The Nespresso Vertuo was the original coffee maker to be released in the new VertuoLine range. This machine utilized Nespresso’s new brewing system, enabling it to brew both coffee and espresso. Since its release, other machines have been added to the Vertuo lineup including the Vertuo Plus, Vertuo Next, and the Evoluo.
In this article, we will take a deeper look into the Vertuo coffee maker to see what features it offers and whether it is the right Nespresso machine for you.
Nespresso Vertuo Coffee and Espresso Machine
The Nespresso Vertuo is a versatile automatic coffee maker that brews both coffee and espresso. It utilizes centrifusion technology, where the machine spins a capsule at fast speeds, to extract coffee and produce a thick foamy crema on top of each drink. The Vertuo offers four different cup sizes from traditional espresso cups to larger coffee cup sizes.
The Vertuo coffee maker is all about convenience, with fast heat-up times, one-touch brewing, and quick clean-up. The only thing to bear in mind is that the Vertuo coffee maker is only compatible with Nespresso capsules, which limits the choice of flavors. If you want a single-serve coffee machine that offers the flexibility to brew both coffee and espresso this Nespresso machine is worth considering.
OriginalLine vs VertuoLine
As mentioned above, within the Nespresso lineup there are two types of machines; the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine.
As the name would suggest, the OriginalLine machines were the initial machines released. The machines in this range employ a more traditional brewing system with a 19-bar pump used to extract coffee, resulting in an espresso-like shot topped with thick crema. These machines typically produce either an espresso or a lungo (long shot). One of the benefits of these machines is that they are compatible with third-party capsules, opening up a huge range of coffee blends and flavors.
The VertuoLine machines were designed to brew large coffee cup sizes. These machines use Nespresso’s centrifusion technology to brew coffee. With this system, the machine reads a barcode on the Nespresso pod which dictates how that coffee is to be brewed. The Nespresso machine then spins the capsule at high speeds to generate pressure and extract coffee. The VertuoLine machines brew a range of cup sizes from the standard espresso through to larger 8 oz cups of coffee. The Nespresso coffee is topped with a thick, airy crema, quite different from authentic crema. This system is only compatible with Nespresso Vertuo pods, limiting the choice of flavors.
Nespresso Vertuo Review
The Vertuo is manufactured by both Breville and DeLonghi, with both companies producing virtually identical machines. The Vertuo has a modern and sleek design, featuring a patterned water tank on either side. The Vertuo comes in a variety of neutral color options to complement any kitchen aesthetics.
The Vertuo is a compact coffee maker, making it a good option if you have limited counter space. Despite its small size, it has a large 40 oz removable water tank allowing you to brew multiple drinks before having to refill. Another thoughtful feature of the Vertuo is the adjustable drip tray, which allows you to raise or lower it to suit the cup.
When you purchase the Vertuo coffee and espresso machine, it comes with a complimentary pack of Nespresso Vertuo pods for you to sample. Unfortunately, the coffee maker does not come with a milk frother, but you do have the option of buying an Aeroccino together with the machine as a bundle. This is a good option, expanding the range of drinks on offer to include milk-based beverages.
As mentioned above, the Vertuo machine has a unique brewing system allowing it to produce both coffee and espresso. The system uses centrifusion technology, where the capsule is spun at rapid speeds of up to 7000 rpm to blend the coffee and water. When the machine head is closed the capsule is punctured, the machine then injects hot water into the capsule as it is spun around. This process produces a consistent coffee topped with a thick and foamy crema.
The Vertuo uses proprietary coffee pods that have a barcode on them to direct the machine on how each coffee should be made. Once the capsule is inserted, the machine reads the barcode and adjusts the brewing parameters such as coffee size, temperature, pressure, and brewing time to produce a perfect single serve coffee or espresso each time.
Ease of Operation
Nespresso machines are known to be remarkably easy to use and the Vertuo is no different. The Vertuo coffee maker heats up in 15 seconds and is operated by a single button. Thanks to the barcode scanning technology, when a capsule is inserted, the machine reads this and automatically adjusts brewing parameters to suit the capsule.
To brew a drink, you simply insert your chosen capsule, close the head, then lock it by turning the lever to the left. Brewing is then as simple as pushing the button to start the coffee preparation. The capsule you insert determines what type of coffee is brewed. Once the coffee is brewed, the capsule is automatically ejected when the head is opened. The coffee maker also has an energy saving automatic shutoff after 9 minutes of inactivity.
The Nespresso Vertuo has a unique brewing system offering both coffee and espresso. It has four different drink sizes:
Both the espresso and coffee produced taste delicious and are topped by a thick and foamy crema. The crema is not like authentic crema, but more airy, giving the beverages an interesting texture.
The coffee produced is stronger than your standard drip coffee, and more reminiscent of an Americano or foamy filter coffee. You can also create your favorite iced coffee drinks by pouring the espresso or coffee over ice.
Nespresso machines are all about convenience, and as such the machines are remarkably easy to clean. After each use, the capsule is automatically ejected into the used capsule container when the head is opened. This container holds up to 13 coffee pods so does not need to be emptied too frequently.
Regular maintenance tasks involve emptying the used coffee pods and drip tray and rinsing them out and also rinsing and refilling the water tank. How often this has to be done depends on the frequency with which the coffee maker is being used, but given the large capacity, it is not too often.
The Nespresso Vertuo also has a cleaning cycle that can be run. To initiate this you push the button 3 times within 2 seconds. The cleaning cycle runs for 5 minutes and pumps water through the coffee machine in 3 cycles.
Nespresso machines also need to be descaled every 3 months or 300 capsules used. This removes any limescale that might have built up inside the machine. The Vertuo has a descaling cycle that can be run to streamline this process.
Nespresso also runs a recycling program for their capsules. You can order a recycling bag from their website and then return it to a collecting station once it is full.
Who is the Nespresso Vertuo For?
The Nespresso Vertuo is a good option for someone looking to up their coffee game without having to deal with the mess and hassle of a traditional espresso machine. The Vertuo is quick and convenient to use and produces a consistent cup of coffee with no effort. The Vertuo would also suit a household with multiple users, giving the versatility of brewing both espresso and coffee.
Alternatives To The Nespresso Vertuo
If you aren’t convinced the Nespresso Vertuo is for you, there are several other alternatives you could consider that offer similar features.
Keurig K Cafe
Keurig is another single-serve pod system that is very popular. The Keurig K-cafe offers a similar experience to the Vertuo, producing a wide variety of drinks including coffee, hot or cold lattes, and cappuccinos. It is worth noting that this system produces coffee, rather than espresso. The K-cafe comes with an in-built milk frother and is compatible with a wide range of k-cup pods. This coffee maker is rather bulky, so requires a decent chunk of bench space.
Nespresso CitiZ and Milk
The Nespresso CitiZ and Milk is a coffee maker in the OriginalLine range. This machine has a slim footprint and a large water reservoir. It uses a high-pressure pump to extract coffee, producing flavorful espresso with a thick layer of crema. The CitiZ only offers two drink sizes; Espresso or Lungo, however, you can add hot water to these to create an Americano, similar to coffee. The CitiZ comes with a milk frother allowing you to create milk-based beverages. The other advantage of this coffee machine is that it is compatible with third-party pods, reducing the cost per capsule.
Nespresso Vertuo- The Verdict
The Nespresso Vertuo is a versatile coffee machine that produces both espresso and coffee. The machine is simple to use, heats up quickly, and requires virtually no cleanup after. The centrifusion technology and barcode scanning mean the machine produces a consistently good cup of coffee topped with thick, foamy cream. The only downside is that the Vertuo is only compatible with the Nespresso brand coffee capsules which are more expensive.