In the words of my spirit animal Lorelai Gilmore, “Everything in my life has something to do with coffee, I believe in a former life, I was coffee.” With the exception of makeup, coffee has overtaken chocolate as my biggest vice. Let me rephrase that, expensive coffee is my biggest vice. I can’t walk past a Starbucks, Costa, Cafe Nero or even Baynes without popping in for a large caramel macchiato or vanilla, caramel or Butterscotch Brulee latte (have you tried one yet? Honestly, one word: heavenly) and don’t even try and communicate with me in the morning if my mug is not firmly in my hand yet. That’s why my Nescafé Dolce Gusto Jovia Coffee Machine was my favourite present last Christmas. Barista style coffee in the comfort of your own home, what’s not to love? Plus, it’s surprisingly affordable.
The manual Jovia is the more affordable of the Dolce Gusto collection. Shopping around is key as I’ve noticed online prices range from as low as £29 up to £99. The machine uses coffee pods (or capsules) which can be purchased online at the official Dolce Gusto website or at your local Supermarket. There are over 30 drink varieties available ranging from a regular latte to a peach ice tea. I buy mine at ASDA as you can usually pick up three boxes for £10 when on offer. The amount of coffee pods you get in a box varies depending on the type of coffee you want. For example, a simple ‘Cafe au Lait’ (coffee with milk) only requires one pod so each box contains 16 pods for around £4.49. This is the same for an Americano, Espresso, Lungo and Grande. However, drinks such as a Macchiato, Cappuccino, Chai Tea Latte and Choccocino all require two pods, so technically you only get 8 servings in each box. £4.49 for 8 servings sounds quite expensive, but that’s just over 55p for a barista-style coffee, so it’s well worth it for a coffee addict like myself. You can also buy official Starbucks and Costa pods that are compatible for around £4 for 12 pods (6 servings).
The machine comes with an easy to refill 0.8L water tank and 15-bar pump pressure, which ensures that an even distribution of water is delivered through the capsule to maximise the flavour extraction. Simply turn on, wait a few seconds until ready and then flick the lever to either left for cold water or right for hot; it’s that easy. As I mentioned before, some drinks require two pods. A macchiato requires one pod for the frothy milk and one for a shot of coffee, so how do you know how much of each you’ll need?
The more expensive automatic models such as the ‘Genio’ come with a display to tell you exactly when to switch pods, however, the manual versions do not. I found this very frustrating at first because I was making my coffees either too strong or too weak; I just couldn’t perfect the method as it was all guess work. This is where my Dolce Gusto Timer App is a complete lifesaver. I can’t recommend it highly enough if you’re wanting to purchase a more affordable manual model. The app is free and helps you to create the perfect frothy latte in under a minute by counting down the exact timings of each pod.
I love my Dolce Gusto Jovia. It’s easy to clean and heats up incredibly fast, plus the coffee grinds stay in the pod so there’s no mess. My machine also came with a starter pack with a selection of different pods to try and a two-year guarantee. Now I’ve perfected my technique, I no longer use the App and I now have a collection of Monin coffee syrups (the limited edition butterscotch syrup is an absolute must) which has taken my coffee to the next level.6