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Nespresso VertuoLine Vs OriginalLine: Differences explained

Nespresso machines are awesome. Or they’re the worst, depending on who you ask. Personally, I’ve tasted Nespresso and I really like it. I don’t have a machine myself but my brother in law does.

Nespresso machines, as you are certainly aware, are pod-based machines. They make two kinds of pod machines, which we’ll talk about in this comparison between Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine.

In general, the pods contain coffee grounds and/or flavorings and the machine forces the water through the pod at high temperatures to brew coffee, and fast.

So if both OriginalLine and VertuoLine use pods, what’s the difference?

nespresso vertuoline vs originalline pod comparison
The pod on the left is VertuoLine, and the pod on the right is OriginalLine. Size comparison is not accurate.

Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine: Quick summary

  • Original Line machines use 10-15 bars of pressure to extract the coffee flavor from the pods(at an optimum temperature), much like a regular espresso machine. Vertuoline machines use centrifugal force and a moderate temperature to do the extracting. The centrifugal force creates an effect of gravity which exerts the force.
  • OriginalLine machines are much more open and compatible. That means there are lots of third-party pods available and even reusable, refillable pods you can fill with your own coffee. VertuoLine machines are much more tied down to the Nespresso ecosystem.
  • OriginalLine machines make stronger coffee which tastes more like traditional espresso. The centrifugal extraction of VertuoLine machines results in a weaker coffee but thicker crema.
  • VertuoLine pods are more expensive than OriginalLine pods
  • VertuoLine machines are capable of brewing full 8 ounce Americanos, while the largest cup you can get out of an OriginalLine machine is a lungo shot.

Differences in brewing and taste

The two ways that the VertuoLine and Original Line machines brew the grounds makes all the difference in taste.

One major issue with VertuoLine is that the temperature used is a bit lower than the temperature used in Original Line(since that is using pressure, not centrifugal force).

Because the temperature is lower, the amount of oils and essence(read: flavors) extracted from the grounds will be less.

The result is a sometimes milder coffee.

OriginalLine machines make a stronger, hotter coffee.

More about crema

Another difference is that there is a lot more crema and foam on the Vertuoline brew than there is on OriginalLine.

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As I was reading up on this, I was wondering why Nespresso would purposefully make a machine that made less intense coffee and market it as something new.

But then it struck me that the Vertuoline machines may be marketed towards folks who like the crema essentially, and Original Line machines are marketed towards those folks who prefer the straight up taste of espresso.

Though you may find, according to some people, that VertuoLine crema is in fact just foam, and Original Line crema is actually better and more authentic.

Crema is generally considered to be a sign of good coffee and/or a skilled barista. Fresh beans tend to produce more crema than older beans, and some people really like the smoothness that it provides to the first few sips of your coffee.

One of the reasons this is so is that excessive crema can be a sign of the brew being made with robusta beans, which are generally less flavorful than arabica beans. That said, robusta beans tend to have more caffeine, so if it is a stronger hit of caffeine(not necessarily coffee) that you’re looking for, the extra crema from the added robusta beans may be just what you were looking for.

Another more controversial hypothesis is that the extra crema is just a result from the high speed centrifugal brewing. In this case, it’s not true crema, but it’s just an extra bit of foam generated from the all the air mixing into the top of the coffee from the centrifuge.

Nespresso VertuoLine Vs OriginalLine: Differences in cost

Another huge factor in comparing Vertuoline vs Original is that Nespresso uses a fancy barcode system on each Vertuoline pod that informs the machine how much water to use and how hot the water should be.

This also makes it a lot harder for third party manufacturers to make their own pods. You’re kind of stuck using the original Nespresso pods, which can be quite pricey.

Of all pod-style coffee makers, VertuoLine is the most expensive per pod, averaging at $0.90 – $1.25 per capsule.

You can check how much multi-packs sell for on Amazon and divide by the number of pods to get this average.

Original Line pods are for $0.75 – $0.85, a considerable difference that will certainly add up over time.

Averaging out the cost of a VertuoLine pod to $1.07 and an OriginalLine pod to $0.80:

  • Drinking one OriginalLine cup every day for one year will cost you $292
  • Drinking one VertuoLine cup every dayfor one year will cost you $390

That’s a fairly considerable difference of $100!

There is one thing that the Vertuoline does: it can brew you a full cup of black Americano style coffee.

Related: 

Differences in variety

There are a lot of different flavors available for both Vertuoline and OriginalLine. If you’re really picky about the individual flavor notes and tones, then it’s better to compare flavors first then the machines next!

OriginalLine flavors

Below is a list of all OriginalLine flavors. The flavor notes are going to vary slightly from coffee to coffee, so the best way to figure out which one you like best is to try a sampler pack.

Espresso

  • Livanto
  • Capriccio
  • Volluto
  • Cosi

Intenso

  • Kazaar
  • Dharkan
  • Ristretto
  • Arpeggio
  • Roma

Decaffeinato

  • Ristretto Decaffeinato
  • Arpeggio Decaffeinato
  • Volluto Decaffeinato
  • Vivalto Lungo Decaffeinato

Lungo

  • Envivo Lungo
  • Fortissio Lungo
  • Vivalto Lungo
  • Linzio Lungo

Pure origin

  • Indriya from India
  • Rosabaya de Colombia
  • Dulsao do Brasil
  • Bukeela ka Ethiopia

Variations

  • Vanillio
  • Caramelito
  • Ciocattino

Vertuoline Flavors

Below is a list of all VertuoLine flavors. The flavor notes are going to vary slightly from coffee to coffee, so the best way to figure out which one you like best is to try a sampler pack.

Coffee

  • Intenso
  • Stormio
  • Odacio
  • Melozio
  • Elvazio
  • Giornio
  • Solelio
  • Decaffeinato
  • Half Caffeinato
  • Hazelino
  • Caramelizio
  • Vanizio

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

Espresso

  • Diaolitto
  • Altissio
  • Voltesso
  • Decaffeinato Intenso

Can you use original Nespresso pods in Vertuoline?

Unfortunately, you can’t use original Nespresso pods in Vertuoline machines. The pod shapes are completely different.

Like we mentioned above, the Vertuoline machines have a rounded pod and a barcode that tells the machine how exactly to brew the coffee. Original pods don’t have the same barcode(without which you can’t get the machine to brew) nor do they have the same shape to be able to fit in the Vertuoline pod bay.

Our favorite Nespresso machines

Even though we’ve got a post dedicated to Nespresso machines, since you’re already here, we figured we’d talk a bit about some of our favorite Nespresso models.

It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot more models available in the Original range than there are in the VertuoLine range. Additionally, other manufacturers also support Original capsules, whereas Vertuoline capsules are locked into fewer models.

1. Nespresso Essenza Mini

The Nespresso Essenza Mini is one of my favorite Nespresso machines because it is just so compact! It’s great for a kitchen of any size, as the footprint is really less especially when compared to other larger espresso machines.

Nespresso Essenza Mini
Even though the machine itself is quite tiny, it has a formidable 19-bar pressure pump which extracts superb coffee from each pod. You have a choice of brewing either espresso shots(1.5 ounces) or lungo shots(3.4 ounces).

2. Nespresso VertuoLine

If you’re looking for a compact VertuoLine machine that does not break the bank, this machine may be something worth considering.

At its core, it’s like any other Nespresso machine, but this machine has the ability to brew 5 different cup sizes ranging from a 1.5 ounce espresso shot all the way up to a 14 ounce Alto(which will be much more dilute than the 1.5 ounce espresso), depending on the type of pod you use.

But it really depends on the kind of strength you prefer, right?

Nespresso VertuoLine
Additionally, this particular machine can be bought as a combo with the Aeroccino milk frother to save some money.

3. Nespresso by DeLonghi EN80BAE

Here’s another tiny machine to consider. Since Nespresso machines are designed to be straightforward and simple, this machine gives you the choice of brewing either an espresso shot or a lungo. It is also available as a combo with the Aeroccino milk frother.

Nespresso Inissia
This Nespresso machine brews Original capsules, has a super tiny footprint, but still sports a 23 ounce tank that can brew you quite a few shots before having to refill it again.

4. Nespresso Creatista plus

Finally, if you’re looking for something that’s really top of the line, might we suggest the Creatista plus.

A small LCD screen lets you configure settings to your liking, and the built in frothing wand can help you steam milk to over 10 variations of foam from very wet foam(less air) to very dry foam(more air).

There’s a conventional cappuccino ratio you can follow where you use both wet and dry foam, but you can also adjust this to your personal preference.

The Creatista plus uses Original capsules.

Sale
Nespresso Creatista
Not only does this stainless-steel finished machine look really awesome, it's a full-featured coffee station that will make you feel like a barista from the moment it goes on your kitchen counter.

Between OriginalLine and VertuoLine, Which one is better?

As you can see, the OriginalLine has a lot more flavors right now. Nespresso may or may not add more flavors to the Vertuoline to make it more appealing to a wider audience.

We’ve already talked about the differences in extraction between VertuoLine and Original Nespresso machines. It is also worth mentioning that Vertuoline machines do not have built in milk frothers(yet, anyway).

It is entirely possible a future model will have a built in frother, and if it does, we’ll try to be the first to give you an update about it!

Sale
Nespresso Aeroccino
To make cappuccinos and lattes, you'll need to pick up a separate milk frother such as the Nespresso Aeroccino. That can add to the cost quite a bit, although it is possible to find bundle deals where you can get both the coffee machine and the milk frother for a bit of a discount.

Even then, though, I personally feel OriginalLine is the winner here because its ecosystem is a lot more open than that of the VertuoLine. Add to that the bigger variety in OriginalLine models and the ability to froth milk in some machines, and the difference is obvious.

I think, at the end of the day, the difference boils down to:

  • If you’re a coffee purist that wants authentic espresso and coffee, stick with OriginalLine. The coffee is stronger, hotter, and more intense all around
  • If you’re an adventurer and like lots of foamy crema, then give VertuoLine a shot

Frequently asked questions

Is Nespresso VertuoLine worth it?

Personally, I prefer the OriginalLine over the VertuoLine. VertuoLine is not compatible with any non-Nespresso capsules, and the pods are more expensive, too. The only situation in which I’d recommend a VertuoLine is if you prefer drinking Americanos, which OriginalLine machines can’t brew.

Why is Nespresso so foamy?

A combination of high quality coffee grounds and a very high-pressure extraction results in a lot of crema. The pressure is the key, which Nespresso machines do a great job of producing.

Which is better Keurig or Nespresso?

It depends on what you’re looking for. For authentic single serve espresso, Nespresso is the boss. For the ability to brew a wide range of coffees and other drinks in lightning speed, Keurig is the way to go.

Last update on 2020-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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About Shabbir

Shabbir is the Chief Caffeine Officer at Coffee In My Veins. When he's not weighing out coffee beans for his next brew, you can find him writing about his passion: coffee.

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