Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original Line: Which Pod Coffee and Espresso Maker Is Better?
As if choosing a Nespresso machine wasn’t already hard enough, now they’ve added a whole new line, the VertuoLine. So what’s so special about these new models and should one find a place in your home?
This review will dive deep into the details of Nespresso Vertuo vs Original, so you’ll know which pod coffee maker is right for your kitchen.
This classic line offers ultra-convenient single-serve coffee makers that produce a ristretto, espresso, or lungo from a hermetically sealed capsule of ground coffee.
Nespresso partners with well-established manufacturers like Breville and DeLonghi to produce a variety of Original espresso machines, and it’s this variety that stands out in this duel. Regardless of your budget, space, or favorite espresso drink, there’s a Nespresso Original coffee machine for you.
- Greater variety of machines
- A bigger selection of coffee capsules
- Built-in milk frothing available
- Less expensive
- Only makes espresso
- Pump is louder
Nespresso first released the new VertuoLine in 2014. They designed it to appeal to the North American market, where larger coffees are often preferred over espresso.
VertuoLine’s claim to fame uses special barcoded coffee pods and a unique extraction system to produce five drink sizes, from a single espresso to a 14 oz coffee.
- Can make larger coffee drinks
- Quieter operation
- Barcoded Nespresso coffee capsules make brewing simple
- Thicker crema
- A smaller selection of machines
- Capsules are expensive
The Face-to-Face Showdown
This section will put both lines against each other in a head-to-head battle of Nespresso Vertuo vs Original. Who will emerge victoriously? Keep reading to find out!
In either case, there are some amazing models to choose from.
Types of Drinks
The biggest distinction between Nespresso Original vs Vertuo is the style of drinks they make.
If you only drink espresso or espresso-based drinks, choose an Original. Each machine offers three brew sizes: the 0.7-oz ristretto, the 1.4-oz espresso, and the 3.7-oz lungo.
On the other hand, if you want the option of drinking a larger coffee as well, you’ll be a fan of the Nespresso Vertuo machines. These brewers offer 5 cup sizes: an espresso, a 2.7-oz double espresso, a 5-oz gran lungo, an 8-oz mug of coffee, or a 14-oz alto XL.
None of the Vertuo models come with built-in milk frothers, but you can bundle them with Nespresso’s popular Aeroccino frother at a discounted price.
On the other hand, two of the Original Nespresso models, the Creatista and the Lattissima, offer built-in milk frothers. However, these are significantly more expensive.
The smaller and more affordable Original Nespresso models are only for espresso, but you can also bundle them with an Aeroccino.
Winner: The Nespresso VertuoLine wins this round because each coffee machine can make both espresso and coffee. While the Originals offer built-in milk frothing, the availability of the Aeroccino renders that less important.
The Nespresso OriginalLine has a far bigger selection of capsules. Because the patent on these cup-shaped capsules has expired, they’re now available from a wide variety of third-party sellers. If you already have a favorite coffee, you might even find it in capsule form. It’s also easier to find variety packs of Original capsules, perfect for large households or offices.
Many reviewers believe the Original capsules come closer to an authentic espresso taste and mouthfeel.
The only downside to the Original capsules is that they come in a single size, so a bigger drink like a lungo will necessarily be more dilute.
The dome-shaped VertuoLine capsules are only available from Nespresso because they require a barcode to be recognized by the Vertuo machine. This means the variety is limited, and you might have a harder time finding what you want.
However, the Nespresso VertuoLine capsules come in three different sizes, so larger drinks can be as powerful as smaller ones. Also, the Vertuo Nespresso capsules produce a thicker layer of crema, even on the larger coffees, for a richer coffee experience.
Winner: Original Line wins this round. Even though their capsules only come in one size, the huge variety of options gives them the edge.
These two systems use very different extraction methods, though that might not be apparent from the outside.
Original models use a pressure-based system. The capsule’s top is punctured, and hot water is forced in at up to 19 bars of pressure until the bottom bursts, and a frothy espresso emerges. This resembles how traditional espresso is made.
The VertuoLine coffee machines use a spinning system they’ve termed “centrifusion.” Hot water pumps into the capsule, which is then spun at 7000 rpm to infuse the water before it reaches your cup thoroughly. The centrifugation system yields a thicker crema and is quieter during operation.
Vertuo Line Nespresso pods also use a unique barcode system. Each is printed with a barcode that dictates the ideal brewing conditions for that coffee. The espresso machine scans the barcode and automatically adjusts its settings for perfect brewing; no user input is required.
Winner: This was a close one, but the VertuoLine takes it. The barcode scanning system makes it foolproof to use, and we love the quiet hum of the centrifugal extraction.
Variety of Machines
The Nespresso Original Line has eight base models and 12 different products, covering a wide range of sizes and features, from the tiny Pixie to the bean-to-cup Lattissima. This is possible because Nespresso has partnered with other companies, like Breville, DeLonghi, and Kitchenaid, which bring decades of manufacturing expertise.
In comparison, the VertuoLine machines are made in house. There are only three models, the Vertuo, the VertuoPlus, and the Evoluo. And to be honest, they’re all rather similar in appearance and functionality. The VertuoLine is relatively new, so more options are likely forthcoming if the line proves successful.
Winner: There’s no contest here. The Originals win for having options covering a broad spectrum of sizes, styles, and features.
All three Vertuo Line Nespresso machines have similar prices, while the Original models cover a wide range of budgets.
The least expensive Original models, like the Pixie, Essenza, and Citiz, are cheaper than the Vertuo machines. In contrast, the most expensive, like the Creatista and Lattissma, are at a higher price point.
If you’re on a strict budget, a low-end Original Line model bundled with an Aeroccino is the way to go. But if you like to drink coffee AND espresso, a Vertuo espresso machine will save you needing to buy separate modes to make both.
Another factor is the price of espresso pods. You can find alternative pods for the Original Nespresso machines from competing brands for far less money than the Nespresso brand Vertuo coffee capsules.
Winner: We’ll give the edge to the Original here. It offers the least expensive models for those on a budget, and the coffee pods are much cheaper.
If this showdown has taught us anything, it’s that both Original and Vertuo Nespresso coffee machines excel in certain aspects. So with that in mind, here are our recommendations.
Buy a Nespresso Original machine if…
You only drink espresso or espresso-based drinks and don’t make coffee. You’ll pay less for the espresso machine and the Nespresso coffee capsules, and you’ll have way more coffee pod choices. You’re also getting a more authentic espresso experience from the pressure-based extraction.
Buy a Nespresso Vertuo machine if…
You want the convenience of making espresso and coffee from the same machine. With the barcoded capsule brewing system, the VertuoLine makes brewing any style and size of drink foolproof. If you love a rich and thick crema layer on your coffee, you’ll be impressed by the centrifugal extraction.
The difference between Nespresso and Keurig is that Nespresso machines make espresso, while Keurig coffee makers make drip coffee. Additionally, Nespresso uses recyclable aluminum capsules, whereas Keurig’s plastic K-Cups have a negative environmental impact.
For more details, we have a whole article comparing Nespresso and Keurig.
Yes, you can reuse a Nespresso capsule. You’ll just need to retrieve it from the discard bin and reinsert it in the brew head. The second run will give a weaker brew, but it’s still tasty and drinkable.
The difference between Vertuo and VertuoPlus is subtle. Surprisingly, it’s the Vertuo that’s a bit larger, more powerful, and more expensive. But with similar designs and the same centrifugation extraction system, they are more alike than they are different.