In this article, we’ll be taking a close look at the Nespresso by Breville VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Machine. Breville joined forces with Nestles to become a dominant player in the single serve coffee market. They’re known for their convenience, taste and style.
This machine features Nespresso’s Centrifugal technology that brews a cup of espresso or coffee very fast. Instead of using a simple saturation method, the machine spins a pod at a rate specified on a bar code that’s printed on the edge of the capsule.
Since centrifugal force is a little bit different than the normal ways to extract flavor from coffee beans, it warrants a better explanations. Take a look at the explanation in the video below.
Let’s go through some of the basics of this coffee maker/espresso machine. When you purchase this bundle that comes with the Aeroccino 3 milk frother and an assortment of pods, you’re getting a complete solution for making coffee, espresso, latte’s, and cappuccinos right out of the box. A lot of people think this coffee maker lives up to its hype. Let’s see where the coffee maker shines and where it falls short.
Features of the VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Machine
Every coffee and espresso machine has some basic features so we can draw comparisons. Let’s take a look at these.
Type of Coffee Maker: Single serve. Centrifugal Extraction for Coffee and Espresso
This coffee maker uses CentrifusionTechnology which is programmed to deliver precise amounts of coffee flavor for every type of coffee you choose. The extractor spins at 7,000 RPMs – much more than you’ll ever see at a spin class.
Type of Coffee Used: VertuoLine capsules.
Type of Filter Used: None
The reservoir holds up to 40 ounces of water but it’s recommended that you fill the reservoir with fresh water daily.
Number of Cups Can Brew at Once: One cup
You can manually start and stop the machine to fill your cup with the amount of coffee you desire. Allow a little room for dripping as it slows down before it stops.
Automatic Shut-off: Yes. Shuts off after 9 minutes. This would seem to be too short for most coffee makers but considering it only takes 15 seconds for the water to heat up, it’s a smart idea.
Single Serve: Yes -VertuoLine capsules. Not compatible with K-Cups or other types of Nespresso pods.
The VertuoLine uses a proprietary coffee pod, meaning all of your other cups and coffees won’t work in this machine. The pods also come in different volumes for different options of coffee and espresso.
It sounds like a ripoff but you buy different types of coffee grounds for different types of coffee and espresso machines anyway.
All of the pods are made from recyclable aluminum so you don’t have to worry about contributing to the landfills.
Take a look at the end of this article for ways to save money when using the VertuoLine coffee machine.
Brew Strength Options:
The pods are filled to be extracted to a predetermined volume. It auto-selects the size based on the pod you select and the bar code printed on its edge. The drip tray, mug rest is adjustable so you can get an espresso cup closer to the drip spout, which helps to avoid splatter.
The pods are filled to give an exact amount of coffee/espresso:
- Coffee: 7.7 ounces
- Espresso: 1.35 ounces
- Double Espresso: 2.70 ounces
- Gran Lungo: 5 ounces
- Alto: 14 ounces
Note that the coffee fills to 7.7 ounces. The standard coffee maker manufacturers generally consider one cup to be the equivalent of 5 ounces. You’re getting considerably more coffee than usual. However, most people fill their mugs with way more than 5 ounces anyway. Nespresso recognized this and adjusted their coffee volume accordingly. Compare this to the single serve K-cups where you get small, medium and large brews out of the same cup. The larger sizes are automatically diluted.
There are two heights to the drip tray. It raises up for espresso cups.
Both reservoirs are clear. This has a very upscale look to it. It would definitely fit in modern kitchens better than cottage-styled kitchens.
How Easy is the Nespresso by Breville Coffee Maker to Clean?
The reservoir can be removed for a thorough cleaning. The pods are automatically dispensed to a second tank which matches the water reservoir.
The heating time to brew is minimal, running between 9 and 15 seconds. Amazing completion time considering some coffee machines take up to three minutes or longer. This also makes the 1350 watts it takes to run the machine a little easier to swallow.
This version is bundled with an Aeroccino 3 milk frother (which can also heat milk for latte’s and cappuccinos and a 12-pack variety of Nestle’s VertuoLine Coffee Pods.
How Much Counter Space Does it Use?
8.3 inches wide x 11.91 inches high x 11.93 inches deep. Power cord length is 33.46 inches.
This is actually a little smaller than many of the combo machines on the market today. It isn’t much bigger than a Keurig machine.
Directions for Using the VertuoLine Coffee and Espresso Machine
There’s a bit of a learning curve here. Since there’s so much confusion about how this machine works, we’re putting their official “how to” video here.
Here’s the official Nespresso video on how to use the machine. Is it just us, or does it sound like they’re trying for an ‘X’ rated movie here?
Other suggestions: It’s been said before, it’ll be said again: preheat your mug prior to dispensing. It keeps your coffee much warmer.
If you take sugar, add it to the bottom of the mug prior to brewing. It’s even better if you make up a batch of simple syrup. It always takes time for the sugar to dissolve so giving it a head start means it won’t get stuck in the bottom of the cup.
What the Comments Say
As usual, there are some lovers as well as some haters for the this coffee/espresso machine.
Praises From Reviewers:
The convenience of this machine is exceptional. Everything from the pods to the dispensing to the cleaning has been thought through. Getting the right coffee and crema to the right measurement is not small feat and Breville gets it right with this machine. This machine has impressed every type of coffee drinker there is.
Drawbacks to Consider
Many people complain that the coffee doesn’t dispense as hot as it should (we agree). This is common on pod-type coffee makers. The way we handle this is to add water to our mug and microwave it for 30 seconds. Let it warm the mug, dispense the water into our plants and then fill with coffee.
Another way around this is to use a stainless steel travel mug. One buyer said she simply preheats the machine itself. This gives the heating element a chance to get up to an optimal brew temperature.
There’s definitely a learning curve to this machine. Even though it’s being brewed to an exact measurement, getting this right seems to take a few practice rounds.
The coffee is expensive. Right out of the box, coffee refills are nearly three times the cost of K-cups and you can only buy refills made by Nespresso. See below for ways to create your own pods at a much lower price point.
The Nespresso VertuoLine Coffee/Espresso machine is about as foolproof a coffee maker/espresso machine as you can get. The pods are filled to the exact amount necessary for every type of coffee. The drip tray elevates to avoid splashing when filling a cup of espresso. There’s no worries about landfill issues as the pods are made from recycled aluminum.
We weren’t super impressed with the Aeroccino 3 milk frother that Nespresso has included but it’s good enough to get you going if you’re a novice at making milk-infused coffee drinks and it should last a long time.
As long you preheat your cup (which we do with every pod-type of coffee maker) you’ll get a hot cup of coffee whose flavor rivals the coffee shop coffees every time.
While the pods are a little pricey, there are ways to get around this (see below).
Support for these products is outstanding. The Nespresso Club has a mobile app, online presence, phone support and in-store boutiques around the globe.
We think this is an outstanding coffee machine at a very reasonable price. We recommend this bundle to anyone who loves to blend and drink a variety of coffees and loves to stay under budget.
How to Use Your Own Coffee Grounds in the Nespresso VertuoLine
Okay, we know that many of you would be hesitant to purchase this machine based on the price per cup of coffee. We don’t blame you! Nespresso has an excellent array of flavors but they’re not for everyone. When the cost of pods can run over a dollar per cup and you can’t even pick your favorite grind, you have to wonder if it’s worth it.
We can recommend two alternative ways to get your own coffee into a VertuoLine. Both of these options involve a reusable pod and filling the grounds yourself. It’s a great way to get your favorite coffee every day while saving money.
My-Cap Sampler This is actually two solutions. One way uses foil packets and the other is a silicone cap and lid. The kit includes a holder, scoop and foils. Using the foil method, you can make several cups at once.
The second option is a little more refined:
CAPMESSO Coffee Capsule
It’s a stainless steel pod that allows you to fill your own grind. We actually prefer the My-Cap as you have options as to how much coffee you fill into each capsule. Compared that to this Capmesso where you have to purchase two stainless steel pods if you want both, espresso and coffee. That seems to be an overpriced investment but if you’re happy with one or the other filled at that exact amount, this is the option for you.
How to Descale the Nespresso VertuoLine of Coffee Machines
Unlike most coffee makers that tell you to descale their machine by simply running a vinegar/salt solution through the brew cycle, the VertuoLine has a dedicated descaling mode.
While most manufacturers will tell you to use white vinegar to descale your coffee maker, Nespresso makes it a point to get you to avoid using white vinegar as this may damage the internal parts.
Here’s the video on how they suggest to descale your machine.
You’ll need about 20 minutes to complete this process.