A few years ago, Nespresso began experimenting with a completely different capsule design for their innovative coffee machines, and came up with a new style of machine and capsule that produced a different style of coffee: the Nespresso Vertuo range. The new capsules were simply called ‘VertuoLine‘, taking their name from the new machines. The more traditional Nespresso capsule is now referred to as ‘OriginalLine‘ and these are still manufactured by Nespresso. Indeed, the OriginalLine Nespresso coffee capsules are still the most popular overall.
To summarise the background reading, VertuoLine machines spin the Nespresso coffee pods at speeds of about 7,000rpm, which result in a different flavour profile when coffee is extracted. This allows for a different variety of flavour and gave rise to the new range of Nespresso VertuoLine machines. If you enjoy smaller coffees (espresso, lungo etc.) then chances are the OriginalLine machines would work better for you. VertuoLine machines cater to larger mug sizes, so if that’s more your thing then we’d recommend looking here – but note that flavour wise, you might prefer the other, so it’s worth trying both!
The first Nespresso VertuoLine machines are being reviewed here: the Nespresso Vertuo and Nespresso VertuoPlus. Let’s get to it!
One of the biggest advantages of the Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine is the really rich crema that you get in your coffee cup, even if you’re using a much larger size of coffee. This is the main difference that you’ll notice between the Nespresso OriginalLine and Nespresso VertuoLine series, and the Vertuo here takes full advantage of that!
There are 5 cup sizes for you to choose Nespresso VertuoLine pods from: Alto (414ml), Mug (230ml), Gran Lungo (150ml), Double Espresso (80ml) and Espresso (40ml), up from the previous 3 sizes of Espresso, Ristretto and Lungo. Note that the Nespresso Vertuo machine by default supports 4 of these sizes (it omits Double Espresso, so if you wanted one of these you’d use two Single Espresso sizes instead).
Despite Vertuo capsules coming in a variety of sizes, the unique bar codes displayed around the rim of each capsule tell the Nespresso Vertuo machine exactly what coffee pod you’ve placed inside. Automatic blend recognition does the rest and knows what to do to produce the perfect cup of coffee!
The Nespresso Vertuo machine itself has a narrow profile and looks quite sleek, especially in a black finish. It weighs 5.45kg (just under 12 pounds) and is 37.1cm in depth by 35.8cm long by 27.4cm in width at the front.
There are four one-touch sizes of coffee that you can have: Alto, Mug, Gran Lungo and Espresso. Note that even though Double Espresso pods are available, this isn’t one of the one-touch options on the Nespresso Vertuo machine. All Nespresso VertuoLine capsules are hermetically sealed (another way for saying the capsules are airtight) to ensure you get the same quality of coffee in every cup you make.
The machine takes 25 seconds to heat up, which is a fairly standard length of time for a Nespresso machine so no complaints there. The water tank is a respectible 1.2L large – not huge, but definitely enough to get by on. The capsule container for when each capsule gets used can also store up to 13 large capsules, so you won’t need to be emptying this every day if you don’t want to. Finally, used capsules can also be recycled!
As far as taste is concerned, our first cup of coffee from the Nespresso Vertuo didn’t disappoint based on our expectations. We tried an Alto sized cup, which is way larger than we’d expect to achieve from the OriginalLine machines, just to see what it’s like. Sure enough, a strong amount of crema was on top – way more than we’d expect from an OriginalLine machine.
The taste of the coffee is comparable but also subtly different: I guess when you have a larger cup it’s not really possible to fill it with an OriginalLine espresso capsule and not dilute it or make two. For that reason, we’d say the taste is still great and what you’d expect from Nespresso but it’s down to personal preference.
If you prefer a larger ‘coffee shop large’ style mug of coffee, we suspect you’ll enjoy the VertuoLine range more than the OriginalLine. You simply can’t get the same quality of crema at volume with the other machines, and in this department the Nespresso Vertuo did extremely well.
For those who prefer their shorter drinks (espresso etc.) the VertuoLine also is fine here – smaller pods for espresso still work extremely well! However, the sheer range of flavours available in OriginalLine is greater than VertuoLine right now, so if variety is what you’re after we’d go with OriginalLine (read our guide on the OriginalLine capsules and their flavour profiles) Otherwise, it looks like the new VertuoLine is here to stay, and we mainly love the quality crema even in larger cups!
Nespresso have also released a Vertuo Plus coffee machine, although most marketing materials simply say they’ve released the Vertuo and don’t make a big deal out of having two slightly different models.
The Vertuo Plus differs from the Vertuo in two main ways: the machine head of the coffee machine has an automatic opening and closing mechanism, and you can also move the water tank to suit space in your home or office.
We view the automatic machine head opening / closing as a nice to have, but ultimately it’s a little bit gimmicky. We don’t really mind opening and closing it ourselves that much. However, being able to decide where to put the water for your coffee machine means we got to place it in various places (some near plug sockets so are tactically important) that we wouldn’t otherwise have been able to fit the Nespresso Vertuo machine as well. So overall, if you think it would help place it somewhere, we’d happily go with the VertuoPlus! If you have a large, open space and you’re fine with the coffee machine simply sitting on your counter with nothing around it, then buying the Nespresso Vertuo is perfectly fine.
Neither the Nespresso Vertuo or VertuoPlus come designed to make milk-based coffee such as lattes and cappuccinos. However, if you are enjoying the crema from the coffee here and also want to have this combined with your favourite milk based drink, you can do this by adding an Aeroccino milk frother. This can be done as a bundle when you receive your machine, or you can also buy an Aeroccino separately.
Note that the Aeroccino is the same product that works with the Nespresso OriginalLine machines as well, so if you have another machine that you’d like to move your Aeroccino from, you can absolutely do that!
We enjoyed tasting the coffee from the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus machines, and especially like that Nespresso are still trying to push the boundaries for what we can expect from an ‘instant’ (or near enough!) coffee at home. The new centrifugal technology in the VertuoLine pods has really opened doors for larger coffee cup sizes. There’s no doubt in our minds that anyone who enjoys a mug (or larger!) of coffee would prefer the VertuoLine serving style to OriginalLine, because the volume of coffee you get is simply larger! For that reason, the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus is the clear cut favourite for larger-sized coffee drink lovers.
It’s a nice touch to include the Nespresso VertuoPlus with a way to move the water tank as well, which may be important in some compact kitchens so you can decide exactly where to place the water for your coffee. Making this an optional second model also means that those who don’t need this feature, don’t need to pay a different price to get it as well – which we can appreciate!
The biggest potential downside to the Vertuo and VertuoPlus comes from those of us who enjoy a wider variety of coffee. Simply put, the VertuoLine does espresso just as well with a delicious crema to boot but has fewer capsules on the market right now to choose from, compared to OriginalLine machines. This means that if you value having lots of different types of coffee throughout the year then an OriginalLine machine such as the Nespresso Prodigio or Nespresso Creatista might be better suited for you.
We hope this has been a helpful review and guide to help you make a decision about the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus coffee machines! Please do share this page and link to us if you’ve found it helpful. Thanks!
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