Nespresso has become a favorite among coffee snobs who love espresso and milk-based coffee beverages for its convenience and ease of use, but many get confused among two Nespresso product lines i-e Nespresso Vertuo vs Original.
Nespresso Original line is a traditional line of Nespresso that brews espresso shots using pressurized pumps and coffee capsules. In 2014, Nespresso introduced the Vertuo line which uses centrifugal brewing technology to make coffee with a thick layer of crema, just like espresso. These machines are only compatible with Nespresso-patented capsules.
I assume that you are unsure whether you should buy an original Nespresso machine or a Vertuo machine. Throughout this article, I will compare and contrast these two lines, discussing their pros and cons to help you make an informed buying decision.
Overview of Nespresso Original Line
This is the line of Nespresso most of you might be familiar with as it’s been around now for more than 25 years. The original line machines are simple and user-friendly and use the same pods to brew two sizes of Espresso i-e single Espresso and Lungo.
These machines have an automatic pump inside the machine similar to traditional Espresso machines that generates a pressure of 19 bars.
The Original line Nespresso machines are compatible with both Nespresso and 3rd party capsules so you have a variety of flavors to choose from.
There are more than 20 models in the Nespresso Original line series from entry-level machines like Essenza mini to high-end cappuccino and Latte makers like Creatista and Lattissima series.
Entry-level machines are available for under 200 dollars while high-end machines cost in the range of 400 to 600 dollars.
Benefits of Nespresso Original over Vertuo
- The coffee capsules for original line machines are generally cheaper than Vertuo Capsules
- Compatible with 3rd party capsules so you have more variety and flavors.
- Original line machines are relatively cheaper and a wide range of models are available from basic to advanced.
- Built-in milk frother available in Original line Lattissima and Creatista series.
- Original Line Nespresso machines can be used for making just hot water.
Cons of Nespresso original
- Can only brew Espresso and Lungo shots or milk-based Espresso drinks (in advanced models).
- No options for regular 8 oz coffee!
- Relatively difficult to clean then Vertuo line machines
Overview of Nespresso Vertuo Line
Nespresso launched its Vertuo line in 2014 to expand into the coffee industry after becoming a monopoly in pod espresso machines.
The Vertuo line machines are capable of preparing coffee in five different sizes from single Espresso shot to large Alto XL. Nespresso launched this series mostly to satisfy North American consumers as they prefer regular 8-ounce servings.
The brewing principle of Nespresso Vertuo is far from traditional Espresso machines and it uses a centrifugation brewing technology that still delivers coffee with a rich layer of crema like Espresso.
The unique feature of the Vertuo line is that the machine has only one ON/OFF button and everything else like brewing size, brewing temperature, and brewing time is automated by a barcode imprinted on the capsule.
Currently, there are three models in the Nespresso Vertuo line series: Vertuo Plus, Vertuo Next, and Vertuo all available for around 200 dollars.
Benefits of Nespresso Vertuo over Original
- Although both Nespresso lines are very convenient and user-friendly, the Vertuo line machines go even further in terms of convenience with barcode technology.
- With Vertuo line machines, you can brew both regular coffee and Espresso (You just have to select a different capsule).
- A centrifugal extraction system creates a thick layer of crema.
Cons of Nespresso Vertuo
- Only limited models are available and none of them has a built-in milk frother. (Although you can buy an Aeroccino milk frother in a bundle deal)
- Due to patents on Vertuo line Capsules no 3rd party can manufacture capsules compatible with Vertuo line machines. So, the variety of coffee capsules is limited to some extent.
- The cost of the machine as well as the cost of capsules is relatively higher than the original line machines.
What are the differences between Nespresso Vertuo and original?
You have an idea of what the Nespresso Original line machine is and what the Nespresso Vertuo machine is like. Now, Let’s make a detailed comparison between these lines and decide what’s better.
The Brewing Principle
The main difference between the Nespresso Vertuo and Original line is the brewing principle. Both machines deliver drinks that look similar, but their working differs completely.
Nespresso original line has a 19 bars pressurized pump system that resembles traditional Espresso machines.
A needle in the head of a Nespresso machine creates a hole in the coffee capsule, allowing high-pressure water to flow through it, extracting flavor from coffee grounds and providing a rich, creamy shot of Espresso.
A similar principle is used in almost all other pod-based Espresso machines.
Vertuo line machines work on patented centrifugation technology, which causes the capsule to revolve at 7000 rpm in order to create a pseudo pressure. A thicker layer of cream is generated by this centrifugation system.
Like the brewing principle, the Vertuo coffee pods are also unique with a barcode imprinted on them. Depending on the capsule, the machine automatically adjusts the amount of water and brewing time.
The one bad thing about the centrifugation system is it makes Nespresso loud compared to the original line machine like Essenza.
Those who like real espresso and want something that is very close to it should go with the original Nespresso line since the brewing principle is very similar and the texture and crema layer are also very similar. In the case of Vertuo, the centrifugation system results in an excessively thick layer of crema, which I dislike personally.
Also Read: Nespresso Vs Espresso (Is Nespresso Real Espresso)
While both Nespresso lines are extremely user-friendly but if I have to choose one I will go for Nespresso Vertuo.
The Nespresso original line requires you to insert the capsule and select the drink size, while the Nespresso Vertuo line simply requires you to insert the capsule, and the machine will do the rest by reading the barcode.
However, Vertuo line’s limited control options might get you into trouble sometimes as the machine starts blinking sometimes and you have no idea what to do or which button to press.
Overall, the winner is Vertuo Line. But that’s not a huge plus for sure as the original line is also fairly convenient.
Nespresso Original line machines are only limited to Espresso.
- Espresso (1.35 oz)
- Lungo (3.7 oz)
However, you can easily prepare an Americano with Nespresso original line that resembles a regular 8 oz serving of coffee.
Nespresso Vertuo line has five different drink options including both coffee and Espresso
- Espresso (1.35 oz)
- Double Espresso (2.7 oz)
- Lungo (4.7 oz)
- Coffee (8oz)
- Alto XL (18 oz)
There is no button to select the brew size on Vertuo machines; instead, each serving size requires a different coffee capsule.
Milk Based Drinks
The Nespresso Vertuo line and entry-level Nespresso originals like Essenza do not come with built-in milk frothers, however, you can purchase one in a bundle deal with Aeroccino Milk frother at a discounted price.
Nespresso original line’s Creatista and Lattissima models have an automatic milk frother for preparing lattes, cappuccinos, and macchiatos at a touch of a button.
Although these machines are a very convenient option for Latte lovers but they are significantly expensive.
The Nespresso Vertuo Line comes out on top here, especially if you want both regular coffee and espresso with the same machine.
Temperature of the Coffee Drink
The brewing temperature inside a Nespresso machine is around 83-86° for Original and 78° ± 5° for Vertuo.
According to National coffee Association, the best temperature for brewing coffee is 90-95°.
I don’t know why the operating temperature of the Nespresso machine is lower than that maybe that temperature is perfect for their brewing system.
According to Nespresso: “Nespresso coffee is meant to be enjoyed immediately after brewing, which is why it keeps a lower temperature than for example, filter coffee.”
If you’re like me and like your coffee hot, the Nespresso Original line has an advantage here.
Taste of the drink and Crema Layer
Taste is a completely subjective matter and there’s always a debate on coffee forums that whether Vertuo or the original Nespresso machine delivers the best-tasting shot of Espresso.
First, let’s talk about Crema.
Crema is an essence of Espresso – both the original line and vertuo line give you a beautiful crema on the top of Coffee or Espresso which is appreciated by coffee lovers.
No doubt Vertuo line machines deliver a thicker layer of Crema than original line machines. But does thickness really matters?
Well! In my opinion, it doesn’t. And the Crema layer of Nespresso Vertuo line coffee also dissipates very quickly as this foam is mainly the product of the rapid spinning process.
On the other hand, the Crema layer on Nespresso Original line coffee is thin and creamy and its texture is similar to real Espresso.
Overall, both machines deliver a fair shot of Espresso but it can’t be compared with Espresso brewed with traditional Espresso machines. In my opinion, the taste of the Nespresso Original line is a little better as I don’t like the foamy layer on time that gets weird with time.
Vertuo Pods vs Original
The difference between Original and Vertuo capsules is that the Vertuo Capsules have a special barcode imprinted on them so they aren’t interchangeable with Original line capsules.
You can’t use Original Nespresso pods in the Vertuo!
Vertuo Pods are dome-shaped and come in five different sizes according to the serving size of the coffee. Nespresso has a strict patent on these capsules. That means no 3rd party brands can’t manufacture them.
Nespresso maintains the quality and taste of coffee and manufactures the best capsules because of strict patents, but it has two drawbacks.
- Vertuo Pods are expensive
- Since third-party capsules are not allowed, the variety is limited
Original Line capsules are smaller and cup-shaped. Since original line capsules do not have strict patents, third parties can manufacture them, so a wide variety of capsules are available.
Original line capsules are also cheaper than the Nespresso Vertuo Capsules.
|Type||Original line cost||Vertuo line Cost|
|Espresso||0.75 – 0.95 $||0.95 – 1.10 $|
|Lungo||0.80 – 1 $||1.10 – 1.20 $|
|Coffee||N/A||1.20 – 1.40 $|
|Approximate cost for 365 days (1 year) 2 cups a day||365 * 0.8 * 2 = 584 $||365 * 1.1 * 2 = 803 $|
So that’s a saving of more than 200 dollars a year if you use Original line capsules.
Yeah! Both capsules are significantly more expensive than ground coffee. You can use your own coffee in Nespresso by using reusable capsules but it’s much hassle.
This is a clear win for the Nespresso Original line of capsules because of their large variety and low price.
Design of the Machines
Design is a completely subjective matter as taste but in my opinion, the design of Nespresso Vertuo is better.
Nespresso Original and Vertuo line machines both feature decent and minimalistic designs with compact sizes that are easy to fit anywhere.
Nespresso Vertuo has a more contemporary and stylish design. Nonetheless, it doesn’t really matter a lot.
Price and the variety of Machines
The Vertuo line includes three models: Vertuo, Vertuo Plus, and Vertuo Next. They all cost around 200 dollars.
There are more than 15 models in the Nespresso original series from the basic Essenza, Citiz, and Pixie to advanced bean-to-cup models like Creatista and Lattissima.
Basic models Essenza and Pixie are relatively cheaper than Vertuo line machines and cost under 200 dollars. While Lattissima and Creatista models cost in the range of 400 to 600 dollars but their advanced features are surely worth the price.
What is the best Nespresso Vertuo Line Machine
In Vertuo Line, there are only three models that are very similar. However, Vertuo Plus is my favorite of all.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus
Nespresso Vertuo Plus is more user-friendly as it has a motorized open and close system it has a larger adjustable water reservoir and large storage for used capsules.
Also, it is relatively cheaper compared to Vertuo Next.
Vertuo Plus is available in a bundle deal with Aeroccino Milk frother at a discounted process to cover all your frothing needs.
Also Read: Nespresso Vertuo Next vs Plus
What is the best Nespresso Original line Machine
The Nespresso Original line machines are fantastic for espresso lovers but choosing the best among the range of models isn’t a very easy decision. Here are my top picks in the Original line series
Nespresso Essenza mini
Nespresso Essenza Mini is an entry-level, budget-friendly machine for brewing espresso; ideal for coffee lovers with limited counter space.
The Nespresso Essenza mini has a sleek, compact design that fits easily on your kitchen counter or office desk.
The Essenza mini brews a shot of espresso in under 30 seconds with the ease of pushing a button. The machine has an auto shut-off feature that automatically turns it off after 9 minutes of inactivity.
This machine is the cheapest of all Nespresso models and the best thing it’s also the quietest Nespresso machine.
Also Read: Nespresso Essenza Mini vs Plus
Nespresso Gran Lattissima
If you are a fan of Cappuccino or Latte you might be looking for the Nespresso machine with milk frother.
Nespresso Gran Lattissima is the high-end model of the Nespresso brand and undoubtedly the best pod-based Espresso machine.
It is not possible to prepare milk-based espresso drinks more conveniently than with Gran Lattissima.
This automatic coffee maker combines Nespresso capsule technology with one-touch fresh milk frothing technology to prepare barista-quality coffee in minutes.
This machine features nine different types of coffee drinks: Three Black coffee drinks ristretto, espresso, and lungo. Four milk-based coffee beverages latte macchiato, cafe latte, cappuccino, and flat white. The other two are “hot foam,” and “hot milk,”
Also Read: Nespresso Gran Lattissima review
Which is better Nespresso original or Vertuo | Our Final Verdict
I hope you have already decided after reading the full article, but if you are looking for my subjective opinion, the Original line it is!
As for Nespresso Vertuo vs Original, for me, the Original line is simply better. It offers 30x more pod varieties and the pod price is 20% less and whenever I want a full cup of coffee I go for Americano.
Vertuo line isn’t bad too it’s fun to brew coffee with new and advanced technology. If budget isn’t an issue and you love full cups of coffee then definitely Vertuo is a better choice for you.
Still confused? Read our article on Whether Nespresso machines Worth it or not
Also Check out:
Is Nespresso Discontinuing OriginalLine?
After the launch of the Vertuo line series in 2014, many think that it’s the end of the Nespresso Original line.
But it’s not the case, Nespresso isn’t discontinuing the Nespresso original line series in the near future.
Nespresso also keeps on launching new models and new coffee pods even after it featured the Vertuo line series and will continue to do so.
Do Any Other Pods Work With Nespresso Vertuo?
The Nespresso Vertuo line has a special patented barcode system so only the capsules having that barcode will work with the Vertuo line machines.
Pods for the Vertuo line are manufactured directly by Nespresso, and some variety of capsules are also available from Starbucks as it’s an official Nespresso partner.
3rd party Unauthorized dealers are strictly not allowed to manufacture these capsules.