Dolce Gusto: What Do The Light Colours Mean?




We can’t speak for you, but we definitely cannot wake up in the morning without a good cup of coffee. The day just doesn’t start without that hot, velvety espresso to wake us up and start our day.

When it comes to coffee, Nescafe offers a range of products, from pods to sachets and coffee machines such as the Dolce Gusto. The Dolce Gusto range of coffee machines are some of the most popular home coffee machines due to their small size, ease of use, affordability and delicious coffee pods.

Dolce Gusto Machine

You can find a Nescafe Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine such as the Esperta 2 at an affordable price online or from Nescafe themselves, along with the smaller, more compact model the Dolce Gusto Genio 2.

Whilst they are super easy to operate and make wonderfully brewed coffee, the Dolce Gusto coffee machine is renowned for having a range of lights blinking on the power button, which all mean different things.

Now, if you’re already a proud owner of a Dolce Gusto machine, then you know exactly what we’re talking about, but if you’re considering buying one, then you should know about the lights of the Dolce Gusto, too. So, what do the lights on a Dolce Gusto machine mean? That’s what we’re here to explain!

What Do The Lights On A Dolce Gusto Machine Mean? 

When you power up your Dolce Gusto machine, you will notice that the power button becomes illuminated. This is to let you know that the machine is turned on. Now, the power button is colour coded so that it can indicate to you and let you know if there is an issue with the machine, or if it is ready to go.

When it comes to the Dolce Gusto Coffee Machine, there are typically three colours that may flash or remain steady when the machine is in operation. These are red, orange and green. Depending on whichever colour is flashing or glowing, then you may have a different issue with the machine.

So, let’s go through what each colour means.

Power Button Lights Up Green

When you turn on your Dolce Gusto coffee machine, you will notice that the green colour will illuminate on the power button. For the most part, this simply means that the machine is turned on, and is ready for use.

A green light, contrary to what F. Scott Fitzgerald would have you believe, just means that everything is in working order.

Some Dolce Gusto machines will flash green when the machine is running, or when it is brewing the coffee, which also means that it is working fine and there is no need to worry.

If you find that the green light is flashing green, or going on and off, then this could be a cause for concern, as it could mean that there is infrequent power going to the machine.

It could be an issue with the capacitors, where not enough power reaches the machine, and it may not start, or it may go on and off due to tripping wires.

If this seems to be the case, then you need to contact customer service with Dolce Gusto, who will be able to tell you how to fix the issue, or can send you a new machine if it is still under warranty and faulty.

Power Button Lights Up Orange

If you notice that your Dolce Gusto machine lights up orange or a yellow colour, then you may be wondering what this means. It’s not like traffic lights, and  it doesn’t mean you have to wait before starting it up again, it’s actually a simple warning light.

The orange light on a Dolce Gusto machine actually means that the machine just needs descaling. After frequent use, the coffee machine will start to build up minerals from hard water.

This can damage the coffee machine over time so it can cause an issue further down the line. Frequent descaling can keep your coffee machine in the best working condition for much longer.

You will find instructions in your Dolce Gusto manual of how to descale your machine. This will need to be done with the machine turned off, and once completed, you can turn it back on.

For most machines, there is a descaling mode, which is triggered when you hold the power button for more than 5 seconds. When this happens, you may see that the orange light begins to flash repeatedly until the descaling process is complete.

Once you have descaled the coffee machine, when you turn it back on the power button should return to its normal green colour.

If the orange light is still on after you have descaled, then you need to ensure that it is done in ‘descaling mode’, as this will tell the machine that you have descaled, and it can store this information, so that it knows that the machine is now ready for use.

When you descale the Dolce Gusto coffee machine, it will mix water and the descaler through the interior components of the machine, and clean it out. If you do this without entering the machine in descaling mode, it will not recognize that it has been descaled, and so the orange light will remain on.

To avoid this, you’ll need to press down and hold the power button for about 30 seconds, which should then turn it green again ready for use.

Power Button Lights Up Red

Let’s face it. When we see red, we panic, because it typically means that there is an issue. However, this is not always the case when it comes to your Dolce Gusto machine. In many instances, the machine will remain red up until the water has reached the right temperature.

Then, it will flash so that you know not to use the machine yet until it is ready. This is usually as the machine heats up the water, and then it should turn to green when it is ready to brew your coffee.

In addition to this, the power button may glow red for a few seconds after you finish brewing a cup of coffee. This is so the machine can cool down, and to tell you not to open up the machine or remove the capsule during this time.

Now, there is also the chance that there is a problem with the machine if it is glowing red. In some cases, a red light demonstrates that the machine is clogged and there is an issue inside the machine.

This could be in the injector, where the water comes out, but you should have a cleaning needle to rectify this problem. A cleaning needle comes with every Dolce Gusto machine so that you can remove the clog.

Another reason why the button is red is if the sensor has broken or is damaged. This means that the coffee machine does not recognize that there is a coffee pod inside, and will therefore not work. This issue may have to be rectified by the manufacturer with a replacement part or a replacement machine.

If you notice that the machine is flashing red, then back to green and back to red, or some machines may turn blue, then it is an issue with the water tank. Either there is not enough water in there, or the tank is not positioned or attached properly.

Power Button Lights Up Red Permanently 

If you turn on your Dolce Gusto coffee machine, and find that the red coloured light is on permanently, then you may have a deeper issue on your hands. A permanent red light is usually a sign that something is wrong with the machine. This could be a fault with the machine itself or a technical issue.

When this happens, it is best to turn off the machine entirely, and check the machine over for any blockages, loose wires, trapped capsules, detached components and anything else that could be causing a problem to the running of the machine.

Then, try unplugging the machine entirely from the power mains, leave it for a while or about 30 minutes or more, plug it back in (cliche we know) and switch it on again. This can effectively restart the machine, and it could work fine after that.

In addition to this, you can manually reset the machine’s warning signals by pushing the power button for longer than 40 seconds, and this should reset it entirely. If it does not return to green, then there is a serious problem with the machine.

If the machine continues to flash red permanently, then it is a good idea to speak to a customer service representative from Dolce Gusto, who may replace the machine or send you the required parts to fix the machine. In some cases, they may take your machine for repair free of charge if under warranty.

Light Colours Meanings Overview

  • Flashing green – machine is in use and running
  • Solid green – machine is powered on and ready for use
  • Flashing orange – machine is descaling
  • Solid orange – machine needs to be descaled
  • Flashing red – machine is warming up in order to use
  • Solid red – an issue with the machine
  • Flashing blue – water tank needs refilling as it is empty

Keep In Mind

It’s important that you keep in mind that this is a general guide, and each Dolce Gusto coffee machine may be slightly different or have a more detailed alert system. Some of the newer models have in depth notifications when there is an issue with the machine rather than a colour system.

If you are unsure what something means, then be sure to check the manual for the particular model that you have, or speak to the manufacturer for guidance.


To summarise, having a coffee machine at home will truly change your life. No more will you have to strut in the rain to your nearest coffee shop before work to get a cup of coffee just to feel awake. You can enjoy one in the comfort of your own living room!

However, you’ll need to be aware of all of the warning signs and signals on your coffee machine so that you can keep it in the best working condition possible.

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