Nespresso Vertuo vs Original: What's Your Favorite Nespresso Machine?

I’m planning a big review of Nespresso Machines and would like your input.

This review will be a good bit different than the previous ones I’ve done. In the past I’ve just written about the things I’ve bought after I’ve bought them. You can see that in my Airmega or Away bag review.

Machine Recommendations

Do you have a favorite Nespresso machine? Is there one you’re considering?

If so, let me know. I’ve budgeted $800 to spend on Nespresso Machines. There are a couple dozen models out there and I’m planning to buy 3 or 4 of them to compare. When I’m finished I’ll keep my favorite and sell the rest.

Right now here are the ones I’m considering:

  • Essenza Mini
    This is the newer version of the best Nespresso Machine according to The Wirecutter. It only makes espresso. From my research most of the original machines are similar. The main differences are look, size, water reservoir and dispenser size.

  • Citiz
    The original Nespresso Machine. It’s larger than the Essenza Mini, but still pretty compact. I tried hard to find the Citiz in Chrome. I’m not usually for chrome, but it is the most unique color. However, I’m not paying double for it when the white one is functionally identical.

  • Evoluo
    The largest and best reviewed of the Nespresso Vertuo models. When my girlfriend and I started talking about getting a machine, this is the one she sent me. A friend of hers has it and she loved it.

  • VertuoPlus Deluxe
    The VertuoPlus is the newest Vertuo model. It has a unique aesthetic that I’m not sure I like. The water reservoir moves around which may make it easier to refill.

Criteria

How will we decide what Nespresso machine is the best? There are a handful of categories I’m thinking about:

  • Design
    I’m a designer, so this is going to be a heavily weighted category. How are the aesthetics? What about materials? How good do the button presses and latch opens feel? Does it make a satisfying click sound?

  • Complexity
    I hate gadgets that make my life more complex. How much do I need to know in order to make an excellent espresso or coffee? Any tricks or oddities? Are there additional purchases I’ll need to make? Do I have to connect it to the internet—please no.

  • Speed
    How long will it take to make an espresso? Certainly it will be faster than grinding, packing, and pulling a real shot. But how do they compare?

  • Second Cup Speed
    Is there a noticeable difference when making back to back cups of coffee?

  • Taste
    Taste is perhaps the most heavily weighted item in this category. I’m a bit of a coffee snob and usually drink it black. I’m skeptical that the final product will be as good as the real thing, but I’ll take 80% for 20% the effort.

  • Temperature
    A common complaint I’ve seen about the Vertuo line of machines is that the temperature of the coffee isn’t hot enough. I believe this was an issue for the first generation of these machines, but have since been fixed.

  • Second Cup Temperature
    The coffee maker needs to heat water. Could the complaints about temperature in the Vertuo Line be from multiple cups of coffee?

  • Value
    Is it worth paying a bit more for the higher-end machines or do the basic models provide good value for their price?

Questions

Some general questions I think the review needs to be answered.

  • Nespresso Vertuo Line vs Original
  • Nespresso vs Keurig
  • Why are some machines made by Breville and others by De’Longhi?
2 Likes

One thing that kind of bugs me about Wirecutter reviews is their “best” products in several categories are often fairly average in a lot of ways. I understand that they are trying to rank in search, but it would be more helpful if it there were several options “best for people with X” something like that.

I’ve heard that before. A tech journalist I follow actually wrote a bit about that. The Wirecutter leaves little room for nuance. The product is simply the best or second best.

As it relates to Nespresso machines, I’m not sure how many different options there will be. There’s probably a “best for people with limited counter space” and a “best for people that want a variety of drinks.”

As for my general reviews, I do try and keep a few things in mind:

  • Design and complexity are important. I’m a designer, so this is incredibly important to me. I dislike gadgets because they tend to add complexity without providing much value. Not everything should be connected to the internet.

  • Keep long term notes when possible. See the comments on my smart scale going back to 2015. You get to see what 5 years of ownership actually looks like. Of course, this won’t be possible with the Nespresso Machines as I’ll be selling them once I’m done with the review.

  • The featured item isn’t always recommended. For example I own Away’s Aluminum Carry-on. It’s great for me, but for the price the original hard shell is certainly better.

Sorry for the rant.

Yeah, no worries. It was more of a general comment and less about nespresso.

I imagine speed and convenience are what people want. It’s either nespresso or keurig. Personally, I think most keurig coffee is gross. It’s just the cheapest, most efficient way to get caffeine. I’ll stick to my pour over.

We used to have a Nespresso machine at the old office I worked at. Not sure which one it was, but it made a solid cup of espresso pretty quicky. Had to empty the bin often though. That was a few years ago.

So is this going to be a comparison post or are you going to publish separate reviews for each product you’re looking for?

Let me know if you need any help!

1 Like

I’m planning to review each of them under the criteria above as separate posts. When those are done I’d like to put together a larger post comparing the machines.

Thanks for the offer. May ping you!

I’ve just placed an order for the machines we’re going to test:

Also, Consumer Reports tested second cup speed for several of its Nespresso machine tests. Since many people will also be making cups for their spouse, I’m adding second cup speed and temperature to my criteria.

Updating the main post here.

We’re in business!