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Nespresso Vertuo Pods: A Brief Look At Nespresso Coffee Machines

Posted on December 19, 2023

If you have been wondering about the compatibility of Nespresso Vertuo pods, or you would like to know more about the many Original Line Nespresso machines, you are in the right place. Today, we will delve into the reasons why it isn’t possible to create compatible Nespresso Vertuo pods, as well as take an in-depth look at some of the more popular Nespresso machines on the market.

Whether you own a Nespresso U, Lattissima, Pixie, Essenza, CitiZ, Pro, etc., at Coffee Capsules Direct, we have the largest selection of compatible capsules in South Africa, just waiting for you to try them out. Why not join us as we examine many of the features and characteristics of these nifty coffee machines? We will also offer a few useful tips and tricks along the way to improve your coffee experience.

Nespresso Vertuo Pods: What Makes Compatibility Difficult?

There are some defining differences between the Vertuo range of machines and Nespresso’s Original Line alternatives, so let’s get into them. The Vertuo line was designed to produce a wider range of coffee styles, as opposed to the more simplistic sizing abilities of most Nespresso machines. The Original Line, with a few exceptions, can make three different kinds of coffee, including espressos, ristrettos, and lungos, which for most individuals, provides an adequate amount of variety.

On the flip side, the Vertuo machines are capable of creating larger coffee variants, and a wider range of styles. If you are partial to larger, creamier brews, this could be beneficial to you. However, there are other machine alternatives that are also capable of fulfilling this role. So, what is the issue with compatibility, and why aren’t there any compatible Nespresso Vertuo pods on the market? Well, the main issue comes down to the pods themselves, and the technology that the Vertuo line machines use.

If you have a look at the picture below, you will notice that the shape of the Vertuo pods is completely different to that of the Original Line pod. They are wider and larger and possess a more dome-like appearance than their counterparts. The size and shape is not the main problem, however, it is that this particular pod design has been patented by Nespresso and cannot be legally replicated. As you can imagine, this makes it nigh impossible to create compatible capsules for these machines.


To add to this, every Nespresso Vertuo pod has been given a barcode, which serves two purposes. Firstly, it indicates to the machine which sort of coffee it needs to create, this tailors the extraction level, and regulates the flow and volume, as well as temperature.

This Centrifusion technology, as it is known, is certainly innovative, but the second purpose that it serves is to add further difficulty to those trying to create compatible pods. As they would need to replicate the barcode technology in order for the machine to function as intended.

Nespresso Vertuo Pods: Are Vertuo Machines Worthwhile?

Well, there is no correct answer to this question, as it will entirely depend on your preferences and what you would expect from a coffee machine. As we mentioned, if you like to mix it up and try out larger coffee styles and options, then a Vertuo line machine could be exactly what you are looking for. However, there are a few downsides, perhaps the largest being that there is significantly less variety in terms of capsule options.

Nespresso has created 26 different blends for the Vertuo machines, and these consist of differently sized and flavoured brews. The Original Line machines, on the other hand, are compatible with thousands of unique options, and come with the added benefit of trying capsules from a variety of coffee companies. While it is true that there are fewer size choices, the plethora of options makes a huge difference at the end of the day.

Additionally, Nespresso capsules are usually more expensive than most of the compatible alternatives and are priced as premium products. If this is not a problem for you and you find that the positives outweigh the downsides, then the Vertuo line could be the way to go.

If variety and cost-effectiveness are high on your list of coffee priorities, we would recommend picking up one of the Original Line machines. Another consideration is that if you find that you usually drink espressos and consider yourself to be more of a traditionalist when it comes to coffee, there is no real reason to opt for a Nespresso Vertuo machine.

The Nespresso U Machine

The U is Nespresso’s smallest and most compact Original Line option they create, it has also been discontinued in recent years in favour of more recent alternatives. The design itself is simple yet elegant, with an aluminium exterior for protection, similar to that of the Nespresso Pixie. This option is perfect for those of you who are looking for a simple, stylish machine that works exactly as intended.

For many, the focus on reliability and quality over fancy functionality is one of the major appeals of this particular machine. Its small size is also a positive for people who have less space to accommodate larger machines. While it has been discontinued, it was designed to stand the test of time, and you can likely still find many second-hand options that still work perfectly.


The Nespresso Pixie Machine

Since we have already mentioned the Pixie Original Line machine, let’s have a look at what it has to offer. The Pixie has been described by many as the best value-for-money coffee machine Nespresso has to offer, for a few reasons. Firstly, it is even more durable than the U model, as it shares a similar aluminium casing, while also being coated in a scratch-resistant paint. It is slightly larger than the U and can create bigger espresso shots, for a full-bodied coffee experience.

It can be compared to the Nespresso Inissia, which displays many of the same qualities, with the main difference being the improved build quality that comes with the aluminium casing. The Pixie is also easily one of the better-looking machines, and the avant-garde design has made it one of Nespresso’s best-selling models.

If there are any downsides, it would be that the Pixie has a relatively small water tank, which means that you might need to refill it semi-regularly. It also lacks a few of the features that some of the pricier models possess, but it is an excellent option, nonetheless.


The Nespresso Creatista Pro

Speaking of higher end models, it truly does not get any better than the Creatista Pro, which is widely regarded as one of, if not the best, Original Line coffee machine Nespresso has to offer. It comes standard with all the bells and whistles, including a frothing wand for steaming milk, a much larger water reservoir, auto-off after 9 minutes, an impressive 3-second heat-up time, three milk temperatures, and a nifty LCD digital touch display that provides with all the information you need to create the perfect brew.

One of the foremost benefits of the Creatista Pro is that it offers a much wider range of pre-programmed drink choices, namely, espresso, ristretto, lungo, cappuccino, flat white, caffe latte, latte, and macchiato, affording you significantly more choice when making your morning coffee. The stainless steel casing and durable high-end design should ensure that the Creatista Pro continues to create delicious brews far into the future.

Unlike some of the cheaper alternatives, this machine also allows for some programmable functionality, which means that you can design, name, and save your favourite custom drinks. If you are willing to spend a bit more money, this is undoubtedly one of the finest coffee machines you could purchase.

The Nespresso Lattissima Pro

If you have been searching for a fantastic quality machine that excels at creating larger, frothier drinks, it’s tough to go wrong with the Lattissima Pro. It features a larger water reservoir than the Pixie and U, and a built-in milk container which is ideal for lattes and other milk-based coffee types. It has a comparatively small spent capsule container, only being able to hold 8 pods, however, this is a small concern as it only takes a few moments to empty it.

Perhaps the only other noteworthy con of the Lattissima Pro is that the ABS plastic scuffs quite easily, so it could help to be gentle when using it. As is the case with all the machines we have listed, it is 100% compatible with 3rd party capsules, which adds ample variety to your coffee routine. It is generally regarded to be the best of the Lattissima Original Line models, and it is currently still being produced by Nespresso.


The Nespresso Essenza Plus

The final machine we will cover today is the compact Essenza Plus, which offers excellent value at a lower price point than some of its counterparts. This elegant machine features wireless connectivity, 19 bars of pressure, 4 cup sizes, and is lightweight, making it exceptionally easy to move about. Beyond the fact that it includes wireless connectivity, the capabilities of this machine are very similar to the pixie and the U. For those of you who value simplicity and aren’t overly interested in luxurious features, this machine is an excellent choice.

Two Recommendations From Our Online Store

The great thing about the machines listed above (barring the Nespresso Vertuo machine) is that they are all fully compatible with our capsules. With that in mind, let’s have a quick look at some delicious pods you can try in your beloved Original Line Nespresso machine.

Terbodore Full Flavour Variety – 60 Compatible Capsules

If you have yet to try products from Terbodore, we cannot recommend them enough. The Full Flavour Variety includes all their most popular capsules and brews, including French Vanilla, English Toffee, Dutch Chocolate, Italian Hazelnut, Birthday Cake, and Salted caramel. Take your taste buds around the world with these interesting and delicious flavoured coffees. One of the best things about this blend of brews is that Terbodore seems to have mastered the art of creating flavoured coffees, without making them sickly sweet. Not to mention that all their compatible pods are 100% bio-based, making them an excellent eco-friendly option.

Importers Coffee Variety – 40 Compatible Capsules

Importers Global Coffee is without question one of the finest brewing companies in the industry. This Coffee Variety Pack comes with four equally tasty blends, namely, the Venice, Roma, Mocha Java, and Milano. It could be said this pack is catered more to those who enjoy an intense, strong cup of coffee, as all four blends are rated at least 4 out of 6 on the strength scale. If you enjoy energising, rich brews, this could be the ideal bulk pack for you!