Nespresso is considered one of the best single-serve coffee companies in the world, but with no shortage of brewers in its catalog, the selection process is overwhelming. The brand’s devices can be divided into two different lines: Original and Vertuo.
Since both lines use different pods, customers can struggle to pick one for fear of missing out on something important. So, how do you decide which is for you? We’ll detail everything you need to know so you can make an informed choice. You might also find our round-up of the best Nespresso machines helpful.
- What Are Nespresso Vertuo And Original Coffee Machines?
- What Nespresso Vertuo And Original Have In Common?
- Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original: The Differences
- What's Better About Nespresso Vertuo?
- What's Better About Nespresso Original?
- Who Should Get Nespresso Vertuo (And Why)?
- Who Should Get Nespresso Original (And Why)?
- Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original: FAQs
What Are Nespresso Vertuo And Original Coffee Machines?
As mentioned earlier, Nespresso’s two lines of pod coffee makers are Original and Vertuo. The brand wanted to create a machine that could produce quality espresso at the touch of a button.
Nespresso sold the first-ever portioned coffee brewer and the first of the OriginalLine in 1986. It was initially released in the Japanese, Swiss, and Italian markets and was designed for the workplace. These early brewers looked like a smaller version of the espresso machines you would see in a coffee shop.
These days, Original coffee machines come in different shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is they use the same espresso pods and brew coffee using pressure.
The VertuoLine was released in 2014 to appeal to those who prefer larger brew sizes. It still allowed customers to whip up quality coffee using a pre-packaged pod but was no longer limited to espresso. These devices moved away from pressure brewing and introduced customers to Centrifusion technology.
What Nespresso Vertuo And Original Have In Common?
Both lines are pod coffee machines. They can all make espresso, but the brewing system is different, so an espresso shot from the Vertuoline won’t taste the same as the Original devices.
These days, both lines also offer products with and without milk frothers. Whether you opt for Original or Vertuo, you can choose a brewer with a steam wand if you like to be more immersed in the brewing process or go for an automatic frother for a simpler experience. Many of the devices across both ranges have pre-programmed recipes, so you can prepare a latte, cappuccino, flat white, or macchiato with no fuss.
Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original: The Differences
There are several models of each device with differing features, sizes, water tank capacities, and colors. Within these categories, there is still a little variation; for example, the standard CitiZ machine doesn’t have a milk frother, but Citiz&Milk does.
- Gran Lattissima
- Creatista Uno
- Creatista Plus
- Creatista Pro
- Essenza Mini
- Vertuo Next
- Vertuo POP
- Vertuo Creatista
- Vertuo Plus
- Vertuo Lattissima
There are technically more Vertuo models to choose from, but this is due to a wider variety of colors.
There is really only one big difference between Vertuo and Original when it comes to extraction.
The Original line uses 19 bars of pressure to ensure you get proper espresso. It’s closer in taste to coffee from a home espresso machine but with a simpler brewing process. Espresso from the OriginalLine has a full flavor as the pressure forces the oils out of the coffee beans and into your cup.
As mentioned earlier, the Vertuo line uses Centrifusion technology. This process forces water through the pod in a circular motion instead of straight through; think of it like water circling a drain. The Centrifusion process ensures all the coffee is extracted evenly, giving you a balanced cup with a delicious layer of crema.
This brewing process is also tailored to each pod to ensure the best flavors shine. Many coffee drinkers find traditional espresso to be harsh and acidic with a burnt taste. That’s why the smoother java from the Vertuo brewers is so popular.
Because of the two different brewing methods, each line has a different capsule.
The OriginalLine capsules are bigger and taller than the VertuoLine ones. This Nespresso capsule is shaped more like a portafilter.
The Vertuo line uses smaller, more rounded pods with a barcode on the rim; the machines use the barcode to determine the settings that work best for that specific coffee. That means you don’t have to consider the temperature, water flow, or other factors.
The coffee choices are different, too. There are some standard offerings between both lines, like Peru Organic and Ethiopia, but others, like Cold Brew Style Intense, are only for Vertuo.
The VertuoLine can brew up to six different-sized drinks depending on your model of choice:
- Espresso (1-ounce)
- Double espresso (2 ounces)
- Gran lungo (5 ounces)
- Mug (7.7 ounces)
- Alto (12 ounces)
- Carafe (18 ounces)
The VertuoLine cannot make some of the smaller Original drinks, like ristretto. Not every Vertuo brewer is equipped to make all six drinks too.
The OriginalLine can brew:
- Ristretto (0.85 ounces)
- Lungo (3.75 ounces)
However, some devices are only limited to two serving sizes.
The prices range drastically across each line depending on the size of the device and features. With that said, the Vertuo machines start at a lower price point. Still, Vertuo pods are more expensive than the Original ones, and there are fewer options.
Official Nespresso pods can be pricey. Original Nespresso machines are compatible with third-party pods, so you can save money or have the ability to whip up a wider range of drinks like tea. VertuoLine machines only accept official Nespresso coffee pods, as the Vertuo pod design is patented, and the device must scan a barcode before brewing.
What’s Better About Nespresso Vertuo?
Nespresso Vertuo is better at creating larger coffee drinks. It’s also easier to use as the device scans the barcode on the pods to set the temperature, brewing time, and serving size to eliminate the guesswork.
Since it takes longer to brew, the coffee always has a deep, rich taste with a thicker mouthfeel. Some models, like the Vertuo Next, can even brew pour-over style coffee.
Although looks aren’t the most important feature, there is a wider variety of colors to choose from, which is a nice touch. You might also be wondering, do Nespresso pods expire?
What’s Better About Nespresso Original?
Nespresso Original creates superior espresso because the extraction system uses pressure, just like traditional espresso machines do. The espresso isn’t quite up to the standard of a coffee shop or even a proper home espresso machine, largely because the coffee isn’t freshly ground or tamped, but for the convenience and speed, it’s pretty hard to beat.
Although the Nespresso Original machines can only create small servings of coffee, you can use it as a base for different types of coffee beverages, as many of the brewers come with a milk frother.
Most of the Original brewers are more expensive than Vertuo devices, but their long-term investment may be cheaper as you’re not limited to Nespresso-brand pods. The freedom to use third-party products also means you can create drinks Nespresso doesn’t offer. For some ideas, check out our list of the best Nespresso pods for hot chocolate.
Who Should Get Nespresso Vertuo (And Why)?
The Nespresso Vertuo line was launched to cater to coffee drinkers who don’t like espresso. While these machines can make it, it’s for those who would rather have a big cup of coffee.
Espresso from the VertuoLine does not taste like authentic espresso; it’s more like strong AeroPress java. This could be a dealbreaker for some coffee drinkers, but if you find real espresso too harsh, it may be a good thing. Since many of the machines come with a steam wand, you can still create your favorite drinks without any polarizing flavors.
Plus, the Nespresso VertuoLine is all about convenience. Although you can water down an espresso shot from an Original device to make an Americano, the Nespresso VertuoLine allows you to enjoy a full cup of Joe with the push of a button. They can even make big carafes of coffee, which is ideal for coffee drinkers who love to entertain guests but don’t have the time to brew individual cups of coffee.
Who Should Get Nespresso Original (And Why)?
If you love espresso and espresso-based drinks, there’s no doubt that the Nespresso Original line is for you. While the cup sizes are small, a true espresso lover will appreciate the ability to prepare authentic tasting espresso and other espresso drinks like ristretto. Learn more in our What is a Ristretto explainer.
Most of the OriginalLine machines come with built-in milk frothers, too, so you can practice your home barista skills and make coffee shop java from the comfort of your own kitchen.
Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original: FAQs
Can You Use Nespresso Original Pods In A Nespresso Vertuo Machine?
You can’t use Nespresso Original and VertuoLine capsules interchangeably, as they are different sizes and shapes.
Can I Use Starbucks Coffee Pods In Nespresso Vertuo?
Starbucks sells pods that are compatible with Vertuo devices. Since the brand also caters to the OriginalLine and creates K-cups for Keurig machines, always read the product description carefully to ensure you picked up the right one.
Does Nespresso Vertuo Make Hot Chocolate?
Nespresso doesn’t sell hot chocolate pods for Original or Vertuo brewers. Although you can find third-party compatible capsules for Original devices, you will not be able to make hot chocolate with a Vertuo.
Can You Use Ground Coffee In A Nespresso Machine?
Nespresso machines do not have a portafilter like a traditional espresso machine would. If you want to use ground coffee in a Nespresso Original device, you will have to purchase reusable coffee pods.