If you’re a fan of Nespresso, you’ll know there are lots of different machines to choose from. These single serve wonders offer a huge variety of features. And that’s before you get to the gazillions of coffee blends.
But if you’re thinking of investing in a Nespresso machine, there’s one decision you need to make before any other. Do you go for a model from the OriginalLine, or the new Vertuo range?
Our guide to the differences will help you decide which option is best for you. It’s Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine – read on to see which comes out on top!
Why choose a Nespresso machine in the first place?
There are three major advantages to single serve coffee makers: speed, ease of use and consistency.
You won’t find many coffee makers that can get you a cup of Joe as fast as a Nespresso. All you need to do is pop in a capsule and press a button.
You’ll get fresh coffee in a matter of a few seconds. Take a look at this YouTube video to see the best Nespresso OriginalLine model in action.
Best Nespresso OriginalLine machine
You’ll have gathered from this that it’s very easy to use too. There’s no fussing around with grinding or measuring coffee, or rinsing filters. Coffee making really doesn’t get any easier than this.
Then there’s the consistency of your drink. Okay, you might not be able to customize your brew.
And for all the talk about capturing flavors in the airtight pods, the quality doesn’t compare to freshly ground beans. But you will know what you’re getting – and it’s pretty decent.
If you’ve got a favorite pod, pop it in and you’ll get a reliable flavor time after time.
The only thing that will vary is the strength, depending on the serving size. And some machines will adjust for that too – more on that later.
So if simple, fast, consistent coffee sounds like what you’re looking for, a Nespresso may be a good choice.
Now, what’s all this about original and Vertuo?
Newer is better – or is it?
As a general rule, we tend to assume newer products are improvements over older ones.
After all, why bother bringing out something different if it isn’t better than what’s available already? Here, however, it’s not that simple.
After many of years of making single cup coffee makers, Nespresso’s VertuoLine was launched in 2017. It certainly does offer some features that aren’t available with the original models.
Those features, though, also come with restrictions. But are they a price worth paying – or should you stick with the original machines?
One of the most obvious differences is in the range of serving sizes offered by the two machines.
The OriginalLine will give you a maximum of 110ml of coffee in one cup. Opt for a VertuoLine machine, and you’ll get over three times as much – up to 414ml.
Unlike other single cup machines, the Nespresso offers different sized pods for different serving sizes.
That’s the case whether you have an original or a VertuoLine machine. It’s a major bonus over machines that use the same pods because your coffee stays strong however large it is.
With original models, you have three options. Choose from a 25ml ristretto using Intensa pods, a 40ml espresso, or a 110ml lungo.
For Vertuo machines the options are espresso, double espresso, gran lungo (150ml), mug and alto.
If you enjoy large cups of coffee, the Vertuo may be the better option. But if you love the intense hit of ristretto (or want to use it for an authentic flat white) go for an original machine.
Most single serve machines have a simple approach to brewing.
The pod of coffee is pierced with a needle, and hot water flows through the grounds and out into your cup. It’s straightforward, and OriginalLine Nespressos work in exactly that way.
The VertuoLine machines, though, add a twist – or perhaps we should say a spin.
When you press the brew button, the pod will still be pierced and the water will still flow inside. The difference is that the capsule spins while that’s happening.
The idea is that the centrifugal forces create a thicker crema – and they do.
It actually looks more like the head on a pint of beer than the crema on a traditional espresso. You can see how it works in this YouTube video.
Nestlé, makers of Nespresso, claim this thicker layer “protects” the aroma of the coffee. But surely you want the aroma to be released when you’re just about to drink it?
Whether you like the thicker crema or not is a matter of personal taste. Personally, we prefer the approach of the original machines.
They use 19 bars of pressure to extract the flavor in a way that’s far closer to authentic espresso.
Clever technology – or limiting choice?
The other main difference between the original and VertuoLines is the barcode reading technology. OriginalLine machines don’t have it, Vertuo machines do. But what does it actually do?
In a Vertuo machine, every pod comes with a barcode on the lid.
It tells the machine everything about how to make the coffee: how much water to use, how hot it should be, and how fast it should flow through the pod. It – apparently – even controls how fast the capsule spins during brewing.
Best Nespresso VertuoLine Machine
The major downside of this – or perhaps the upside, if you have shares in Nestlé – is that you can only use Nespresso pods. And they’re a whole lot more expensive than many alternatives.
With an OriginalLine machine, on the other hand, the world is your coffee-drinking oyster. If you want to use Nespresso pods, you can.
But if you want to branch out, try different options and save some cash, you can do that too.
Ready to choose?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our low down of the differences between Nespresso original and VertuoLine machines.
Overall, we prefer the original models. But if you enjoy larger servings of coffee, the Vertuo may be the better choice.
If you have a Nespresso machine – or even if you don’t – why not comment and tell us what you think?
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Ag Ferrari, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.