Anyone who followed my stories during 2013 will know that during the last year I was chosen as a Nespresso Club Blogger and as a result I not only covered much of the brand’s news but also tested and wrote about their products extensively. While I am no longer in that role, the experience left me with a deep understanding of the brand and the quality of its products – they never had to sell me on anything, the coffee and machines sold themselves.
The new VertuoLine is the very first coffee maker from Nespresso; the machine was just recently unveiled and is designed to truly fit the American market. Up until now, all of the machines in the espresso-maker’s line-up have made lungos or espressos – varying pours of different Grand Crus, all of them a tad closer to what we think of as a European espresso than a typical cup of coffee in the USA. But Americans love their coffee; the fact is that old habits die hard and there is just something about a nice, big cup of Joe.
The fact also remains that single-cup coffee makers are pretty much one of the best inventions this side of the year 2000 and it is probably not unreasonable to say that the standard set-up we have all grown up with will eventually go the way of the VCR as time goes on. If you have yet to update, here is why you should.
So how does this unit stack up in comparison to its espresso-making cousins? First of all this machine is multi-talented: it does both. That’s right. If you live in a household with both espresso and Americano-style coffee lovers you will not need two machines. Incredibly easy to use, there is just one button on the top to turn the thing on, the rest it reads off of the barcode printed on the capsule you insert. This is actually a pretty advanced system, automatically adjusting the temperature and pour using a new technology called Centrifusion. According to Nespresso, "Centrifusion is a word combining centrifugal and infusion, indicating that the capsule spins and water is injected into the capsule and is infused with the ground coffee inside the capsule." Intelligent stuff for a small appliance, but as far as you’re concerned, just pop it, lock it and go. The water tank is a healthy size with a capacity of 40 ounces and the design is sleek just like those cousins we mentioned earlier and covered all last year.
I also noticed that the VertuoLine is significantly quieter than the Maestro sitting on my counter, albeit this machine lacks the milk steamer. Of course this is not any kind of a problem if you plan on purchasing the bundle complete with the Aeroccino+ to froth your milk anyway. And if you are really stuck in your ways you might not care about that at all (although between you and me you totally should, I absolutely love my Aeroccino – I have been known to show up to family dinners with it).
In terms of the capsules, of course the brand is unwavering in quality standards; the beans still come from the top one percent of the worlds coffee harvests, the roasts are varied and appeal to all different tastes and the company still works hard to help people recycle them.
The new Nespresso Vertuoline won't take up that much counter space with dimensions of 8.32 x 11.91 x 11.93 (WxDxH) inches. Available in Chrome, Black and Red, the unit on its own retails for $299, although you may as well just go for the bundle for $349 and get yourself an Aeroccino+ in the process.