Nespresso Vertuo vs Original – Read this before you buy!

Most Nespresso enthusiasts are likely aware of the introduction of the new VertuoLine coffee makers. However, it’s understandable that they might not be entirely familiar with how they work and the distinctions that set them apart from the Original line.

In 2014, Nespresso decided to revolutionize its design line and bring a coffee maker with a different coffee pod system to market. The Vertuo line has no resemblance to the Original line, as they have simplified usage and improved many aspects of the operation compared to the classic models.

Beverage size of Vertuo vs. Original coffee machine

Nespresso coffee makers from the Original line can brew up to 3 different coffee sizes. In contrast, the Vertuo line expands that versatility, allowing the preparation of up to 5 sizes. However, it’s essential to note that within the Original range, sizes are customizable based on our preferences through straightforward programming.

Coffee size of Nespresso Original

In the previous article about the issue with Nespresso coffee makers dispensing coffee that is too short, I illustrated the coffee measurements offered by the Original series:

OriginalLineNespresso with 2 buttonsNespresso with 3 buttons
Small cup (ristretto)25 ml (±7%)
Small cup (espresso)40 ml (±7%)40 ml (±7%)
Large cup (lungo)110 ml (±7%)110 ml (±7%)

These values can be adjusted between 20 and 200 ml:

  1. Brew the coffee as usual, but instead of a short press, hold down the coffee button you want to customize for at least 3 seconds to initiate the programming mode.
  2. Release the button only when the desired coffee fill level is reached.
How to modify coffee volumes in a Nespresso machine
How to modify coffee volumes in a Nespresso machine

Note: Thanks to their configurable menus, the Nespresso Creatista and Maestria can adjust volume values easily whenever you want to brew a new coffee.

Coffee size of Nespresso Vertuo

With Vertuo coffee pods, we lose almost all the references we had in the original range regarding the size of the resulting beverage.

Vertuo coffee makers maintain the option of a 40ml espresso but omit the 110ml lungo, making way for the new Double Espresso of 80ml and Gran Lungo of 150ml. Furthermore, it is no longer possible to brew 25ml “ristrettos”; however, brewing over half a liter of coffee with a single coffee pod is now possible.

VertuoLineNespresso Vertuo NextNespresso Vertuo Plus
Espresso40 ml (±7%)40 ml (±7%)
Double Espresso80 ml (±7%)80 ml (±7%)
Gran Lungo150 ml (±7%)150 ml (±7%)
Mug230 ml (±7%)230 ml (±7%)
Pour-Over Style
535 ml (±7%)

Furthermore, there’s no room for error when preparing your drinks with the Nespresso Vertuo machine. Insert the coffee pod and press the same button each time, as the machine automatically determines the appropriate amount of water for the coffee pod you’ve inserted. This level of precision is made possible by the innovative barcode reading system built into the coffee maker.

Nespresso Vertuo and coffee pods barcodes

Classic Nespresso coffee pods have a conical shape with a rounded tip, specifically designed to fit perfectly into the Nespresso machine’s coffee brewing unit.

You insert the coffee pod, operate the lever to puncture it on the water injection side, press the brew button. As the pressure builds inside, the coffee pod self-pierces against the front perforation disc of the Nespresso machine. Throughout this process, the coffee pod’s function was to contain the coffee.

In Vertuo coffee makers, coffee pods play a crucial role during preparation. They house the desired coffee and convey vital information to the machine’s control board, detailing the drink’s characteristics to be prepared and the instructions for brewing.

Bar code on Vertuo Pods
Bar code on Vertuo Pods

The Nespresso Vertuo features a barcode reader to automate the coffee brewing process without error. Barcode reading is used to adjust the amount of water to inject, the speed at which the coffee pod should rotate, or the water temperature, among other factors.

Benefits of the Nespresso Barcode Reader:

  • Coffee preparation is simplified for the user since the machine takes care of everything with a single button.
  • The elimination of the infuser rail system simplifies the process, eliminating complications that could lead to water leaks, pressure issues, and low infusion temperatures.
  • It prevents the competition of compatible coffee pods. Manufacturing compatible pods is no longer as simple (or legal).

Differences in the coffee extraction system

The classic Nespresso machines in the OriginalLine work like a traditional pod coffee maker. The coffee pod is pierced at one end, water is injected at 187ºF, and a pressure of up to 19 bars, and the coffee exits through the other self-pierced end.

The new Nespresso machines in the VertuoLine inject hot water at 187ºF into the coffee pod, but in this case, the pressure is not produced by the pump. As hot water is injected, the pod is spun at high speed, increasing water pressure due to centrifugal force.

What’s the result?

Ultimately, both systems pass hot water through the ground coffee at high temperatures, but the methods used differ. Regarding the final cup, I think the result is similar, although I acknowledge that coffee enthusiasts disapprove of the VertuoLine due to its extraction method.

The price difference between Vertuo and Original coffee pods

I will use the official store as the price reference for Nespresso pods because, in my experience, if you order more than 50 coffee pods at once, their price is the best on the market.

On November 25, 2023, you can get Original range coffee pods available at various price points: $0.80, $0.85, $0.90, $0.95, $1.10, and $2.25. These higher prices are associated with the latest limited edition coffee pods, which include AMAHA AWE UGANDA, KAHAWA YA CONGO, and the most luxurious option, Orange Blossom & Citrus.

Regarding the Vertuo range coffee pods, the price ranges from $0.98 to $2.00. Typically, the more affordable options are the 40ml coffee pods, priced at $0.98, while the higher-end choices are the 535ml pods, which cost around $1.50. The priciest pods are the special editions, such as CAFECITO DE PUERTO RICO at $2.00 or KAHAWA YA CONGO at $1.50.

We can establish an average price of $0.95 for Nespresso Original pods and $1.65 for Vertuo pods. This means that Vertuo pods are more expensive than the original ones, although it’s typically due to the larger coffee quantity they produce.

The price difference between Nespresso Original and Vertuo coffee makers

➡️ See this article: Differences between Nespresso coffee machines.

Which is better? Nespresso Original or Vertuo?

As I have said in most of my coffee machine comparisons, deciding whether a coffee machine is better or worse depends on individual preferences. But with the data from this guide, you can determine which is best for you.

I prefer the Nespresso Vertuo despite its higher coffee pod cost than the Nespresso Original. In my case, what tips the balance in favor of the Vertuo is the convenience it offers. The presence of a single button to prepare coffee and guarantee a perfect cup every time seems to be a significant advance.

But you may prefer to drink much more coffee at a more reasonable price, so the OriginalLine range may suit you.

Written by Pablo Barrantes Nevado
I am Pablo Barrantes, a coffee lover. I decided to start this website to solve all the doubts that arise every day when preparing our favorite drink: coffee. I am an industrial engineer by profession, but I have worked in coffee shops for many years, where I have learned all the secrets about coffee machines and coffee. My passion for coffee has led me to investigate and study beyond the obvious, and thanks to this, I can offer solutions and give news about coffee and coffee makers. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I research, document and write here.

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