Differences between Nespresso Original and Vertuo

I imagine that all Nespresso users are already aware of the new VertuoLine coffee machines. However, I understand that they do not know in detail how they work and how they differ from the OriginalLine.

Remember that the first Nespresso coffee machine (model C-100) was launched on the market in 1986, and since then, Nespresso has produced many more models that have been very successful. Some machines were simpler, such as the Inissia or Pixie, and others had all the extras, such as the Maestria or the Creatista.

However, in 2014, Nespresso decided to revolutionise its design line and bring a coffee machine with a completely different pod system to the market. The Vertuo line bears no resemblance to the Original line, as they have simplified the use and improved in many areas of the operation of the classic models.

Differences in beverage size between Nespresso Vertuo and Original

Nespresso machines in the OriginalLine range brew up to 3 different sizes of coffee, while Nespresso machines in the VertuoLine range can brew up to 5 different sizes.

*The OriginalLine range sizes can be modified to your liking through simple programming, as we will see below:

Original Line Nespresso coffee sizes

In our article on the problem of Nespresso machines serving not adequate coffee volume, we saw how the quantities of coffee served by the OriginalLine range are:

OriginalLineNespresso with 2 botonesNespresso with 3 botones
Small cup (ristretto)25 ml (±7%)
Small cup (espresso)40 ml (±7%)40 ml (±7%)
Large cup (lungo)110 ml (±7%)110 ml (±7%)

*These values can be modified and customised between values from 20ml to 200ml:

  1. Brew coffee as usual, but instead of a short press, hold the coffee button you want to set for at least 3 seconds to start programming mode.
  2. Release the button only when the desired coffee fill level is reached.
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine
How to modify the volumes of coffee in a Nespresso machine

Note: The Nespresso Creatista and Maestria can adjust the volume settings easily whenever you want to prepare a new coffee.

Nespresso Line Vertuo coffee sizes

With the coffee pods for the Vertuo coffee machines, we lost almost all the references we had in the Original line range regarding the beverage size we get.

The Vertuo coffee machines retain the 40ml espresso volume, but the 110ml lungo disappears, sandwiched between the new 80ml Double espresso and 150ml Gran lungo. The possibility of making 25ml “ristrettos” also disappears, but they include the possibility of making more than half a litre of coffee with a single coffee pod!

VertuoLineNespresso Vertuo NextNespresso Vertuo Plus
Espresso40 ml (±7%)40 ml (±7%)
Doble espresso80 ml (±7%)80 ml (±7%)
Gran lungo150 ml (±7%)150 ml (±7%)
Mug230 ml (±7%)230 ml (±7%)
Pour-Over Style
535 ml (±7%)

Moreover, there can be no mistake when preparing our drinks with the Nespresso Vertuo coffee machine: We insert the pod and press the same button every time, with the machine deciding how much water is suitable for the coffee pod inserted.

This is possible thanks to the machine’s barcode reading system.

Nespresso Vertuo coffee machines and the barcode on the coffee pods

The classic Nespresso coffee pods have a conical shape with a blunt tip. These pods are perfectly shaped to fit into the Nespresso coffee preparation unit.

You insert the coffee pod, operate the lever to pierce it on the water injection side, and press the brew button. As the pressure inside increases, the pod self-pierces against the front perforating disc of the Nespresso. Throughout this process, the function of the pod was to contain the coffee.

However, in the Vertuo coffee machines, the coffee pod has a different important role in the preparation. Not only will it contain the desired coffee, but it will also transfer valuable information to the control board of the coffee machine about the characteristics of the beverage to be brewed and how to brew it.

Barcode around the Vertuo coffee pod
Barcode around the Vertuo coffee pod

The Nespresso Vertuo has a barcode reader to automate the coffee preparation process without error. The barcode reading is used to adjust the amount of water to inject and the speed at which the pod should rotate or the temperature of the water, among other things.

Benefits of the Nespresso barcode reader:

  • Coffee preparation is simplified for the user as the machine takes care of everything with a single button.
  • It eliminates the infuser rail system, which is complicated and leads to problems with water leaks, pressure loss and low brewing temperatures.
  • It avoids competition from compatible coffee pods. It is no longer easy (or legal) to manufacture compatible pods.

Differences in the coffee extraction system

The classic Nespresso OriginalLine range works like a traditional coffee pod machine. The coffee pod is pierced at one end, water is injected into it at 86°C and a pressure of up to 19 bar and the coffee comes out of the other self-piercing end.

The new Nespresso VertuoLine range injects hot water at 86°C into the pod, but in this case, the pressure is not produced by the pump. At the same time as the hot water is injected, the coffee pod is rotated at high speed, which causes the water to increase in pressure due to the centripetal force it is subjected to.

The result?

Ultimately, both systems pass hot water at high temperatures through ground coffee. However, the systems used are different.

As for the result, I think it is the same, although I know that many coffee lovers hate VertuoLine because of this way of extraction.

The price difference between Vertuo and Original pods

I will use the official Nespresso shop as a price reference for Nespresso pods because, in my experience, if you order more than 50 coffee pods at a time, their price is the best on the market.

Today, 21 July 2022, you can find pods from the Original Line range for £0.36, £0.38 £0.39, £0.40, £0.41 £0.43, £0.47 £0.48, £0.50 and £0.51. These prices correspond to the latest World Explorations and Coffee Over Ice limited edition pods.

The coffee pods in the Vertuo range are available for £0.44, £0.46, £0.51, £0.52, £0.54, £0.56, £0.58, £0.59, £0.61,£0.62, £0.66 £0.67, £0.69, £0.76 and £0.94. The prices from £0.59 onwards correspond to pods larger than 230ml, while the £0.94 corresponds to the 535ml pods for Vertuo Next.

We can establish an average price of £0.45 for Nespresso Original pods and £0.60 for Vertuo pods. This means that the Vertuo pods are 25% more expensive than the original ones, which is usually because they produce more coffee.

Differences between Nespresso Original and Vertuo coffee machines

There are currently eight models of Nespresso OriginalLine coffee machines on the official website. Prices range from £169 for the Pixie to £729 for the Creatista Pro.

As for the Nespresso VertuoLine range, there are three models of coffee machines on sale, although they are sold in different special editions. Prices range from £99 for the classic Vertuo Next to £249 for the Vertuo Plus and Aeroccino 3.

The differences between all models have been discussed in this other article.

Which is better: Original Nespresso or Vertuo?

As I have said in most of my coffee machine comparisons, deciding whether a coffee machine is better or worse depends on the personal characteristics of each individual. But with the data from this guide, you can determine which is better for you.

I prefer the Nespresso Vertuo, even though it has a higher coffee pod cost than the Nespresso Original. For me, the deciding factor in favour of Vertuo is the ease of use. The presence of a single button to prepare coffee and that it always comes out perfect seems to me to be a great advance.

But you may prefer to drink much more coffee at a more reasonable price so the OriginalLine range may be more suitable for you.