Nespresso OriginalLine vs VertuoLine – What’s the Difference?

What is Nespresso OriginalLine and Nespresso VertuoLine?

Nespresso now produce different types of coffee pods – Nespresso Virtuoline are the newcomers on the scene compared to Nespresso OriginalLine, which is what we would call the ‘original’ Nespresso capsules. The original capsules were shaped like the coffee pods we have seen since they became commonplace. They have slightly angled straight sides with a shallow angle at the top.

The new Nespresso VertuoLine capsules are dome shaped and as a result, look rather different! These capsules will not fit into Nespresso OriginalLine machines. Similarly, OriginalLine capsules won’t fit into the new VertuoLine machines.

Nespresso VertuoLine machines were originally developed for the American market, where people wanted to see capsules that would fill larger sizes of coffee cup beyond Nespresso’s Lungo size – for a quick explanation of Nespresso’s coffee sizes Espresso, Ristretto and Lungo, visit our coffee size guide here

When were Nespresso VertuoLine Machines Released?

The VertuoLine machines were first released in the United States in 2014, and were initially not available in Europe. The launch date in Europe was October 2016, with the Nespresso VertuoLine launching in France and expanding to the rest of Europe as well. Nowadays, the machines are available globally.

So what’s the difference between the two? Aside from having different ranges of machines, the main difference is how they are brewed.

Nespresso VertuoLine Brewing Method: The Difference Compared to OriginalLine

The Nespresso VertuoLine capsules brewed coffee differently to the OriginalLine capsules, which focused on puncturing the capsule and extracting the coffee under 19 bars of pressure. VertuoLine capsules are instead spun inside the Nespresso coffee machine, at speeds of about 7,000rpm. As a result, the coffee is extracted by a centrifuge, compared to using direct pressure – and has a different flavour profile. There is also a larger layer of foam / crema that is produced this way, compared to Nespresso OriginalLine capsules.

Does Nespresso VertuoLine Taste Better than Nespresso OriginalLine?

We should advise that the taste of VertuoLine coffee has not been met with universal acclaim. Many people have found they prefer the OriginalLine capsules when making a coffee, especially consumers in Europe. If you enjoy having enough intensity in your coffee pod to comfortably fill a larger cup, though, we think VertuoLine may provide you with a more enjoyable experience. At the end of the day, everyone is different! One great way to tell is to walk into a Nespresso shop on your nearest city high street or similar, and ask to try coffee from both. That would let you make a decision based on your taste so that you buy the right one!

Vertuo Coffee Pod / Capsule Sizes

One of the big design decisions made when introducing the VertuoLine range was larger coffee cup sizes. Particularly in America, consumers were eager for a capsule solution to larger cups and mugs. As a result, Nespresso Vertuo capsules come in five (5!!) different sizes:

  • Espresso – the smallest Vertuo coffee pod, this is simply designed to be blended with 40ml of water.
  • Double Espresso – as suggested by the name, doubling the amount of water to 80ml
  • Gran Lungo – 150ml of water is used to make a coffee with this capsule
  • Mug – this is still small by western ‘mug’ standards, but 230ml of water is used to blend with this coffee pod, making it larger than any standard size offered by the OriginalLine range
  • Alto – at 414ml, this is by far the largest coffee that a single Nespresso Vertuo pod can make as standard

VertuoLine Barcode Recognition Helps Pod Sizes but Blocks Third Party Pods

Nespresso have designed a unique barcode system using the outside rim of their VertuoLine coffee pods. There is a barcode included with each capsule that tells the machine how large the coffee is going to be (from Espresso to Alto), which means the correct amount of water gets added.

There is also a secondary reason for this – because Nespresso machines officially recognise different Vertuo coffee capsules, it may block the recognition of some third party Vertuo capsules. As a result, it makes buying non-Nespresso capsules a bit trickier. Even if you end up finding a capsule that works, there’s no guarantee it will work indefinitely! Updates to Nespresso machines could end up blocking these in the future For this reason, many OriginalLine third party capsule makers have steered clear of making third party VertuoLine capsules to date. They could well exist en-masse in the future, though!

Conclusions: Nespresso VertuoLine vs Nespresso OriginalLine

We will always recommend you taste the coffee from both types of Nespresso machine yourself before deciding what to buy, but there are a few obvious pros and cons to selecting each:

  • Nespresso VertuoLine coffee machines are designed to cater to larger cup sizes. If you’re looking for a much larger size of cup to put your coffee in on a daily basis, chances are a coffee pod designed for that size would naturally taste nicer than a more concentrated ‘shot’ of coffee that you’d have to dilute!
  • Nespresso OriginalLine machines are compatible with far more third-party coffee pod manufacturers because there is no barcode verification technology written into OriginalLine capsules. If you are a fan of a specific third party coffee capsule, then you would probably want to stay with these for now.
  • Nespresso VertuoLine Centrifusion technology allows Nespresso to play around with subtler flavours, extracting aromas via spinning the capsule rather than using pure pressure. This brewing method also produces a larger crema / foam, so if you’re a fan of this in your coffee then we think you’d enjoy the new VertuoLine machines!

We will shortly be publishing a full guide to Nespresso VertuoLine machines and a top line review of our favourites. and in the meantime you can compare our Nespresso OriginalLine series of machines with our Nespresso OriginalLine Comparison Guide here. You can even choose based on prize & capacity to filter down to the machine that’s most suited to you!