See the pros, cons, and the step-by-step involved in setting up a Nespresso VertuoPlus coffee and espresso machine.
Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee Machine
Nespresso has 2 types of machines. One type makes just espresso (called Original machines) and the other type makes both espresso and full cups of coffee (called Vertuo machines).
Out of all the Vertuo machines, the VertuoPlus is the best since it’s a newer model with a sleek look and has very few reported issues.
The other Vertuo machines are Vertuo (very good, but an older model), Evoluo (very good, but an older model), and the Vertuo Next (avoid, since it has a lot of reported problems).
The VertuoPlus is super easy to use and fairly simple to set up out of the box. There’s nothing to program and everything works with a press of one button.
Instead of getting the Aeroccino, which you can get as a bundle with the Nespresso machine, get a larger milk frother like the Milk Cafe from Breville.
Standard VertuoPlus vs. VertuoPlus Deluxe
Both standard and deluxe VertuoPlus work exactly the same. The main difference between a standard and a deluxe is the water tank.
With all Nespresso machines, there is a removable water tank that attaches to the machine that you fill with water.
The standard VertuoPlus has a 40 ounce water tank and the VertuoPlus Deluxe has a 60 ounce tank.
The deluxe, which is a little more expensive, is better if you make coffee every day, have guests over, or prefer a full mug of coffee versus just single or double espressos.
A larger tank just means you’ll have to fill it with water less often than the smaller size.
A minor difference between the standard and deluxe is in the colors that the machines are offered in. There are more color options available with the deluxe machine.
DeLonghi vs. Breville
Nespresso doesn’t make the machines, just the coffee pods. Breville and DeLonghi make the Nespresso machines using the specifications laid out by Nespresso.
Because the machines are made according to how Nespresso tells Breville and DeLonghi how to build them, they work exactly the same.
The only difference between a Nespresso by Breville and DeLonghi is the look and design of the machine.
The VertuoPlus by Breville has a rounded top while DeLonghi Nespresso machines have a flat top design.
Setting up a new machine is easy.
- Attach adjustable cup support and capsule container parts to the machine.
- Wash and fill the water tank.
Fill water tank with water and place on the water tank holder.
- Plug in the machine into an outlet. Turn the machine on by pushing the on/off button at the top of the machine.
After a few seconds, the button will be solid green (no blinking).
- Run the machine with water only. Push the button 3 times in 2 seconds and the cleaning process will start.
Place an empty container that can hold 4 cups of water under the spout. Open the machine head by gently pressing the lever up (it’ll automatically open) so the top opens. Close it without putting in a capsule by gently pressing the lever down (it’ll automatically close).
The clean cycle may take up to 5 minutes and it can be stopped at any time by pressing the on/off button.
How to Make Coffee in a VertuoPlus
- Fill the water tank with fresh water.
- Turn the machine on by pushing the on/off button at the top of the machine.
The green light will blink while the machine is heating up and will turn solid green once it’s ready. This will take about 25 seconds.
- Put a cup on the cup support. Place a capsule inside the machine.
Open the machine head by gently pressing the lever up (it’ll automatically open) so the top opens. The dome shape of the capsule should be facing down inside the machine.
- Start brewing process by pressing the on/off button.
Close the machine by gently pressing the lever down (it’ll automatically close). Push the on/off button to start the brewing process.
TIP: To add more coffee into your cup, push the on/off button and the machine will add more coffee. To stop the coffee flow, push the on/off button again.
- The water tank holder can be swiveled to the left, right, or directly behind the machine.
- To remove the water tank, tilt it back a little then pull up.
- To put the water tank in place, put it down vertically on top of the water tank holder until there is a click sound.
- To empty the capsule container, the water tank must be removed first.
- Don’t use a damaged capsule.
- For best results, fill the water tank with fresh water.
- The machine can be shut off when the machine is closed and the lever is pushed down for 3 seconds.
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Capsule Starter Set
A VertuoPlus machine comes with a Nespresso capsule starter set that includes an assortment of Nespresso Vertuo capsules.
The box has a printed guide on the inside lid, showing how much coffee each capsule makes.
The black and white stripes around each rim of the capsule is a bar code that the Nespresso machine reads to figure out how much coffee to make.
Vertuo machines brews 4 cup sizes:
- Espresso (1.35 oz)
A single shot of espresso. This capsule has a short dome shape. Add frothed milk to make a latte. Add cold milk and ice to make an iced latte.
- Double Espresso (2.7 oz)
2 shots of espresso in a capsule. The dome shape of this capsule is taller than the espresso capsule. Add frothed milk to make a latte. Add cold milk and ice to make an iced latte. This is the amount of espresso in most grande Starbucks drinks.
- Gran Lungo (5.07 oz)
This is a shot of espresso with more water so it’s not as strong as an espresso. The dome shape is slightly taller than the double espresso capsules.
- Coffee (7.77 oz)
This is a full cup of coffee. The dome shape is tall and it’s the biggest capsule size compared to the other Vertuo capsules.
Capsule details are provided on the Nespresso website and also on the box of pods, called a “sleeve.” Each sleeve will have the size and type of coffee on the side.
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VertuoPlus Bottom Line
- Setting up the machine is super easy.
- With the complimentary capsule starter set, you can make your first cup of coffee as soon as you set up the machine.
- Sturdy construction and sleek design.
- Nothing to program and easy to use with 1 button operation.
- The water for the coffee comes from a water tank so the machine can be placed anywhere there’s an outlet.
- Nespresso machines don’t make real espresso. BUT it’s close enough. Real espresso is made using pressure and the VertuoPlus uses centrifugal technology so it’s technically not considered espresso.
- People have complained of Vertuo machines not making coffee that’s hot enough. A trick many found useful is to let the capsule sit in the machine for 2-3 minutes, then push the on/off button to brew.
- Machine should run a clean cycle every week, which can be a hassle.
- Machine will need to be descaled (deep cleaning) every 6 months, or every 600 coffees.
- Because there’s just 1 button, it can be confusing to troubleshoot and you’ll need to figure out what the different color lights on the button mean.
Nespresso Customer Service
If something doesn’t work, contact the customer support at Nespresso. You can call or live chat.
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Questions You May Have
No, Vertuo capsules can only be used in Vertuo machines and Original pods can only be used in Original machines. Make sure you only get the Vertuo pods for VertuoPlus machine.
You should run a clean cycle (running water only) once a week. Every 6 months, the machine should be descaled. The machine will tell you it’s time to descale your machine when the on/off button light changes to red. Most VertuoPlus machines will turn the light red, but some go to yellow and red.
The Nespresso descaling kit is a separate purchase and it’s easy to follow the directions on the packaging.
Vertuo pods for Vertuo machines can be ordered from Nespresso, Starbucks At Home, Amazon, and are available at select stores. Just make sure the sleeve of coffee pods are for Vertuo and not for Original. Only Vertuo pods fit in a VertuoPlus machine.
Nespresso has a recycling program for the capsules, which are made of aluminum. Fill the black Nespresso recycling bag with used capsules (no need to empty the capsules) and drop if off at a UPS store to send to Nespresso. The shipping label is provided for free by Nespresso, so it doesn’t cost you anything. Each recycling bag can hold up to 100 Vertuo capsules.
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