Whether you are interested in buying a Nespresso Vertuo machine, or already have one and looking for some answers… I’ve divided this guide into two sections: Before Buying and After Buying. If you haven’t already bought your Vertuo machine, you can start reading that the beginning of this guide. If you already own one, you can skip to the second half of the guide.
BEFORE BUYING YOUR VERTUO MACHINE
What is Nespresso Vertuo?
Nespresso is one of the leading brands that make single serve coffee machines with many models under their name. They have to main categories:
Nespresso OriginalLine Machines which are single-serve espresso machines. Original Line machines can brew espresso and everything that is espresso based (lattes, cappuccino, macchiato…) and so on.
Nespresso Vertuo, our main subject in this post, can brew espresso as well as long coffee, which is as close as it gets to drip coffee (but it’s not exactly like it). Using a Vertuo machine, you can brew espresso and all things related to it, as well as coffee in several serving sizes.
Vertuo Machine Models
You can get either of these models either as a standalone machine or bundled with an Aeroccino – Nespresso’ electric milk frother.
Main Features of Vertuo Machines:
- Brew 5 serving sizes: espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, coffee and alto (Large Coffee).
- Smart capsule recognition system that automatically recognizes the capsule you’re using and adjusts machine’s parameters to match the type of capsule.
- Centrifusion technology uses rapid spin to extract every bit of flavor out of each capsule.
Other features will vary based on the model: water reservoir capacity, model design, size, used capsule bin capacity and more.
What is the difference between Nespresso Vertuo and Original Line?
The first difference which you can take away from the previous answer:
- Original Line is for espresso and espresso based drinks only.
- Vertuo can make espresso and coffee.
Other differences include:
- Different brewing methods: Original Line machines use pump pressure to brew espresso, just like any other espresso machine. While Vertuo machines use a totally new technology called Centrifusion which spins the coffee capsules rapidly while forcing water through to ensure the best even extraction.
- Redesigned capsules: OriginalLine capsules are entirely different than Vertuo’s. None of the machines can use the others capsules. Vertuo’s capsules feature a barcode on the rim which allows the automatic recognition system to know which capsule you’re using and adjusts the machine accordingly.
- Serving Sizes: Since Original Line only brews espresso, then you’re confined to two serving sizes: Espresso and lungo, and some models have Ristretto which is a shorter shot of espresso.
- Vertuo Machines have 5 serving sizes: espresso, double espresso, gran lungo (5 oz), coffee (7.8 oz) and alto (14 oz coffee).
Is Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoLine the same?
VertuoLine is the name of the first model ever introduced that uses Vertuo technology. Since then, this model, although still available for purchase by some vendors, it has been officially discontinued and replaced with a machine called Vertuo. Although both can brew espresso and coffee, VertuoLine is outdated and might have some flaws that are now fixed in the newer models.
Nespresso Vertuo Machines Comparisons
You can read all about the difference between Vertuo models in previously written posts here:
Is Nespresso Breville or DeLonghi Better?
When shopping for a Nespresso machine, you’ll notice some are sold under Breville’s brand name and other are under DeLonghi’s name. Is one better than the other? No, they are exactly the same. The only difference is going to be some outer design features (aesthetics) and color availability. As for technology and internal parts, they’re all the same. Even when it comes to after sale service, Nespresso alone will provide services for these machines.
What Pods Are Compatible with Nespresso Vertuo?
Vertuo is compatible with capsules available from Nespresso only. They are available in different sizes and blends to choose from. Full guide on Nespresso pods here.
Is There Off-Brand (generic) Nespresso Vertuo Capsules?
There are pods available from Starbucks for Vertuo, which are manufactured by Nespresso. So you can guarantee they are up to standard. As of now (JAN 2022), there are no other brands that offer Vertuo pods.
What Is The Smallest Nespresso Vertuo Machine?
- Please refer to user guide or user manual or user guide (provided below in PDF) before first use
Vertuo NEXT would be your best choice for a compact Vertuo machine. With dimensions WxDxH): 5.5 x 16.8 x 12.4 inches, 37 oz water reservoir capacity, 10 used capsule container capacity and an overall slim design, it is the best model for smaller spaces or anyone who prefers a compact design.
Can Vertuo or VertuoPlus Dispense Hot Water?
Before upgrading to the VertuoPlus, I used my Essenza Mini (Original Line) daily, and to heat up the cup before brewing, I used to press the brew button without inserting a capsule to get a shot of hot water. As soon as I got my VertuoPlus, I tried doing the same thing. But it turns out, you cannot do that using a Vertuo Machine. The machine simply do not work if there’s no capsule in it. However, I found the coffee to be plenty hot and heating up my mug before isn’t necessary. But if this is something you like to do, note that you’ll have to find another way to do it. Either heat your cup up in a microwave or add hot water from a kettle.
Is Nespresso Vertuo Better than the Original? Which To Buy?
Now before finally deciding on a Vertuo machine, here’s the final round of point to keep in mind when it comes to the difference between Vertuo and OriginalLine and which to buy:
Drinks and Serving Sizes:
As already mentioned, Vertuo is for espresso, all espresso based drink as well as coffee in different sizes. And Original Line is for Espresso and espresso based drinks.
So if you’re looking for a machine that does it all, Vertuo is the way to go. If you only drink espresso or espresso/milk drinks then an Original line machine will do.
Does Vertuo’s coffee taste the same as a drip coffee maker? No, it doesn’t. Vertuo’s coffee has a lot of crema on top and the coffee tastes closer to espresso than drip coffee. In fact, it’s a lot like an Americano (Espresso+hot water) but without the dilution of water. If what you’re looking for is a cup of coffee that tastes the same as filter or drip coffee, then Vertuo might not be right for you. However, if you want to experience something new, then give it a try.
Vertuo machines are compatible with capsules available from Nespresso only. I don’t know if this is going to change in the future, but for now, it’s the only option available.
On the other hand, Original Line machines are compatible with a much wider range of capsules, either available from Nespresso or from other brands. This gives you the option to try different coffees as well as get your capsules for different prices, 3rd-party capsules being much cheaper than Nespresso’s (but not always of best quality, to be honest).
To get back to the original question, which is better? Vertuo or Original Line?
No line is better than the other. It all comes down to what you need out of your machine. If all you want is espresso or beverages like cappuccinos and lattes with all their varieties, then pick an OriginalLine machine for sure. If you want to brew coffee, too, then go for Vertuo.
Should I Upgrade to Vertuo Machine If I have an Original Line?
As someone who has both machines and enjoy them both very much, here are my thoughts:
I got the VertuoPlus because I wanted longer cups of coffee. With the Original Line, I used to drink a Lungo size that I slightly reprogrammed to dispense more volume. This resulted in a slightly weaker brew, but it was okay for me. Alternatively, I would brew two capsules and that just meant using up more capsules than I wanted to. Using the Vertuo pods, I can brew a 7.8 oz cup for $1.10 per pod, or a 5 oz for $1 per pod. Using two OriginalLine Lungo capsules costs $1.40 (0.70 per pod) and made a 7.4 oz cup. So I opted for the Vertuo because it made more sense for my personal use and it got me better results out of the box.
So, should you upgrade your Original Line? This will absolutely depend on your use and needs:
- If you’re happy with your current drinks, there’s no need to get a Vertuo machine.
- Keep in mind that using OriginalLine, you have access to third party capsules that will cut your costs a lot. With Vertuo, there’s no third party capsules so you’re stuck with Nespresso’s capsules and prices. Have a look at the available Nespresso capsules and work out your costs if you need to.
Do Vertuo and OriginalLine Pods Taste the Same?
Surprisingly, no they don’t. Even if the pods have the same name. I was always under the impression that I will be getting the same product but in a larger size, but turns out, this is not the case. While some contain the same coffee, the Single Origin lines for example, some of the other blends are different and contain different proportions and gives out a newer taste as a larger serve size.
AFTER BUYING YOUR VERTUO MACHINE – Tips On Use and Maintenance
How To Use Vertuo Machine for The First Time
Now you’re ready to use your new Vertuo machine for the first time, what do you do? These instructions are recommended whether you’re using the machine for the first time or have not used it in a long time:
- Clean the water reservoir and fill it up with water.
- Turn the machine ON.
- Wait for the indicator light to turn steady green.
- Place a large cup or a bowl/container under the spout.
- Make sure there are no capsules inside the brew head before starting the cleaning procedure.
- Press the brew button 3 times in a row and the cleaning procedure will automatically start. The indicator will start flashing Orange lights during the cleaning process.
Your machine will run 3 cleaning cycles where it pumps out water. This is to flush out the internal parts of the machine and to ensure it is clean from the inside.
Once the machine stops pumping out water (it’s going to be boiling hot so be careful!), it is now ready to use. You can read more here.
How To Factory Reset a Vertuo Machine:
All appliances start acting up at some point and require a quick factory reset to start performing again. Resetting your Vertuo machine is quite easy:
- Open the head to ensure any used capsule is ejected.
- Close the head.
- Press the button 5 times in a row within 3 seconds. If done successfully, the button will blink slowly 5 times to confirm that the reset has been done.
How To Descale a Vertuo Machine
Descaling a Vertuo machine (or any Nespresso machine) is done periodically. Some models have in indicator that will light up with it’s time to descale the machine. Otherwise, if you notice that your machine is dripping a lot of excess water, leaking or your coffee does not taste as good as usual, then it’s definitely time for a descale.
Vertuo Capsules – Guide and Compatibility:
Vertuo capsules are available in many blends and variety of intensities to satisfy every taste. Here’s your quick guide to their capsules:
Espresso (40 ml/ 1.35 oz) and Double Espresso (80 ml/ 2.7 oz) capsules:
These are available in intensity 4 to 11 in different roasts and classic blends. There are 4 espresso capsules and 2 double espresso capsules.
Gran Lungo (5 oz):
There are 4 capsules in this collection, with intensity levels 4 to 8.
Coffee (7.8 oz):
You can choose from 9 capsules available for this brew size. The lowest intensity is 2, which is a lightly roasted blend, and the highest is 9 which should gives you an intense and bold cup of coffee.
Alto (14 oz):
Although this is a popular serving size, it only has two capsules. One strong blend and another light one.
Other Specialty Capsules:
Other than the staples, you’ll find that Nespresso offers some special capsules for specialty drinks. Some of these are flavored, however the flavors are not added flavorings but rather tasting notes that are developed while roasting the beans. So do not expect sugary flavorings out of these.
The Barista Creation collection has specially developed blends to enjoy with milk. While you can have them as coffee, they full flavor comes when they’re blended with milk. Barista Creation also includes some capsules made for Iced coffee drinks.
There are also some limited editions and exclusive blends that you can check for periodically as they change seasonly.
Where To Buy Nespresso Vertuo Capsules
There are several places you can get your Vertuo capsules from:
You can also visit a Nespresso boutique near you to buy your favorite capsules and try new ones.
Is There Reusable Vertuo Capsules?
There are very few selection for reusable pods to use with Vertuo machines. If you want to brew your own coffee grounds or perhaps to save some money on capsule purchase.
However, I do not recommend using a reusable capsule with your Vertuo machine for several reasons:
- It’s always a hit or miss. It’s not easy to get the right consistency of coffee ground or the right measurement for each cup size. It will result in weak or not so good brews.
- It’s not convenient. The whole idea of using a Nespresso machine, or a single-serve machine, is the convenience of popping in a coffee capsule and getting a delicious drink with a single push of a button. When you use a refillable pod, you have to measure out your coffee, fill the capsule, then clean it afterwards along with any other mess.
Here’s the most important reason why you shouldn’t use a refillable pod. They’re not always reliable and could break your machine, and in turn, void your warranty.
Can you use Nespresso Vertuo Capsule Twice?
No, Nespresso capsules (all capsules and pods of all kinds, really) are meant for a single serve only. They cannot be used twice.
Conclusion – Is Nespresso Vertuo Worth It? Should You Buy It Over the OriginalLine?
Above, I have given you all the information I have on Vertuo and how it works. Now, whether it’s worth it or not, it totally comes down to your usage and what you need.
Vertuo machines are excellent. The coffee variety, while less than what’s available for the OriginalLine, is still considerably great. Two things to keep in mind that I can think of, after using my VertuoPlus for a while…
- If you’re not going to use the larger coffee sizes (7 oz) or (5 oz), then you can easily live with an Original Line machine and reprogram the dispensing amount to be a bit more without being watered down. Or, if for the most part you’re making lattes or cappuccinos, which use espresso. Personally, I found that the 5 oz capsules to be my sweet spot.
- The price of these pods add up to quite a lot honestly. Especially with the lack of 3rd party pods, you’re committed to Nespresso’s capsules.
- Vertuo’s coffee does not taste like drip or filtered coffee – this is important to understand. I know a lot of people who got disappointed because they expected the coffee would taste like their regular drip coffee. What does it taste like, then? It’s more comparable to an Americano (espresso with hot water). If you don’t like Americanos, you most likely won’t like Vertuo’s coffee.