Nespresso offers two lines of coffee machines, each with its own distinct features and characteristics. Original machines, which are best suited for people who love espresso and cappuccino, brew smaller beverages ranging in size from .85 oz to 5 oz.
Vertuo machines, which make up the second line of coffee makers offered by Nespresso, are perfect for those who love espresso and also enjoy a great-tasting cup of coffee. Unlike the Original line of machines, the Vertuo can accommodate brews from 1.35 oz to 18 oz.
Although both machines are eco-friendly and use capsules that are recyclable, there are some differences with each coffee maker. Where many Original machines are equipped with special features for frothing milk and creating milk and coffee beverages, the Vertuo machines are not. These two lines of machines also take distinct and specially designed pods that can’t be interchanged.
Brewing Coffee with a Vertuo
To begin using your Vertuo machine, it’s suggested to fill the water reservoir using fresh drinking water and place a cup under the coffee outlet. Then, press the button on the top so that the water can be heated up. This takes only 25 seconds and the button on the top will blink. When the button stops blinking, you are ready to proceed.
The next step is to unlock the machine, open up the top, and place the dome-shaped capsule of your choice into the holder. Then, close and lock the lid. The special pod that this machine uses is equipped with a printed bar code. When the pod is placed into the holder and the machine is started, it reads the bar code and automatically adjusts the settings to maximize the flavorsome brew being made. In order to make the magic happen, all you need to do is press one button.
Once the coffee has finished brewing and you are all done using the machine, unlock and open the top of the Vertuo to eject the used capsule into the holding container. Then, close the lid and press and hold the power button to turn the machine off.
Vertuo machines take a special capsule to operate correctly. They are dome-shaped, larger than the pods used with the Original line machines, and made from aluminum. This allows them to be recycled (in select areas) after they have been used.
The other style of pods that Nespresso produces are smaller and more cylindrical. They are wider at the top and slightly taper down toward the bottom. The very underside of these pods is also flat. Like the domed capsules, these pods are also made from aluminum and are recyclable.
Although both styles of pods are sold by Nespresso, the domed capsules are the only kind that is compatible with the Vertuo model. The smaller pods made for the Original line of machines will not work in the Vertuo model. Not only are the two styles uniquely shaped and different sizes, but the domed capsules have bar codes where the smaller pods don’t.
The best capsules to use in the Vertuo machines are sold directly from Nespresso. Starbucks also sells verified Nespresso capsules that are compatible with Vertuo machines.
Nespresso offers variety packs, limited edition flavors, and dozens of other tastes, all of which can be used in the Vertuo machine. In fact, the website proudly states that they offer 25 different blends that are grown all over the world. Some of these coffees come from India, Brazil, Costa Rica, Kenya, and Indonesia.
When browsing for different capsules to buy, you can also filter it down by roast and taste. The three roast levels available are:
- Light- described as sweet and crisp
- Medium- labeled as balanced and rich
- Dark- detailed as toasted and bitter
The taste categories include:
- Woody & Earthy
- Floral & Herbal
- Nutty & Balanced
- Fruity & Complex
- Roasted & Chocolatey
Since the Nespresso Vertuo can brew five different sizes, the capsules can also be purchased in five different sizes. This allows a brewed carafe of coffee to be as strong and delicious as the smallest shot of espresso made by the same machine. The sizes these domed capsules can be purchased in are:
- 1.35 oz (espresso)
- 2.7 oz (double espresso)
- 5.07 oz (gran lungo)
- 7.77 oz (coffee)
- 18 oz (carafe)
Other Pod Brands
Nespresso strongly discourages using any other brand of domed capsules in the Vertuo machines. In fact, doing so could potentially cause damage to your machine and void any limited warranty that you may have.
There are several brands that produce a reusable option, however, that claim to be compatible with Nespresso Vertuo machines. With a quick search online, brands such as Capmesso, ICafilas, and My-Cap can be found that advertise these refillable domed capsules.
Choosing the Correct Pod
When you own a Nespresso Vertuo machine, it’s almost like making a commitment to the company’s domed capsule. Since this machine detects the pod via bar code and automatically adjusts any setting in order to brew the best-tasting cup of coffee, using anything other than the company’s pods could be a big mistake. Even then you need to be careful because the other style of pod that is made for the Original line will not work in the Vertuo.
Thankfully, Nespresso offers a large selection of flavors to choose from. Not only that, but they have partnered up with Starbucks to provide even more tasty options. If you don’t want to potentially damage your specialized coffee machine and cause your limited warranty to be voided, it’s best to only brew Nespresso-approved domed capsules, which can be found on the company’s website.