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Original and Vertuo pod compatible

Original and Vertuo pod compatible


There’s nothing quite like a fresh cup of barista-style coffee in the morning, but not all of us have the time, space or inclination to have a manual espresso machine and coffee grinder in the kitchen. With one of our best Nespresso machines, you can still get the quality coffee you desire, delivered in a simpler and easier way via pods.

Pod machines don’t always have the best reputation but Nespresso isn’t just the best pod system, its coffees rival those from a ‘real’ espresso machine. Talking to people in the coffee business, Nespresso is the one pod system that those that deal in real beans will accept.

To slightly confuse matters there are actually two types of Nespresso machine to choose from: Original and Vertuo.

Original pods are the small ones that deliver a Ristretto (small espresso), espresso or lungo (long espresso) shot of coffee. There’s a wide range of pods available from Nespresso, including flavoured options and special limited edition ones, plus you’ll find a host of compatible capsules available in supermarkets and online.

Vertuo is the newer system, which uses larger capsules. This machine is mostly designed to deliver longer mug-fulls of coffee, although it does have espresso options, too. Due to the way that the Nespresso Vertuo works, you can only buy capsules direct from Nespresso at the moment.

All capsules bought from Nespresso can be recycled for free, either in one of the many outlets or as a free collection when you order new pods.

All that said, the choice then comes down to which machine is best for you. We’ve reviewed pretty much every single Nespresso machine, tested by our experts, so you know that you can trust our choices. We’ve tested machines at different prices and with a varying range of features, scaling from simple coffee-only machines up to those that can froth milk.

We’ve also ranked the best Nespresso capsules and the best Nespresso Vertuo pods so you can choose the best option for your tastes. And if you’re after a different way to get your morning coffee fix, our experts have rounded up the best coffee machines and the best coffee pod machines.

Best Nespresso Machine at a glance

How we test

Find out more about how we test Nespresso machines

As Nespresso machines take pods, we test each machine with a variety of different ones to get an idea of the range and quality of the coffee. We measure the temperature of each shot of coffee to make sure that the final coffee is exactly right, depending on whether it’s an espresso or a lungo.

Where a Nespresso machine has milk frothing as an option, we make a cappuccino to see how good the final result it.

Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima

Best Nespresso Vertuo machine


  • One-touch milk and coffee
  • Excellent mug fulls of rich coffee
  • Nicely textured milk


  • Need to plan cup size based on capsules used

If Nespresso’s long-term goal has been to create a luxurious coffee experience that removes any and all hassle involved with the brewing process, then it has achieved said goal with the Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima.

Here is a machine that goes all in on the Vertuo concept, so if you’d rather have a coffee maker that offers tons of versatility in the type of drinks it can make then this is a far better option than the collection of machines on this list that use Nespresso’s original cone-like pods.

For starters, there’s no guesswork when it comes to figuring out which mode best suits a particular type of drink, whether it be a latte, cappuccino or double espresso. Instead, the Lattissima can read the unique barcode found on each Vertuo pod and adjust itself accordingly, making this a particularly handy device for making multiple coffees at the same time.

The only thing you have to bear in mind is the cup size to use when a particular coffee is being made. There are no sensors on the Lattissima to prevent overflowing, so you’ll need to know if, say you’re making an 80ml drink, whether your chosen cup is large enough to house the coffee in question. It’s a small issue, admittedly one that doesn’t come up when using original Nespresso pods as the pour there is consistent with the mode you’ve selected, but something that’s worth bearing in mind.

To make matters even simpler, there’s a built-in milk frother and dispenser, so whenever you want a milk infused coffee, you just need to fill up the provided carafe and let the Lattissima do the work. The dispensed milk also has a nice texture to it, further solidifying the Lattissima as a luxury machine.

The only area where the milk frother can’t quite compete is in free-pouring, so if you want complete control over the amount of milk added to a drink then you’re better off investing in a separate, dedicated milk frother like the Nespresso Barista.

Full review: Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Nespresso Atelier

Best all-in-one Nespresso machine


  • Automatic milk frothing
  • Can make hot and cold drinks
  • Great range of coffee


  • Fiddly to use with your own mugs

Nespresso machines are easy to use, but the Nespresso Atelier is even easier. Taking original pods, this machine not only dispenses the full range of original coffees, but it can froth milk and make a wide range of milky drinks, too.

To froth milk, there’s a heater and a whisk that attaches to the front of the machine. Put milk into a mug, tap one of the recipe buttons and your milk is perfectly mixed before coffee is added at the end. This process works better with the Nespresso recipe glasses, but you can use your own if you prefer. Be prepared to experiment with milk and coffee volumes to get the best results, though.

If you want regular black coffee, then there are buttons for that, with the Atelier able to make ristretto (small espresso), espresso and lungo coffees.

The advantage of using a whisk for milk is that everything is easy to clean up at the end; the same can’t be said for bean-to-cup machines that uses a carafe of milk and needs to be flushed through.

This is one of the more expensive Nespresso machines but if you want automated brilliance, it’s the one to buy.

Review: Nespresso Atelier review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno

Best barista-style Nespresso machine


  • Great looks
  • Easy to use
  • High-quality automatic milk frothing


  • Small used capsule container

Nespresso can be accused of taking the art out of coffee making, but the Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno reinjects this ability. With its automatic milk frother and jug, you can free-pour your own steamed milk, giving you control over the final beverage.

For standard coffee, the Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno is excellent. It takes all regular Nespresso capsules and can dispense ristretto, espresso and lungo shots, with dedicated buttons for each. Coffee was excellent, with the machine delivering the full flavour of the capsules that we tested with.

For milk, you can choose the level of froth and temperature, but after that, you’re left to pour the milk yourself. The quality of the steamed milk is excellent, so the only thing to hold you back is the quality of your pouring.

For those that want a premium Nespresso experience with the ability to create their own drinks, this is the best machine to buy.

Review: Sage Nespresso Creatista Uno review
Reviewer: David Ludlow

Nespresso CitiZ

Best small Nespresso machine


  • Stylish
  • Good size
  • Excellent temperature and flow control

Small in size, the Nespresso CitiZ is a basic Nespresso machine that uses original capsules. Just flip open the lid, drop a pod in and then hit one of the buttons (espresso or lungo) to get a cup of coffee delivered at just the right temperature (around 60.1C). For those that mostly like their coffee black and want a compact machine, this is a perfect choice.

Although it doesn’t have any other coffee making features, the CitiZ is well designed. It has a standard drip dray, but there’s also a fold-down stand for taking espresso cups, getting them closer to the coffee machine’s spout.

In terms of maintenance, all you need to do is top up with water, empty the used pods (and clean out the container) and descale from time-to-time.

There are fancier Nespresso machines, but if you want the basics and don’t want to pay through the nose for the privilege, then this is a brilliant choice.

Review: Nespresso Citiz review
Reviewer: David Ludlow


Which capsule type should I buy?

Nespresso has original and Vertuo pod machines available. The main difference is that the original system produces short shots of espresso-style coffee, aping a real barista. The Vertuo system can deliver espresso, but it’s designed for longer mugfuls of coffee. The style of drink you prefer (long or short) should inform your choice.

In terms of the range of flavours, both systems are roughly the same, with a choice of strengths and even flavoured capsules on offer. The main difference is that there are third-party options available for the original system, whereas only Nespresso manufactures Vertuo capsules.

What options should I look out for?

Vertuo machines dispense the amount of coffee with a single button, reading the volume from the capsule’s barcode. This makes the machines functionally identical.

Original Nespresso machines are different and have physical controls. For the best choice look for a machine that can deliver ristretto (25ml) shots, as well as espresso (40ml) and lungo (150ml). However, if you don’t need the option for the strongest shot, a machine that just dispenses espresso and lungo coffees should be fine.

Does size matter?

Size is only really important in terms of the space a machine takes up, so pick the one that suits your kitchen. That said, larger machines have more space for used capsules, and larger water tanks, which means you don’t have to interact with them so often.

What about recycling pods?

All official Nespresso pods can be recycled. When you order capsules (online or in-store), you’ll get a free recycling bag. This can be dropped off to a store, posted for free or collected with your next delivery.

What about milk options?

If you like lattés and cappucinos you’ll want a machine that can steam milk. Some machines come with Aeroccino milk frothers, which are powered whisks that heat and stir your milk for you; these can be bought separately, which isn’t as neat but lets you add milk features later. Aeroccinos do a good job of frothing, but it’s hard to pour the milk in an arty way.

Look for a machine that can automatically froth milk in a jug for more control: you can set the heat and milk froth for one thing, and pouring from a jug will let you make latté art with some practice.

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