When was the last time you had a good catch up with your friends? For me it had been way too long, so when my new NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto machine arrived, I knew it was time to make some calls and get the gang together for a coffee fueled afternoon of crafting. Better known as a ‘crafternoon’.
It didn’t take much for them to say yes, I mean, who can resist a kid free afternoon, crafting and chatting over good coffee, and lots of cake!
I wouldn’t really consider myself a coffee drinker, so up till now the coffee based offerings at my place have been pretty slim.
It was always a bit embarrassing that I had to apologise to my coffee loving friends for not being able to offer them anything decent to drink.
In fact I’d gained quite the reputation for making terrible coffee, that is, until now!
My new NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta machine is so easy to use, and its foolproof capsule system means I can make the perfect Cappuccino, Espresso, Americano, or Flat White every time.
With the new NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto machine set up and ready to go, I was ready to host a long overdue crafternoon get together.
How to Host a Crafternoon Get Together
Crafternoons are my favourite excuse to get out of the house (away from the kids), catch up with friends for a chat, and get stuck in to all my unfinished craft projects. When I’m hosting my own however, the first thing I do is organise the rest of my household to be somewhere else!
Once that important task is done, here are my tips for hosting a stress-free crafternoon catchup:
1. Pick a convenient time then spread the word
It’s always tricky to find a convenient time that suits everyone, so check-in with a few friends to feel out when would be the easiest time to pop around and then lock in a date and time. Allow 3-4 hours.
Be flexible with the time. Tell your friends they can come for the whole time, or drop in for an hour or so.
2. Coffee and Tea at the ready
Stock up on a variety of coffee and tea to cater to everyone’s taste. The NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto system is ideal for a get-together like this, because everyone can enjoy their favourite cafe style coffee at home. The cappuccino variety was a big hit with perfectly frothed milk and a rich espresso shot.
3. Don’t forget the cake!
Cake is a crafters main source of fuel, so don’t skip this step. I’ve got a few cake recipes here you may like to try:
If you don’t have time to bake your own from scratch, store bought is totally acceptable. Better yet, if you have a large group coming over, ask everyone to bring a little something. Include some healthy options like fruit.
4. BYO craft project
Remind everyone to bring along a craft project that they are working on. I love seeing what everyone is making. You’ll find that even though everybody is working on their own thing, by the end of the day ideas are being shared and different skills are being taught. Portable projects are more suited to a crafternoon gathering as it’s not always easy to accommodate for sewing machines and other bulky craft projects.
5. Clear a space for crafting
A large clutter free table is ideal so every one can have a nice clear space to work on their project. Make sure you have enough chairs for everyone that is coming along.
6. Have fun!
Put on your favourite playlist, and relax. Don’t get stressed by making it difficult for yourself, hosting a crafternoon should be fun!!
Before everyone leaves, have a chat about who may like to host the next crafternoon gathering, and pencil in a tentative date.
Needless to say we had a lovely crafternoon. There were knitting and needle felting projects worked on, and so many coffees drunk. The kiddo was excited that there was a couple of slices of left over cake when she arrived home.
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta Coffee Machine Review
With its bold spherical design, the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta Coffee Machine is no wall flower in the kitchen appliance game. The shiny bubble shapes are reminiscent of mid-century Atomic Age design – it’s kind of cool.
Admittedly this futuristic retro look isn’t for everyone, it’s nice to see a fun appliance design on the market. I predict fans of mid-century modern design will go ga-ga for this machine.
It’s a fairly big machine, so you really need to put it in an uncluttered area to show off the design at its best.
Overall – If you like your appliances to be a talking point, this machine is for you.
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto system – Ease of Use
As I previously mentioned, I’m terrible at making coffee. Any machine that requires you to froth milk or grind beans is a big pain in the backside for me to use.
This machine is almost foolproof. Each capsule has a little diagram explaining how many bars to light up on the coffee machine before you press the button. Just pop the capsule in, adjust the setting and you are good to go. It even has a feature for extra large coffee if you like a really tall cup.
The cup holder is adjustable and doubles as a drip tray. It is easily removable for cleaning.
The water tank just lifts off for filling, and is large enough to hold water for several cups. I like that you can easily see the water levels before you make a coffee.
This machine also connects to NESCAFÉ® Dolce Gusto® App on your phone via Bluetooth, which lets you program in your favourite settings, or even schedule in a time to automatically make a coffee. You can wake up in the morning with the aroma of your favourite coffee already prepared for you. You’ll just need to remember to load the machine before you go to bed!
The only downside is introducing a capsule is a 2 step process as you have to slide out the separate capsule holder, rather than pop it straight into the machine. The upside of this is that it’s much easier for cleaning as all the bits that are likely to get dirty are fully removable.
But what’s the coffee like?
A coffee machine is only as good as the coffee it makes and to the untrained palate (mine), this coffee tastes pretty good. My favourite is the Cappuccino, it has a 2-part system where you insert the milk capsule first, then add the coffee capsule. I don’t have sugar in my tea or coffee and found it quite smooth and not bitter. No extra sugar required.
My husband is a bit of a coffee snob so I gave him the Americano, Flat white to try. His verdict: ‘Not Bad’ which is high praise indeed as he was quite skeptical of the ‘contraption’ when it arrived. Lol!
The Espresso I gave to my Italian brother-in-law to taste test. He normally drinks Italian stove-top cafetera coffee (the really strong stuff). He also said it was quite good considering it was from a capsule, and was quite happy with the crema. The Esperta has a 15 bar high pressure system which is quite good for making espresso.
If you aren’t a big coffee drinker there are also Hot chocolate and Chai tea varieties available. Handy for the kids when you want to make a hot drink with minimum mess.
A selection of the most popular capsules are available at most supermarkets, with the full range available on www.dolce-gusto.com.au
The boxes contain 16 capsules each. Some varieties require 2 capsules, so you either get 16 or 8 drinks per box. At around $6 to $8.50 per pack, that makes a cafe style coffee around 40c to 80c which is a huge saving if you switch from take-away to homemade.
Exclusive offer for My Poppet Readers
Use my discount code, MYPOPPE99, to get started with your own NESCAFE Dolce Gusto machine.
NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Recycling Program
I was concerned about the plastic waste created by using capsules and was happy to hear that NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto has a recycling program through Terracycle. Send your used capsules into Terracycle for free, where they are then given new life and made into various useful products. You can read about the recycling program here. You can even raise funds for your local school or charity just by recycling your coffee capsules!
Final Thoughts on the NESCAFÉ Dolce Gusto Esperta
I like the cool design, and ease of use. The fact that you can make more than just coffee with it makes it super versatile and handy for the whole family to enjoy.
The capsules are affordable and easy to pick up with your regular supermarket shop. A subscription program is available for those of you that like to have home delivery.
The coffee tastes good, and it’s a great machine for entertaining guests, as well as enjoying your morning cup.
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