Nespresso Vertuo vs Original (Which Nespresso is Better?)

I'm a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

While many people think of Keurig when they talk about coffee pods, more sophisticated coffee lovers think of Nescafe’s Nespresso coffee pods and capsules. These espresso machines instantly brew thick, flavorful coffee drinks that are full of flavor. There are many models and people want to debate about Nespresso Vertuo vs Original. These both offer different builds, features, and advantages, but one will certainly be right for you.

Both have their loyal fans and they are both capable of providing distinctive coffee drinks. While they are both used for upscale coffee drinking, they differ in taste, extraction method, extraction time, price, and coffee capsules. While we can assure that both are worth their money, which machine wins when it comes to Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine coffee makers?

Nespresso Vertuo NextNespresso Vertuo EvoluoNespresso Original InissiaNespresso Original Pixie

Nespresso Beginnings

While we talk about single-serve coffee makers a lot now, the Nespresso Original Line was made way back in 1986. This is when Nescafe Nespresso, part of the Nestle Group, developed unique Nespresso coffee pods that can only be used with their machine. It’s like with Keurig coffee pods with Keurig K Duo, but these are meant to replicate coffeehouse drinks and not common household coffee.

These machines are all considered part of the Nespresso Original Line, but things changed in 2014. This is when the Nespresso VertuoLine was developed. Not only are there differences in how the machines operate (which we will cover later), but the Nespresso Vertuo coffee pods are also somewhat different.

Nespresso has actually partnered with many espresso machine manufacturers, which is why you notice machines like Nespresso Vertuo by Breville or DeLonghi. Each brand brings their own unique spin while ensuring you have all the benefits of the Nespresso VertuoLine.

Nespresso Vertuo Next

Nespresso Vertuo vs Original Espresso Machines

It was around 2000 when Nespresso sold their machines to the home market. These models had been scaled down and improved from the original 1986 version (which was more commonly found in hotels and businesses). The Nespresso Original Line consists of several different models, such as Pixie, Inissia, and Citiz. We will compare these in general to Nespresso Vertuo Line machines.

Let’s look at their differences to see which Nescafe single-serve coffee maker is right for you.

Types of Drinks

Original: Creates espresso and espresso-based drinks like latte, ristretto, lungo, and cappuccino. The Original models brew hotter than Nespresso Vertuo.

Vertuo: Creates espresso, espresso-based drinks, and those that need longer brew times line filtered coffee and Americano. Can also brew larger drinks.

Drink Size

Original: There are two sizes, 1.35oz espresso and 3.70oz lungo. Most Original Nespresso machines also brew 0.70oz ristretto shots.

Vertuo: All the Original sizes along with a 17oz mug for larger coffee drinks.

Extraction Method

Original: Uses a traditional pump with a pressure rating of 10-19 bars. Works at the optimal temperature for espresso extraction.

Vertuo: Uses the centrifugation process. This will spin the pod rapidly and extract the brewer water that has steeped in the coffee within the capsule. The extraction is cooler than with the Original.

Capsules and Flavors

It should be noted that while both of these are Nespresso machines and create similar coffee and espresso-based drinks, they use completely different Nespresso coffee pods. They are incompatible with each other, so be careful whenever you’re buying pods. You don’t want to get ones that won’t work with your machine.

Original: Nespresso Original coffee pods and capsules come in 24 main varieties along with limited edition seasonal and special edition flavors.

Vertuo: The Nespresso Vertuo coffee pods and capsules come in 23 varieties. Aside from having a different shape, these pods have a barcode that the VertuoLine machine scans while brewing. This regulates the perfect temperature, size, and strength for that specific pod. It ensures a perfect cup with every capsule. This is similar to Keurig 2.0 barcode systems.

Vertuo Barista Flavor PackOriginal Ristretto Intenso Vertuo Melozio MediumOriginal Ispirazione Variety Pack

Milk Frothing

Original: Most come with this feature. Many have a built-in milk frother while others are bundled 

with an Aeroccino that can froth milk.

Vertuo: Currently no Vertuo model comes with a built-in milk frother. This is an intentional choice as the pods are meant to go with cold milk. However, there are many Nespresso Vertuo Aeroccino bundles that can froth milk on the side.

Overall Price

This all depends on the exact model (remember the OriginalLine machines are composed of several different individual lines while VertuoLine has been made by different manufacturers), but we will talk about this in general. Please reference the exact Nespresso machine to see which suits your price range.

Original: Most of these machines are more affordable, but those with more features and complexity might cost more.

Vertuo: Usually more expensive than the Original models.

Centrifugation Extraction

We touched upon this above with the extraction method, but thought we should dedicate a whole section to this unique extraction method. The OriginalLine machines use a relatively common type of extraction method, but Vertuo does something truly unique.

Nespresso VertuoLine machines function like a centrifuge. The coffee pod is rapidly rotated to extract more coffee flavor. This does take longer than the Original’s pressure extraction method, but it creates a pronounced, thick, and delicious crema that you need to try.

There is some debate here with Nespresso Original vs Vertuo about which crema is better. Original has a more “authentic” crema according to many coffee lovers, but Vertuo is foamier. Regardless of which you choose, both are delicious.

Nespresso Original Inissia

Which Nespresso Model Tastes the Best?

We’re not going to choose one over the other because everyone’s taste preferences are different. Some people prefer a mild and smooth taste while others want their coffee bold and strong.

What that being said, how do these drinks taste? Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines taste more mild and smooth. There are several reasons for this. The centrifugal force reduces how many natural oils you get in your cup. The lower temperature also results in a more mild flavor.

The Nespresso Original coffee machines are stronger due to the pressure extraction and higher temperature.

If you prefer mild, then go for Vertuo. If you like bold and strong, then Original might be better for you.

Nespresso Vertuo Cleaning

We’ll briefly cover Nespresso Vertuo cleaning so that you know how to do it. Start by using a damp cloth and wiping down the body of the machine along with the water tanks. Remove the water tank, clean it, and fill it with clean water. You should also eject any capsules and remove the spent capsule container.

Place a bowl or similar vessel under the water spout. It should be able to hold at least 27oz for the Nespresso Vertuo cleaning cycle. Replace the filled water tank and push the power button three times within two seconds (just push it quickly, it’s very simple). The light will blink and the cleaning cycle will start.

This can take up to five minutes. You can stop the cycle at any time by pushing the button again. If you do pause the cycle, then push the button three times within two seconds to start it again.

Dispose of the water in the bowl, refill the water tank, and enjoy your clean Nespresso Vertuo.

Nespresso Vertuo Evoluo

Barcode Scanning

Why do coffee connoisseurs love espresso machines? Because they allow you to control every aspect of the drink. From the temperature and pressure to the filters and frothing, an espresso machine gives you control to completely customize your drink. That’s great for some people, but what about the majority of coffee drinkers out there who just want a good cup without all the effort and skill required to operate an espresso machine?

That’s where the Vertuo barcode scanning technology comes in. This system scans the barcode and changes the steep duration, volume, strength, temperature, and more so that the coffee is perfect. All you have to do is insert the coffee pod while the machine does all the work.

Now, we love how the coffee tastes with this system and it couldn’t be easier, but there is one caveat. This scanner prevents you from using third-party coffee pods. The machine won’t work unless it scans the barcode. You’re locked into using Vertuo coffee pods, but the good news is that they’re delicious.

Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine Coffee Capsules

These coffee pods look somewhat similar (though Vertuo pods are more dome-shaped), but there is a world of difference between them. One isn’t compatible with the other. However, both pods are tightly sealed so even the coffee aroma sticks around for a long time.

Nespresso Vertuo vs Original Capsules: Cost

This is roughly what each costs. As with the model pricing, it might differ based on sales, flavor, and other aspects.

Original: $0.75-$0.85/capsule

Vertuo: $0.90-$1.25/capsule

One thing we should note is the ability to use third-party capsules. As we said before, using a third-party capsule is currently impossible with VertuoLine due to the barcode scanning. This means you can only buy from Nespresso directly.

However, OriginalLine capsules can be made by third-party manufacturers. We can’t guarantee the flavor or quality of course, but this does allow you to get them at a lower price.

(insert capsules here)

Size and Shape

The pods are shaped differently, so this prevents a capsule from being used with the wrong machine. Vertuo pods are dome-shaped while Original pods are more cup-shaped (similar to Keurig).

The Original coffee pods only come in one size while the Vertuo coffee pods come in three sizes.

Nespresso Vertuo NextNespresso Vertuo EvoluoNespresso Original InissiaNespresso Original Pixie

Final Verdict

There are many differences between the two when it comes to Nespresso Vertuo vs Original coffee makers. The Original makers brew hotter, offer more third-party options, are usually more affordable, and typically froth their own milk. Vertuo models have more flavor options, brew a perfect cup every time with the barcode scanner, have thicker crema, and can brew larger sizes.

So, which do you prefer? These are both strong contenders when it comes to single-serve coffee makers, so you can be sure that you’re getting a great cup of coffee or espresso no matter which one you choose.