There’s nothing quite like the perfect cup of coffee. For most people, a bad cup of espresso can ruin their entire day. While there are many different coffee makers available, each seems to promise a high-quality brew every time. Inevitably, some fall short, leaving many people forcing down lukewarm coffee-flavored water just to get through the morning. In this post I’m going to be comparing 2 really popular machines from Nespresso: the Nespresso Evoluo vs Vertuoline. If you don’t want to read the whole post you can just check out the winner by clicking here.
Luckily, there are new innovations every year, and nothing sets the tone more than the single-serve coffee makers coming out from Nespresso.
Nespresso is founded on the European coffee tradition, meaning their capsules use only high-quality beans, roasted to perfection to reach light, medium, or dark roasts. Each cup is made to allow those flavors to shine without diluting the pure coffee goodness with too much water or too few grounds. This is a coffee to be savored and enjoyed, day after day. Filtered coffee certainly has its fans, but the single-serve coffee makers from Nespresso often surpass most drip coffee makers in taste, quality, and consistency.
In this article I’ll be comparing two higher end Nespresso machines, the Evoluo and the traditional VirtuoLine.
What Makes Nespresso Stand Out from Other On-Demand Coffee Systems?
There are new capsule coffee machines coming out almost daily, and with so many choices on the market, finding the best coffee maker for your needs or situation can feel daunting. The two main contenders, however, are Nespresso and Keurig.
Nespresso – Coffee for Coffee Lovers
Nespresso makes coffee. It’s coffee for coffee aficionados looking for a simple way to have a quality and reliable cup of liquid fuel in the comfort of their home or office. The capsules are made of high-quality aluminum foil and coated with a food-grade resin to keep the grounds fresh for longer. Each capsule features a barcode to help the machine identify which roast is in the slot. This ensures that the right amount of water and the ideal brewing temperature are used for each roast type, every single time.
Best of all, Nespresso creates that trademark smooth crema on top of every single cup. For coffee lovers seeking a coffeehouse experience in their kitchen, without the hassle of a complicated espresso maker, the Nespresso is the best option around. Their capsules are even recyclable through Nespresso, making them a greener alternative to plastic disposable coffee capsules.
Nespresso Vertuoline vs. Evoluo: Which Do You Choose?
Though the Nespresso line is ever growing and ever evolving, their everyday home models can be broken down into two solid options: The Nespresso Vertuoline and the Nespresso Evoluo. Each machine uses the uniquely designed Nespresso capsules and creates a beautiful cup of coffee every time, but choosing between the two can often feel like choosing between two favorite coffee roasts—it’s difficult. To help coffee lovers looking to upgrade their capsule coffee game, we’ve compared the two machines and compiled some of the benefits as well as the downsides to each.
The Vertuoline is one of the earlier models of personal capsule coffee makers to hit the market with the original model hitting shelves in North America in 2014. Since the original model was released, Nespresso has improved the design to create a capsule machine worthy of the pickiest coffee enthusiasts.
The capsule is brewed through a combination of pressure and centrifugal force to create the smooth dark brew topped with a light and frothy crema.
The machine is designed with convenience in mind. Once the pod is inserted, brewing starts with the touch of a button. The machine then reads the coffee pod to determine the size of the pod and the amount of water required to produce the ideal cup. The pods are available in an 8oz coffee serving or a 1.35 oz. espresso serving, giving coffee drinkers flexibility in servings without having to adjust a setting on the machine.
What we like:
The two pod sizes give coffee drinkers versatility in coffee choices without requiring an additional espresso machine or barista know-how to make a truly tasty espresso.
- The system automatically ejects the used capsule once the top is opened, so there’s no need to worry about residual hot water burning fingers.
- Each machine features a storage compartment for used capsules, making waste containment and recycling a breeze.
- The water tank has an easily removable lid with a wide opening for easy filling with a total capacity of 40 oz., making brewing multiple cups simple.
- The Vertuoline features an automatic self-cleaning cycle to flush out remaining grounds and residue.
What we dislike:
The Nespresso capsules can only be recycled through Nespresso, so eco-friendly coffee fanatics must take the time to fill an envelope and send it to the company.
- The Vertuoline is not compatible with the Nespresso Original Line pods which allowed for proper high-pressure espresso brewing.
- The temperature setting on the machine is not adjustable, leaving some coffee drinkers wanting to reheat their cup.
Overall, the Vertuoline is a great machine for coffee drinkers looking to replace their worn out automatic drip maker with a high-quality single-serve coffee maker. They’ll get a fresh cup of coffee every time without the fuss of a residential espresso maker.
The Evoluo is the next step in the Vertuoline’s development, taking the most successful elements of its predecessor and improving upon them. Like the Vertuoline, the Evoluo brews coffee through the process of Centrifusion, using centrifugal force and pressure to extract the richness of the coffee without the bitterness. The process gives each cup that wonderful foamy crema without the aid of a milk frother or other external accessory.
Many of the complaints against the original Vertuoline were addressed in the creation of the Evoluo. Nespresso realized that consumers were unhappy with the lack of an adjustable drip tray to accommodate different cup sizes and developed an adjustable platform for the Evoluo. This allows the machine to brew coffee into small espresso cups while reducing the amount of splatter and wasted coffee during each cycle.
Like its predecessor, the Evoluo utilizes automatic blend recognition technology to scan each coffee pod and provide the right ratio of water to coffee grounds. This lets the machine produce a cup of coffee quickly without the consumer worrying about over-extracting the grounds or getting an unpleasant bitter taste.
Each machine is designed to create a cup of coffee quickly with minimal effort from the coffee drinker. The Evoluo, like the Vertuoline, features a one-touch brew system so that consumers can get a perfect cup of coffee, even early in the morning.
What We Love:
- The automatic cleaning cycle keeps the coffee maker working in optimal conditions without tons of elbow grease.
- The Evoluo brews a hotter cup of coffee than the Vertuoline, solving one of the most common complaints about the older system.
- Evoluo uses the same style capsules as the Vertuoline, so upgrading to a new model means the stockpile of capsules in the pantry can still be used.
- The crema is somewhat finer and smoother with the Evoluo, and it lasts longer, even after much of the coffee has been consumed.
- The auto-eject feature makes storing used capsules simple and consolidates them for easy recycling through Nespresso.
- The drip tray is adjustable and can accommodate both oversize, tall mugs and small espresso cups without splatter.
- The water tank and used capsule storage areas are larger.
What we dislike:
- The Evoluo feels like little more than a slight upgrade from the Vertuoline; the technology remains mostly unchanged, and the improvements are minor.
- The machine does vibrate as it brews coffee, so lighter mugs and cups may move off the drip tray through the brewing process.
- It’s best used for coffee, not espresso. Coffee drinkers looking to create a perfect in-home latte may be disappointed.
- The Evoluo produces a bit more crema than the Vertuoline, and some people may find the crema too much.
- Even with the improvements in temperature regulation, the coffee may still be too cool for some users.
- Like the Vertuoline, the Evoluo is not compatible with the Original Line capsules and does not have a way to make espresso using a high-pressure extraction method.
The Evoluo is a clear upgrade from the Vertuoline with an improved temperature setting and an adjustable drip tray. Nespresso kept all the features people loved from the original machine and improved the weaker areas to give consumers a superb coffee experience.
And the Winner is…
The Nespresso Evoluo. While it is simply an upgraded version of the Vertuoline, it maintains the character and design elements that made the capsule coffee system a success. The improvements in temperature regulation and the adjustable drip tray may seem like minimal upgrades, but they do address two key issues consumers had with the original system.
While all Nespresso products make use of the recyclable aluminum capsule, the Evoluo can hold up to 17 used coffee capsules before it needs to be emptied. Compared to the 13-capsule capacity of the Vertuoline, the added storage space is a significant improvement.
Best of all, the water tank on the other side of the machine was increased to a maximum capacity of 54 oz., so brewing coffee for a group of friends can be done without refilling the water tank.
What’s Wrong with Drip Coffee?
Strictly speaking, nothing is wrong with drip coffee. In fact, there are many pour-over models and even automatic coffee makers that brew delicious coffee when operated by a skilled coffee connoisseur. Their convenience cannot be denied, and that’s why the humble drip coffee maker has been the gold standard in households, the world over. Almost everyone starts their coffee addiction with a drip maker and with good reason: it’s affordable, relatively reliable, and makes a passable cup of coffee every morning.
Everyone likes waking up to a fresh pot of coffee without having to worry about anything more than locating a mug. However, most automatic drip coffee makers do not provide consistent and superior flavors every time they’re used. No matter how nice the drip coffee maker is, there is a learning curve.
Drip coffee makers seem to brew coffee at wildly different temperatures, leaving a groggy night owl searching for a microwave more often than not. If those drip makers have a warming plate, they can even burn the coffee, making the beverage far more bitter than it should be.
A good capsule coffee maker ensures consistent quality across every type of coffee, every time it’s used. Best of all, it requires absolutely no forethought at night; there’s no reason to set the coffee maker up before heading to bed. Coffee comes pre-ground in air-tight capsules to maintain freshness, and the machine can be operated with the touch of a button. As long as there’s water in the tank, it can make a delicious cup of coffee with ease.
Traditional drip coffee makers also rely on the proper grounds to water ratio impart the right taste and allow the process to extract the richness of the beans without scorching the roast. If there are too many grounds in the basket, the coffee will be unpleasantly strong. If there’s not enough, it will taste more like coffee-flavored tea—an unsatisfying start to most mornings.
Capsule coffee makers, like the Nespresso Vertuoline and Evoluo, use premeasured cups to ensure that the perfect ratio of grounds to water is used in every cup, giving coffee drinkers a superior and consistent beverage every time.