Ever since Nespresso launched the Vertuoline, their new line of machines that makes both coffee and espresso, I’d been dying to try one out. This week I received a unit to review and put it through its paces.
Since becoming a Nespresso ambassador earlier last year, I’ve served espressos and cappucinos to many guests in my kitchen. My pantry is stocked with Nespresso capsules in different intensities, to cater to a variety of tastes. I’ve been told that I make a great cappucino, latte and espresso, but when friends asked for a plain cup of American coffee, I can’t oblige. I was hoping the new Vertuoline machine would save me trips to my (unconnected!) garage to dust off my retired coffeemaker.
The Vertuoline is not compatible with the other Nespresso capsules. It uses a separate set of capsules with a bar code etched under the lip. The bar code is programmed with cup size, water temperature, rotational speed, flow rate and the amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee inside the capsule. You can hear all that technology as the capsule begins spinning in the machine, but the technology is inside so that the consumer can forget about it. All you need to decide is what type of coffee you’d like, pop it in the machine and wait 15 seconds to a minute and a half for your cup of coffee (the full cup of coffee takes the longest).
So the question is… should the Vertuoline replace your existing Nespresso machine, to cater to every possible coffee taste? Or if you’re not yet a Nespresso machine owner, which one should you buy?
I’m impressed with the quality of the coffee and the ease of the experience of the Vertuoline machine. It’s as gorgeous and easy as the other Nespresso machines from the Gran Maestria on down to the Pixie. Smelling the coffee as it brews is heavenly, and the taste is rich and smooth. You can tell the same quality goes into the bean selection for these capsules. But, in my opinion, the Vertuoline coffee is of such high quality, rich flavor and intensity that it would overwhelm those who are craving a watered down, diner style plain old cup of coffee.
The crema is beautiful – and a gorgeous way to add richness to your coffee without adding fat, but this is still a very European cup of coffee. I’m not saying that like it’s a bad thing – if every restaurant carried a Nespresso machine, I would finish every meal a very happy woman. I love my Nespresso experience so much that I seriously consider packing my machine every time I travel. But if I were buying a new Nespresso machine, I would stick with a traditional espresso Nespresso machine because they have so many more capsules to choose from. Currently, the Vertuoline has eight coffee capsules to choose from (including one decaf and one half decaf) and four espressos. Currently the espresso capsules offer 18 espresso choices, 3 decaf, and 3 lungo (a bigger cup).