Nespresso Vertuo Plus Review
Reviewed by: Jennifer
Avg Rating: 3.9 Stars
I finally got around to doing a full review of the Nespresso VertuoPlus, which in my honest opinion isn’t the most outwardly appealing – it looks like a more minimalistic version of its Vertuoline cousin, the Evoluo, but I know it’s what’s inside that counts…The Nespresso VertuoLine can make some epic espresso drinks.
This baby has something unique going for it…like a water tank that is designed to move around at different angles. Take all the guesswork out of water and pressure amounts with the technology built into the coffee capsules and this machine itself.
The coffee is great, but how do most users feel about its performance and ease of upkeep overall? Let’s get into that right now.
Table of Contents
The Nespresso Vertuo Plus is a compact single-serve espresso maker that employs the use of Vertuoline capsule pods exclusively. These dome-shaped coffee capsules come in small Espresso sized and larger Americano style and utilize a special kind of bar-code technology. I explain more about these beauties and how they work in this pod guide.
Other features include:
- A swivel arm for the water reservoir
- 19 bar pressure system
- Beverage types: Espresso – 1.35 oz, Cafe – 7.7 oz, Alto – 14 oz
- Brew chamber that opens automatically
- Used capsule internal holding bin
- Adjustable cup rest
- Automatic shutoff after 9 minutes of inactivity
Basically, the Nespresso VertuoPlus has two versions, one made by De’Longhi and the other made by Breville and while the overall model is the same, there’s a few differences in them.I’ll highlight them according to each sub-category here as they come up. I did come away thinking the Breville model (appearance-wise, that one reminds me of the design of a certain stand mixer) was a better choice due to material components.
For starters Amazon’s sales page lists the dimensions as 5.6″ (w) by 16.2″ (h) by 12.8″ (d) and 9.72 pounds. Sounded pretty accurate; I presumed that this was not counting the water tank. A stop by the manufacturer (DeLonghi) website and the dimensions are given as 8.7″ (w), 12.7″ (d), and 12.8″ (h) and a weight of 10.1 pounds..a little more spot-on.
With regard to cup clearance, with the cup rest in place, there is 6.5″ of space and without the stand, 7.75″. When the brew head is fully raised, the full height is about 17″. The power cord measures 29″ in length…it can be “corraled” easily under the machine via a groove design layout.
Your unit (as you can see, it’s oddly amorphous looking, not quite a cylinder, or triangular) comes with the water tank, a bonus gift of 12 Vertuoline capsules of varying flavors (all different colors -these people are definitely hospitable) a Smart Start folder, user manual, and 1 year warranty.
I have to say those capsules are so beautifully packaged it’s the second thing people get excited about 🙂
Controls and Use
There is only one button included and that is the universal power button which sits atop the machine, and illuminates in corresponding colors depending on what type of task is being carried out.
There is quite a series of them; From what I can see, green indicates simple functions being carried out like preheating water, brewing, etc., orange lights appear with semi-regular tasks like descaling, and red lights appear only when an error is run into.
You do have the option of programming the VertuoPlus – if you hold the button down while dispensing and release when the desired amount is reached; this amount will carry over into the next beverage cycle, until you interrupt it with a different amount.
Whether you are using the small capsules for espresso or the larger size one for specialty drinks, you can be assured of a guesswork-free experience due to the bar-code technology of the respective capsules. It’s.very reminiscent of the Tassimo T20.
The cup rest, which is semicircular/slightly crescent-shaped with a honeycomb design on the plate, has the distinction of being adjustable; it has hooks on each side that can be lined up with 4 corresponding open slots on the machine itself that you can move the cup rest as it suits your chosen cup or mug. This will give you a good amount of space with which to have the cup in a good spot comfortably without straining, and minimize splashing which often happens when the cup is too low from the spout.
A few people have mentioned that there are differences in the platform across the Breville and the De’Longhi versions. It’s kind of tricky to tell, but I took a screenshot so you can see a close-up of each. One observation is that the Breville’s rest was more “convex” in design, and while it seems large enough, the convex design had a way of pushing the cup a little to the edge. By contrast, the De’Longhi cup rest has a concave design and more supportive.
The 40 oz water tank that comes with the Vertuo Plus is not like any other brewer…it is cylinder-shaped and detached from the unit and rests on a swivel arm extending from the machine. You are able to move the water tank to the back, left side or right side with just a turn…this is great if your cabinet space is limited or you just want to can clutter.
At first glance I thought there was a grooved area on the side that the water tank might segue into, but that is not the case. You pretty much just remove the whole lid to refill and fill. There is a “min” line to indicate the prerequisite amount for brewing.
As the consumer you may need to be extra careful when removing the water tank as it requires an “up and out” movement to dislodge it….when replacing it, take care that you hear the “click” in place.
Another distinctive feature about the Vertuo Plus is the fact that the brew head and chamber area is motorized. To open, simply press the chrome lever in front once and the brew head automatically raises all the way to allow you to insert your coffee capsule and close it.
After a cycle has finished, touch the lever again, and this time the spent capsule will automatically drop into the holding bin in the back (it will hold up to 10). You’re spared from having to handle that hot pod yourself – check, check.
You always want to insert the capsule into the chamber dome-shape down. When the machine is in operation doing its really cool spinning thing, you will notice some operational sound…it is reminiscent of a very hushed roar like a shop vac in the distance or a 90s era computer starting to reboot…nothing to be alarmed of.
Unlike the iCoffee, you aren’t able to see the rotational action taking place, sorry:)
Vertuo Plus Colors Available
If you opt for the De’Longhi version, your color choices include Matte Black, Graphite Metal (which is actually more of a light gray – not metallic at all), Red, and Ink Black (a more glossy looking)
The Breville version includes Black, Silver, White, and Titan (which resembles a gunmetal gray)
Vertuo Plus Compatible Accessories
In addition to the VertuoLine capsules, these other additional products sold separately can benefit your experience.
- The My Cup vPack which as I understand, is a “make your own pods kit” that will enable you to create capsules that operate the same way as the VertuoLine ones.
- DecoBros Crystal Storage Drawer for Vertuoline capsules
- Aerrocino 3 milk frother
Nespresso Vertuo Plus Consumer Ratings and Reviews
The Nespresso Vertuo Plus receives very good reviews over a period of time, and of course, some negative or so-so – The most common positive rave from people? The way their coffee tastes – I guess that unique technology knows a thing or two.
I do want to stress that you’ll be in good hands if you deal with a customer rep. There’s always that odd negative comment about the coffee not being as hot as expecting or tasting as great, but they have little to weigh in when the majority was pleased.
This may be a recurring theme in the next paragraph or two but I’ll say it anyway…People love the capsules but dislike the increased effort in locating them but either way it wasn’t enough to drive down the ratings.
The reviews for both the Breville and the De’Longhi versions seemed to average out pretty similar. I think the construction on the Breville is better, more hardened metal and less plastic, and this fact was reflected in the comments.Irrespective of which, the negative ratings seemed to fall into one of the below scenarios:
Leaking water tank: The swivel design seems cool, but could it be flawed as well? Sure, leak reports can come out on practically any of these pod brewer models, but the VertuoPlus is the only one I’ve seen with this swivel arm design in which the tank is not integrated with the rest of the unit. It appears to be a problem with the rubber gasket in the center.
Red light errors: Another bone of contention for users, and a frustrating one at that. It’s universally understood that a green light is a signal for heating and brewing to take place, but when consumers would get the red light, it threw a monkey wrench into the cycle and they couldn’t proceed. But something as ambiguous as a red light , when compared to a digital readout on an LED window screen, such as you’d have with many of the Keurigs, and you could see how this can be a recipe for aggravation.
The user guide does have a section that shows all the different light colors and their interpretation…Wow, there seemed to be a million different combos, and trying to interpret them was like trying to read Egyptian hieroglyphics. What a drag! This is one area in which a little re-engineering could be in order. I know Nespressos are not known for having lots of buttons, but the others in the lineup, you always have that espresso and that larger size button and they don’t give people a hard time.
- Great tasting coffee and better than competitors
- Water tank can be angled to different sides
- Less guesswork thanks to the bar code capsule technology
- Auto-shutoff that goes into effect in 9 minutes
- Convenient drop-in bin for capsules
- Respective capsules can be recycled
- Brew head automatically opens and closes with the push of a button
- Only works exclusively with the Vertuo line pods
- Ambiguous button color light indicators may be frustrating
- Water tank may have a propensity towards leaking
- Said pods are a little more pricey and can be difficult to locate unless shopping online
What’s pretty varied here is the price options…depending on the color you prefer and desired accessories. At the time of writing it looked like the black Breville and the graphite De’Longhi had the lowest price, if you are hoping to include the bonus items, like the Aeroccino and the coffee capsules, you can get those too, however I strongly recommend choosing the bundle that includes the capsules, since they are de riguer and as I’ve covered earlier, not a walk in the park to get ahold of.
The Aeroccino can be pretty spendy on its own, so the bundle with it can help you save overall, but the fact that you could also choose the option of a different frother at a lower price if you wanted, is something to think about – it does not have to be the proprietary frother – it is nice but not a necessity.
When I consider that these capsules are not only well packaged and appealing to look at, they are also made to be recycled and to me that makes the price a little more justified. (did I mention that people rave about how good the coffee is from them?)
So pretty much a trade off….capsules are pricier and harder to locate except online, positive being quality and recyclable.
So regardless of which you choose they were both under $200 at the time of writing which makes for a good deal.
Definitely consider the Vertuo Plus if you are big on espresso in general, however do be aware of the precautions mentioned in the Reviews section. Personally I would go with the Breville version as it appears to be made better.
I think I prefer the Evoluo model as it has much fewer leak reports – overall, I like the look, styling and construction much better.
It has all the professional grade equipment but much less on price and a space-saving design that will complement your decor. If your coffee is just coffee, this may not be the big thing for you.