I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here. I’m a coffee person – both my husband and me. Even before pod-type espresso machines were accessible, we were making espresso the old fashioned way every morning – with a Bialetti stove top espresso maker. Separate gadgets did the milk frothing – from a manual milk frother to a battery operated 3-dollar handheld frother. And when we’re lazy to froth and do all that, we used a simple French press. We had a coffee grinder because we liked our beans fresh. And yes, this means I do not drink instant coffee. Yes, maarte. You get the drift. Haha.
Fast forward to last year, the coffee pod machines went mass market. My husband bought a Lavazza Blue machine in 2010 – simply because there already was a local retailer and the pods were readily available. The machine wasn’t inexpensive but luckily the pods only came out to P30 pesos each. We enjoyed cappuccino and espresso everyday. I blame this machine for the 10 pounds I gained (or never lost). All that milk froth and muscovado sugar. But I’m not complaining. This lessened my spending on Starbucks coffee. But I also feel guilty for the amount of garbage the pods produce. Sigh.
A few days ago Bridges PR invited me to the event of Nescafe Dolce Gusto. I was curious about this machine because it is cheap and cute. It retails for less than $100. (Let me find the local retail prices.)
This was the hot chocolate. One of the selling points of the machine is the capsule flavours – caramel macchiato, chai tea latte, chococino, Nestea® peach iced tea, etc. The downside is – if you make a cappuccino, latte, macchiato or anything with milk, you have to use two pods (one pod for the coffee, the other pod for the milk). So technically your cup of fancy coffee will cost you two pods or P50. Not that cheap. The upside is you don’t have to spend another 90 seconds frothing milk manually. But I’m budget-conscious so I think I’d like the option of frothing non-fat milk while saving P25.
Big surprise for me. Dolce Gusto’s Brand Manager is Jiggy Cruz. He introduced himself to me saying he and his mom used to watch me frequently in F. I was stunned. His mom is Ballsy Aquino Cruz, daughter of the late President Cory Aquino. It took a minute for me to process that they can have normal lives, as Jiggy demonstrated his brand’s coffee machine. His uncle is just the President, you know.
Ingrid and I sat with Town & Country covergirl Joanna Preysler-Francisco, wearing the necklace I made for her. She had her own collection of pendants that were all meaningful to her, then she bought some of my charms and I put them all together on my chain. So pretty – Joanna and the necklace.
We all got this as a gift (Photo from Dolce Gusto website). We are now enjoying this for iced coffee and fancy drinks at home. Did I tell you it has an option for cold or hot coffee? Nice. Now I just have to figure out if the coffee is instant or espresso-based. Because it matters.
EDIT: My advice is, if you are a serious coffee drinker (i.e. espresso level and non-instant ever), try going for an upgraded model. This Piccolo model is the entry-level machine for Nescafe coffee pods. Like I said, it’s a fun machine. Great to have as an option for guests who want different flavours. But for me, I need my serious caffeine fix. So for that I am still betting on my Lavazza Blue. It’s not cheap, but not the most expensive either. It’s in the level of Nespresso or Illy. I’m not after the machine. I’m after the coffee bean. But if budget is an issue then a machine like Dolce Gusto may be a good compromise.