In short: yes and no.
I know, I know: that’s not very helpful. But there’s a good reason why we’re hedging this question a bit upfront.
Essentially, there are two kinds of Nespresso single-serving coffee machines: the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. However, there are many different manufacturers and models of each.
So, the answer is really: yes, all OriginalLine Nespresso machines—regardless of the manufacturer—are basically the same, and the same is true with all VertuoLine Nespresso machines.
And yet, Nespresso OriginalLine machines are very different from Nespresso VertuoLine Machines.
In this guide, we’ll drill down deeper to give you a better sense of the differences between OriginalLine and VertuoLine Nespresso machines, as well as how the machines within each of those two categories are, in fact, basically the same with regard to the coffee they produce.
What Is a Nespresso Machine, Anyway?
A Nespresso coffee machine is a single-serving coffee brewer that uses individual Nespresso capsules to brew espresso coffee quickly and conveniently. The name “Nespresso” comes from a portmanteau of the word espresso and the name of the company that makes Nespresso capsules: Nestle.
Unlike traditional espresso makers that require you to finely grind and tamp the coffee in a portafilter, attach the portafilter to the machine, dial in the right settings, and then brew your espresso the old fashioned way, to use a Nespresso machine, all you have to do is pop in your favorite capsule, close the cover, and press a button.
But, of course, there’s a bit more to it than that when it comes to the different kinds of Nespresso machines that are available—specifically, the differences between the Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine.
Nespresso OriginalLine vs. VertuoLine
As we’ve mentioned, there are two broad categories of Nespresso machines that you can buy: the OriginalLine and the VertuoLine. And these two types of coffee machines are quite different. The difference has mostly to do with the amount of coffee that each brews per serving, with the VertuoLine machines producing larger volumes of coffee, and the way the coffee is extracted. Let’s take a closer look at each type of machine.
As the name implies, Nespresso OriginalLine machines were, well, the originals! These were the first machines produced for original, bell-shaped Nespresso capsules.
How Do OriginalLine Nespresso Machines Brew Coffee?
Nespresso OriginalLine machines attempt to mimic the extraction process of standard espresso machines, using 19 bars of pressure to extract the coffee under high temperatures. You simply place the capsule in the chamber, where it is punctured and hot water presses the coffee through the holes, resulting in a delicious cup of espresso coffee.
What Companies Manufacture Nespresso Machines?
You might be surprised to know that Nespresso doesn’t actually manufacture its own coffee machines. In fact, there are many other appliance manufacturers who produce coffee machines designed specifically to accommodate Nespresso capsules. Although, this isn’t entirely accurate either.
In truth, most Nespresso coffee machines are manufactured by a company called Eugster/Frismag, a Swiss original equipment manufacturer (OEM) that produces coffee makers that are sold under various other brand names. It’s those more commonly-known brand names that we’ll consider in the following list.
While this list is by no means comprehensive, it does include the two most common Nespresso machine manufacturers out there at the moment, as well as one newcomer to the Nespresso game that’s sure to please the high-end appliance lovers among you.
Let’s take a look at each company and which Nespresso machines they make.
By far, the most ubiquitous Nespresso coffee machine producer out there today is the Italian appliance manufacturer DeLonghi.
While we certainly don’t have the space to go into detail on all of the models of Nespresso machines DeLonghi produces, we can give you a general idea of which ones DeLonghi makes and also let you know that DeLonghi has a long-held reputation for creating some of the best-quality small appliances on the market.
Currently, DeLonghi produces the following Nespresso machines:
- Lattissima One
- Lattissima Pro
- Lattissima Touch
- Lattissima Plus
- VertuoPlus Deluxe
- Essenza Mini
Interestingly, Krups, a German appliance company, offers a similar lineup of Nespresso machines, and they are just as highly-regarded as the DeLonghi machines.
Just like their Italian cousins, DeLonghi, Krups produces the following Nespresso machines:
- Essenza Mini
If you’re looking for a truly unique and high-end Nespresso coffee machine, you might want to take a look at the new Nespresso model from KitchenAid.
Yes: that KitchenAid—the small home appliance giant that rules the world of high-end kitchen gear has taken its classic mixer design and applied it to a Nespresso coffee machine.
There’s no doubt the KitchenAid Nespresso machine looks absolutely gorgeous—the kind of appliance you actually want to display proudly on your countertop (whether to add to your current kitchen décor, or simply as a status symbol).
But how does it perform? Is it worth its premium asking price?
Well, that all depends on the kinds of things you value. That is, it brews Nespresso coffee just as well—no better, no worse—than any other Nespresso coffee machine. That said, if you want a little bit of class and flair with your Nespresso coffee, the KitchenAid machine simply can’t be beat.
Even with the higher-end models from other manufacturers, none of them comes close to the classic beauty of a KitchenAid.
Which Are the Best OriginalLine and VertuoLine Nespresso Machines?
As much as we would like to give you a definitive answer on the best Nespresso machines, it’s simply impossible—but in a very good way! That is, the reason it’s so hard to nail down a “best” Nespresso machine is that they all make excellent Nespresso coffee.
Simply put, no matter which brand you go with, you’re going to get the same result in your coffee cup: convenient, high-quality, “espresso” coffee.
Of course, you should still take into account the differences between the two Nespresso lines. More specifically, if you want the ability to brew larger volumes of coffee—or to brew regular, drip-like coffee—you’ll want to go with a VertuoLine machine.
Just beware: most users, myself included, have found the VertuoLine machines tend to produce weaker brews than any of the OriginalLine machines.
Now, just because the various manufacturers all produce the roughly the same quality of machines, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other important factors to consider that will help guide your Nespresso machine shopping.
Let’s take a look at the key considerations that will narrow down your choices.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for a Nespresso Machine
All the points we’ll discuss here are intended to help you narrow down the wide variety of Nespresso machine options. But, once again, it’s important to remember that these considerations only have to do with your personal preferences, as the different brands and manufacturers ought to have little or no bearing on your ultimate decision, since they are all equally up to the task of brewing great Nespresso coffee.
First, consider your available countertop or other storage space. If space is limited, you might consider going with the Essenza Mini. This is an affordable entry-level Nespresso machine that will produce the Nespresso coffee you love without taking up valuable kitchen counter and storage space. Not only does it come in a petite 3.3” x 12” x 8” package, but it weighs in at a minuscule 5 pounds! I haven’t seen the Essenza Mini advertised as “portable,” but with those specifications, there’s no reason you can’t take this little guy on the road!
On the other hand, if you have lots of space and want to devote it to a top-of-the-line monster of a Nespresso maker, complete with extra features and a professional-style design, you can bit the bullet and get the Lattissima Pro. It has everything you need to make your favorite espresso drinks and performs all its functions flawlessly…but it is a behemoth of a machine!
The OriginalLine vs. VertuoLine Dilemma
One of the hardest decisions to make when whittling down your Nespresso machine choices is whether you want an OriginalLine or a VertuoLine machine. On the one hand, if you already know you want a VertuoLine, then your decision’s actually a lot easier, since there are far fewer VertuoLine models to choose from.
But, if you’re on the fence between the two options, we think you can eliminate one of them by answering a couple of easy questions.
- Do you insist on a strong, robust brew (the kind of coffee that “puts hair on your chest”)? If so, the VertuoLine models might disappoint.
- Do you like to brew a big cup of coffee, or are you fine with having to brew more throughout the day? If you really need that larger (albeit weaker) volume of coffee all at once, you should consider a VertuoLine. If not, opt for the OriginalLine.
- Do you want to be able to brew “regular” coffee, in addition to espresso? This one’s simple: if you want a machine that brews traditional (non-espresso) coffee, as well as espresso, your only option is the VertuoLine. You simply can’t brew a regular cup of joe with an OriginalLine machine.
Bells and Whistles (and Price)
Finally, the last consideration that will likely lead you to your final selection has to do with all the “extras.” As you might expect, the more features and add-ons a Nespresso machine boasts, the higher the asking price.
For instance, you can purchase most Nespresso machines with an optional milk frother, and some come with one standard. But this will add a considerable amount to the asking price.
Or, perhaps you want to take the convenience of Nespresso to the next level with the self-cleaning function of the Lattissima +.
Or, finally, maybe your biggest concern is getting that sweet, sweet caffeinated comfort in you as quickly as possible. In that case, you’ll want to take a look at one of the Creatista models, all of which boast a heat up time of only three seconds!
What to Make of It All…?
The bottom line is this: unlike so many other products out there, you simply can’t go wrong with any of the Nespresso machines on the market right now. All OriginalLine machines will produce an identical cup of coffee, and the same is true among the VertuoLine machines.
So, in the end, your choice will depend on your preferences regarding machine size, ability to brew regular coffee, extra features, and aesthetics.