We’re diving into all things Nespresso with a showdown between two of their top-performing, highest-selling espresso machines: This is Nespresso Vertuo vs VertuoPlus.
As the name suggests, the VertuoPlus is the new cousin of the original Vertuo brewer.
But does the Plus also mean it’s the better machine of the two? Let’s find out.
Nespresso At the Forefront of Single-Serve Coffee
Nespresso is responsible for some of the most innovative smart coffee makers we’ve seen in the at-home barista world to date.
The Swiss coffee giant has spent over 30 years fine-tuning its coffee machines and coffee-making practices; the result is a highly sophisticated, near-perfect brew process harnessing single-use, pod technology.
Nespresso has two product lines; the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. Both the Vertuo and the VertuoPlus fall into VertuoLine (duh). One of the things that are new to this line of coffee machines is its centrifusion technology.
What Is Centrifusion Technology?
Centrifusion technology is a smart extraction system combining bean infusion with centrifugal force. By using barcode capsules for coffee, there is an even higher level of precision in the extraction process.
Each coffee capsule adjusts the brew cycle and rate of extraction to the specific brewing parameters (i.e., temperature, crema, flow, rotations per minute, and contact time).
Vertuo vs VertuoPlus: At A Glance
|Nespresso Vertuo||Nespresso VertuoPlus|
|Material||High-Quality Plastics; Graphite Metal||High-Quality Plastics; Graphite Metal|
|Weight||11 lbs.||10 lbs.|
|Dimensions||9″W x 12.3″D x 12.2″H||9.8″W x 13.3″D x 12.7″H|
|Heating Time||15 seconds||20 seconds|
|Brew Sizes||3 coffee cup sizes, 2 espresso sizes||3 coffee cup sizes, 2 espresso sizes|
|Used Pod Container Capacity||17 coffee pods||10 coffee pods|
|Water Reservoir||54 oz.||40 oz.|
|Adjustable Water Tank||No||Yes|
|Automatic Opening & Closing System||No||Yes|
Before we dive in, let’s have a look at the similarities and the most significant differences between the two machines.
- Fast and convenient brewing
- Centrifusion technology
- Ability to brew espresso and regular coffee sizes
- Removable water tank with programmable water hardness
- No included steam wand/milk frother accessory
- Adjustable Water Tank Placement — The VertuoPlus has a movable water tank, rotating on a swivel, for added convenience in placing and refilling.
- Automatic Opening and Capsule Ejection System — The VertuoPlus automatically ejects used coffee capsules into the storage bin after each use.
- Heating Element — The Vertuo sports a 1350W heating element while the VertuoPlus has 1300W, making the Vertuo the faster brewer when it comes to heat-up and brew-time.
- Water Reservoir and Used Pod Container Capacity — The Vertuo comes with a slightly bigger water reservoir and can hold more used coffee pods.
A classic through and through, the Vertuo is the first-generation brewer within Nespresso’s Vertuoline. This was the first time Nespresso coffee lovers were introduced to centrifusion brewing, and let me tell you, we’ve been hooked ever since.
This machine delivers home-brewed coffee and espresso with a top layer of thick, savory crema, with 5 cup sizes including single and double espresso sizes; 5 oz. gran lungo, 8 oz. mug, 14 oz. alto sizes. This variety of sizes is sure to satisfy any coffee appetite.
Plus, you’re able to program your water tank hardness, finding the sweet spot for a balanced extraction that doesn’t result in scale build-up. The water tank capacity is a hefty 54 oz. and is removable for added ease to cleaning and the necessary maintenance of your machine.
Similarly to the VertuoPlus, there is no included milk frother for milk-based coffee; this will require a separate purchase of a frother like the Aeroccino3.
This machine sports an impressive 1350W heating element, the result of which brings you piping-hot cups of coffee and a faster heat-up and brew time.
The VertuoPlus, similar to the OG Vertuo, optimizes the brewing process through centrifusion technology, where patented, single-button brewing gives you a fantastic coffee or espresso with a thick layer of crema, all in under 60 seconds.
But, unlike the Vertuo, the Plus has extra features to make your life a little bit easier.
The moveable water tank is a fully adjustable water reservoir, rotating on a swivel, for added convenience when cleaning and refilling and making it a better fit to your space as you see fit.
There is also noticeably more automation in the VertuoPlus, with an automatic machine head and an automated capsule ejection mechanism where used capsules are discarded into the storage bin after brewing.
Vertuo vs VertuoPlus Feature Showdown
The VertuoPlus is the stand-alone winner in the features category, as Nespresso designed this coffee maker to increase the brewer’s flexibility and convenience.
You’re able to position the 40-ounce water tank however best suits your space. You can also opt for the larger water reservoir included in the deluxe package at an additional water reservoir capacity of 60 oz.
Plus, there is significantly more automation found in this brewer, whether it’s the automatic ejection or motorized head. This is a coffee machine designed to work harmoniously with the growing, ever-automated world we continue to live in.
Both the Nespresso Vertuo and VertuoPlus come with an automatic shut-off feature that automatically powers the machine down after 9 minutes of inactivity. The trick with the VertuoPlus is you’re able to reprogram your machine to power down after any time you see fit; more savings on your electric bill and even more environmentally friendly.
When it comes to power, here we look at the wattage which will help you forecast how reliable your machine will be while making coffee shop-quality coffee.
The Vertuo takes the cake on this one based on its competitive 1350-watt supply, while the VertuoPlus has a 1300-watt heating element. The result is espresso cups piping hot that preserve the temperature of your coffee and, thus, its integrity.
While a 50-watt difference is a small margin, every bit of power counts and goes hand-in-hand with a better coffee experience and overall taste. This brings us to our next point: drink selection and sizes.
Coffee Drink Selections
Both brewers come in at a tie here, as they offer a relative experience with minor differences between the two.
Both Nespresso Vertuoline makers have 5 potential cup sizes ranging from coffee to espresso. These are the available cup sizes:
- Espresso: 1.35 oz.
- Double Espresso: 2.7 oz.
- Gran Lungo: 5 oz.
- Mug: 8 oz.
- Alto: 14 oz.
There is no included milk frother, steaming system, or settings on either machine for milk-based drinks; no creamy latte’s here.
However, Nespresso offers an Aeroccino3 frother sold separately.
Cleaning & Maintenance
Really, most of the cleaning/maintenance you’ll be doing with either Nespresso brewer is in descaling the water tank — a result of buildup from water — or through emptying the used coffee capsule compartment.
The Vertuo takes the used capsule assortment compartment category, while the VertuoPlus wins the water tank portion.
The Plus’ rotating mechanism on the moveable water reservoir allows you to easily maneuver the tank. This allows you to get into the nooks and crannies, rubbing out all that excess scale and mineral build-up.
Scale and excess bacteria build-up in your water tank is largely a result of the quality of water used. Make sure you’re refilling with filtered water.
The Vertuo has the larger capsule container capacity of 17, making it ideal for multiple coffee drinkers relying on the same machine or for those of us who indulge in multiple cups a day.
When we look at the footprint of the two machines, the Vertuo gets bonus points for its compact size and smaller footprint. This is a great fit for compact kitchens/office spaces.
That being said, the VertuoPlus stands out for its easy-to-use, highly automatic brewing system.
With an automatic brew head that opens at the gentle touch of a lever, a programmable auto-off feature, a rotating water reservoir, and all at a faster heat-up time and brew speed, the VertuoPlus is the champ in the convenience category.
It was a tough-fought contest, but the Vertuo takes the cake. I’m willing to trade all the bells and whistles that come with the Plus for a higher-performance coffee brewing experience with the Vertuo and its 1350-watt heating element.
Still, I think both are great machines, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. If you’re a sucker for automation and convenience, by all means, get yourself the Plus.