Wednesday, October 19, 2011

CBTL Espresso Machines vs Nescafe Dolce Gusto

It's time yet again to purchase a coffee machine. We've only had one of those generic drip type of coffee machines but this time around there's better selection especially with these fairly new capsule machines.

CBTL Contata (RM880) and Nescafe Dolce Gusto Piccolo (RM400)

In doing research I have discovered that the most important thing to remember with selection of these is the availability of capsules. There is no point to invest in a machine only for the capsules to be discontinued a few months down the line.
  1. Price: CBTL is RM21 for box of 10. Nescafe Dolce Gusto is RM28 for box of 16 (16 espresso or 'black' coffee roasts or 8 coffee/8 milk)
  2. CBTL vs Dolce Gusto price per capsule.
    • Espresso/Black - RM2.10 vs RM1.70
    • Mixed Drinks - RM2.10 vs RM3.50
  3. Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine is considerably cheaper than CBTL.
  4. Nescafe Dolce Gusto makes the milk based drinks (eg latte, cappuccino) straight out of the machine. CBTL needs an extra step and it's also with an additional purchase of a milk frother for RM280.
  5. CBTL has a wider range of capsule selection. Nescafe Dolce Gusto only has 4 as it is recently launched in Malaysia. The full range is equivalent to CBTL but currently you have to go through the trouble of importing it on your own.
  6. CBTL capsule packs can be found at any of their cafe outlets, certain department stores (Isetan) and online. Nescafe Dolce Gusto packs are available at certain department stores (Jusco, Metrojaya) but unsure whether they will be continuously replenished. 
I'm only comparing the lower priced machines here but there is another Nescafe Dolce Gusto model available here. It's called the Circolo and is priced at RM780-800. According to specifications there's not much difference between them except a larger water tank, bigger footprint on the counter for Circolo and funkier design.
click to enlarge
(source - Nescafe Dolce Gusto)

CBTL also has another machine Kaldi which retails for RM980. The only difference seem to be the color selection as Contata only comes in Gray/Black while Kaldi has 5 color selections (4 with color face plate and silver body, 1 in all black).

click to enlarge
(source - CBTL Malaysia)

Like the husband said, I'm pretty serious about coffee :) The weird thing is that I only started drinking coffee in late 2005 and it was just so I could keep awake during the long afternoons at work. Now I can't live without coffee! Of course these capsule coffee machines are probably low-brow for true coffee connoisseurs but I just can't afford one of those snazzy and crazily expensive espresso machines.


Small Kucing said...

hmmmm.....i love coffee but cant afford those fancy machine :(

synical said...

Stumbled unto the Dolce Gusto sampling at Village Grocer in Bangsar Village (they're selling the Piccolo starter kits) - like the mocha that came out of the Dolce Gusto, but not enough to buy the whole setup.

The Piccolo kinda looks like a penguin...

hevn said...

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.. Thank youuu for the comparison!!! when I have my own house anyway.

I'm a coffee addict and I've been eying these a coffee machine for a while now. JH prefers the Nespresso and I was considering the CBTL or something else that might be as good.

Let us know which one you get k! :D

shuaddict said...

@Small Kucing - That's why Dolce Gusto is very tempting. Decent espresso at about RM400 compared to over 1k.

@Synical - I'm not into the funky design either definitely looks very bird-like! I'll go check out Bangsar Village to see if it's a better deal.

@hevn - Penang has an actual distributor for Nespresso, is it true? That was another option but from reading online most of Nespresso local users said they got theirs from Singapore. Didn't want to go through that trouble to travel (extra expenses) and maybe get accidentally taxed 25%+5% on top of it all.

hevn said...

To be truthful, I don't know whether Penang has a distributor for Nespresso, I must find out more.

We actually saw the Nespresso while we were in Singapore and JH and I drooled for it ever since. But everytime I go Coffee Bean I can't stop admiring the CBTL. ARGHH!

We wanted to get the Nespresso but we weren't sure where to get the refills and more importantly, we didn't want to lug it back since we're taking a flight home. It'll come back in pieces..

shuaddict said...

@hevn - There's a branch listed for MY in Penang. Not 100% what it could be though. For pods it's apparently quite easy to get through, if you order 150 plus shipping free and it arrives in a few days.

Let me know what you decide. My coffee machine dreams have to be cancelled for now.

saoirse said...

can i use cbtl capsules in nescafe system?

shuaddict said...

@saoirse - sorry for late reply, the capsules are not interchangeable. As far as i know each specific coffee machine is only able to use their own capsule. There are some guides to refill the capsules but it is not worth the effort imo.