Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods: How They Work, Costs & Our Top Picks (Updated For 2021)

Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods: How They Work, Costs & Our Top Picks (Updated For 2021)

Struggling to choose the best Nespresso VertuoLine pods?

I don't blame you. There are a ton of options!

Good thing this guide has you covered:

  • Our picks for the best Nespresso VertuoLine pods
  • Reusable VertuoLine pods
  • How VertuoLine differs from OriginalLine

Let’s start there.

Well, after our top picks.

Why You Can Trust The Coffee Maven

Quick Picks
Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods

What's best for us may not be best for you. Let's expand upon the Top Picks above and highlight a few more of the Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods by category:

Not sure which is right for you? The next section should help...

3 Tips When Buying

Before we get to the individual Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods reviews, let's take a look at the rankings.

Overall
92
Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Aflorazio (Gran Lungo, Intensity: 4) is an aromatic Arabica blend with washed East African coffee for a bright, floral long espresso with notes of blueberry and jasmine.
Overall
91
Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Voltesso (Espresso, Intensity: 4) is a light and sweet blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans that stands out from the other espresso capsules for its less intense profile.
Overall
91
Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Odacio (Coffee, Intensity: 7) is bolder than the typical light and fruity single-origin African roasts we usually prefer, but it does have a blend of Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffees for a complex profile.
Overall
89
Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)

Scuro (Double Espresso, Intensity: 8) is a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffees from Central America and features a smoky profile with hints of sweet chocolate and vanilla.
Overall
88
Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)

Alto Intenso (Alto, Intensity: 7) features a blend of Costa Rican coffee with a washed Robusta bean from Guatemala, which you won’t find in any other Nespresso capsule, for a bold, woody flavor with hints of caramel.
Overall
Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Arondio (Gran Lungo, Intensity 6) is a medium-strength blend created from a blend of Colombian Arabicas and a touch of Guatemalan Robusta for a medium roast blend with cereal notes.

Is This Guide For You?

Our editors have rated and ranked each option. Without further ado, here are our official reviews in this all-encompassing buying guide.

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
92
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
93
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
90
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
92
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Aflorazio (Gran Lungo, Intensity: 4) is an aromatic Arabica blend with washed East African coffee for a bright, floral long espresso with notes of blueberry and jasmine.

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Aflorazio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
91
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
92
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
88
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Voltesso (Espresso, Intensity: 4) is a light and sweet blend of Brazilian and Colombian Arabica beans that stands out from the other espresso capsules for its less intense profile.

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Voltesso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
91
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
91
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
91
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
91
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Odacio (Coffee, Intensity: 7) is bolder than the typical light and fruity single-origin African roasts we usually prefer, but it does have a blend of Nicaraguan and Ethiopian coffees for a complex profile.

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Odacio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
89
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
90
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
86
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
90
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Scuro (Double Espresso, Intensity: 8) is a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffees from Central America and features a smoky profile with hints of sweet chocolate and vanilla.

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Scuro Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
88
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
87
Freshness (20%)
88
Balance & Acidity (10%)
86
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
88
Roaster Reputation (10%)
92
The Bottom Line
Alto Intenso (Alto, Intensity: 7) features a blend of Costa Rican coffee with a washed Robusta bean from Guatemala, which you won’t find in any other Nespresso capsule, for a bold, woody flavor with hints of caramel.

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Alto Intenso Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)
Overall Rating
Flavor & Aroma (50%)
Freshness (20%)
Balance & Acidity (10%)
Body & Mouthfeel (10%)
Roaster Reputation (10%)
The Bottom Line
Arondio (Gran Lungo, Intensity 6) is a medium-strength blend created from a blend of Colombian Arabicas and a touch of Guatemalan Robusta for a medium roast blend with cereal notes.

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Pros

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Cons

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine) Features & Specifications

Nespresso VertuoLine vs OriginalLine

Nespresso makes several espresso machine models, but they all fall under two lines:

  • OriginalLine
  • VertuoLine

These are the key differences:

FeatureOriginalLineVertuoLine
Serving SizesRistretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz), Lungo (3.70 oz)Ristretto (0.85 oz), Espresso (1.35 oz), Double Espresso (2.70 oz), Gran Lungo (5 oz), Coffee (7.8 oz), Alto XL (14 oz)
Barcode Scanning SystemNoYes
Extraction PressureApplied by pump up to 19 barsApplied by Centrifusion (rapid pod spinning) with no pump and less than 19 bars
Extraction TemperatureHigherLower
Cost Per Capsule$0.70-$0.85$0.90-$1.25
3rd Party Capsules AvailableYesNo
SummaryOriginalLine machines use more standard pump espresso machine technology and brew a hotter beverage for a lower cost per pod.VertuoLine machines extract your beverage through rapid capsule spinning, which sometimes yields an underextracted beverage with a foamier crema.

Each system has a different pod or capsule, and they aren't interchangeable.

Nespresso OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines uses different types of pods.

In fact, VertuoLine machines have 5 different types of capsules:

  • Espresso (1.35 oz)
  • Double Espresso (2.70 oz)
  • Gran Lungo (5 oz)
  • Coffee (7.8 oz)
  • Alto XL (14 oz)

I prefer Nespresso’s OriginalLine machines to their VertuoLine machines because of the differences above, but this guide is about Nespresso VertuoLine pods.

Editor’s Note: We have an excellent guide that compares specs for all 20+ Nespresso machines ever produced. It’s definitely worth a read if you’re shopping for a new machine.

Let’s talk about VertuoLine pods.

Nespresso VertuoLine Pods

VertuoLine machines use Nespresso VertuoLine Grand Cru capsules to brew espresso, double espresso, gran lungo, and standard coffee style beverages.

Nespresso VertuoLine pods come in several types, depending on the beverage you want, but they all have a barcode scanning system.

There are 5 different pod sizes that let you brew everything from 1.35 oz espresso to 14 oz long coffees.

  • Espresso: 1.35 oz
  • Double Espresso: 2.7 oz
  • Gran Lungo: 5 oz
  • Coffee: 7.8 oz
  • Alto XL: 14 oz

With Nespresso’s custom sizing feature, you can stretch that 14 oz Alto XL pod out to a max 17 oz brew size.

The VertuoLine Barcode Scanning System

Nespresso’s barcode scanning technology uses barcode rings on the pods to optimize the brew process for the specific capsule you’ve selected.

  • Water volume
  • Temperature
  • Rotational speed (for Centrifusion extraction)
  • Flow rate
  • Water contact time
VertuoLine pods are inserted with the dome facing downward, placing the barcode on top of the scanner.

How do VertuoLine pods work?

VertuoLine pods are inserted into the machine with a downward-facing dome.

Not a yoga position.

This orients the circular barcode ring on top of the scanning system’s laser, allowing the machine to read the pod as it spins. You don’t need to line the pod up anywhere. Just plop it in and shut the lid.

Nespresso VertuoLine machines scan the capsule to ensure it’s part of the Nespresso ecosystem. (Source: ZDNet.com)

The barcode provides the machine’s intelligent extraction system with customized extraction parameters which, powered by revolutionary Centrifusion technology, give you your desired beverage.

What the heck does all this crap mean?

I’ve got to give Nespresso’s marketing team some credit here. That’s some seriously fancy wording. Let’s break down these fantastic phrases.

“Intelligent extraction system”

This is Nespresso’s branding for its barcode scanning system, which scans the pod and determines which type of beverage to make.

“Customized extraction parameters”

Using the intelligent extraction system, the machine identifies which of the 5 pod sizes you’re using and modifies the water volume, temperature, spin rate, flow rate, and water contact time to achieve your chosen beverage.

“Revolutionary Centrifusion technology”

Instead of applying pressure via pump (like OriginalLine machines), VertuoLine models spin the pod up to 7,000 times per minute to create enough centrifugal force to act like a pump.

Is the Centrifusion technology better? I don’t think so. Pressure-wise, centrifugal extraction doesn’t quite match pump extraction, leaving the resulting beverage a little under-extracted. And while you’ll see a more pronounced crema, it’s foamier than a great crema should be.

Cost Per VertuoLine Capsule

Nespresso capsules aren’t cheap, especially compared to Keurig K-Cup pods, but VertuoLine pods are more expensive than OriginalLine pods.

The table below, replicated from our guide on where to buy Nespresso capsules, compares the per-cup cost of various single-serve pods across brewing systems:

Capsule or PodCost, 1 ServingCost, 365 ServingsSavings Over Coffee Shop
Coffee Shop$3.50-$4.50$1,460$0
Nespresso Original$0.70-$0.85$292$1,168
Nespresso Vertuo$0.90-$1.25$402$1,058
Keurig K-Cup$0.35-$0.65$219$1,241

Additionally, Nespresso offers exclusive and limited release pods that highlight special coffee regions, harvesting/processing/roasting techniques, etc.

Nespresso VertuoLine Reusable Pods

Nespresso VertuoLine pod and capsule coffees are middle-of-the-road in terms of cost per cup. They’re cheaper than a daily trip to your local coffee shop but more expensive than Nespresso OriginalLine or Keurig pods.

Combined with the wastefulness of single-serve coffee pods — which consumers care about to varying degrees — a market has developed for reusable VertuoLine pods.

The benefits:

  • Cheaper cost per cup
  • Less wasteful
  • Ability to use any coffee roast you prefer

The drawbacks:

  • More time consuming
  • More cleaning
  • Have to make sure you have all of the components in stock

My favorite reusable Nespresso VertuoLine pod is the CAPMESSO Stainless Steel Pod.

It comes in either 2.5 oz (espresso) or 8 oz (long coffee) sizes, each of which also offers a bundle including rubber gaskets that go between the lid and the pod itself for a leak-proof seal.

Note: The CAPMESSO Stainless Steel Pod won't work with Nespresso OriginalLine machines. For those you’ll need something like these plastic pods or these stainless steel pods.

All-in, including the initial startup cost for the reusable pod, you’ll break even on your investment around serving number 45.

For daily espresso drinkers that’s a 1.5-month payback period assuming a $1.10 cost for the single serve capsule.

  • Save money.
  • Do right by the environment.
  • Use whatever espresso beans you prefer.

The only downsides are the small amount of additional cleaning required, the extra time to assemble your pods and the slight hassle of making sure you have both foils and filters in stock.

If you’re really cheap, you can purchase the foils alone for around $0.15 per foil and reseal already-used single serve Nespresso pods. Nespresso cautions against this as the pods are not designed for repeated use, but you may be able to reuse one single serve pod upwards of 3-6 times by filling with your own grounds and resealing with the foil (provided the pod itself hasn’t been punctured). I don’t recommend this but it is an option.

Best Nespresso VertuoLine Pods

The Coffee Maven's Top Pick

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Nespresso Arondio Capsules (VertuoLine)

Arondio (Gran Lungo, Intensity 6) is a medium-strength blend created from a blend of Colombian Arabicas and a touch of Guatemalan Robusta for a medium roast blend with cereal notes.

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About The Coffee Maven
bryan de luca
Bryan De Luca

I'm Bryan but most people know me as The Coffee Maven. I grew up outside Boston, Massachusetts and received my Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Providence College. My first introduction to coffee was during my college days, when I used it as a source of caffeine to fuel late-night study sessions, but soon I became obsessed with the chemistry of coffee. How did changes to water temperature or contact time affect its taste? Why do beans from Africa taste fruity while beans from Indonesia taste spicy? I launched The Coffee Maven in February 2017 to explore these questions and help others brew their perfect cup. Welcome to my site, and thanks for reading!