For today’s coffee lover, there are a wealth of machines on the market and choosing between them can be incredibly taxing. Do you go for an espresso maker, drip coffee machine, moka pot or a pod system?
Each has their fans but there’s no denying the increasing popularity of pod coffee machines. One of the most popular coffee machine brands is Nespresso and with their two pod systems you can enjoy a delicious cup of coffee quickly and conveniently in your own home.
Initially, there was the Original Nespresso machine which took the world by storm. However, in 2017, along came the Vertuo and now buyers have a choice to make. They both make great cups of coffee but the pods are very different and the coffee you can make varies greatly between the two Nespresso machines.
If you have been considering investing in a Nespresso coffee machine but haven’t been able to decide which one, you’re in the right place.We are going to be looking at the differences between these two machines as well as giving you a rundown of the pros and cons of each. Let’s crack on.
What’s the difference between Nespresso Original and Vertuo?
The key difference that you will notice when moving from an Original Nespresso machine to a Vertuo is that the pods are vastly different. We will look at what pods are available for each machine in a little more detail later.
For now, you simply need to know that the ones for the Vertuo are designed exclusively for this machine. What this means is that you are not able to use generic pods as you can with the Original machine.
Moreover, the types of drinks that you can make with each machine vary. The Nespresso Original is designed to make espresso-based drinks whereas the Vertuo gives you the option to make long coffees and comes with a choice of five drink size settings as opposed to the three on the Original machine.
Another notable distinction between the two machines is that the way the coffee is extracted is vastly different. For example, the original Nespresso machine uses a pressure-based extraction. The top of the capsule is punctured before 19 bars of pressure force hot water through the coffee, causing the bottom of the pod to burst. Through this opening, your espresso is served, and this is a very similar method to other pod systems.
On the other hand, the Nespresso Vertuo machine uses a centrifusion system which is based around a spinning motion. Instead of forcing the water into the capsule using high pressure, the water is pumped in and then the capsule is spun at around 7000rpm.
This causes the water and coffee to infuse before being dispensed into your cup. One of the great benefits of this method is that it is much quieter and delivers a far creamier result.
Since each pod for the Nespresso Vertuo requires different brewing conditions, they each feature a barcode. Your machine will read this code and then adjust its settings accordingly.
This demonstrates that the Vertuo is far more technologically advanced than the Original and requires absolutely no user input aside from inserting the capsule.
Why Are Nespresso coffee machines so popular?
One of the main reasons that Nespresso coffee machines have always been so popular is pretty simple. They produce an excellent cup of high-quality coffee. For years, you had no other choice but to go to a cafe to get the best coffee but machines like those made by Nespresso give you a viable at-home alternative. All of this without the need to invest in an all singing all dancing barista machine.
A barista style coffee machine can be very complicated to use and yet the Nespresso range offers an easy and convenient solution to making coffee at home. They don’t require a lot of cleaning and are very easy to maintain.
Another great thing about these machines is that they offer excellent reliability. It isn’t very often that you will hear of a Nespresso machine breaking and this is a huge attraction to coffee lovers. After all, who wants to have to keep replacing their appliances?
Do I need a milk frother with a Nespresso coffee machine?
You don’t need a milk frother with any type of Nespresso coffee machine, but it will certainly come in handy if you want to recreate the types of drinks you would get at a cafe or those we talk about on our milk frother recipe page.
These appliances allow you to create foamed milk that perfectly tops off a variety of coffee drinks such as macchiato and caffe latte.
The Nespresso Original machine comes in many different forms and some of these include a built-in milk frother, for example, the Citiz and Milk.
You can also purchase a separate milk frother and if you want to stay on brand then Nespresso also makes a great range of frothers to complement your machine.
What coffee pods are available for Original And Vertuo?
If you want a greater range of pod choices, then the Nespresso Original machine is by far the best choice. This machine comes with a wide range of capsule options and allows you to make an incredible range of drinks. Moreover, since the design of the coffee pods is not strictly owned by Nespresso, other brands have created several capsules that are often cheaper.
However, when you use the Vertuo machine, the shape and size of the capsules means that you are limited to only using Nespresso branded pods. These capsules are typically much more expensive with the dearest coming in at around 62p (85cents) per pod.
In comparison, the Nespresso Original machine comes with the option to purchase capsules for as little as 33p (45cents) from the brand itself or as low as 18p when you opt for compatible pods from the supermarket.
What’s great about both machines is that Nespresso often brings out limited edition capsules that give you the chance to experience new and diverse tastes.
Original machine pods
The unique thing about the Original machine capsules is that they come in one size, however each capsule can make drinks in different sizes. There are a good variety of Original capsules to suit all tastes including various strengths.
Some Nespresso Original capsules can be returned to the company for recycling as well as some being compostable.
Since the Nespresso Original capsules are much smaller than the Vertuo pods, they are far easier to store which is a selling point for many people. Moreover, you can double up on capsules to make longer drinks that don’t lose strength.
Vertuo machine pods
The key difference between the Vertuo pods and the Original pods is that the Vertuo ones are much larger and have a different shape. This is the reason that you cannot purchase pods from any other brand and use them in your Nespresso Vertuo machine.
However, while this may not be the greatest selling point, these capsules are able to produce a greater range of drink sizes. The Vertuo machine makes four drink sizes compared to the three that the Original machine can make. For this reason, the capsules come in a choice of two sizes.
Pros and cons of Nespresso Original coffee machines
In our opinion, one of the best things about the Nespresso Original machine is that it comes in a good choice of sizes. Whether you want a full-sized machine or something a little more compact, you aren’t limited in choice. What’s more, there are options to purchase the machine with a milk frother to give you even more versatility in the type of drinks you create.
But perhaps the most significant plus point of this coffee machine is that it comes with the option to purchase pods from other brands. Not only does this mean that you may be able to get a better price, but you will also be able to access a wider range of drinks and flavours.
However, on the downside, the Original machine is only designed to make espresso or espresso-based drinks so this means that you cannot enjoy longer coffee drinks. The largest drink size is around 110ml which isn’t suited to people who prefer a full cup of coffee. While it would be possible to double up on capsules to make a longer drink, this will mean that you spend more money.
The other point to make here is that the Original machines are exactly that. They are old news. They are gradually been phased out and Vertuo is the new standard. If you want to keep up with the times you need to move on from the Original.
Pros and cons of Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines
In the modern kitchen, there is a huge call for appliances that do most of the work for you and one of the greatest benefits of the Vertuo coffee machine is that it is smart. It comes with the ability to read barcodes that are printed on the pods and will adjust the settings accordingly. All you need to do is worry about putting the capsule in, then you can sit back and wait for your drink to be ready.
In addition to this, the Vertuo allows you to make a much wider range of drinks including espresso as well as longer coffee drinks. If you prefer this kind of diversity, then this is a huge draw. That said, users are limited on their choice of capsules since only the Nespresso branded ones will fit into the machine.
While you can get a Vertuo machine for a similar price to the Original, this is a very basic version. If you wanted something a little higher end, then the initial cost is much higher.
Original vs Vertuo; which should I buy?
The biggest problem that people face when settling on a Nespresso coffee machine is that they are never sure which one to go for. The best way to determine the better choice for you is to think about the type of coffee that you drink most.
For people who like classic espresso shots or who enjoy drinks like latte and cappuccino the original Nespresso machine is the obvious choice. The reason for this is that there are far more options in terms of the types of pods you can use with the machine, and you aren’t limited to using only Nespresso capsules.
On the other hand, if you just want a simple cup of coffee that is reminiscent of a filter coffee then the Nespresso Vertuo is the right choice for you. While you are limited on capsule choice, this isn’t typically a problem if you only drink one type of coffee.
Many people are under the belief that the machines are vastly different in terms of cost, but this isn’t the case. However, while both machines can be bought for a similar price, you may end up spending more when you buy the Vertuo purely because you are limited to buying the Nespresso pods instead of being able to buy cheaper supermarket brands.
But, when all is said and done, and as we pointed out earlier, the Original machines are the old timers. Vertuo is the go to coffee machine in the Nespresso range and I have to say that with so many different models to choose from you’re bound to find one to suit you.
Our final recommendation? Vertuo every time even though you’ll pay more for the pods.
Best Nespresso coffee machines
Nespresso is perhaps one of the most well-known and well-loved coffee machine manufacturers in the world. With a choice between the Original range and the Vertuo range, coffee lovers can explore a wide range of drinks.
Of course, there are pros and cons to each machine, but as we’ve pointed out the most notable difference, apart from availability, is the size and shape of the pods.
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