If striking style is at the top of your list of requirements for a pod coffee machine, the curvaceous Melody III easily ticks the box. While great coffee is this DeLonghi-made machine's main function, using the Nescafe Dolce Gusto pod system it’ll produce an array of drinks beyond that, such as hot chocolate, tea and cold beverages, at the push of a button.
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Beautiful design is what sets the Melody III apart from many machines on the market. The round form of the body and drink dispenser is echoed by a curved base and cup platform, while chrome detailing, even on the pod holder, adds a shot of glamour. It's available in black, silver or red.
As one of the Dolce Gusto machines that operates automatically – although there is a manual version available – it features the brand’s ‘Play and Select’ control. Using a wheel that scrolls to illuminate more or fewer bars on the front of the machine, you can choose how much water will be used in conjunction with each pod. Either match the lit bars to the corresponding diagram shown on the box of pods, or adapt to taste if you find that you prefer a little more or less.
Designed to accommodate a variety of cup heights and widths, the drip tray can be set at one of three positions – the lowest for large mugs, the middle for shallower sizes and the top for espresso cups – making sure there are minimal splashes as drinks are dispensed.
From switching on, the Melody III’s thermoblock takes a short amount of time to heat up, but once it does, making multiple drinks is incredibly easy. Unlike manual machines, which require supervision while your drink's being made to regulate the amount of water that’s used, the automatic function will only dispense as much as you’ve chosen.
Inserting the pod is straightforward: the holder is pulled out by a chunky chrome ring, slots back in smoothly and a chrome clip pulls down to pierce the pod. The clip’s position is a little deceptive – on other Dolce Gusto machines, it’s obvious when it’s upright, but on the Melody III, it’s been styled at more of an angle and forgetting to pull it down can be all too easy on sleepy mornings. The machine won’t work until it’s in the correct position, however, so remembering will soon become a habit.
The Hot and Cold buttons on either side of the selection wheel have clearly marked symbols to differentiate them from each other and after pressing, you can walk away while your drink is made. The machine then retains that setting, so there’s no need to dictate it every time – allowing you to make a round of identical drinks or have a one-touch morning coffee. There’s a little noise as the Melody III gets to work, but the machine stays firmly planted on the worktop.
Thanks to a large water tank and thermoblock recovery that takes just seconds, the Melody III can make several drinks before it needs refilling. One concern is the loose circular lid covering the tank – small and detachable, it could become lost in a kitchen, so it’d be good to have some way of connecting it permanently to the machine.
There’s a reason why the Dolce Gusto pod system has gained an army of fans – the coffee isn’t just easy to make, it’s of excellent quality, too. You can expect a golden crema on top of a smooth, full-bodied espresso, while the choice of lattes, hot chocolates and more gives the Melody III an extra dimension. Not all the drinks on offer might suit your tastes, but there’s plenty to choose from and a maximum bar pressure of 15 ensures they’ll always be perfectly brewed, whether coffee-based or not.
Should I buy the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Melody III?
A real people-pleaser, the Melody III is great at being all things to all members of a busy household. It’ll make a variety of drinks, exactly as you want them, every time, and it's easy to use and doesn’t need frequent refilling. Coupled with a sleek, striking design, it’s sure to become a firm favourite for caffeine addicts and non-coffee drinkers alike.
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A great way to have coffee on tap, with no mess and no fuss. The Melody III could easily become as essential as your toaster.