If you’re a coffee lover, at some point you’ve probably thought about a Nespresso; after all the variarty and convenience is a key selling feature. I’ve been reviewing Nespresso machines recently and finally had the chance to try out the Nespress Virtuo line. IN this review I’m going to check out the Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi. I’ll tell you how the machine works, what makes it special and how it’s different from a typical Nespresso machine, as well as what I think of the coffee.
Review: Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi
The Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi is a slim machine taking up a relatively small footprint. This espresso machine uses Nespresso’s Vertuo capsuels which are a bit different than the standard Nespresso capsules. These are bigger, and wider and come in different heights, according to what type of coffee they’re making.
This machine has a 1 litre water tank and a discard bin that holds up to 10 used pods.
Nespresso Vertuo – what’s so special?
It’s probably a good idea here to divert for a sec and talk about the difference in coffee pods and machines.
Nespresso launched the VertuoLine in about 2014 as a way to lure North American coffee drinkers, who are less about espressos than they are about full size coffees. The original pods are small and narrow and come in one size only, while the Vertuo pods are wide and round and may differ in height depending on what’s inside.
Vertuo coffee pods have special barcodes on the pod that carry specific instructions for how each coffee is to be extracted. The Virtuo lineup offers drinks in five sizes, from a single espresso, to double espresso, a 5 ounce gran luongo/Americano (150ml), a 230ml/8 oz ‘mug’ coffee to a 14 oz Alto coffee.
Worth pointing out here is that you’re not supposed to adjust the drink for yourself; the barcode and size of pod determine the final beverage. But of course I found a way to change the sizes if you want. We’ll get to that too…
By the way, if you want to learn more about some of the differences in the Nespresso Original line and the Vertuo line I’ve got a more detailed comparison on the blog.
Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi: centrifugal force extraction
Let’s get back to our Vertuo machine: A key differentiator with the Vertuo line is that the machines use centrifugal force to extract the coffee. The machine will punch out a lot more holes in the capsule too. It spins the coffee pods with water at about 7,000 rpms (I think that’s supposed to be impressive). From what I understand, this force gets the grounds more saturated faster, resulting in a more fully brewed coffee in less time.
You can hear the motor at work, spinning up your coffee. So on that note, let’s look at how one is made in the Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi.
How to use Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi
This machine is really easy to operate since it really just has one button.
Open the machine lid by unlocking the lever. Choose your pod, and remember, the pod dictates the coffee, so use the adjustable tray and the right size cup.
Pop it in dome side down and close the lid, then lock the lever in place. The small light will flash and when it stops, the machine is ready to go.
Pushing the button initiates the brewing sequence. You’ll hear a bunch of noise and spinning, but the machine isn’t loud in my opinion. The full brew sequence lasts about a minute for an espresso to nearly 2 minutes for a fuller size coffee.
After it’s brewed, the pod will stay in place until you open the top, then it’s automatically lifted out and flipped to the discard bin.
Coffee Temperature: Nespresso Vertuo
Coffee should be hot, right? Not so fast. We tend to brew our coffee with boiling water since the temperature can help extract flavours and oils a little easier, but very hot water can make coffee bitter. You’re probably familiar with colf bre coffee, which essentially replaces heat with time: letting ground coffee sit in cold water for up to 24 hours to extract the same flavors—without the bitterness and acrid taste. For that reason, the Vertuo line uses a slightly lower temperature when making coffee; and here all those rotations help saturate the grounds faster, so not as much heat is needed.
Now for some people this is a problem; coffee that comes out of the machine at any temperature other than volcanic may not be as enjoyable. I guess your temperature and taste preferences are probably very individual. So whether a slightly cooler but more flavourful and less bitter brew will be enjoyable for you is definitely a matter of taste.
For me, I found there were still some Vertuo coffee roasts that did taste bitter, and at the same time I didn’t really notice a huge difference in temperature.
Web & app connection, kinda
The Vertuo line seems to pride itself on being more tech savvy; the barcode system and all. It also lets you connect your machine to the Nespresso App. Why though seems to be a bit of a mystery. Don’t seem to be any additional features available for the machine. At most it seems to be a slightly more convenient place to order capsules from. In my opinion it would be pretty cool if you could somehow interact with your machine to adjust drink sizes inside the app and have them spit out of the machine. But that’s not what this technology appears to be about, so I’ll put that on my wish list for the future and leave it at this: well this machine may appear to have some smarts, it doesn’t.
Cost of Nespresso pods
The price of these pods does vary a little more than the original; not surprising since you might be getting different sizes of beverage from them. For the most part you can expect to pay about 80 cents to $1.20 for espressos and up to about $1.50CAD for bigger coffees.
Overall review: Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi
Overall this machine is a great coffee machine; it’s easy to use with the one-button operation and with the barcode system it’s foolproof. Even so you can make adjustments to the presets. The machine is quiet and has a relatively small footprint.
Being able to brew both coffee and espresso in this machine makes it versatile, so you don’t need space for multiple machines.
Downsides? It’s kind of hard to see any. I suppose you could say that it takes a bit longer to make your morning coffee, but it’s hard to crack on that since it’s taking longer to brew a larger cup. Some folks have complained that the coffee is just not as hot as the espressos the original machines put out, but I didn’t notice a discernible or unpleasant difference.
In short, if you’re looking for a compact do it all machine with great coffee options I think you’ll be very pleased with the Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi.
The Nespresso Vertuo Next by De’Longhi sells for about $219CAD but the prices can vary quite a bit depending on the colour you’re looking at.
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