Nespresso Vertuo Plus Review
Nespresso are undoubtedly the giants of the pod coffee machine – we can all agree on that, right? While it is a fairly competitive market, they have always been at the forefront and constantly innovating with a seemingly constant stream of new stylish machines- all based around the small little pods that they have been producing since the start of the century.
It’s quite strange, therefore, to be reviewing a Nespresso pod machine that uses a different type of pod! While the Nespresso Vertuo range was released in the UK way back in 2017, it’s taken a little while for them to really take off – and to be honest, I had never really felt the need to upgrade on my options at home in the meantime.
When I got the opportunity to take a look at the Nespresso Vertuo Plus, however, I couldn’t refuse. I was very keen to see what they have done to improve on their previous machines, and excited to really get my teeth into this new technology and so here I am – with the Nespress Vertuo Plus review.
Nespresso Vertuo Plus Specifications
The best place to start, is to take a look at the machine and what it can do. At first glance you can see that it follows the Nespresso tradition of looking really nice. They have spent a lot of time and money over the years cultivating an image for the entire company – cool, sophisticated and simple. This machine certainly fits in nicely with that identity. The slim, sleek body with crisp black colour really just oozes class.
You can tell from looking at it that it is small – it measures just 33.5cm x 23.2cm x 32.5cm, so you can be sure that you will be able to fit it on your worktop. As you can see the shape of the machine means that it doesn’t take up all of that space – you can easily fit things in and around, such as a coffee pod holder.
The tank can be filled with 1.8l of water, which is big enough to make 4 of the largest drinks or 45 of the smallest (more on that in a second). It’s a decent size, while still allowing the machine to be compact.
So onto what it can do. As I mentioned above, this machine uses the new versions of Nespresso pods, the Vertuo range. They come in five different sizes – Espresso, Double Espresso, Gran Lungo, Mug and extra large Alto – but are all compatible with the Vertuo machines.
These machines and pods work in a slightly different way to the other pod machines that are available (namely the Nespresso, Dolce Gusto and Tassimo machines). While they all pass water through the coffee, which is contained within the pod, the Vertuo also rotates the pods around. Actually, that’s underselling it a little – the unique Centrifusion technology spins the pod around at a rate of 7,000 rotations a minute. The theory behind this is that by moving the pod so rapidly, you get a nice even brew, and extract as much of the coffee as possible – there is nowhere for any of it to hide!
It comes fitted with a barcode reader, similar to the technology used with Tassimo machines, which will capture what type of pod you are using and immediately calibrate the settings to suit. This means that it can all be operated with just one button, which is located on the top of the machine.
What It’s Like To Use The Nespresso Vertuo Plus
If you have ever used a pod coffee machine before, you will probably already be qualified enough to use this machine – but just to be sure, I will quickly run you through the process so you can get a good idea of just how easy it is.
I will start with what is probably the most complicated part of the entire process – choosing which pod you would like. As I mentioned before, there are five different types of pod, all varying in size. This is an option that you don’t get with the ‘regular’ Nespresso pods – there is one size of pod and two options for the size of drink.
Once you have made the decision, you will need to make sure the water tank is full. This swivels, which means you can move it around to the side of the machine, and then replace it at the rear, which makes it so much more accessible than many of the other Nespresso machines. With a 1.8l tank, you won’t have to worry about that too often, depending on what size drink you end up going for.
Next, you will need to place your pod in the top of the machine by lifting the top up, and slotting it in. As you press the lid down, the barcode reader will automatically register what type of pod you are using and calibrate the settings.
Next, place your mug or cup in position on the cup holder. Due to the huge difference in sizes between the various pods, it is a good idea to double check that you are using a cup that is big enough to hold all of your drink (plus milk if you take it that way).
Now, all you have to do is press that button. Everything will kick into life and your drink will be ready in a matter of seconds. That’s it, all there is to it – I’m not sure I have ever used a machine that was so easy.
At this point, I should probably mention that this machine does not come with a milk frother. This means that there are fewer things to worry about in terms of operating, but obviously does limit you on what you can produce. Of course, you can always purchase a standalone milk frother, you can even buy the Nespresso Aeroccino to match the machine!
Vertuo Plus Taste Test
It’s probably worth mentioning at this point the pods themselves. As things stand, Nespresso have retained exclusive rights to make the pods that fit their Vertuo range. They desperately tried to secure this with their original machines, but were prevented from doing so after many court battles. This is why you can buy so many different types of Nespresso pods – from cheap supermarket own brand to exclusive high end pods.
To be honest, I was blown away by the coffee that this machine (and these pods) were able to create. Having been quite happy with my Nespresso machine, I wasn’t really sure what I was expecting that this newer version was going to be able to offer me that the previous one couldn’t, but as soon as the first coffee was poured, I saw it.
The crema. It has to be seen to be believed, but as soon as the coffee had settled and the last few drops had dripped into the cup, I knew this was a machine that I desperately wanted in my life. The crema was just so thick and rich, you could easily spoon it out of the cup – I have never seen anything like it before from a coffee that I have made at home.
The taste itself is fantastic – I tried all five different sizes, and while they all offer something slightly different, they all have that same smooth finish, with very little bitterness. Smooth is certainly the word to sum up so much about this machine and it’s coffee.
As you may have guessed from the previous section – I am a huge fan of this machine. The coffee that it produces is unlike anything I have ever seen from a coffee pod machine. The crema really provides that WOW factor that I think is incredibly desirable in a machine like this.
I should say though, that I am exactly the target market for this. I love strong black coffee – it’s my go-to drink when I wake up in the morning, and this is exactly what the Nespresso Vertuo Plus was built to make. I do accept though, that there are many people that would much prefer the capability to make milky coffees (lattes, cappuccinos etc) and to be honest, this machine would not be suitable for that, without buying an additional milk frother on top.
I should also mention the pods themselves. While their quality is undeniable, they are considerably more expensive than any other coffee pods, and with no options to buy from other manufacturers, you have no option to buy cheaper versions. They are also quite difficult to come across in shops, so you will probably end up buying them online.
Having said all that, I think this machine is absolutely perfect if you really like your coffee, and you are happy to spend a little bit more on the pods to have that incredible crema. I promise that you will impress any visitors with a coffee from this machine. If this sounds like you, I would certainly recommend this machine.