- Updated Mar 26, 2020
- Writen by Robert Smith
Nespresso Vertuoline vs. Original: A Comparison of Nespresso Machine
- Updated Nov 13, 2019
- Writen by Robert Smith
It is a fact that Nespresso machines are some of the best performing pod-based espresso makers, and these coffee makers are also some of the most popular across the globe.
But, besides choosing a model that suits you from the almost countless options from different brands out there, you also need to decide whether to go for the Vertuoline or Original line machines. For many pod-based coffee maker fanatics, this decision is often quite hard to make because both look and sound good enough.
While some machines will use both Vertuoline and Original line pods, many can only use either, and so you need to be sure with your choice to ensure you do not end up getting tied down to something that will not work well for you.
Here we help ensure that, you know which between these two Nespresso options will suit you best by highlighting the pros and cons of each and some of their key differences.
Nespresso Vertuoline Overview
The Vertuoline is the newer line of pod-based coffee makers and pods by Nespresso, and it has been on the market since 2014 when they were launched in the USA before spreading to Europe in 2016.
Vertuoline coffee makers and pods are designed with the modern coffee drinker in mind, and they will try to incorporate several advanced features to make coffee making simpler and more efficient.
Key among the features that set this line apart from the original is the barcode scanning technology that allows the machine to identify the pods automatically and choose the correct brewing method.
Also, this line of coffee makers gives you more brew size options as besides espressos, you can make a full cup of coffee or up to 17 ounces of coffee which is perfect for the heavy coffee drinkers, and when you want something that is non-espresso.
However, unlike the pressure extraction system on the original Nespresso machine, the centrifusion extraction can sometimes cause under extraction.
Also, this Nespresso line will often not work with third-party pods, and because it has not been around very long, it does not offer many options. And it is also relatively more expensive when it comes to both machine and pod costs.
Nespresso Original Overview
Nespresso Original line is as old as these kinds of coffee makers as it is what the manufacturer first introduced in the market. Hence, it has been tried and tested much longer, which should explain why it has a huge chunk of loyal fanatics.
With the Original line, the espresso is extracted through the more traditional method, which is forcing water through compactly packed coffee grounds at high pressure.
Because this line has been around much longer, it will offer more pod and machine options, and even with the coming of the more advanced and feature-rich Vertuoline, it still has a place among coffee fanatics.
Also, the brewing method entails using water at high temperatures, and this often also translates to relatively hotter coffee which is what many coffee lovers are always looking for. And to make things even better, the Original line will also work with 3rd party capsules, which means you will get more pod variety.
Overall, the Original line will be cheaper because their wide availability makes the pods more affordable, and the machines are also cheaper given that they have been in the market much longer.
However, besides the basic espresso and lungo shots, these machines will not offer many options when it comes to the brew size. Also, if you like making long coffee, the Original line might not work very well for you.
Espresso, double espresso, lungo and full cup up to 17oz
Ristretto, espresso, and lungo
Pressure up to 19 bars
More like foam
Dense and creamy
3rd Party Capsule Compatibility
Cost Per Capsule
$0.90 to $1.25
$0.75 to $0.85
Nespresso Vertuoline vs. Original Line
While for the more experienced coffee drinkers the choice between Vertuoline and Original line looks obvious, the same cannot be said for others that have not used either of the coffee lines before.
But, whether you want to try them out for the first time or want to replace what you have, you should be able to pick the right one for you by understanding the points below.
1. Brew sizes
One of the main things that many coffee lovers seem to love most about the Vertuoline is that it gives them more options than the Original when it comes to the brew sizes.
With the Nespresso original, you can make the 0.7-ounce ristretto shot, 1.35-ounce espresso shot and the larger 3.7-ounce lungo, which is the maximum brew size that most of these machines will deliver. Hence, to make more coffee with these machines, you will need to pull shot after shot which is quite inconvenient and time-consuming.
Vertuoline will offer more options than this because, besides making all the three brew sizes that you can make on the original models, you can also make double espresso and brew full cup sizes up to 17 ounces.
2. Extraction Method
The extraction method used on these lines of Nespresso is also another key element that sets them apart and it is an important one as it determines various factors such as the brew quality.
The Original line is a more traditional espresso maker that relies on the hot water and pump pressure to extract the coffee. And most of these machines will have up to 19-bar pumps that will deliver way more than enough pressure for extraction.
Vertuoline brews use a more advanced method that will not require any pressure from a pump. They instead rely on the pressure generated through centrifusion which is a process that entails spinning the pod at high speed during brewing.
3. Barcode Scanning
One of the modern technologies that set the Vertuoline apart from the original line is the barcode scanning technology, which makes these machines more efficient and consistent.
With this technology, the coffee maker scans the inserted pod using a system similar to what you find in many Keurig 2.0 series machines. By scanning the barcode on the pod, the machine can identify the required brewing parameters such as the volume and brewing time, and hence ensuring fast and consistent brewing.
For the Original line, there is no barcode scanning system, and so you will only need to pop in the capsule and push the start button to start brewing.
A true espresso fanatic will tell you that their brew is never complete without some nice crema at the top. But, the good news is that with both lines, you will always get some cream.
With the centrifusion extraction system used on the Vertuoline, you will get a thicker and denser crema at the top of the brew which will be more pronounced. But, while this crema looks nice and there is a lot of it, many espresso lovers will not like that it is more like foam.
The original line uses a more traditional espresso extraction system that delivers a more authentic crema that is creamier and denser, and most importantly not too foamy like what you get on Vertuoline.
5. Serving Temperature
The coffee serving temperature that you get with these two coffee makers is also quite different, and so this will also be a reliable parameter to use when deciding on which option to buy.
Given that the pump pressure extraction method that the Original line use also requires very hot water which can be up to 205 degrees, the temperature of the espresso that you get will also be higher. And so if you prefer hotter coffee, this line will work better for you.
Centrifusion extraction which the Vertuoline uses will use water with a relatively lower temperature for extraction, and so most of these machines will deliver coffee that is more lukewarm which some espresso lovers will not like.
6. 3rd Party Capsule Compatibility
One of the main functions of the barcode scanning technology on the Vertuoline is to ensure that the machines cannot use unofficial or unlicensed pods. And so even if you do not like what Nespresso offers, you will not have many options as these machines will not use anything else.
But, with the Original line, you can use any pod that you want as long as it is compatible with the machine, which gives you the freedom to use 3rd party capsules. This can save you cash and allow you to experience flavors that Nespresso might not be offering.
Non-Nespresso pods are often highly affordable and some will cost as little as half as what you would pay to get something from the brand. Hence, if you want a cheaper cost of ownership, you will be better off sticking with the Original line.
7. Cost per Capsule
Unlike other espresso makers, the pod-based types will often come with a higher cost of ownership as you will need to buy pods to make coffee. If you take a lot of espressos every other day, you will spend way much more on pods every year than what you spent on the machine.
While the cost per capsule will depend on where you are buying and also the flavors that you want, Original line pods are generally more affordable.
Nespresso Original line pods are the more affordable option as they will cost between $0.75 and $0.85 per pod. If you use one capsule a day to make your espresso, you will spend a little under $300 with the Original line.
For the Vertuoline, you will spend between $0.90 and $1.25 per capsule which translates to over $400 per year making this line at least $100 more expensive to use when compared to the Original line.
8. Machine Cost
While the cost per capsule will be the highest in the long run, the initial cost of buying the machine also matters a lot as you need to know which between the two options will suit your budget.
Both Nespresso Vertuoline and Original are available in various models with different features and will hence attract different price tags. While still not the cheapest coffee makers out there, the Original line machines are more affordable than Vertuoline.
Prices for the Original line will start at a little over $100 while the price for a Vertuoline will start at about $150 with some model retailing at up to $400. And while it is also possible to get some Original line machines that cost up to $600, you will hardly ever need to spend more than $250 to get one, which makes them more budget-friendly.
Nespresso machines are not popular by chances as they are famed for making some fine-quality espressos and are also some of the fastest and easiest to use coffee makers out there.
And when you have to pick between their two lines, the Vertuoline and Original line, you will only need to understand what each has to offer and then match this to your specific needs as an espresso lover.
But, if you prefer more classic espressos with an authentic crema and also want to lower your cost per capsule, the Original line will work best for you. For those that like technology and prefer something that can make a relatively larger volume of coffee, Vertuoline will be a better option.