancy. Once that was figured out, it was plain sailing and the whole family jostled for a turn to make their choice. Favourites were soon proclaimed: my son chose the choccochino, I love the cappuccino, my husband favours the espresso and my daughter, who doesn’t like coffee, decided that the tea latte was for her.

The website’s online shop is still under construction, so one has to go to takealot.com to order more pods. After surfing overseas websites, I noticed that the number of flavours on takealot.com was limited, but I presume that once the online shop is up and running all the flavours will be available. On average, a box of pods cost R85 a box and each box contains eight servings — that works out at about R10,60 per cup of coffee — quite pricey if you drink endless cups of coffee.

Many of the flavours have a sweetness to them and on further inspection I discovered that most of them have added sugar, which I would prefer them not to have. The overseas websites offer a few “skinny” varieties, but I’m not sure whether that means less fat or less sugar. The machine itself takes up very little space and has an interesting retro circular design.

Before I have to send it back, I’m going to host a dinner party so that my friends can enjoy one of the delicious flavours, because at over R2 000 for the machine, it’s not likely that I will be buying one for myself any time soon. A Christmas present perhaps?

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