The Nespresso Vertuoline ups the single serving pod game by using aluminum pods that eliminate the plastic taste associated with most pod machines. Plus, these pods can be recycled, which alleviates some of the waste concerns associated with single serving coffee makers. It bested its main competitors in our testing due to superior taste and the added convenience of its barcode system, which automatically dials in the ideal settings based on which pod you place in the machine. The only downside is that Nespresso pods aren't as widely available as Keurig pods, but our testers felt that having to order pods online instead of snagging them at the grocery store was well worth the Superior taste of the Vertuoline.
Nespresso Vertuoline Review
Pros: Good taste for a pod machine, incredibly easy to use and clean
Cons: Can be expensive if not on sale
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Nespresso Vertuoline was our testers' favorite single serving pod machine due to its superior taste and slight edge in convenience when compared to the Keurig competitors.
The Nespresso Vertuoline was one of the higher scoring models overall in our testing due to its ease of use and cleaning, and scored far better than the other pod style machines in our tests.
The Vertuoline picked up a score of 5 out of 10 in our taste testing. In the grand scheme of things this is a relatively mediocre score, but is significantly better than what the competing Keurig models earned.
Our testers agreed that the Vertuoline's coffee tasted a bit weaker than that from an average drip machine, but much stronger than the coffee from the Keurig machines. It also lacks the plastic taste present in the Keurig coffee, which makes it much more pleasant to drink. Most of Nespresso's available coffee flavors have nice flavor notes, but they aren't quite as pronounced as flavor notes you can get from one of our top scoring drip machines. If you're looking for something really rich and bold you'll have to switch to one of these traditional drip machines, or you could always switch to the line of espresso pods that Nespresso offers. The Vertuoline did make decent espresso that was quite bold, basically identical to the Nespresso Evoluo that we tested in our espresso machine review.
The Vertuoline shared the top score of 9 in our user friendliness testing, putting it well above the low score of 4.
The process of insert-pod-press-button is almost foolproof. Plus, the Vertuoline reads a barcode on each pod and automatically adjusts its settings so you don't have to do anything when you switch from a dark roast to an espresso. Really, using the Vertuoline couldn't be much simpler.
The Vertuoline again took top honors in our convenience testing, earning a 9 out of 10. This was well above the low score of 3.
Including warm up time it took the Vertuoline 2.5 minutes to spit out a piping hot cup of coffee. This was noticeably better than the Keurig, which took 4 minutes to do the same. Once warmed up the Vertuoline can make a cup in around 90 seconds. You can also easily switch between different roasts and between coffee and espresso, instead of committing to one pot. This makes it incredibly convenient if you've got a lot of people with different tastes using the same machine.
Ease of Cleaning
The Vertuoline took top honors in our ease of cleaning testing, earning a score of 9 out of 10. In contrast the lowest score in this metric was a 4.
The Vertuoline produces essentially nothing to clean on a daily basis, except for the mug you put your coffee in. Dirty pods are automatically deposited into an attached bin (please remember to recycle them). That bin can sometimes get a little grimy with coffee grounds, so might need a periodic rinse. The descaling process was also fairly painless and only took 30 minutes to complete. It bested the other pod machines we tested only because the Keurig's descaling process takes much longer to complete.
While both the Vertuoline itself and the pods it uses are on the expensive side of the spectrum when it comes to single-serving machines, we feel the bump up in taste quality is well worth the extra cost. If you're happy with how Keurig coffee tastes, one of those machines will give you a slightly better value. However, if you're already willing to pay the price premium for the convenience of a pod machine, and want that pod coffee to taste as good as possible, the Vertuoline presents a good overall value.
The Nespresso Vertuoline is incredibly convenient and easy to clean, and made substantially better coffee than the other single serving pod machine in our test. If you're looking for a pod-style machine, the Vertuoline is our top recommendation.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata