Nespresso Vertuo Plus in-home review

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Erin Lawrence

Nespresso Vertuo Plus with coffee pods against white tiled kitchen wall.I’m a huge fan of Nespresso machines for their ease of preparing a quick cup of espresso that doesn’t stray too far from what you would get in a coffee shop. As long as you know their limitations, these machines will offer you great bang for the buck. Because so many different people have their own personal coffee preferences, many different types of Nespresso machines exist today. This can make choosing your next Nespresso machine a bit difficult. Blindly purchasing one may give you some degree of satisfaction, but going into the specs and capabilities will help you find your perfect match.  The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is one such example of a Nespresso machine that caters to a very specific set of preferences. In fact, it can be one of the best choices for a sub-$200 budget if your needs closely align with this coffee pod machine’s strengths. For this hands-on, in-home review, I bought one to test out so I’ll get it set up, use it to make different types of coffees, let you know how they taste and what the experience is like overall. I’ll wrap things up with the pros and the cons and let you know if I think I can recommend one of these machines for you.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus
4

Summary

Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a fine pod machine that looks good, makes delicious coffee and gives you more options than a Nespresso Original machine.

Pros

  • Customizable sizes
  • Espresso and coffee
  • Moveable large water tank
  • High quality espresso
  • Option for manual  mode

 

Cons

  • Extra waste
  • Larger footprint

About Nespresso Vertuo Plus: what you’re getting

The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a variant of the original Nespresso Vertuo. The original Vertuo made its debut in 2014 as a coffee pod machine with a revolutionary extraction technology called “centrifusion” which spins the coffee pod at 7,000 rpm while infusing the coffee grounds inside the pod with hot water. This patented technology is Nespresso’s approach for generating silkier crema to improve the smoothness and flavor of the extracted coffee and it’s also allowed Nespresso to work in coffee sizes larger than the few ounces you get with Nespresso Original pods and machines.

Watch my hands-on review of Nespresso Vertuo PLUS

That’s the Vertuo difference, so what about the Plus?

The Vertuo Plus name would have you thinking you’re getting a little something extra, but that’s not quite the case here. Nespresso created the “Plus” variant for folks who are willing to trade some small spec reductions for extra usability improvements and a slightly lower cost of entry.
Possibly worth noting is that the pods for Vertuo are vastly different from and completely incompatible with regular or ‘Original’ Nespresso machines. Espresso has generally positioned the Vertuo pods as being better quality.

Vertuo Pods are different

Two sizes of domed Nespresso Vertuo pods.Like other classic Nespresso machines, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus can create a single or double shot espresso from a compatible coffee pod in less than a couple of minutes. But because of the Centrifusion technology exclusive to Vertuo models, the Vertuo Plus can support larger 5-ounce and 8-ounce cups. Gran Lungo and ‘cup o’ coffee’ fans, rejoice!
Larger coffee servings mean larger coffee pods too and there’s actually several different sizes of Vertuo pods, depending on the type of coffee you want to order. At the same time, the Vertuo Plus sticks with its Nespresso essence by making the machine a one-button operation. So how does it work?

How does Vertuo work?

The Vertuo Plus and its other Vertuo cousins have the unique ability to read a special bar code on the pod’s rim and translate it to uniquely measured brewing instructions which gives you the exact amount of coffee as indicated in the pod packaging. You can also customize your serving by holding that button which triggers a manual dispense mode.

Using Vertuo Plus: what’s it like?

This machine is larger than your average original Nespresso machine. That’s for good reason. Generally speaking you’ll find larger water tanks on Vertuo, need a little more space for all that centrifugal force. Small kitchens might be better off going the original route but if you’ve got the real estate to spare you might really enjoy this machine.
Using this machine is very simple, but ensure you follow the directions in the manual to prime it the first time or it may not work correctly. Just fill the water tank, and choose your pod, and ready a cup to match. There is an adjustable cup rack which simply locks into place underneath the spout.
The lid lifts by itself, by pushing up on the lever on the front. Then place the pod into the holder round side down. Tap the lever to have it lower the lid then lock it into place with the locking lever.

When you’re ready press the single button on top. You’ll hear the machine start to spin up and within about 15 seconds you should start to see coffee flowing. Depending on the size of your drink it will brew up in anywhere from about 30 seconds to under a minute.

The design of the machine is a little bit odd since the front of it protrudes out like a bow. It would be nice to have a little more space here to talk the cup under the spout but it didn’t seem like it was making much of a mess despite that. A removable drip tray sits underneath.

When you lift the top to make your next coffee, the pod is automatically lifted and ejected into a discard bin around the back of the machine. This bin should hold about ??? 10?
If your city recycling program doesn’t accept coffee pods, Nespresso will include a free return recycling bag so you can collect your used pods and ship them back.

Coffee taste & temp

My preference is for espresso and double espresso in the morning and then I usually brew a full pot of drip coffee. Since husband Roger was away during my testing period, it was convenient for me to check out using single cup pods instead. When it comes to the espresso I actually found it extremely delicious. The coffee quality is high, the beverage is silky and never bitter, and it’s smooth with a beautiful crema on top.

Since I also had a milk frother to test I also made a few beverages like cappuccino, flat white, and lattes. Choosing the right type of espresso roast usually goes a long way to making your beverage perfect, but I found the drinks were really enjoyable from the Vertuo Plus, and with the milk frother.

Conversely I found the coffee pods were not as much to my taste. I found them kind of dull and a bit watery tasting. But with that said I like a big, bold, punch-you-in-the-mouth brew first thing in the morning so lighter coffees and gentler roasts are generally not for me.

Temperature

Temperature gauge showing 169 degrees as the coffee temperature.Check the temperature of both the espresso brews and the coffee. I found that…

Let’s touch on the Cost of Nespresso pods

The price of these Vertuo 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. Reasonable, considering what some coffee shops charge for fancy or large coffees.

Vertuo vs. Vertuo Plus

Contrary to the name, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus doesn’t build upon the original model, but instead sidesteps into a completely different product.

Moveable water tank

The design looks sleeker although it’s still nearly as heavy as the original, but the Plus version features a redesigned water reservoir that you can swivel left or right, or place at the back, depending on how your space is configured and where you need to place it.

When you want to load the original Vertuo with a pod, you lift the top dome, insert the pod, and close the dome shut. The Vertuo Plus simplifies the process requiring only a gentle tap on a lever on the front of the machine and let the motorized head open the pod chamber.

Nespresso Vertuo Plus against white tiled kitchen wall.Both the Vertuo and Vertuo Plus models have the same 40-ounce water capacity. (Nespresso also sells a Deluxe model which offers a 60-ounce tank. However, the maximum power output is slightly reduced so coffee preparation takes a little bit longer.) The original Vertuo also has slightly better build quality which contributes to the higher overall asking price despite the lack of “Plus” features.

Vertuo Plus vs. Vertuo Next

I reviewed the Vertuo Next back in September 2021 and praised the Nespresso machine for its compact form factor while maintaining the flexibility of the “Centrifusion” technology. Released 3 years after the Vertuo Plus, the Next variant offers support for 12-ounce Alto and 18-ounce Carafe cup sizes in addition to the usual Vertuo options. The Vertuo Next used to support 14-ounce Alto pods, but unfortunately Nespresso discontinued them.

To keep the footprint small, the Vertuo Next has a smaller 37-ounce water capacity. While I enjoyed my morning Joes with the Vertuo Next, the Vertuo Plus makes slightly better cups of coffee with silkier crema out of the same pods.

Overall Thoughts: Nespresso Vertuo Plus

Overall, Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a fine pod machine that looks good, makes delicious coffee and gives you more options than a Nespresso Original machine.

On the pro side, the different form factor of Vertuo gives you more options for different sizes of espresso and different types and sizes of coffee depending on which pod you order. That alone may make it a major upgrade from Nespresso Original. This is ideal for a household where everybody likes their drink just so. The moveable water tank, which is nice and large and the big pod discard bin mean you shouldn’t have to fuss with refilling and emptying as often. I found the espresso from this machine to be really delicious and extremely high quality. I appreciate the fact the cup riser is adjustable to accommodate different sizes of mugs which also helps to eliminate splashing. There is also the option to run a manual extraction if you don’t like the pre-set Nespresso sizes.

Single shot of espresso brewing.So what are the cons? Probably the biggest distractions for this machine will come before you ever buy one; you’ll have to make peace with the extra waste and unique recycling program of using coffee pods, and some might balk at the cost of each. The other thing with this machine might be it’s slightly larger footprint.

On its own merit however I think this machine delivers on what it says; great tasting coffee and espresso with little fuss in a flash.

The real value of the Nepresso Vertuo Plus is its slightly lower $199 price tag and you will often also see the machine bundled with the Milk Frother cup too. Just remember, the ability to make larger cups of coffee is the main attraction of the Vertuo series and the Vertuo Plus is a terrific value for what it can do. But if you are still open for other Nespresso options, head to my guide to choosing a Nespresso machine!

Nespresso Pod Pack Review

When I placed my order for my Nespresso Vertuo machine, I wanted to make sure I got to sample a good array of coffees in different roasts types, and sizes. That’s why I added a special variety pack of coffees to my order. I chose the Nespresso Capsules VertuoLine, Dark Assortment Variety Pack from Amazon to have a good sampling of what Nespresso Vertuo has to offer. In this review I’ll take you through what you’re getting, what type of drinks each pod will create, as well as my overall impressions and if I think it’s worth it.

What you get

This 4-box pack of Nespresso Vertuo pods is a DARK ASSORTMENT which includes 40 capsules of what Nespresso says is its most popular dark roast coffees and espressos for the VertuoLine system.

If you want to learn about the different types of Vertuo machines you can check out some of my reviews.

The Vertuo pods have a special bar code on the pod’s rim that translates to uniquely measured brewing instructions which gives you the exact amount of coffee as indicated in the pod packaging.

You can also customize your serving by holding that button which triggers a manual dispense mode.

This multi-pack has four different types of pods; let’s take a look at each one:
Starting with the brewed coffees:

  • STORMIO: This brews a 7.7 ounce coffee Nespresso calls “rich and strong” and it rates it an 8 on the intensity scale. 100% Arabica – Nicaraguan and Guatemalan Beans
  • INTENSO: Another 7.7 ounce brew, this one is described as “A dense, deep coffee”with an intensity level of 9. The beans are Guatemalan washed Robusta, Mexican; South American Arabica. I did not find this one nearly as strong as Nespresso would have you believe. I would rate it more like a five in intensity and found it tasted a little weak and watery.
  • ALTISSIO: A full-bodied creamy espresso. Nespresso Intensity 9. Costa Rican Arabica; South America Robusta
  • DIAVOLITTO: A 1.3 ounce highly intense and powerful espresso. Nespresso says the intensity here is an 11. The coffee is Central; South America Robusta beans with Brazilian Arabica. Loved this espresso and found that it was ultra smooth and creamy, with just the right boldness to wake my mouth up in the morning. 1.3 ounces is hardly enough and I often found myself either manually brewing a double or just helping myself to a 2nd cup.

If your local municipal recycling program does not accept used coffee pods, Nespresso will pay to take them back. You can request a free return bag or drop them off at any of the Nespresso boutiques near you.

Overall, I really like this as a taste tester introduction to Vertuo coffees. It’s nice to get some variety and to be able to start choosing a few of my go to’s.

I think if you are a dark coffee and espresso lover, you’ll probably find something to love here and you’ll have fun experimenting even if there are a couple you end up not favoring. I highly recommend hitting add to cart if you’re purchasing an Nespresso Vertuo machine, or if you just want to experiment.

 

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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