Nespresso machines are a great alternative to more expensive espresso machines, brewing espresso and coffee from capsules (commonly referred to as “pods”). They have exploded in popularity in the last few years due to how convenient, affordable, and tasty their coffee is.
The top models within the Nespresso brand are the Nespresso Vertuo and Nespresso Original, but which one is best for your needs?
To help make it easy for you to choose, we’ve covered all things “Nespresso Vertuo vs. Original" in our guide below to make sure you pick the machine that best suits your coffee needs!
Nespresso VertuoLine vs. Original (Key Differences Explained)
Machine Design & Varieties
With the Original line, you get 8 base models and 12 different products. Starting at the compact “Pixie” all the way up to the bean-to-cup, robust “Lattissima," they've been so expertly varied due to their partnerships with other companies (DeLonghi, Kitchenaid, etc.).
The VertuoLine machines are all made by Nespresso, solely. Perhaps due to this or the fact that it’s a much newer line, it only consists of 3 models: Vertuo, VertuoPlus, and the Evoluo.
This line is likely to get some other models in the future; however, the current 3 are all quite similar in appearance and function.
Types of Drinks Possible
Aside from looks, this may be the biggest difference between the two lines. As previously mentioned, if you are mainly a large coffee drinker, then you’ll likely be a fan of the VertuoLine. This is because the Vertuos offer five sizes: an espresso, 2.7oz double espresso, 5oz gran Lungo, 8oz coffee, or 14oz Alto XL.
The Original offers three different sizes: 0.7oz ristretto, 1.4oz espresso, and the 3.7oz Lungo. If you’re a big espresso drinker and joy a small-yet-powerful shot of flavor, then the Original line is probably more up your alley.
The extraction method of the VertuoLine machines uses "centrifusion technology," where they spin the capsules at ultra-high speeds to create a thick crema to top off your coffee.
Nespresso Originals use a more traditional method to extract with high temperatures and water pressure. The latter method is the same type used with a pro-level espresso maker, making it ideal for those who appreciate a genuine flavor and richness over anything else.
Brew Time & Control
As we spoke about earlier, the VertuoLine machines use the barcode system. This is convenient in that you literally just press one button, and it does all the adjusting of settings for you, offering an excellent coffee beverage every time.
However, this also means that you don't really have any control over your drink. Should you want a less or more rich drink, thicker foam, etc., you can't change up the settings on a VertuoLine machine.
On the Original line machines, you don't have the simplicity of the barcode technology, but you have full control over the result.
Temperatures, Crema & Frothing
With the Vertuo, temperatures aren't quite as high due to the thick crema layered over drinks, along with the fact that the machines use cold milk for frothing.
On the other hand, the Original line reaches very hot temperatures, just as a traditional espresso machine could.
Regarding frothing, the lines vary quite a bit. For example, none of the VertuoLine come with built-in milk frothers. While you can purchase them separately, that only adds to the price and increases the footprint.
The Original models, Creatista and Lattissima, both come with built-in frothers (though they are also a bit more expensive).
Unit & Ongoing Costs
The Original line comes with more affordable models than the VertuoLine, so if you’re on a tighter budget, you’re very likely to find something that suits it.
You could even couple one of the most affordable models (the Pixie, Essenza, or Citiz from the Original line) with an Aeroccino frother, and it would still come out more affordable than most VertuoLine models.
Moreover, with the Original, you can use non-Nespresso capsules, which oftentimes are much more affordable.
Best for Drinking
Using Coffee Pods or Capsules
Currently, there are around 23 varieties of flavors under the bar code system that the Vertuo line. The Original line does not utilize this technology.
However, you can still use the pods so long as you adjust the settings yourself. Just remember that you, unfortunately, cannot use Original Nespresso pods in a VertuoLine machine.
The Original line capsules cost around $0.70 to $0.85 per capsule, while VertuoLine capsules are around $0.90 to $1.25 per capsule.
However, there are many third-party capsules that you can use with the Original line that are as little as $0.35 per capsule!
However, one thing to note is that Original Nespresso-compatible capsules only come in one size, so if you make a larger drink, it’s going to be a bit weaker.
In contrast, Vertuo pods come in 5 sizes: Alto, Mug, Gran Lungo, Double Espresso, and Espresso.
Overview of the Nespresso VertuoLine
The VertuoLine is definitely a model geared more toward the North American market, where bigger coffees are much more popular than smaller ones like espresso.
The brewing process with these is quite a bit different from the traditional models, which use a pressure-based system.
On the VertuoLine, they have a spinning system called “centrifusion," where hot water is pushed into the capsule and spun rapidly to infuse the water with coffee. This creates a thicker, more luxurious crema and is also quieter!
If you place a lot of value on convenience, you’ll love the VertuoLine machines, which have a system where each pod comes with a barcode.
When inserted into the device, the pod’s barcode is registered to ensure it's brewed to just the right size, heat level, and strength. Of course, with five different brew sizes, you have quite a few choices, too.
You may be wondering, “Why did Nespresso add a barcode scanning system to their VertuoLine machines?" Well, you have two reasons. One, this makes it so much easier to use the machine by taking out the guesswork.
You can just place the capsule inside the machine, press a button, and it applies all the right settings to give you a “perfect” drink.
Not only that, but as Nespresso’s barcode scanner only works with Nespresso capsules, it makes it more exclusive to just that brand.
Pros & Cons of Nespresso Vertuo
What We Like
What We Don’t
Overview of the Nespresso Original Line
If you love a good espresso, frothy cappuccino or luxurious latte, you’ll want to look into the Nespresso Original.
This line also uses capsules, which are quick and easy to use. The Original only offers three brew options, however: a 0.7oz ristretto, 1.4oz espresso, and 3.7oz lungo.
Not only that, but it doesn’t use the barcode system that the VertuoLine does. This means that your world is suddenly opened up to many more beverage options, as you no longer have to go with just official Nespresso capsules.
The Nespresso Original brewing process is the “old-fashioned method” that simply applies pressure and hot water through a pump inside the machine.
This creates a very rich, flavorful coffee beverage that is perhaps of better quality due to the higher temperatures and more efficient extraction.
Moreover, they feature a built-in frother which means you can customize that froth how you like it.
If you’re the type of person who would love to have a top-of-the-line espresso machine but don’t have the budget or space for it, this is a great alternative.
The Original machines also tend to be more affordable, which is one of the reasons why they’re so popular.
Pros & Cons of Nespresso Original
What We Like
What We Don’t
People Also Ask (FAQs)
How long should a Nespresso Vertuo last?
Anywhere between 5 and 10 years, depending on how well you maintain it.
How long should a Nespresso Original last?
These are also estimated to last between 5 and 10 years.
Why is my Nespresso VertuoLine so loud?
First off, you should know that the size of the machine does affect how loud it is. Larger machines will be a bit louder, but most of the time, if you feel your VertuoLine is "loud," it is due to other factors. The most common reason for this is scale.
Make sure you're regularly descaling the machine and ensure it has enough water when you use it.
What is the main difference between the Vertuo & VertuoPlus?
The VertuoPlus has an adjustable water tank that can rotate to sit on either side of the machine, or in the back.
This can make it easier to sit on the countertop or table if your space is more compact.
Where can I buy these machines at cheap prices?
Your best bet for scoring these machines at low prices is by either going to the Nespresso website or heading to Amazon.
We hope that by now you know what is the difference between Nespresso Vertuo and Original machines. But also know that no matter which one you choose, we're sure you'll enjoy it.
Nespresso machines are only expanding due to their convenience and great flavor. Thanks for tuning in, and we'll see you again soon!