At a glance
- Auto dispense
- Auto open and close
- Auto capsule ejection
- No carafe option
- Not easy to move
- No milk tank
Convenient and quick, the Nespresso Vertuo Plus delivers good coffee with minimum fuss – but milk frothing is not included.
Price When Reviewed
Best Prices Today: Nespresso Vertuo Plus
If you’re in the market for a coffee machine, you need to decide how involved you want to be in preparing each cup of coffee. Do you want to tamp your grinds into a portafilter and twizzle knobs like a maestro barista? Or do you just want to pop in a pod and press a button?
If the latter is more to your liking, then the Nespresso Vertuo Plus is an option to consider. Once you’ve filled the tank and plugged it in, a good cup of coffee requires nothing more than a pod, a cup, and the press of a button. The Vertuo Plus will do everything else.
Vertuo Plus design and features
- 14 x 32 x 43cm
- 1.8 litre water tank
- Lever to auto-raise and lower lid
Before we launch into describing the machine itself, it’s worth noting that the people at Nespresso has really thought about the packaging design for this appliance. The box and inserts are tactile, recycled cardboard, and one box side opens out to allow you to remove the appliance horizontally from the box, rather than vertically through the top.
Inside, you will find the 4.58kg machine with the cable and integral plug, the water tank, the drip grid and cup support, a warranty, a safety leaflet, and the user guide.
The Vertuo Plus is quite a slim machine, and it’s not particularly tall, but if you place the water tank directly behind the machine, it is deep (14 x 32 x 43cm). To free up some worktop space in front, Nespresso has designed the moveable water tank to pivot about 40 degrees to the left side, which obviously means the footprint of the back of the machine becomes wider.
The only problem with this is the water tank is a touch wobbly on the plate when you lift the appliance, meaning that this coffee machine can be unwieldy to move around.
Having said that, the round transparent water tank with a lift-off lid clicks nicely into place and holds 1.8 litres. The power cord is a usefully long 74cm, and the chrome cup support is adjustable for cup sizes that span from espresso to latte.
The main body of the machine is black plastic with a curved top, and the single chrome-rimmed button to start the dispense sits on top. The used capsule container is at the back and will take about ten spent pods.
But the highlight is the chrome lever for the machine lid. Once you plug in the appliance, a simple touch to the lever upwards or downwards will automatically raise or lower the lid – a very nice touch.
Using the Vertuo Plus
- 20 second preheat
- Automatic dispense of correct water volume
- Automatic pod removal
The first time you use it, you’ll need to clean the appliance. It takes about seven minutes. You rinse and fill the tank with a litre of water, place a container under the spout, press the button three times in two seconds, and then allow 650ml of water to run through the machine. You’ll need to empty your container halfway through.
Making a coffee is simple. Preheating the machine takes about twenty seconds. You load your chosen pod using the automatic open and close lever, pop a cup under the spout at the right height, and press the button.
The machine reads the barcode around the pod rim and dispenses the correct amount of water automatically, so you can make a 40ml espresso, an 80ml double espresso, a 150ml gran lungo, or a 230ml mug without having to watch the coffee spout.
We first tried a 40ml Voltesso. The resulting coffee was dark with a rich aroma, a decent crema and a rounded coffee taste, all at a drinkable heat. We tried the Melozio next, and found the quality, again, to be good for a pod coffee.
After you have finished your coffee, the next time you open the lid, the spent pod slides back automatically and drops into the spent pod container, which stops any faffing about trying to dislodge old pods.
Should you buy an Aeroccino?
- Vertuo Plus is coffee-only
- Aeroccino milk heater and frother available
- Can be bought in a package with the Vertuo Plus
The Vertuo Plus only makes black coffee. If you want a pod machine to make milk-based drinks with both coffee and milk from pods, such as lattes and cappuccinos, you might want to look at a Nescafe Dolce Gusto machine. We’ve reviewed the Genio S Plus and the Piccolo XS, among others.
Or you can buy a separate frother. Nespresso makes the Aeroccino 3, an automatic milk frother and heater that looks a little like a fancy tin can. It stands 19cm tall on a diameter base of 9cm, comes in three colours, and you can buy a set that includes the Vertuo Plus and the Aeroccino together. It’s currently £195.02 on Amazon in the UK and $189.96 on Amazon US.
To get started, rinse the inside of the Aeroccino out, plug it in, pour in your milk, depending on whether you want a single latte or two cappuccinos, pop on the lid, and press a button. Within a minute, your milk will be hot and wonderfully frothy – we are talking soft meringue peaks of fine, smooth froth. If you want frothed cold milk, you simply depress the button for two seconds.
The Aeroccino is tremendously good at what it does, which it ought to be for a RRP of £79/ $99. But we can say that, if you are a milky coffee or hot chocolate fanatic, it’s really worth looking at this milk frother.
What’s the Nespresso Vertuo pod range like?
- Vertuo pods are different to classic Nespresso pods
- Over 35 pods flavours
- PodBack scheme for recycling
The Nespresso Vertuo pods are a different shape to the original Nespresso pods, so make sure you buy the right type for your machine.
In the Vertuo pod range, there are eleven espresso and double espresso options, twenty gran lungos and mug coffees, five barista gran lungos and mug coffees, including vanilla custard and caramel cookie, which require milk, and there are also a couple of limited-edition coffees: forest almond and forest black.
In the UK, you can also buy assortments of 120 pods for between £67 and £78, so between 56p to 65p a coffee. Be warned though: at present, you can only buy the pods from Nespresso online, although some small ranges do feature on Amazon.
There is also a PodBack scheme for recycling. In the UK, depending on where you live, you can use PodBack Collect+, Kerbside PodBack, Doorstep Pickup or Boutique drop off. Our local PodBack scheme was PodBack Collect+, with drop offs at local petrol stations and convenience stores.
Price and availability
We tested the Vertuo Plus, which comes in a number of colourways, including black, silver, titan (grey) and red. The colour options you choose may affect the price and availability.
In the UK, the Vertuo Plus is priced at £199 on the Nespresso site, while the limited edition models (available in red, white and black) are £179.
But there’s also an option currently available from Nespresso to subscribe and get your machine for £1. The subscription costs £25 a month and you can use that credit to buy coffee or accessories from the Nespresso range.
Confusingly, there’s also a Nespresso Plus machine subscription, which means you can purchase a machine for £75, and buy a monthly coffee plan dependent on how many coffees you drink a day. Six coffees a day works out at about £45 a month.
In the US, the Vertuo Plus is priced at $189 and available direct from Nespresso, but you can also buy it from Amazon for $151 and Target for $189.99. But the best price we can currently find is from Wal-Mart, where it’s $138.
If you want an easy way to make good coffee, it really is worth considering the Vertuo Plus. Okay, if you like your lattes, you do have to treat the milk separately, but this is the case with many pod coffee machines: Lavazza’s Desea is a notable exception.
All in all, we think this is one of the best pod coffee machines and ranges at this price point. It seems to get the balance between convenience and a quality drink just right.
For more coffee machine options, with full reviews and ratings, have a look at our round-up of the best coffee machines we’ve tested.