Enjoying a barista-worthy coffee at home not only saves money over getting your daily caffeine fix from a coffee shop, but we’ve found an even greater benefit: impress your friends and family by offering them an array of different hot drink options when they come to visit.
Nespresso is one of the biggest names in single-serve coffee makers. Also known as pod coffee machines, they use capsules containing ground coffee, which are punctured before pressurized hot water is passed through to brew coffee, ensuring it creates far less mess than traditional-style espresso machines.
The brand offers two different types of machine; those that take the iconic dome-shaped pods, which are called Nespresso Original, and the Vertuo line. These latter machines take the larger Vertuo capsules, which were first introduced in the US in 2014, and launched in the UK and Australia in 2014. There’s more of a focus on the Nespresso Vertuo line as the capsules feature barcodes, which contain information about the volume and temperature of the water during brewing, as well as other parameters. This ensures the perfect cup of java every time.
As there are a number of Vertuo-compatible machines on sale (including the brand’s latest, and most affordable option, the Nespresso Vertuo Next and its top-of-the-range Nespresso Vertuo Plus), you might be left struggling to decide which is right for you. There’s not much difference between the two models, it’s mostly design but there are a few aspects we need to run you through. So in true TechRadar style, we’ve tested them head-to-head (and taken on unforeseen levels of high-quality caffeine) to help you decide.
(Image credit: Nespresso)
Best Nespresso Vertuo Next and Nespresso Vertuo Plus deals
Read on to discover how these two air fryers compare – or, if you’ve already decided which of the two you wish to buy, check out the best prices for each right now:
Right, let’s start with cost: Nespresso’s single-serve coffee makers are more affordable than traditional-style espresso machines, as a barista in a coffee shop would use, because they don’t have a portafilter and thus are far less messy and easier to keep clean. The Vertuo Next will set you back $169 / £149 / AU$269.
Now, there are two designs of the Nespresso Vertuo Plus, which is slightly larger than the Vertuo Next. In the US and Australia the two models are manufactured by Breville and De’Longhi, while in the UK, they are made by Krups and Magimix. No matter which design you opt for, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus is priced at $159 / £179 / AU$299.
Nespresso says there are no differences between the two models, aside from a slightly different footprint.
If you’re confused as to why there are two designs – you’re where we are right now. We approached Nespresso and asked them to explain why there are design differences between versions of the Vertuo Plus, and why they are manufactured by different brands worldwide but they have yet to respond.
But in terms of what matters to you – the functionality and price are identical, so you can buy a Vertuo Plus without a worry of which model you’re getting.
(Just to confuse matters, there’s also a Vertuo Plus Deluxe / Vertuo Plus Limited Edition, which brings a metal cup holder, metallic accents, and a larger water tank and is priced at $189 / £199 / AU$329 – but we’re focusing on the standard version for this comparison).
What about the competition? Well, Nespresso’s coffee machines are the only single-serve coffee makers that are available worldwide, so it’s hard to make a true comparison.
Keurig offers a range of machines in the US that are similarly priced – for example, the Keurig K-Supreme coffee maker can brew four different sizes of hot drink from K-Cup pods and costs $159.99 (around £120 / AU$220) but they’re not available in the UK or Australia.
(Image credit: Nespresso )
These two Nespresso coffee machines certainly look different. The Nespresso Vertuo Next is the smallest of the two machines, measuring 5.5 x 16.8 x 12.4 inches / 14.2 x 42.9 x 31.4cm.
Its slim design, which is only slightly wider than a coffee cup, makes it ideal even if you’re tight on countertop space. It comes with a 37 oz / 1 litre water tank, which can be removed to make it easy to fill.
As we’ve already mentioned, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus comes in two versions, although both are larger than the Vertuo Next, at 3 inches wider and they have a 40 oz / 1.1 liter water tank. Keeping up? Good, because we’re about to throw the Vertuo Plus Deluxe, known as the Vertuo Plus Limited Edition in the UK into the mix. Again, there are two designs and while they look the same as their standard counterparts, they have larger 60 oz / 1.8 litre water tanks, so you won’t need to refill the coffee machine as frequently, along with the stylish metallic accents we’ve already mentioned.
All of the Vertuo machines, unsurprisingly, take Nespresso’s Vertuo capsules. They are wider and flatter than the iconic ‘original’ capsules but crucially have a barcode printed on the side, which contains instructions on how to adjust the brewing parameters, such as the flow and volume of water, temperature, infusion time and capsule rotation, printed on the side. The machine reads this barcode and then follows the parameters to ensure consistent coffee every time, unlike the original range of Nespresso machines.
(Image credit: Nespresso)
Features on test
When it comes to brewing coffee, the two different models are evenly matched. On test, the pair created rich, intense espresso that had a thick crema, which reformed after a spoonful of sugar was sprinkled on the top.
The Vertuo Next can brew espresso, double espresso, two larger coffee sizes (5 oz / 150 ml and 8 oz / 235 ml) as well as an 18oz / 530ml carafe for those that need a much longer caffeine fix.
However, the Vertuo Plus can only brew individual coffees, which means it can brew espresso and larger coffee sizes, but there’s no way to brew a carafe from the more expensive machine.
However, the Vertuo Next is slightly slower to heat up, taking 30 seconds to reach temperature rather than 20 seconds for the Plus, but actually, this isn’t a big deal.
The Vertuo Plus also trumps the Vertuo Next with its moveable water tank, which can be positioned at the back of the machine or to the left or right. This means it can easily fit into any kitchen set-up, even if you have narrow countertops, or you’re tight on space. Unfortunately, the water tank placement of the Vertuo Next is static. The Verto Plus also has a slightly larger water tank, which doesn’t need refilling as frequently, although at just 30z / 100ml bigger, it’ll only make three more espressos before it needs replenishing with water.
However, the Next has slightly better eco credentials. The auto shut off kicks in after two minutes rather than nine minutes, which is how long the Vertuo Plus takes to turn off automatically, which is a handy way to save energy.
The machine is also made from 54% recycled materials. While the Vertuo Plus is also made from some recycled materials, Nespresso has declined to reveal exactly what percentage, so we’re guessing it’s less than half.
Finally, the Nespresso Vertuo Next also has Bluetooth and can connect to an app on your phone, which will alert you when your stock of Vertuo capsules is getting low, as well as updating the software when necessary.
(Image credit: Nespresso)
When it comes to choosing the right Nespresso Vertuo machine for you, if you’re looking for a compact coffee maker that can brew a range of different coffee sizes, the Vertuo Next is the best option. It’s also a good choice if you want a design that can conserve energy and is the most affordable Vertuo-compatible machine on the market.
However, for those that want the flexibility of being able to reposition the tank to fit in even the most bijou of kitchens, the Vertuo Plus is a better option. It’s also the best model for those who want a coffee maker that’s as quick as possible to heat up, and thanks to the large water tank, a machine that doesn’t need to be topped up as frequently.
While we don’t like to tell you which is best for your needs, the Vertuo Next has plenty of additional features for the price, making it our pick.
Prefer other styles of coffee machine? Then check out the best coffee maker deals to nag a bargain
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