Coffee Makers, Comparing Coffee Makers

Nespresso Vertuo vs Original – Which is Right for You?

Written by

Erica Cervenkova

Coffee Holli Top Pick

Since the new Vertuo Line hit the shelves, choosing the right Nespresso brewer has gotten harder. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you understand their similarities and differences. 


By deep-diving into their features and helping you choose which one might be the best fit for your kitchen.

The original Nespresso pods are small; perfect for a quick espresso shot. On the other hand, the Vertuo pods are wide, round, and versatile, offering five different drink sizes. 

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There’s more to these machines than meets the eye.

Nespresso Vertuo vs Original

Key Takeaways From this Comparison

  • The Nespresso Original and Vertuo machines are extremely convenient, but the Vertuo requires more effort to operate and may need more frequent water refills due to its ability to brew larger volumes.
  • The brewing techniques differ between the two, with the Original producing a clean-dissolving crema while the Vertuo results in a foamier crema that stays intact longer.
  • According to this study, a persistent crema keeps your espresso tasting fresh and vibrant for longer.
  • The Original offers a broader capsule variety, including third-party options, whereas the Vertuo only works with Nespresso-branded capsules.
  • Costs per capsule are generally higher for the Vertuo, making the Original a more economical choice in the long run.
  • Environmentally speaking, the Vertuo’s larger capsules mean higher material usage per coffee, posing an eco-dilemma. The Original’s smaller, more compact capsules are a greener choice.

Specification Table

SpecificationNespresso VertuoNespresso Original
Overall Rating87.4 %89.2 %
Current Price$219 on Nespresso$229 on Nespresso
Weight10.85 lbs5.7 lbs
MaterialPlastic & MetalPlastic & Metal
Capacity5 sizes: 40ml to 414ml700ml
Coffee Maker TypeSingle-serveSingle-serve
Special FunctionsCentrifusion technology, barcode scanning for brew size, automatic blend recognition.High-pressure pump, compact design, energy-saving mode.
Product Dimensions11.9″ H × 8.3″ W × 11.91″ D9.3″ H × 4.4″ W × 12.8″ D
Warranty1 Year1 Year

Comparison Criteria

Now that you have a rough idea of what both lines bring to the table, here’s how I intend to compare them. Let’s focus on the criteria that benefit you as a user.


Here’s the thing: 

In comparing convenience between the Nespresso Original and Vertuo machines, both models stand out for their ease of use, designed for operation with just one hand. 

The Vertuo brewer operates with a single button. While this button simplifies the process, you will need to read the barcode to determine your brew’s status, which requires more attention.


As this Reddit user pointed out, the Vertuo line allows you to brew both coffee and espresso. This can be incredibly convenient for users who want the best of both worlds.

Nespresso Vertuo Capsule Options Review

An added convenience of the Vertuo, which I’ve come to appreciate, is its ability to brew another cup of coffee without needing to eject the used capsule first. 

This is a notable advantage over the Original, where you must eject the capsule before starting another brew.


Both machines have similarly sized water tanks, yet I’ve noticed that the Vertuo might require more frequent refills due to its ability to brew larger coffee volumes. 

After Descaling Nespresso Wash the Water Compartment


You could offset this entirely by purchasing the Vertuo Plus, which has a larger reservoir size.

Coffee Quality

In my exploration of the Nespresso Vertuo and Original systems, I’ve observed that the coffee quality significantly differs due to their distinct brewing processes. 

You see:

The Original system, which I’ve used extensively, operates on a high-pressure mechanism that extracts coffee, creating a rich and dense crema reminiscent of a traditional espresso. 

This method appeals to my preference for a strong espresso base with a cleanly dissolving crema.

On the flip side: 

I’ve noticed the Vertuo system, with its innovative ‘centrifusion’ technique, spins the capsule at high speeds to blend the coffee with water. 

This process produces a foamier crema, quite different from what I’m accustomed to with the Original system. The foamier crema from the Vertuo doesn’t dissolve as neatly, leaving a residue that I find slightly less appealing

However, this is a matter of personal taste.

For instance:

This particular Nespresso user preferred the original line because they like espressos and lattes.

Interestingly, Melissa from our team has a different take. She prefers the Vertuo system, especially for crafting more complex coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos. 

According to Melissa:

The Vertuo’s crema and its integration into milk-based beverages add a new dimension to these drinks. 

Her perspective has opened my eyes to Vertuo’s potential, especially for those who enjoy a broader range of coffee experiences beyond the traditional espresso shot.


This divergence in preferences within our team highlights the subjective nature of coffee enjoyment. 

While I lean towards the Original for its traditional espresso quality and crema, Erica’s preference for the Vertuo underscores its versatility and appeal for creating intricate coffee concoctions.


Here’s a breakdown of costs for both machines:

FactorNespresso OriginalNespresso Vertuo 
Machine Price$229$219
Cost per Capsule (40ml)$0.8$1.25

When considering the long-term investment in a coffee machine, the cost goes beyond just the initial purchase price of the machine itself. 

To this end:

My analysis dives into the upfront cost and the recurring expense associated with buying capsules.

Nespresso Original Capsules

I purchased my Nespresso Original machine for $229, and the capsules for a standard 40ml espresso shot cost $0.8 each

The allure of the Nespresso Vertuo, priced slightly lower at $219, was tempting initially, but its capsules cost $1.25 each, revealing a subtle yet critical difference in ongoing costs.


This variance in capsule price may seem negligible at first glance, but when you consider it in the long run, the implications are pretty clear. 


You have to consider the difference in price from region to region. A great example of this discrepancy becomes obvious when you look at the price of Vertuo pods in the U.S. compared to other countries, as this Nespresso user pointed out.

The cost difference becomes more pronounced considering my daily coffee consumption. Opting for the Original system means each cup of coffee is more affordable, and this difference accumulates over the months and years of use.


While the flexibility of extending an espresso shot with hot water in the Original system caters to my preference for Americano-style coffee, it also represents a significant cost advantage

This is especially true when comparing the expense of larger capsules in the Vertuo system to the simple addition of hot water.


The advent of third-party capsules compatible with the Nespresso Original system further enhances its cost-effectiveness

With the patent expiration, various brands now offer compatible capsules, often at lower prices than Nespresso’s. 


Be aware that your brewer might have problems puncturing pods or capsules. You might want to stick with Nespresso Capsules while troubleshooting this issue.


My preference leans towards the Nespresso Original system, not just for its lower capsule costs but also for its flexibility in customizing my coffee experience at a more manageable expense. 

While the Vertuo system has its merits, especially for those who prefer the convenience of larger, barcode-specific brews, the economic and flexible nature of the Original system suits my personal and financial coffee consumption preferences better.

Environmental Considerations

Bigger capsules in the Vertuo machine mean more material used per cup of coffee, posing environmental issues. 

As such:

I’d suggest opting for the Original system for smaller, more compact capsules, enabling a more eco-friendly choice.

Pros & Cons

Nespresso Original


  • Lower capsule cost
  • More capsule variety
  • Eco-friendly options available
  • Compact design


  • Limited to smaller coffee sizes
  • Manual strength customization
  • Higher effort for larger drinks

Nespresso Vertuo


  • Versatile cup sizes
  • Rich crema with centrifusion
  • One-touch operation
  • Quality coffee for larger brews


  • Higher capsule cost
  • Limited capsule variety
  • Larger machine size
  • Must-buy capsules from Nespresso

Final Verdict

After weighing the pros and cons:

It’s clear that both the Nespresso Original and Vertuo have their strengths. If convenience and a foamier crema are high on your priority list, the Vertuo could be your go-to. 

On the other hand:

If you’re after a cost-effective choice that delivers a clean, smooth crema, the Original might be more your speed. 

As an additional consideration, Vertuo’s larger capsules pose an environmental concern. 


The decision between Nespresso Vertuo and Original boils down to personal preference. Both machines are designed to deliver a quality coffee experience right in your home. So, take a moment to consider what you value most in your coffee routine. That’ll help you make the best choice.

Erica Cervenkova
Coffee Connoisseur, SCA Member

As a coffee connoisseur and member of the Specialty Coffee Association, I am dedicated to understanding the sustainability of coffee pods and the impact it has on the environment. My expertise lies in the realm of capsule coffee machines, from the likes of Keurig and Nespresso to other well-known US brands. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and helping others make informed decisions about their coffee choices. Whether you're a coffee enthusiast or just looking for a new way to enjoy your morning cup, I'm here to help.


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