Nespresso coffee makers have a unique coffee pod system. What defines any coffee pod machine, regardless of the brand, is precisely its coffee pod system; the shape of the pod, the materials it is made of, and how the coffee is perforated and extracted.
However, in 2014 Nespresso launched another coffee pod system incorporated into the Vertuo coffee makers, which uses a different pod from the one we were used to.
Vertuo is like a different coffee maker because, although it is from Nespresso, it does not have the same coffee pod system that the other brand machines have. So the question should be: Is there any similarity between the Nespresso Original and the Vertuo?
The answer is yes; they are similar to the coffee inside the pod. Although the coffee pod is different in shape and size, the way it is perforated and the coffee is extracted. Therefore, Vertuo is still a machine that prepares Nespresso coffee, although its coffee pod system is different.
Main differences between Nespresso Original and Vertuo coffee machines
The main difference between these coffee makers is that the Original has two or three selection buttons, depending on the model (for example, the Nespresso U and the Prodigio have three buttons). However, the Nespresso Vertuo has only one button, and with this, they have greatly simplified the way of preparing coffee.
While in the Original, after inserting the pod, you have to choose the type of coffee you want to prepare, in the Vertuo, the pod is already preset to prepare a specific type of coffee, and you only have to press one button to get it.
Nespresso Vertuo and Original coffee sizes
In Nespresso Original, we have only two sizes (in some machines 3) of coffee to choose from; the Espresso with 40 milliliters and the Lungo with 110 milliliters. In the case of machines with three buttons, we would have an additional 25 milliliters for the Ristretto.
In the Vertuo, we have five different volumes; the Espresso that remains with 40 ml, a Double Espresso with 80 ml, a Gran Lungo with 150 ml, the Mug with 230 ml, and finally, the Carafe with 535 milliliters.
Note: The Carafe can only be prepared in the Nespresso Vertuo Next, the only one with the capacity to prepare more than half a liter of coffee. This coffee is made little by little in the Pour Over style of the typical Chemex or the Hario V60.
How to change the coffee size in Nespresso Original
In the Nespresso Original, the coffee size can be programmed. To do this, you have to insert the pod, close the rail, leave the desired button pressed, and when you release it, that will be the size of coffee registered in the machine’s memory. The sizes that can be configured range from 20 to 200 ml, but it must be said that it is a bit cumbersome.
Note: There are machines, such as the Creatista or the Maestria, that have options for you to adjust the size of the drink without having to enter the programming, it is something more automatic, but these are very high-end coffee makers.
Then, if you need to reset these values to the original ones, you can reset them like this:
- Turn off the machine.
- Press the lungo button for 5 seconds until the machine turns on.
- The factory settings will have been reset.
Automatic selection of the coffee size in Nespresso Vertuo
In the Nespresso Vertuo, we have a bar code system on the pods, which in Tassimo coffee machines is called Intellibrew. In the Vertuo, this system works with a reader located at the bottom where the pod is inserted.
When the coffee pod is placed on the reader, the coffee maker detects what type of pod it is and what size of coffee should be extracted. The final size varies depending on the type of coffee inside the pod.
Once the machine reads the bar code, it determines the amount of water to be poured, the temperature required, and the speed at which the water has to pass through because each coffee will be prepared differently.
- What was achieved by adding this barcode system to the Vertuo, although it means adding more technology and complicates things a little, is that we avoid the traditional rail where the pods go, which always ends up causing problems such as the well-known water leaks.
- Another benefit of the barcode is to avoid copies, as there are a lot of traditional Nespresso pods that can no longer be obtained with this new system. This is because the barcoded coffee pod system is new and patent protected.
- The traditional coffee pod system dates back to 1989, and the patent has already expired, so there is no restriction for many private labels or compatible brands to come out.
Differences in coffee extraction in Vertuo and Original
The coffee is extracted differently with each of these coffee makers. With the Nespresso Original coffee machine, when inserting the pod into the machine and closing the rail, the back of the pod is perforated with blades making three incisions.
By pressing the start button, hot water is injected through these three incisions at 86 degrees Celsius and a high pressure of 19 bar. The pod then swells until it hits the perforating disk in front of the coffee maker, and the aluminum that covers the pod is perforated, allowing the coffee to fall into the cup.
In the case of the Nespresso Vertuo, something very different happens. Here the machine makes multiple perforations on the edge of the pod and a larger one in the center. Hot water is injected through the central hole, but not under pressure, because it rotates the pod very fast, causing a centrifugal force that causes the water to come out under pressure through the holes it has made in the rim.
This is where the big difference occurs; in the Original, pressurized water is injected into the pod for extraction, while in the Vertuo, the pressure is created by spinning the pod very fast. This rapid spinning generates the typical sound of this coffee maker, and the speed is so high that it can reach up to 7,000 revolutions per minute to extract the coffee.
Coffee purists say that with the Original coffee maker, a better coffee can be obtained, that the foam and the cream it produces are more real. In contrast, the Vertuo produces an artificial crema created with centrifugal force instead of just pressure. But this is subjective; since it is a matter of taste, I think both preparations are equally good.
The price difference between Nespresso Original and Vertuo
➡️ Coffee Pods:
As for the price of the coffee pods, Nespresso Original pods are usually 20% cheaper than Vertuo pods. The Original pods are between $0.42 and $0.54 in the official Nespresso store, which means an average cost of about $0.50.
Those of the Vertuo range from $0.46 to $0.99, with the half-liter pods of the Nespresso Next being the most expensive, but the average cost is about $0.60.
With the Original Nespresso pods being 20% cheaper, if over the year you spend $200 on pods with the Original, with the Vertuo, you will have spent $200 plus an additional 20%, or $240. So it is important to consider; the high cost in exchange for simplicity of use.
➡️ Coffee Makers:
As for the price of the machines, interestingly, the Original coffee makers have much more variable prices. There are offers in the store that, for example, get you about $50 for the Pixie model buying 300 pods and can reach up to $699 for the Creatista Pro. So there’s a very wide range between them.
In the official store, 11 models of these coffee makers are being sold. Prices may vary depending on the season, but they range between $50 with pods and $100 without pods for the cheapest and $750 for the most expensive.
The Vertuo coffee makers, with the pod offer, are currently between $60 and $110. Without the offers, they would be between $150 and $165. There are three models, the Vertuo, the Vertuo Next, and the Vertuo Plus, although currently, only the Vertuo Plus and Vertuo Next are sold in the store.
The Nespresso Vertuo and Original coffee makers use different coffee pods, although the coffee inside is the same.
The Vertuo has a single button and the pod with its barcode does all the work for us, while the Original has a rail where the pod is inserted and only has two (or three) options for preparations.
The way of preparation has subjective opinions, some people think that the coffee is better than the Original because of the way it is extracted, but I think it tastes the same.
Related: All espresso-based drinks