If you want to purchase a Nespresso machine, you will have the Original and Vertuo models option. Among their differences are the coffee capsules they use, the pod brewing methods they utilize, and the coffee drinks they make. In other words, your choice will come down to your own circumstances, including the type of coffee you prefer. Being aware of the differences before purchasing is essential.
This Nespresso Vertuoline vs Originalline guide will take a close look at both models to give you a solid idea of which best suits your needs and routines.
Check our short video, we compared the Nespresso Inissia vs. the Vertuo Pop side by side, so you can see the main differences between these two product lines.
If you don’t bother figuring out their differences, simply check out our recommendation of the ‘Best Nespresso Machine‘ buying guide.
Brief Overview Of Nespresso
Nespresso is part of the Swiss company Nestle. In 1986, Nestle launched a unique kind of single-serve coffee today known as capsules or pods. To produce Nespresso coffee with these capsules, you’ll require a Nespresso coffee maker, best known as OriginalLine.
Nespresso aims to produce coffee that’s almost identical to espresso and other coffee drinks with capsule brewing technology. They partner with well-known global brands to manufacture the Nespresso coffee makers, including De’Longhi and Breville all over the world.
Furthermore, Nespresso is committed to sustainability by making completely recyclable aluminum capsules. The company also affiliates itself with organizations including the Fair Labor Association, Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade USA, and Fairtrade International.
Nespresso Vertuo Vs. Original – The Best Features, Pros And Cons
Nespresso Original Line
This well-known line has extremely convenient single-serve coffee machines that produce an espresso, lungo, or ristretto using ground coffee hermetically sealed in a coffee pod.
Coffee makers in this line come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, with some smaller models for smaller kitchen spaces. That means that the room you have, the size of your budget, and the kinds of espresso you prefer are catered for by at least one Nespresso Original coffee machine. Original coffee pods are only available in a single size.
Highlights of the Nespresso Original line machines
19-Bar Pressure Extraction System
Each espresso machine in the Original line uses the 19-bar pressure extraction system. The Nespresso Original system allows for espresso-based drinks of the quality you’d find in a coffee shop. The reason for that is the high-pressure extraction system, which produces a gorgeous aroma, crema and rich blends.
Every Original line model is compact, making them an excellent option for people without much counter space.
Rapid Heating Time
Nespresso original coffee makers can get to the perfect temperature under 25 seconds with the touch of a button.
Some Nespresso Original coffee machine variations have a recipes menu for making milk-based espresso drinks. Some models even come equipped with attached milk frothers. These coffee machines allow the user to make milk foams for producing flat white, cappuccinos, cafe lattes, and others.
With the Original Nespresso machines, you can take advantage of third-party coffee pods. The majority of the models can be used with other pod brands, giving the coffee drinkers more scope for different flavors and blends.
Nespresso OriginalLine – Pros And Cons
- Availability of budget options and a large range of machines
- Extensive range of coffee flavors and brands
- Availability of compostable and inexpensive third-party capsules
- They are small enough for limited kitchen space
- Availability of models with milk frothers
- They can only brew espresso and lungo, equating to a maximum drink volume of 110ml
- Smaller water tank capacity
In February 2014, the Vertuo Line system was launched by Nespresso in response to demand in North America for larger coffee servings than the OriginalLine machines can produce. This has increased the options available for coffee drinkers in the USA and Canada to brew their coffee using Nespresso.
The Vertuo line offers a greater range of cup sizes, from espresso to carafes. However, there aren’t as many models of VertuoLine available as OriginalLine machines. They also have a different capsule and extraction system, meaning you can’t use Vertuo coffee capsules in Original coffee machines.
Highlights Of Nespresso VertuoLine Machines
The state-of-the-art centrifusion technology Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines use produces a natural crema, delicately extracting the maximum flavor to make espresso-based drinks and coffees. In other words, each time you use it, you should get the perfect result.
Full Range Of Coffee Sizes
There are five brew sizes – the 14oz Alto, the 8oz Mug, the 5oz Gran Lungo, the 3oz double espresso, and the 1oz classic Espresso shot.
Barcode Recognition System
The Vertuo line machines use a barcode to decipher the blends it needs to produce. It can make the necessary adjustments to the extraction parameters according to each capsule or the style of coffee too. As clever and convenient as this is, though, one potential issue is that it means coffee pods produced by other companies are incompatible with it.
Nespresso VertuoLine – Pros And Cons
- Can make beverages in a range of sizes
- It’s quieter
- The barcode scanning system adds to the convenience of making coffee
- Thicker crema
- Not as compact as the Original coffee machine
- Not as many pods or machines available
- Nespresso brand capsules are more costly
Side-By-Side Comparison: Nespresso Vertuo Vs Original Line
The elements outlined so far will give you a basis for what to expect from both OriginalLine and Vertuo line machines. Now, let’s look at the side-by-side comparison of Nespresso Vertuo vs. Original.
Types Of Drinks
If the coffee you drink is limited to espresso and espresso-based beverages, the original Nespresso models are your best option. All the machines in this line brew both espresso and lungo, with some even making ristretto shots. Some models such as Creatista and Lattissima, have a menu of milk-based espresso drinks too.
The Nespresso Vertuo can make a wider range of coffees, from espresso-based beverages to coffees served in large mugs. VertuoLine machines allow you to make filter coffee, Americano, short espresso, double espresso, smooth gran lungo, and various other longer coffees. However, machines in the Vertuo line range can’t make milk-based coffees.
The original Nespresso can brew in two sizes – the 1.35 oz classic espresso and the 3.7 oz lungo. Some models also allow for a 0.7 oz ristretto shot. Meanwhile, it is possible to adjust the water volume within small ranges manually.
If you also require the ability to make larger sizes of coffee, the Vertuo machines are worth looking at as they offer five cup sizes:
- A 1.4oz espresso
- A 2.7oz double espresso
- A 5oz gran lungo
- An 8oz mug
- A 14oz alto XL
The most recent VertuoLine product on the market, the VertuoNext, brews 18oz coffee too.
OriginalLine and VertuoLine employ contrasting extraction methods. The former uses 19-bar of pressure for extraction, while the latter has a centrifugal extraction method.
Original coffee machines share similarities with the method used by standard espresso machines.
The top of the coffee pod is burst, and hot water is thrust in using as many as 19 bars of pressure. Eventually, the bottom blows out, leaving foamy espresso to emerge. This is similar to the way you’d brew standard espresso.
Because of this method, many adherents of Original machines think it brews espresso-based drinks most faithful to the traditional espresso taste.
Vertuo line machines brew coffee in an entirely different manner to either original line models or the majority of other espresso machines. Hot water is pumped into the pod, which then rotates at a speed of 7,000 rpm. This infuses the water and produces a rich, frothy crema on the coffee. A traditional espresso will typically be topped with two or three millimeters of golden crema. However, this centrifugal method leaves closer to a centimeter of thick froth.
Vertuo machines can produce longer drinks than original machines while still producing crema. However, espresso purists may consider it inauthentic.
VertuoLine Nespresso coffee capsules have a one-of-a-kind barcode system too. VertuoLine pods contain barcodes that hold information related to areas including water volume and correct temperature for brewing. The Nespresso machine reads the barcode and produces the coffee based on what it says, making it a straightforward way to brew coffee.
The OriginalLine machines use a range of flavors and brands for capsules. However, the VertuoLine machines can only use capsules designed for that barcode system but have different pod sizes. The coffee pods are not compatible with each other.
The OriginalLine machines benefit from a far more extensive range of pods. One of the reasons is the patent expiration on the capsules, meaning third-party sellers can now make the cup-shaped pods. If there’s a specific type of coffee you prefer, there’s a good chance you’ll find a capsule for it.
The main drawback of the OriginalLine Nespresso machines is that they are available in a single size only. Therefore, a larger beverage, such as a lungo, will be more diluted. You can offset this issue by using more than one capsule to make your drink, but this is inevitably more costly too.
Shop for Nespresso Original Espresso Pods – Check the Latest Price >>
The VertuoLine capsules are dome-shaped and are only made by Nespresso. This is because of the barcode system the machines use to brew the coffee correctly. The most significant advantage of the system is the devices’ ability to optimize each pod’s taste. The most significant drawback is the lack of choice because, unlike OriginalLine, only Nespresso capsules are compatible.
However, the VertuoLine coffee pods are available in three sizes, meaning there’s no dilution of larger drinks. Another advantage is the production of thick crema – even on larger drinks.
Shop for Nespresso Vertuo Coffee & Espresso Pods – Check the Latest Price >>
One of the most apparent differences between OriginalLine coffee and VertuoLine coffee is the size of the crema each produces.
The OriginalLine devices create a thinner layer of crema than their VertuoLine counterparts. However, for coffee purists, this is often a good thing, as it’s more like the amount of crema made by standard espresso machines using fresh beans.
The VertuoLine devices make a significantly thicker frothy crema on the coffee, but it doesn’t last long. VertuoLine crema a result of trapped CO2 distributed during the pod brewing process.
Some coffee lovers are under the impression that the more crema there is, the better quality of the coffee. However, that’s not necessarily true. The amount of crema you get is dependent on the bean type and origin. However, this is not an issue as long as the coffee is enjoyable. In any case, thick crema is preferred by many coffee enthusiasts. Check our complete guide about espresso crema for more information.
Variety Of Machines
There are more types of OriginalLine machines than VertuoLine. This is true both in their functionality as well as cost. OriginalLine boasts upwards of 13 products, while VertuoLine has only 3 models to choose between.
The OriginalLine models available include the Essenza Plus, Essenza Mini, Inissia, Pixie, CitiZ, and Citiz & Milk. Most of the models focus on producing espresso and lungo.
Some OriginalLine models also have a milk system with a frother. These include the Creatista, Creatista Uno, Creatista Plus, Latissima Touch, Latissima One, Latissima+, Latissima Pro, and Atelier. De’Longhi, Breville, and other well-known companies around the world manufacture the devices.
Check out all the Nespresso original coffee machines on Amazon.
The VertuoLine range consists of the Vertuo, VertuoNext and VertuoPlus. There is also the Evoluo. However, this model is no longer manufactured.
Check out the Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines on Amazon.
Some of the OriginalLine machines come with a milk system or milk frother. Among them are the Latissima and Creatista models. There are also flexible settings for milk frothing in these devices. However, these are substantially more costly.
Vertuo machines don’t have a milk frothing system, meaning they can only brew black coffee or espresso.
Nespresso also has the option of purchasing a separate Aeroccino milk frother. It is also available in some bundles. So, if you prefer milk-based coffees, purchasing a bundle with Nespresso milk frother can help save some money.
Cost Of The Machines
There are OriginalLine models to suit most budgets. The Essenza Mini and Inissia with a lower price point are great options for people on a smaller budget, while Pixie and CitiZ are more suited to people with more to spend. At the top of the range are models such as Latissima and Creatista.
The three available Vertuo machines have similar prices and are significantly cheaper than most standard espresso coffee makers.
Except for the Latissima and Creatista machines, OriginalLine machines and VertuoLine machines cost similar amounts.
Cost Of The Coffee Capsules
When purchasing a Nespresso machine, the machine’s cost isn’t the only thing to consider – you also need to consider the cost of new coffee capsules.
The OriginalLine machines come into their own on this point as the coffee pods made by third-party companies often represent good value for money. Also, original nespresso capsules are not as expensive as those produced for VertuoLine machines.
One of the things to consider when choosing between OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines whether you tend to drink espresso or larger coffee beverages more often.
As attractive as OriginalLine capsules’ price is compared to VertuoLine capsules, you need to consider the drink sizes you’ll need. That’s because you’ll need more than one OriginalLine capsule to make larger cup of coffee with those machines. However, for Nespresso Vertuo, all you need is one Alto XL coffee capsule to make a whole carafe of coffee.
Even though Nespresso is a relatively affordable option for making espresso, if the cost for the machines and capsules are still out of your budget, you can explore other ways to make coffee.
The Verdict: Nespresso Original vs Vertuo, who wins?
There is no easy way of saying definitively which of Original or Vertuo is the best system to opt for. Each has its disadvantages and advantages, and it will ultimately come down to preferences and requirements. However, we can make some recommendations.
The original line is better if:
You prefer a latte, cappuccino, or espresso. There is a broader range of coffee capsules available. Also, OriginalLine capsules produce espresso more faithful to those made by standard espresso machines. OriginalLine is also best if you’re on a smaller budget, as specific models and capsules are available at reasonable prices.
Vertuoline is better if:
You prefer longer beverages such as filter coffee and Americano. VeruoLine’s barcode system also makes brewing any size or style of coffee incredibly straightforward, making it the perfect entry-level option. Finally, the centrifugal extraction produces a thick and rich crema, which is likely to appeal to many coffee lovers.
What’s the difference between Nespresso and Keurig?
The most obvious difference is that Nespresso brews espresso while Keurig produces drip coffee. Also, while Keurig’s K-Cups are usually cheaper than Nespresso capsules, they are not as environmentally friendly as they are made of plastic. Nespresso capsules, meanwhile, are made from recyclable aluminum.
What’s the difference between De’Longhi Nespresso machines and Breville Nespresso machines?
Nespresso itself doesn’t manufacture the machines. Instead, the company outsources that task to a range of established companies worldwide, including Breville, De’Longhi, and Krups.
The models the companies manufacture look different and have different prices. However, the models each use identical technology. This means that if you try the same type of Nespresso pod in the same model produced by different companies, you’ll get precisely the same result.
For further details, our article comparing Nespresso De’Longhi vs Breville (the two most prominent manufacturers of Nespresso devices for the US market) is a great place to start.