Nespresso VertuoLine vs Original – Which one to Choose?

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vertuo vs original

To answer your first question, yes, these are two very different product lines by Nespresso that target different coffee drinkers. By now, there should be an affordable coffee maker that does it all, but unfortunately, that doesn’t exist yet. 

Until then, we’ll have to identify what type of coffee is our favorite and get a machine that satisfies our preferences. 

The good news is that no matter how you take your coffee, one of these will be the perfect coffee machine to suit your needs. One makes incredible espresso and espresso based-drinks while the other focuses on black coffee in a range of sizes. 

It seems cruel to make us choose, but that’s the world we live in, so let’s get down to business.  

“Regular Coffee” vs Espresso Drinks

These two product lines have many differences, and if you’re thinking about getting one of these as a gift for someone, I hope you know exactly how they take their coffee.

For dedicated espresso lovers, the OriginalLine Nespresso machines will be well-received. They offer coffee lovers the chance to indulge in authentic espresso taste from many different capsules. Using pressure-based extraction, this old-school method is still the best way to get the true espresso experience. 

The Nespresso VertuoLine has one significant advantage over the OringinalLine; it makes regular coffee and lots of it. Using a barcode system, the VertuoLine machines can tell what size and exactly how to brew your capsule without you having to do anything.

The VertuoLine makes espresso as well, but not for the authentic espresso lover.      

Our Top Models

Let me introduce my favorite models for each line – the Vertuo and the CitiZ.

Model NameVertuoCitiZ
Weight12.34lbs. 7.5lbs.
Dimensions11.91” x 8.3” x 11.93”5.1” x 14.6” x 10.09”
Brewing Sizes1.35, 5, 8, 18-ounce .85, 1.35, 3.7-ounce
Quickest Brewing OptionUnder 2 minutesUnder 2 minutes
Water Reservoir Capacity40 ounces33 ounces
Auto on/offYesYes
Makes regular coffeeYesNo
CremaThicker cremaThinner crema
Built-in milk frother NoYes

Nespresso Vertuo – VertuoLine

Surprisingly, the Vertuo automatic coffee maker is the better machine when compared to the Nespresso Vertuo Plus. Usually, when ‘plus’ is in the title, it’s an improvement, but in this case, it just means smaller. The water reservoir and the discarded capsule bin are both larger on the Vertuo than on the Vertuo Plus

The Vertuo does everything that is promised by making larger cups of coffee and even carafes for when guests are over or you’re just having one of those days. Making regular coffee is a major difference between the VertuoLine and the OriginalLine

The extraction process also differs in the VertuoLine because this brewer uses Centrifusion technology to allow for more brewing options. 

The installed barcode reader will obtain information from each capsule and then program the machine to use the correct water temperature, rotation speed,  layer of crema, etc., to create the best cup of coffee for that capsule. 

This feature makes this machine very hands-off and will have you feeling like a professional barista. 


Larger water reservoir and used capsule bin

Brews regular coffee

Wide range of brew sizes

Centrifugal extraction method

Barcode reader automates brew settings


Smaller selection of coffee capsules

Nespresso CitiZ – OriginalLine

This is not the most advanced nor expensive OriginalLine coffee maker that Nespresso offers, but it’s the most well-rounded and goes for a fair price for what you get. 

The goal of the Nespresso CitiZ is to create an authentic espresso experience. The advanced technology makes a classic espresso quickly and with minimal effort. This machine uses a unique 19-bar pressure extraction system which is the old-fashioned method of applying pressure to enhance flavor and enjoyment.  

With the milk frother, you open up a whole new world of quality coffee drinks you can do at home. This will save you money and time from having to stop at a fancy coffee shop to get the same thing. 

The selection of coffee capsules far outweighs that of the VertuoLine, so you can experiment with many different coffee flavors to spice up your morning.   

The CitiZ has one of the fastest preheat times compared to other standard espresso machinesneeding only 25 seconds to heat up. This means it brews espresso shots in less than 90 seconds from start to finish. 

The stylish design is popular in reviews and suits almost any kitchen decor. It works excellent in condos and apartments due to its compact size. 


Makes a variety of delicious espresso at the touch of a button

Uses old-fashioned extraction methods

Added milk frother to create different types of coffee 

Lightning-fast preheat time of 25 seconds

The design caters to smaller spaces


Does not make regular coffee 

Feature Showdown

Let’s move on to the most important features you should keep in mind when deciding between the Vertuo and the Original.

Special Features

The main feature difference between these two machines is the size of drink you can make. The VertuoLine focuses on quantity while the OriginalLine focuses on quality. Brewing a carafe can come in handy when you need it. There are also those times when you want to curl up on the couch with a good book and sip a large mug of your favorite coffee. 

The Vertuo makes espresso, but they’re just not the same as the OriginalLine. 

What the OriginalLine lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality and variety. An automatic frother enables coffee purists to create a broader range of espresso-based beverages like lattes and cappuccinos. 

It may take a bit of practice, but you can create a delicious layer of foam that will impress each morning in a short timeframe.   

Winner: Draw

Coffee quality

I don’t want to be too dramatic here because these are both Nespresso machines known for being awesome coffee makers. Still, one does produce a better barista-quality coffee, and that’s the OriginalLine. The difference is in the crema. 

Both machines produce a beautiful golden crema, but traditionalists will agree that a thin layer is best, and that’s what you get with the OriginalLine. Opinions on crema may differ, but having a thicker crema layer usually results from using inferior beans. 

To get the real-deal crema, you must use arabica beans or an OriginalLine brewer.   

Winner: OriginalLine

Brewing method

There is a huge difference in how these two machines brew your java. One uses centrifugal technology, and one uses bars of pressure. 

The Vertuo line uses centrifugal force to better customize each capsule through its special barcode scanning technology. This means you don’t have to tinker with different settings or controls on your machine; it does the work for you. 

In the original lines, they are sticking to traditional methods and using pressure to extract the most flavor. Both methods of operation are very effective; it just depends on what your preference is. 

Winner: Draw


The designs are very contemporary as you would expect and are both on-brand for who Nespresso wants to target. They have a classy and sophisticated look that will elevate the appearance of any kitchen they sit in. But having the right amount of space for your new machine is the real issue. 

The Vertuo is much larger than the CitiZ and requires a larger footprint on your countertop. This is understandable given the size of the water tank and the discarded capsule bin. 

Since the CitiZ is designed to make smaller quantities, it would make sense that the machine is also smaller. Pick out a spot in your kitchen first and compare it to the dimensions listed above to see if your favorite machine will fit where you want it to. 

Winner: OriginalLine

Ease of Use

Both have single button use and automatic buttons to make things easy. Once you get the hang of either of these brewers, you’ll be making barista-grade beverages in no time.  

The OriginalLine can take a little more getting used to if you plan to use the additional milk frothing feature, but even that is designed with simplicity in mind. 

Ease of use is something all Nespresso machines have in common. Base models are just as user-friendly as the super-luxury models, which is a huge selling point for Nespresso models in general. 

Winner: VertuoLine


Price differences are based on a machine’s capabilities, and since the OriginalLine can pump out a few more options, it commands a slightly higher price. 

Thankfully, Nespresso makes all their machines with high-quality materials and craftsmanship, so even the cheaper options will be with you for a long time. Although more expensive, the CitiZ has more options and produces rich flavor.  

Winner: VertuoLine

Customer Reviews

Understandably, consumers seem to be split on which is the superior machine simply because everyone has different needs. ‘Writermom’ had this to say about her CitiZ; 

“I recently traveled to Beijing and the hotel had an espresso machine that made the best Italian coffee with fantastic crema. My regular coffee at home just wasn’t measuring up. So I decided this Christmas to give Nespresso a try. So far, love the machine. The milk frother works fantastic and the espresso and lungo from the machine is really good. Just like the Italian coffees I had in Beijing. Their product just makes me happy.”

When we’re dealing with advanced capsule brewing technology, it’s tough to find poignant negative reviews. There were many just like this one from ‘The Tam’ster’  raving about the experience they had with the Vertuo;

“I enjoy this model because I can have both coffee and espressos. It reads the pod and knows which I am brewing. It automatically ejects the pod and is ready for the new one when you open the top. How cute. Really enjoying the great flavors I could only get in a coffee house.”


Can the Vertuo make espresso?

Yes, the Vertuo can make espresso and regular coffee that they call ‘americano.’ Although you’ll find it creates extra crema compared to traditional espresso makers. The CitiZ specializes in espressos and milk-based espresso drinks, so if you’re a fan of stronger brews, avoid the Vertuo and get the CitiZ instead.  

Can the CitiZ make regular coffee?

No, the CitiZ cannot make a regular cup of coffee. Its main benefit is producing espresso or espresso-based drinks in a very short amount of time. If you really wanted to, you could add hot water from a kettle to a single espresso in a mug. With a bit of cream and sugar, you have a cup of ‘americano’ with minimal effort. 

Does the OriginalLine offer a third-party option for capsules?

Yes, the OriginalLine offers third-party options, so you never get bored. There are tons of flavors and blends to choose from. The VertuoLine has much less to choose from, but it is the newer machine. They are constantly releasing new options, so you’ll never have to worry about getting the same coffee twice if you’re new to either machine. 

What is crema?

Crema is the bit of foam generated when espresso is correctly brewed. The flavor tends to be slightly acidic in comparison to the espresso itself. Authentic crema is created through arabica beans, but Nespresso is able to recreate the rich crema by using a 19-bar high-pressure pump. This produces the necessary chemical reaction that develops a perfectly frothy crema. 

The Final Verdict

This was one of the tougher reviews since both brewers presented answers to different questions. I love that the Vertuo can make a mug’s worth of coffee or more. This seems more in line with the culture of coffee on this side of the pond. 

But I love a shot of espresso more, and having the power to make lattes and cappuccinos at will is something I thought I would have to be a millionaire to get one day. If you aren’t a die-hard americano fan, get the Nespresso OriginalLine CitiZ. It creates a better-tasting espresso with a beautiful crema for the full experience. 

Another Nespresso Read: Nespresso vs Keurig

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Clint's skills as a barista have made it easy for him to transition into writing about coffee. With so much personal experience and passion, he is able to shed light on all aspects of coffee to ensure you can enjoy this delicious beverage as much as he does.

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