Nespresso Vertuo vs Original

This is my comparison of Nespresso’s Vertuo vs Original lines of machines.

I own two Nespresso Vertuo machines and two Nespresso Original machines, and spent half a day researching other users’ experiences of these machines, as well as speaking to the staff at my local Nespresso shop to put together this comparison.

The Nespresso Vertuo line of machines is known as VertuoLine, with the Original Line of machines being known as OriginalLine

I will therefore often refer to these lines of machines by these names throughout this article.

Let’s get started.

Which is Better: Nespresso Vertuo or Original (Quick Verdict)?

I would recommend buying a Nespresso Original machine over a Vertuo machine. Nespresso VertuoLine machines are far more expensive to run than OriginalLine machines and do little to justify this additional cost.

The actual coffee that you get from any Nespresso machine (both OriginalLine and VertuoLine) is decent, but not great. 

The main benefit of these machines is being able to make milk-based coffee drinks like lattes and cappuccinos quickly and effortlessly.

Only Nespresso OriginalLine machines have inbuilt milk heating and frothing functionalities. You therefore cannot derive the main benefit of owning a Nespresso machine from the VertuoLine of machines.

I would therefore recommend anyone who is considering buying a Nespresso machine to go for an OriginalLine machine that has a built-in milk heater and frother.

Overview of Nespresso VertuoLine and OriginalLine Machines

Before I compare these two lines of machines against each other, I will just run through their defining features.

Nespresso OriginalLine

Best Overall: Nespresso Creatista Pro

Best value for money: Nespresso Lattissima One

The Nespresso OriginalLine can only make espresso-style coffee. The machines can make espresso in three serving sizes:

  • Ristretto (25 ml)
  • Espresso (40 ml)
  • Lungo (110 ml)

Not all OriginalLine machines make Ristretto serving sizes, however.

Nespresso OriginalLine machines take the smaller, cone-shaped Nespresso capsules (see image below).

The machines use one size of capsule for all the serving sizes that it makes.

Coffees are brewed under pressure, much like how a traditional espresso machine brews coffee.

The more premium OriginalLine machines allow you to put milk in the machine.

The machine will heat up and foam up the milk, as well as offering you preset milk-based coffee drinks such as macchiato, latte and cappuccino.

The Nespresso Gran Latissima with its milk container

Below is a table that shows you what different types of coffee drinks and milk presets are available in each of the most popular Nespresso OriginalLine machines:

Machine nameAvailable coffee shotsAvailable milk drinks
PixieEspresso, LungoNo milk heating/frothing capabilities
Essenza MiniEspresso, LungoNo milk heating/frothing capabilities
CitiZEspresso, LungoNo milk heating/frothing capabilities
Lattissima OneEspresso, LungoMacchiato, Cappuccino
Gran LattissimaRistretto, Espresso, LungoCappuccino, Macchiato, Hot milk
Lattissima ProRistretto, Espresso, LungoCappuccino, Macchiato, Hot milk
Creatista PlusRistretto, Espresso, LungoCappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, Flat White, Hot foam (various settings), Hot milk (various settings
Creatista ProRistretto, Espresso, Lungo, AmericanoCappuccino, Latte, Macchiato, Flat White, Hot foam (various settings), Hot milk (various settings)

Nespresso VertuoLine

Best overall: Nespresso Vertuo Plus

Best value for money: Nespresso Vertuo Plus

The Nespresso VertuoLine coffee machines make filter coffee as well as espresso.

The machines currently offer three serving sizes for espresso:

  • Espresso (40 ml)
  • Double Espresso (80 ml)
  • Gran Lungo (150 ml)

As well as up to three serving sizes for filter coffee:

  • Mug (230 ml)
  • Alto (414 ml)
  • Carafe (515 ml)

Unlike OriginalLine machines, VertuoLine machines have different pods for each coffee size. 

These pods are different sizes and contain different amounts of coffee so you always have the right coffee-to-water ratio for the drink that you are making.

VertuoLine pods have a barcode around their rim that the machine reads to know what serving size to produce. The barcode also tells the machine what temperature and pressure to brew each pod under.

VertuoLine pod with barcode (left) vs OriginalLine pod without barcode

The barcode means that to brew with a VertuoLine machine, you just put the pod in the machine and press brew. The pod “tells” the machine how to brew the coffee.

This is in contrast to OriginalLine machines where you have to program each coffee that you want using a control panel on the machine.

Below is a table that shows you the different VertuoLine machines and the types of coffee that you can make:

Machine NameAvailable serving sizesNespresso app connectivity
VertuoEspresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug, AltoNo
Vertuo PlusEspresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug, AltoNo
Vertuo NextEspresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug, Alto, CarafeYes
EvoluoEspresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug, AltoNo

If a machine has Nespresso app connectivity it means that it will automatically be compatible with any new types of Vertuo pods that Nespresso releases.

Let’s now take a closer look at how these two machines compare against each other across the following parameters:

  • Functionalities
  • Quality of coffee
  • Operational Cost
  • Build Quality

Functionalities

Nespresso VertuoLine and OriginalLine machines are very different as far as functionalities are concerned.

VertuoLine machines offer a wider range of coffee types, including both espresso and filter coffees, however, the OriginalLine machine’s milk frothing functionalities mean that it can make a wider range of coffee drinks.

I must point out that Nespresso VertuoLine machines do not do a very good job in making filter coffees.

This is because they put a weird layer of crema on top of their filter coffees. 

Crema should only go on espresso. It just does not work on filter coffee.

This should not be a thing

The quality of Nespresso OriginalLine machine’s milk-based coffee drinks varies a lot from machine to machine, but the higher-end machines (Gran Latissima and Creatista Pro) do this well.

Functionalities Winner: OriginalLine

The machines have very different functionalities, however, OriginalLine machines execute their functionalities better than VertuoLine machines.

Quality of Coffee

VertuoLine machines make better-tasting coffee than OriginalLine machines.

I made a 40 ml espresso with an OriginalLine and a VertuoLine machine and tasted them against each other.

The espresso from the VertuoLine machine was significantly better than that from the OriginalLine machine.

The VertuoLine espresso had a richer flavor, fuller body and longer finish than the OriginalLine which was much more watery in comparison.

This difference can be accounted for by the difference in coffee-to-water ratios between the two machines.

A Nespresso Vertuo pod for espresso contains twelve grams of coffee, whereas an OriginalLine pod only contains nine grams of coffee.

The fact that VertuoLine pods hold specific amounts of ground coffee for each coffee drink means that it will create better coffees than OriginalLine with its one-pod-fits-all approach.

Although VertuoLine creates better coffee than OriginalLine, I do not think that this means you should buy a VertuoLine machine over an OriginalLine machine.

VertuoLine coffees are still significantly worse than that made in a traditional machine or pour-over (in the case of filter coffee). 

Therefore if the quality of coffee is your highest priority, I would recommend opting for a more manual machine.

Nespresso machines are for people who value convenience over everything else, and in that regard, OriginalLine and their ability to make milk drinks beat VertuoLine hands down.

Quality of Coffee Winner: VertuoLine

VertuoLine machines make a significantly better espresso than OriginalLine machines. VertuoLine machines do not make a great filter coffee, however. 

Operational Cost

The most important factor to consider in the price of Nespresso machines is their operational cost – that is the cost of the pods that you need to make regular coffees with the machine.

VertuoLine pods are significantly more expensive than OriginalLine pods.

According to the Nespresso website, as of June 2022:

  • The average cost of a single VertuoLine pod is $1.20.
  • The average cost of an OriginalLine pod is $0.80.

This means that if you were to have one coffee a day with a VertuoLine machine, you would be paying $468 a year on coffee pods.

If you were to have the same number of coffees with an OriginalLine machine, you would be paying $292 on coffees.

This means that an OriginalLine coffee machine is $176 per year cheaper to run than a VertuoLine machine.

For further context, a decent 12 oz bag of coffee costs around $10 from grocery stores.

This is enough for about 42 espressos, costing $0.24 per coffee or $87.60 per year (assuming you have one coffee each day).

The table below summarises this price data:

Type of machineCost per pod/doseAnnual cost 
Nespresso OriginalLine$0.80$292
Nespresso VertuoLine$1.20$468
Espresso machine$0.24$87.60

The most expensive Nespresso OriginalLine machine, the Creatista Pro, is around $450 more expensive than the cheapest VertuoLine machine, the VertuoPlus.

This means that after three years of use, the most expensive OriginalLine machine will be cheaper than the cheapest VertuoLine machine.

Operational Cost Winner: Nespresso OriginalLine

VertuoLine pods are significantly more expensive than OriginalLine pods, making VertuoLine machines a much bigger investment than OriginalLine machines.

Build Quality

Nespresso Vertuo machines are newer and therefore have a better internal build quality than OriginalLine machines.

This superior internal build quality means that VertuoLine machines turn on and heat up faster than OriginalLine machines. VertuoLine machines also brew coffee more quietly than OriginalLine machines.

The high internal build quality of Nespresso machines means that they are unlikely to succumb to technical issues such as water failing to heat up or coffee not being able to dispense. 

This is a stark contrast to the Keurig machines that I own that always seem to be losing heating power and pressure.

The exterior of Nespresso machines does often feel a bit cheap and plasticky. 

The hinges of lids and drip trays are often thin and feel like they could snap under any pressure.

This is a particularly annoying trait for the higher-end OriginalLine machines. 

These machines can be really expensive and so you often expect a higher external build quality than what you end up getting.

Build Quality Winner: VertuoLine

VertuoLine machines are faster, easier and quieter to use than OriginalLine machines.

What are the best Nespresso Original Machines?

Two Nespresso OriginalLine machines that I would recommend are the Nespresso Creatista Pro and the Nespresso Gran Latissima.

Best OriginalLine: Nespresso Creatista Pro

The Nespresso Creatista Pro is Nespresso’s best machine because it gives you a huge variety of options when it comes to how you can make your coffee and prepare your milk.

The Creatista Pro’s extensive functionalities mean that you can make pretty much any drink that you can get in a coffee shop.

I particularly like the fact that you can get temperature options on your milk, as I often find lattes and cappuccinos to not be hot enough for my liking. 

The hottest milk option on the machine will let you create a latte that you have to blow on before you can drink it (which is just how I like it).

One of the concerns that many people have with coffee machines that have a lot of functionalities is that they require a lot of cleaning.

Fortunately, the Creatista Pro’s display screen gives you thorough cleaning instructions, making the machine easy to clean and maintain.

Best VertuoLine: Nespresso Vertuo Plus

There are only four VertuoLine machines currently available, three of which I have tested personally.

In my tests, I found that the Nespresso Vertuo Plus consistently made the best-tasting coffee as it has the longest brewing times and highest brewing temperatures.

The Vertuo Plus is also the most ergonomically designed VertuoLine machine, combining a relatively small footprint with lots of reservoir and pod storage space.

For more information on Nespresso VertuoLine machines, please see my comparison of Nespresso Vertuo Plus vs Vertuo Next.

Final Thoughts

I would recommend buying a Nespresso OriginalLine over a VertuoLine, so long as you purchase an OriginalLine with a milk heating and frothing functionality.

VertuoLine machines make better espresso than OriginalLine machines, but in my opinion, the beauty of Nespresso machines is that they allow you to make milk-based coffee drinks easily at home. Only the OriginalLine machines have this functionality.

The other big reason why I would recommend the OriginalLine machines over the VertuoLine machines is that OriginalLine pods are far cheaper than VertuoLine pods.

This difference in pod price should offset the additional cost of the more premium OriginalLine machines after less than a couple of years of use.

My top pick for Nespresso OriginalLine machines is the Nespresso Creatista Pro. If you want to find out more about this, please see my Nespresso Creatista Pro review.