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If you’re thinking about switching to a capsule coffee machine, you likely have your eye on Nespresso. Nespresso remains a favored brand with their easy-to-use machines, delicious coffee blends, and robust capsule recycling program.
If it’s just espresso drinks you’re after, you’ll want to stick with one of their Original line machines, but if you’re looking for a coffee maker that can brew anything from a single espresso to a full 18-ounce carafe of coffee, you might want to check out the Nespresso Vertuo Next.
The Original line machines brew better-tasting coffee, in my opinion, but they are limited to espresso. So if you’re looking for a more versatile machine that still offers decent Nespresso quality, continue with our Nespresso Vertuo Next review and see if it’s the right machine for you.
Before you begin
Let’s be clear about Nespresso’s two lines: the Original line and the newer Vertuoline. The Vertuo Next is part of the Vertuoline.
About Nespresso Vertuo
Nespresso Vertuoline machines use their patented “centrifusion” technology (rather than a classic pump system), which punches tiny holes in the coffee capsule and spins it at 7,000 rpm to create a frothy, crema-topped coffee.
This technology allows Vertuoline machines to offer a range of coffee sizes, but they all still drink like some form of a long espresso.
It also means that you’re committed to using Nespresso’s Vertuoline capsules, because the machines are not compatible with third-party or Original line capsules.
If you’re looking to create solely espresso-based drinks, then I would say Nespresso’s Original line machines are more affordable in the long run, and they offer a better quality coffee.
Nobody breaks down the quirks of Nespresso’s Vertuo system quite like James Hoffman. If you have 20 minutes, this thorough video will give you a lot of insight into how it works (even though the machine is not a Vertuo Next):
Other coffee options
If it’s a larger, more traditional brewed cup of coffee you’re after, you’ll want to forego a Nespresso machine altogether and consider a French press or perhaps an AeroPress.
And of course if you’re a serious espresso aficionado with dreams of creating cafe-style beverages at home, you’re probably better off investing in a manual or semi-automatic espresso machine.
That said, if you want to enjoy many styles of coffee, all offered by one compact machine, the Vertuo Next might be a good one for you.
The Vertuo Next is the most recent model in Nespresso’s Vertuoline. While it does have some added features, as well as a more compact design, it essentially operates the same as other Nespresso Vertuoline models.
The main features are:
- Nespresso’s centrifusion technology
- heats up in around 25 seconds
- automatic shutoff after two minutes
- adjustable and removable drip tray
- connects to Nespresso app via Bluetooth
- descaling alert to keep maintenance on track
The Vertuo Next brews espresso and coffee for six cup sizes:
- espresso (1.35 oz)
- double espresso (2.7 oz)
- gran lungo (5.07 oz)
- coffee (7.77 oz)
- alto (14 oz)
- carafe (18 oz)
That includes a size that no other Vertuoline machine offers: carafe size.
The addition of the carafe option really comes in handy when you’re entertaining or need to get multiple cups of coffee brewed in a flash, and the machine has a 1.1-litre water tank so you can brew several mugs of coffee before you need to refill the tank.
Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
Nespresso has added Bluetooth and Wi-Fi technology to the Vertuo Next.
The Bluetooth is to be used in conjunction with the Nespresso smartphone app. The app, of course, is one of the easiest ways to order new capsules, but when paired with your machine it can also alert you when your tank is low, tell you when it’s time to descale the machine—based on the pH of your water supply—and reset your Nespresso machine to factory settings if necessary.
The Wi-Fi is primarily for firmware updates to the machine, which are needed from time to time.
Size and design ★★★★☆
The Nespresso Vertuo Next is the most compact and lightweight of the Vertuoline models. Its slick design should fit easily into any corner of your kitchen or office, without sacrificing much counter space.
Although the water tank is smaller than on other Vertuoline machines, it still has the capacity to brew about four large cups of coffee before needing to be refilled.
The machine also has storage for 10 spent capsules, so there is plenty of room for a few days’ worth of brews.
The body is made of 54-per-cent recycled plastic, and the Nespresso Vertuo Next is packaged in 100-per-cent recycled cardboard, which is in line with Nespresso’s ongoing sustainability commitments. If you shell out for the premium or deluxe version, you’ll get some chrome features, but overall the machine is mainly plastic. This makes it lightweight and more affordable, but it will be less durable over time.
Ease of brewing ★★★★★
Nespresso machines are known for their simplicity, and the Vertuoline excels in this department, with the Next operating the same as all other models.
Vertuoline capsules are fitted with barcodes that your machine reads to discover which style of coffee to brew. You’ll need to ensure you select the correct capsule (handily color-coded and ranging in size), but the machine does the rest. Simply insert your chosen capsule, press the single button, and voila. You’ll get your morning coffee in a matter of seconds.
The predecessor Nespresso Vertuo Plus had a motorized lid that further added to the ease of Vertuoline machines, but they’ve gone back to a locked lever system for the Next. The lever system tends to be more finicky and at times tricky to close, but the lack of mechanized parts might make it more durable in the long run.
Milk frothing ☆☆☆☆☆
The Nespresso Vertuo Next does not come with its own milk frother.
However, with the addition of an Aeroccino milk frother, usually sold separately, you can make hot or cold frothed milk, with or without creamy foam. The Aeroccino is ridiculously simple to use, and many people prefer the taste and texture to the milk you get from Nespresso machines with integrated milk frothers—particularly if you’re new to making milk-based coffee drinks.
If you have some barista experience and really want to take your latte skills to the next level, you might want to invest in one of the higher end Original line machines like the Creatista Plus, but when you bundle the Vertuo Next with an Aeroccino it really opens up your beverage options.
Cleaning and maintenance ★★★★☆
The Vertuo Next, like most Nespresso machines, is a fairly easy machine to take care of.
I recommend rinsing the machine before and after each use, and wiping it down afterward. If you do this, you can get by with the just an occasional deep cleaning, and descaling as recommended.
By rinsing the machine, I mean just run a brew cycle without any coffee capsule inserted so that hot water has a chance to run through the machine. Do it again after brewing.
If you’re unable to rinse before and after reach use, consider a weekly deep clean where you remove the water reservoir, drip tray and spent capsule container for a good hand wash with soap and water.
The descaling alert (the button will flash red instead of green while the machine is heating up) is a great reminder to keep up with regular deep cleaning and descaling of your machine. The machine will continue to operate, but regular descaling ensures you’re getting the best tasting cup of coffee, and will prolong the life of your machine.
There’s no denying that Nespresso’s Vertuoline machines are extremely versatile. The Next is the most versatile yet, with a wide variety of brewing options including the addition of the 18-ounce carafe option. When bundled with the Aeroccino, you can make all your favorite espresso drinks.
It’s unfortunate that the machine doesn’t have a dedicated hot water line, which you can find on some Original line machines, as that would allow you to brew tea and an americano-style coffee which is arguably superior to the “alto” setting on the Vertuo machines.
Unfortunately, you are locked into buying Nespresso capsules, and only the Vertuo style at that. This means you’ll be paying a little more on an ongoing basis than you would with some other capsule machines, and your selection will be a bit more limited.
However, at the time of this writing, Nespresso USA was offering 42 different capsules for the Vertuo Next. These included limited edition coffees originating in Congo, Uganda and Zimbabwe; flavored coffees such as Chocolate Fudge and Vanilla Custard Pie; single-origins from Peru, Ethiopia and Colombia; decaf and half-caff options; and capsules conceived specifically for iced coffee.
Breaking it down by size, here’s how many options they had for each:
So yes, your options aren’t infinite as they would be if you were grinding your own beans, but there are certainly enough for you to find a coffee type that works for you, and never get bored trying them.
Coffee quality ★★★☆☆
I’d say this is where the Vertuoline machines falter. It is widely agreed that the tried-and-true pump method of the Original line provides a richer and more true espresso flavor, and that Vertuoline coffee tastes under-extracted (sour and sharp) in comparison.
You get more grams of ground coffee per capsule in the Vertuoline, providing a stronger flavor in some cases, but the centrifusion technology seems to be less successful in delivering a hot and well-balanced espresso.
As you move up to larger brew sizes, the excessive crema results in a bitter finish. Someone who typically prefers a smooth brewed style of coffee might not enjoy the larger options offered by the Vertuo Next.
Personally, I’d go for one of the simple Original line machines for espresso, and pair it with an AeroPress or affordable French press for those mornings when you want a larger, more traditional brew.
The Essenza Plus from the Original line has a dedicated hot water line that allows you to brew americanos, which I personally prefer to the frothy, bitter, far-too-long shot of “espresso” that a Vertuoline machine produces. If you’re looking for one compact capsule coffee machine that can do it all, however, the Vertuo Next is still a decent option.
Waste is a prominent concern with capsule machines, and Nespresso recognizes this. They’ve invested in a robust capsule recycling program that is (for the most part) easy to access, and simple to use. There are some areas that still struggle with access and outreach, but check out Nespresso’s website for the specifics in your area.
As I mentioned, the Vertuo Next is made with 54-per-cent recycled plastic, which is a step in the right direction. Hopefully Nespresso endeavours to incorporate recycled materials into all machines in the future.
Overall, I’ve been impressed with Nespresso’s commitment to a sustainable future for the coffee industry, and you can check out their progress and future commitments in their Creating Shared Value Report. We also take an objective look at their overall sustainability in a separate article.
How is Vertuo Next different from other Vertuo machines?
Vertuo Next is the latest in the Vertuo line of machines, which started in 2014 with a machine known simply as the Vertuo.
The VertuoPlus followed the Vertuo, and now we have the Vertuo Next.
Comparing the Vertuo Next to its predecessor the VertuoPlus, the key differences are:
- Vertuo Next is shorter and more compact
- Vertuo Next has a manual capsule lid where VertuoPlus had an automatic lever
- Vertuo Next has one extra brewing size (carafe, 18 oz.)
- Vertuo Next’s removable water tank carries only 1.1 liters instead of 1.7
- Vertuo Next has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities
If you’re looking for one compact machine that can provide every style of coffee and a variety of coffee cup sizes, the Vertuo Next with Aeroccino is a great option. Just keep in mind that in this case, versatility and convenience come at the expense of some flavor. That’s the main reason why the Vertuo Next isn’t on our list of the best Nespresso machines you can buy.
Some people might enjoy the frothy “espresso” style of the larger Vertuoline brews, but personally I’m more of a purist.
It’s also important to consider that you are locked into purchasing Nespresso-brand capsules, which do come in array of options but are among the priciest on the market.
In all honesty, I’m not the biggest fan of the Vertuoline. I view it as Nespresso’s attempt to regain some of the market they lost to third-party capsule manufacturers when their patent for the Original line capsules expired. With these machines, they seem to have created a solution to a problem that didn’t exist—trying to hem people back into machines that are compatible only with their own coffee pods.
For my money, I’d stick to the Original line of machines.
But as always, I encourage you browse the Amazon reviews yourself before making a final decision.
Nespresso Vertuo Next specifications
|Dimensions||12.4" H x 5.5" W x 16.8" D|
|Warmup time||25 seconds|
|Water tank||37 ounces|
|Used capsule capacity||10|
|Cable length||29 inches|