The Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual is simple to use and cheap to run, but the lack of auto-dosing and the use of milk capsules mean it won't be for everyone.
- Makes hot and cold drinks
- Drip tray for all cup sizes
- No volume settings
- Compatible pods only
- No fresh milk frothing
- Review Price: £99.99
- 1.2-litre water tank
- 15-bar pump pressure
- 370 x 150 x 280mm, 3.2kg
What is the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual?
The shapes of previous Dolce Gusto pod coffee machines have been inspired by everything from a loop to a drop of coffee, so it’s no surprise to learn that the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual’s design is a nod to an infinity symbol.
To some degree, this speaks to the machine’s almost infinite possibilities. Not only can you choose from a wide variety of coffee – from Starbucks-branded pods and single origin, to those for flat whites – but you can also make hot chocolate, tea or iced drinks, all at exactly the volume and strength you prefer.
A final flourish of flexibility comes from its adjustable-height drip tray, which means you can brew into your widest mug or tiniest espresso cup without making a mess. Plus, it’s available in four different colours.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual – Design and features
Being slim, compact and using the bare minimum of coloured plastic, the Infinissima has made itself both visually unobtrusive and ideal for small kitchens. There are only two controls – the on/off button at the side, which turns green when the machine is ready to brew, and a lever on the top, which can be pushed right for hot drinks and left for cold.
The machine’s manual control is both a blessing and a curse. It makes personalisation simple, but unlike automatic settings, it’s easy to dispense too much or too little water. Dolce Gusto’s pods come with a guide as to how much is suggested for each, so with the Infinissima it’s hard to know if you’re getting it right.
Around the rear is a generous water tank for the size of the machine, with a separate lid. Although its V-shape looks great when in place, it’s narrower at the bottom than the top. As such, I found it was prone to being knocked over as it lacked stability when put down on the worktop, especially after being filled.
Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual – What’s it like to use?
Hate instructions? You’re in luck, because the Infinissima comes with only pictorial guidelines. While this is indicative of how simple it is to operate, if it’s your first coffee machine then the brand’s YouTube videos will be useful.
It’s surprisingly quick to set up and start making drinks, since it only requires rinsing through with the included plastic insert. This is also used when descaling, to which it will alert you if necessary when the power button turns orange.
From plugging in the red power cable (a handy feature of most Dolce Gusto machines that means you won’t accidentally disconnect it), and switching on the power, to actually making a drink, took about 40 seconds. The drip tray/cup platform was especially well thought-out.
Rather than being mounted on the body of the machine or flipping over to boost the height, it offers three levels by twisting and securing in place. I started by raising it to its full height for an espresso cup.
Each capsule sits in the removable holder, which is inserted into the front of the machine when the cover is raised.
The cover closes when in place properly with a reassuring click. I started by choosing one of the single origin capsules – which were designed for Americano, but I found worked just as well for espresso – and ran it for about 10 seconds until a small cup was full.
The crema produced was thick and aromatic, while the espresso itself was perfect – slightly sweet, full of depth with a rich nuttiness; it could have easily have been made by a more expensive machine.
Next, I dropped the cup holder down to its mid-position for a wide yet tall mug. This time, I inserted a café au lait capsule, which had a suggested volume of almost all the bars. As the machine didn’t have this indicator built in, I had to dispense to the volume of the cup.
The capsule combined both coffee and whole milk powder, which had did away with the need of having to run a milk pod, then a coffee pod for a milky drink.
The coffee dispensed was noticeably frothy on top; however, it tasted too creamy for my liking, with less strong flavour of coffee. Adjusting the strength with less water improved the coffee taste but it remained very creamy.
The capsule holder can be popped in the dishwasher if it gets a bit grimy, but the other removable parts such as the drip tray need to be hand-washed. This was straightforward since there are no nooks that can’t be cleaned.
Why buy the Nescafé Dolce Gusto Infinissima Manual?
The Nescafe Dolce Gusto system’s range of drinks, relative affordability (an Americano can cost as little as 23p), and ability to live where there’s no fridge for fresh milk, has made it a popular unit for novice coffee-machine buyers. All of which is carried on by the Infinissima – it’s simple to use, low maintenance, light enough to move around, packs in 15-bar pump pressure that’s essential for achieving crema, and fits in the smallest of spaces.
If you’re after space and cheap pods then this is a good choice, although you’ll find that one of our Best Nespresso machines will produce better-quality coffee. If you want the real experience of proper coffee from beans then head to our roundup of the Best coffee machines.
Still, if you’re happy to measure drinks by mug and are looking for a machine that offers true convenience then this super-slim symbol design could be just the ticket.