Owning the Nespresso machine has turned me into a daily espresso drinker. I think I always was like this, but never had the opportunity. Now that making an espresso is 3 feet away from me at any time, the lifestyle has become inevitable.
Nespresso Vertuo Next Review
Is Nespresso Vertuo Next Easy & Convenient To Use?
In my opinion, the main reason to buy a machine like this is the convenience factor. I love good coffee, but sometimes I just have stuff to do and don’t want to make a big deal about brewing the best coffee ever. I just want a decent caffeine top-up with some good flavor.
What makes the Nespresso so cool is that you can do that and make espresso.
I had a Keurig for a while, but hated it. The coffee straight up sucked and I only used it out of convenience. The Nespresso setup is much better. I prefer espresso to regular drip coffee, so this really is the setup I’ve been looking for. Plus if you brew a regular cup, the coffee is stronger as well.
Just make sure your water tank has some water in it, pop in a pod, and it’s ready to go in 30 seconds.
I get about 5-10 brews out of a single tank (depending on what coffee I make), even with the slimmed down design for the newer model. That’s not bad. I only have to fill the tank every couple of days.
Is The Coffee Any Good?
The espressos made with Nespresso are alright. Not awesome when judged by themselves, but when you factor in everything else, I think they’re pretty good. An okay espresso for $1 is basically what you’re getting. Would I rather have a professionally crafted doppio espresso from a guy with a mustache on a $10,000 machine? Sure. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to have a live-in barista at my house.
To be honest, when I first started using the machine I was very shocked at how they were able to create dark dense coffee with a real crema on top. It was very cool and surprising.
However, as the honeymoon phase started to wear off, I began to notice some flaws. The crema wasn’t very thick and disappeared in minutes. The coffee lacked body, and was slightly bitter. I’m being hyper critical here, but it just wasn’t as good once I started drinking it daily.
I’m still drinking it, but I want to set you up with some realistic expectations.
One thing worth noting about the coffee is that I don’t really taste any difference between one “flavor” to the next. I don’t mean flavor, as in hazelnut vs vanilla, I’m talking about the names they have for their styles of coffee like altissio or diavolitto. These names are supposed to describe a specific type of coffee blend, but I haven’t tasted a big enough difference that I’d actually know what I’d prefer to buy next time around.
I think my favorite is the double espresso scuro, but consider that is says double espresso and scuro means dark. Plus it has an attractive dark brown color, so I think there’s a visual and mental aspect to this preference more so than the actual coffee.
I did a lot of research beforehand to find all the cool espresso and coffee styles you could buy so I could try a bunch and find the best one to recommend. Honestly, when you compare coffee is like-kind pod sizes, they all taste the same.
Are The Cost Savings Worth it?
It costs about $2 for a double shot from Starbucks, and it’s about $1 per pod from Nespresso. Is the savings worth it? No. I wouldn’t buy this machine just to save money.
When you consider that this machine costs $200+, you’d have to drink over 200 espressos just to make your money back and begin cost savings. Then, your “gain” is just $1 for each coffee you make. After 3 years you’re only saving $1000, which isn’t a whole lot of money over a multi-year period.
If you’re into espresso, you probably love great coffee. Nobody drinks espresso just to get high on caffeine. You can slam a high-octane energy drink for that. Espresso is about appreciation of coffee and aesthetics.
However, I’m not recommending the Vertuo Next to save money. It’s a convenience thing. Even though I live a block away from a Starbucks, getting there still means getting dressed, locking up the house, waiting in line, and getting home. It’s like 20 minutes vs 2 minutes just using this machine at home.
Plus, that’s considering I live a block away from a corporate franchise. If I want to go support my local coffee shop, I have to get in the car and drive there, which is going to be at least 30 minutes. I’m working during the day (at home). I’d rather take a 20 minute break to recharge than a 45 minute break (let’s be honest it’ll turn into a 1 hour break just to round up).
One edge use case for having this machine could be to make espresso based cocktails, because who’s going to run to the coffee shop at 10PM for cocktail ingredients, right?
To summarize, don’t buy this machine to save money. Buy it to save time.
Nespresso VS Keurig
I owned and used a Keurig machine for many years, but eventually tossed the machine when it reached the end of its life and haven’t bought a new one for about 5 years now. Why?
I found the coffee to be super bland compared to freshly ground coffee brewed in a french press or moka pot. When I really sat down and thought about it, the difference between 20 seconds and 5 minutes is really not that consequential to my day, so I’d rather spend the extra 4 minutes making incredible coffee.
Let’s be honest. That “Dunkin’ Donuts” brand k-cup did NOT taste like dunkin donuts coffee.
I also hate flavored coffee, so there was no reason to keep using those pods.
I feel differently about the Nespresso machines. It’s only been about 3 months, but I find a lot more value in being able to make espresso cheaply and quickly vs a regular cup of coffee.
It’s a LOT harder to make good espresso for yourself at home. Most people are not going to buy a $2,000 Italian-imported espresso machine for their home. You could buy a cheap espresso maker on Amazon, but then you need to spend hours learning to grind and press the best you can manage with those $100 machines. Grind. Pack. Pull. Try again.
While not perfect, and certainly not as flavorful or delicious as a professional barista creation, the Nespresso Vertuo Next is good enough when you consider the convenience factor.
Vertuo Next VS Other Nespresso Machines
There’s actually a bunch of different machines from Nespresso, but they all make the same kind of coffee. The one with the big difference might be the “original” version, considering the coffee pods are a different size and shape, but the core idea of how it works is the same.
Other, newer Nespresso machines use these exact same coffee pods, so different machines are more about practical functions like water tank size, or color/design options.
The naming of these machines is quite confusing, so check out which pods are recommended alongside them before ordering. The older pods are small and angular. The newer pods are wider and shaped like a half-dome.
Other Vertuo machines are basically the same as the “Next”, but with different tank sizes. The Vertuo is from 2015 and has a 54oz tank. The VertuoPlus is from 2016 has a 40oz tank. The Next has a 37 oz tank and a redesign from 2020.
Both DeLonghi and Brevill make Nespresso machines. Though in the past there seems to be some slight variations on the design, with the Vertuo Next, the design appears to be exactly the same with the exception of color choice. With DeLonghi you can choose between dark grey, matte black, white (cream), and chrome. With Breville you have cherry red, light grey, or matte black.
To me, the DeLonghi brand sounds more prestigious, considering it’s Italian and we’re making espresso here, but ultimately I chose the cherry red version from Breville because the red aesthetic reminds me of the Illy coffee brand logo. To me, the aesthetics of coffee matter because drinking coffee is not just about caffeine infusion. It’s an experience to savor and enjoy.
Issues With The Nespresso Vertuo Next
My experience with the Vertuo Next was not perfect. In fact, the first one I ordered didn’t even work! Yup. I got it to the house, read the instructions. Fired it up. And nothing. No coffee.
As far as I can tell, the issue was the little spinner mechanism that pushes out the hot water to make espresso. After reading some of the reviews online, I found that this was a common issue.
I can’t be sure though. Most people who had this issue said it was because coffee grinders were stuck, preventing the mechanism from working. However, I had never used my machine before, and even after giving it a few manual spins, still no coffee.
I bought it from Amazon, and am a Prime member, so I just sent it back and got a new one in two days, so it wasn’t a big deal. However, it did highlight that some number of these machines are unreliable. My second one has worked perfectly so far, but it’s only been about 3 months, so we’ll see how it goes. Though this doesn’t seem to be a frequent issue, it does happen, so if they offer a warranty when you check out, you may want to consider it.
The other potential issue with these Nespresso machines in general is the amount of waste generated. I’m no environmentalist and generally don’t even recycle, but it is quite sad to see those pods pile up, especially if you drink a couple coffees in a day. I honestly try to use this machine more sparingly than I would a normal coffee maker like a french press or moka pot because of the plastic waste created.
I’m not trying to guilt trip you. I still use the machine myself. Still, it’s something to consider.
On the flip side of the debate though, if I spent that same money at Starbucks, how much waste does the Starbucks corporation generate with waste cups, and wasted coffee, delivery trucks, then gas to get me to the store in the first place, etc just to serve me a single espresso? I’m not sure which one is more wasteful.
Also, you should know that this machine is quite loud. It has to generate a lot of pressure in there to push hot water through at high pressure to achieve the espresso texture. I don’t run it when my baby’s having a nap.
What About The Nespresso Milk Frother?
Other than achieving decent crema on the espresso, another big surprise from Nespresso is the milk frother: The thing actually works.
I’ve tried all kinds of “easy” milk frothers before and they all sucked. I’ve also tried frothing milk like the pros with the hot air nozzle on a cheap espresso machine. Also sucked.
This milk frother is basically hands off and makes nice, perfectly heated, frothy milk. Well, I guess it could be a tad hotter, but I can see why they have it at a lower temperature so people don’t end up burning their milk all the time.
I experimented with a couple different milks, including almond and coconut. While it heated the milk without issue, there was no frothing at all. Even with heavy cream, very little frothing occurred. I got the best result with whole milk.
Just splash a bit of milk in, press the start button, and it does the rest. It’s easy to clean too.
Do I Recommend You Buy This Machine?
The Nespresso Vertuo Next is pretty pricey, so it’s not for everyone. I’ll be keeping mind and using it pretty much every day though. So should you buy it?
If you were expecting barista-quality, authentic espresso at the push of a button, you’ll be disappointed. As a daily coffee drinker who appreciates high end coffee and loves the smells, aesthetics, and experience of being is a coffee shop… it was clear to me that this was not that. This is a consumer product for convenient espresso and other types of coffee. Although the coffee was good, the flaws were obvious, and I’ll still make it out to my local spots when I have the time.
If you love espresso but can’t get to the local coffee shop every time you want to, it’s great to have this machine in your home or office. The coffee is good. The espresso is good. It’s super easy to use, and clean. With the milk frother you can even do cool drinks like cappuccino or latte very easily.
It blows Keurig out of the water.
Overall, it wasn’t perfect but when you factor in convenience, quality, speed, and everything altogether it was worth the cost and I highly recommend it!