The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS coffee machine is perfect if you’re a fan of capsule coffee, but don't have the space for a seriously sized bit of kit. Yup, the Piccolo XS is certainly compact, with a footprint that takes up roughly the same area as a bog-standard kettle. It’s a pretty smooth operator too.
Getting the The Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS coffee machine ready for action takes no time at all either. Whip it out of the box, give the water container and nozzle/capsule holder a wash, wipe the rest of it over and you’re ready for business. Our example turned up boasting a slick looking black finish, plus an orange/red power cable. Fun and funky.
Considering it’s pretty much all plastic the little Piccolo XS feels like a quality machine, and running the appliance for the first time while flushing it through with plain water, it seemed nicely put together. It vibrates a little bit during dispensing duties, but otherwise the unit is pretty quiet and gets the job done with little in the way of fuss and bother.
Operating instructions are actually printed on the top of the box it arrives in such is the simplicity of using the Piccolo XS. There’s really not much to do once you’ve cleaned and flushed it through before brewing can commence. Pick any one of numerous drink options from the Nescafe Dolce Gusto range – there are over 40 to choose from – and pop one into the capsule holder at the top.
Great coffee and quick too
Press down the smooth plastic lever and the machine starts dispensing your drink after you move the start lever. Go right for hot drinks and left for cold. Put the lever back to the middle position to stop dispensing. That’s all there is to it. Granted, the water container on the back of the machine doesn’t hold all that much, just 0.8 of a litre in fact, but the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS coffee machine is not a high-volume appliance.
Nevertheless, the drinks it produces are generally top dollar. It is also very happy to receive Nescafe Dolce Gusto Starbucks pods, which if you're a fan of that chain aims to emulate the coffee shop experience. We were keen on the Chococino option that came with our model. While the Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS coffee machine is affordable you’ll need to factor in the cost of the pods, but given the quality of the coffee it produces we think that’s a price worth paying.
Given its diminutive stature, the little Piccolo XS is a quick worker with 15 bar maximum pump pressure and the ability to produce everything from Espresso through to a generous Latte Macchiato. The other neat feature of the design is that you can move the drip tray on to a higher position by slotting it into the circular clip on the front. This is ideal for quickfire shots of the black stuff. We found the machine splashed a bit, but not enough to ruin the overall experience.
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With dimensions that clock in at 276 (H) x 136 (W) x 266 (D) this is, as we pointed out earlier, a dinky little coffee machine. In that respect it’s ideal for tiny or ridiculously cluttered kitchens and for keeping by your bed if you need an instant coffee fix before you get out from under the covers. It’s also very easy to keep clean, with a drip tray and capsule holder that can be popped in the dishwasher. The main body of the unit can be wiped over with a damp cloth. Job done.
One point to note is the way the machine we tried arrived with DeLonghi logos on both it and the box it came in. However, you can get exactly the same model with Krups branding via Amazon. No matter, the features and functionality are the same, so whether you get your Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo XS coffee machine from one source or the other you’ll get the same great hot (and cold) drinks from it. As mentioned, ours arrived in black, but you can get a white one too if that’s more your thing.