From manual brewers to those automatic coffee machines, in the modern-day lifestyle, there are a lot of different ways to enjoy a good cup of Joe. And today we will be comparing the capsule-coffee brewing niche – Nespresso Vertuo VS Original.
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Nespresso are pod-based coffee machines with a very simple working mechanism – the pods have coffee grounds and the machine forces high temperature water through these pods to give the coffee a fine brew.
Both Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine work on the pod mechanism, so what are the factors that set them apart? Let us walk you through.
What is Nespresso?
Whenever you hear about pod-coffee making, you will always come across the word ‘Nespresso’. In short, Nespresso is a brand that is considered to be one of the pioneers in pod-brewing coffee machine technology.
It is associated with Nestlé Group, based in Switzerland. To deliver the finest capsule brewing mechanisms in their machines, they partner with some of the well-known brands in the coffee industry such as De’Longhi and Breville.
Initially, Nespresso used Keurig-like espresso pods and these machines are referred to as the ‘OriginalLine’ of Nespresso brewing machines. In more recent times, Nespresso came up with their ‘VertuoLine’ coffee pods to make the most of the pod variability factor.
Quick Comparison Summary
|Nespresso Original||Nespresso Vertuo|
|Drink Type||Espresso-based drinks (cappuccino, latte, etc.)||Espressos and longer coffee drinks.|
|Extraction method||19-bar pump||Centrifusion mechanism|
|Third Party Capsules||Yes||No|
|Coffee Strength||Strong (like traditional espressos)||Weak (does have a lot of crema)|
|Drink Size||25ml ristretto, 40ml espresso, 110ml lungo||40ml espresso, 150ml gran lungo, 237 ml mug, 414 ml giant mug|
Nespresso Original VS Vertuo – The Differences
Let us now review the core differences of the Nespresso vertuoline pods and the Nespresso original line coffee pods in detail.
Capsule Extraction Method
You might be wondering that almost all of the pod brewers use a similar capsule extraction functionality, so what is different with the Nespresso machines?
Well, nothing is too different here either. These machines also use a single-step extraction mechanism, but there is a difference which is explained below:
OriginalLine: These machines are based on the ‘old school’ way of brewing coffee. The mechanism is simple – use pressure and hot water using an internal pump. 19-bar pressure system is used for the extraction process.
VertuoLine: These types of coffee machines use the centrifusion methodology for the extraction process. (you can read more on centrifusion later in this article).
OriginalLine: You can get the following brew sizes:
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- Ristretto 0.85 oz
- Espresso 1.35 oz
- Lungo 3.7 oz
Not every original line machine might offer all three of these brew sizes, however, you won’t get more than 3.7 oz lungo brew size.
VertuoLine: This type of machine gives you the following 5 brew sizes:
- Espresso 1.35 oz
- Double Espresso 2.7 oz
- Gran Lungo 5 oz
- Coffee 7.8 oz
- Alto XL Coffee 14 oz
If you are using the custom-sizing options, you can brew around 17 oz coffee with the Alto XL capsules.
This is something that differentiates these two pod-coffee systems.
OriginalLine: There is no scanning option for the original line machines.
VertuoLine: These machines come with a barcode scanning system that is quite similar to a Keurig 2.0 coffee brewer. Once you insert a capsule, the system alerts the machine about it and customizes the brew settings (temperature, water level, capsule spin & flow rate, etc.) according to that capsule’s specific recipe.
There are two reasons for the barcode scanning system added to these machines:
- Customize extraction process according to the capsule.
- Not allow unlicensed Nespresso capsules to be used with the machine.
When it comes to flavor options, you are surely in for a treat as both these types offer a wide array of delightful flavors. Here are some of the most loved OriginalLine and VertuoLine flavors that you can choose from:
OriginalLine: For this type, the flavor category is further divided into 6 sub-categories which are:
- Ristretto Decaffeinato
- Arpeggio Decaffeinato
- Volluto Decaffeinato
- Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato
- Envivo Lungo
- Fortissio Lungo
- Vivalto Lungo
- Linzio Lungo
- Indriya (India)
- Rosabaya (Columbia)
- Dulsao (Brazil)
- Bukeela (Ethiopia)
VertuoLine: Let us now have a look at all the flavors available in the VertuoLine machines.
- Half Caffeinato
Alto XL(14 oz)
- Alto XL Intenso
- Alto XL Dolce
Gran Lungo Americano(5 oz)
- Fortado Gran Lungo
- Arondio Gran Lungo
- Alforazio Gran Lungo
- Decaf Ontuoso Gran Lungo
- Decaffeinato Intenso
This is one of the most significant factors for any espresso drink. If you are a true espresso lover, you would want extra attention to be paid to this element of coffee-making.
OriginalLine: This type of machine comes with a built-in milk frother.
VertuoLine: These machines do not come with a built-in frother, however, you can purchase the Aeroccino milk frother by Nespresso separately.
The core difference in brewing mechanism in these two types of machines, is what results in the final difference in coffee taste.
OriginalLine: This one makes a more stronger and hotter coffee as compared the Vertuo line machines.
VertuoLine: These machines are generally known to make a much lighter or weaker coffee, but with a lot of crema. If you are not a foam lover, you might not want to buy these type of machine.
Capsule Cost Comparison
Well, this could be the deciding factor for you if you are running on a tight budget. Yes, we love the way we consume our coffee beverages, however, we also need to ensure it meets our budget constraints.
OriginalLine: These capsules will cost you somewhere between $0.70 to $0.85 per capsule.
VertuoLine: For this, you need to spend between $0.90 to $1.25 per capsule.
Here is a brief comparison chart, to give you an overview of what you will be spending and what you will be saving eventually:
|Capsule/Pod||Cost for 1 Serving ($)||Cost for 365 Servings ($)||You Save ($)|
|Nespresso Original Line||0.70-0.85||292||1,168|
|Nespresso Vertuo Line||0.90-1.25||402||1,058|
The Crema Factor
Crema is one of the deal-breakers for most of the espresso lovers. Let us have a look at how this element differs in these two Nespresso brewing systems:
OriginalLine: There have been reservations by the users of the original line machines that the amount of crema that they would get was pretty low.
VertuoLine: To overcome the crema issue, Nespresso offered a thick layer of crema in their Vertuo line machines.
For those who are unaware of all the crema-related discussions and debate, let us simplify it for you. Crema is the brown layer that forms on top of the espresso. It is a result of a few chemical reactions that take place during the brewing process. It has a slight acidic flavor due to CO2 and pH.
Now, the coffee-loving community is quite divided on this topic. A lot of people say that too much or too thick crema is a sign of a less flavorful and less traditional cup of coffee. While others believe that it is a good thing as it indicates that fresh coffee beans were used, although it is usually an indication of Robusta beans (less flavorful).
As far as Nespresso crema is concerned, the crema in the OriginalLine is thinner and is much closer to what a true coffee aficionado would want. The VertuoLine crema produced is either higher Robusta proportion or the high-speed spinning centrifusion mechanism effect.
What is Centrifusion?
In order to understand the working methodology for the Vertuo line machines, let us tell you about the ‘centrifusion’ technology that is used in these type of machines.
This technology is based on spinning the capsules at a very high speed that results in creation of a thick, foamy crema on the coffee. As compared to a standard espresso drink foam thickness (few mms), the Vertuo line coffee machines can give you a foam thickness of around 1 cm.
OriginalLine or VertuoLine – How to Choose?
To make things even more simple for you, we will now tell you which machine is primarily for whom:
Go for Nespresso OriginalLine when..
You are an avid lover of espresso, latte or cappuccino. This is mainly because you will get a wider choice of coffee that you can choose from.
Go for Nespresso VertuoLine when..
You are an avid lover of the longer coffee types like those Americanos or filter coffee. However, you will only be able to use Nespresso capsules for these coffee machine types.
Top Nespresso Machines
Let us now have a brief look at some of the better Nespresso machines that are available out there in the market.
Nespresso Essenza Mini
The Essenza Mini is a great option if you are someone for whom size is a deal-breaker. This compact Nespresso machines works perfectly for tight kitchen or workplace spaces, and also gives you delicious coffee with its 19-bar pump pressure.
You can either get 1.5 oz espresso shots or the 3.4 oz lungo shots with this coffee machine.
Nespresso by Breville VertuoLine
This Nespresso coffee machine can brew 5 cup sizes – from 1.5 oz to 14 oz Alto. This is a pretty decent option, particularly for those who are looking for some coffee variations from their coffee maker.
In addition to this, it can be bought as a combo with the Aeroccino frother to save bucks.
Nespresso by DeLonghi EN80BAE
This tine machine brews original Nespresso capsules and gives you the option of brewing either a lungo or an espresso shot. The 23-ounce tank can give you a few shots before having to refill again.
Within 25 seconds, this machine can give you the ideal water temperature for 9 single-serve coffee cups.
Can you use OriginalLine Nespresso pods in Vertuoline?
No, OriginaLine pods are not compatible with VertuoLine pods due to their shape and barcode difference.
Why is Nespresso so foamy?
This is because the high quality coffee grounds and high pressure extraction process ends up in a lot of crema.
Keurig or Nespresso – which is better?
If you are looking for a perfect single-serve espresso, Nespresso wins in this category. However, if you prefer a wide range of coffee brewing options in less amount of time, Keurig might be a better choice.
Our Final Verdict for Nespresso Vertuo VS Original
At the end of the day, it all depends on what type of coffee pods, flavors and extraction process do you really prefer. Comparing Nespresso Vertuo VS Original will only make sense when you know what your cup of Joe should taste like.
If you are into flavors and espresso authenticity, OriginalLine is what you should go for. However, if longer drinks to fill those whole mugs is what you crave for, then VertuoLine will do the job for you.
Regardless of which specific type you go for, one thing is for sure – when it comes to pod-brewing coffee brands and models, Nespresso is still the best in business.