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Nespresso Vertuo POP Review

I wouldn’t call myself an expert or a coffee enthusiast. While I enjoy coffee and espresso, I’m not particularly knowledgeable about this subject.

I love sitting down with a coffee and watching the streets, though I usually opt for healthy choices—not that coffee is unhealthy. Recently, I was introduced to the process of making espresso, and I found it quite interesting.

So, when my dad decided to buy the new Nespresso Vertuo POP machine and made me the only person responsible for refilling the pods, my curiosity was naturally piqued.

Nespresso, what else ?

I’ve always enjoyed the Nespresso commercials and the vibe George Clooney brings. For me, it has always felt like an extension of Ocean’s Eleven and the Steven Soderbergh universe.

Nespresso embodies elegance and refinement, but its origins lie in Eric Favre’s innovative idea to bring freshness, taste, and convenience to homemade coffee.

Jean Paul Gaillard who was before an executive for Casino coffee pods, then transformed the brand into a luxury product, creating the aura of an exclusive club and employing a business model similar to printers: affordable machines with expensive pods.

Today Nespresso is quite a strong brand with an exclusive market with physical store with an incredible experience.

The birth of Nespresso Vertuo

Nespresso lost their trademark for pods in a 2011 trial. Although their patent covered more than just the pods, including features like sealed designs for better pressure extraction, the brand lost its exclusivity in producing pods from the market’s perspective.

This led Nespresso to launch a new patented pod called Vertuo in 2014. These pods featured technological advancements designed to brew a higher quality extraction while also improving convenience.

The innovation includes several advantages:

  • Larger capsule sizes for different coffee cup sizes, ranging from espresso to double espresso, and larger cups specifically targeted at the North American market.
  • A barcode that automatically reads the pod information and adjusts the necessary amount of water.
  • A centrifugal extraction system to improve the quality of the extraction at a lower temperature and creating a sort of crema foam.

These innovations create a better experience by reducing the bitterness of the coffee through a lower extraction process meaning that the coffee is not over extracted.

While there is a larger amount of foam, it behaves differently than real crema, which is made from CO2. This foam is more akin to the texture you get when mixing milk with air but we’ll get to this point later on.

The Nespresso Vertuo POP by Krups

Interestingly, several brands produce this specific model. For instance, both Breville and Krups have their own versions of the Vertuo POP machine, which are nearly identical.

I suspect that these machines are manufactured by Nespresso in China and marketed under these different brand names.

The vertuo pods

Interestingly, the coffee machine includes a selection of pods, which I think is a smart way to draw you into their ecosystem.

This also provides a great opportunity to sample different coffees and discover your favorites. I must admit, the experience is quite impressive, with beautifully designed pods in various colors and sleek packaging. It’s rare to have such a consistent comparison and detailed taste descriptions.

The store experience

The store experience is everything it should be. A sensation of exclusivity and luxury. Automated cash out machines with very helpful and good looking female sales women.

The highlight, however, was the screens that trace the origin of the coffee and use grades to evaluate its characteristics and taste.

The most impressive feature was the self-serving, automatically refilled wall, which is quite amazing. Everything in the design screams luxury and gives an exceptional sensorial experience.

The presentation of the pods in the display window, along with the smooth, gradual refilling of the boxes, is exceptional.

Honestly, this might be one of the best automated experiences I’ve ever had. In my opinion, it even surpasses the experience at Apple stores by a wide margin.

You can also have a free tasting experience inside these stores which is great. Imagine every time you come to refill your stock you can actually get your coffee and try something new, amazing.

All the packaging and bags are impeccably designed. The process of placing your bag on the scale of the checkout machine and adding your coffee boxes one by one is truly impressive.

As a student in marketing. I think Nespresso have by far the best sensorial marketing and should be a school case study for every student as school trip.

The build quality

Constructed almost entirely from plastic, these machines boast a straightforward yet elegant design overall. Given Nespresso’s extensive experience in manufacturing machines, I would argue that these machines feel less premium compared to, for example, a Nespresso Vertuo Plus or even a Krups Nespresso Citiz.

To be fair, PVC is used in products like Glock handguns, so a matte finish and good design can suffice to create a solid and reliable product.

There are no motorized mechanisms aside from the brewing components. Opening the coffee machine and piercing the pods are manual tasks, but they are quite easy to perform.

Ejecting the pods into the canister is automated, although this can occasionally cause issues if the process is not followed correctly.

The coffee machine is not particularly tall. In fact, it is quite compact, so much so that you’ll need to remove the drip tray to fit a large cup, and even then, it will be a tight squeeze.

To be fair, I would rather have a compact machine since space in a kitchen can be scarce, especially in Europe where houses are much smaller than in the US or Asia.

The water tank is positioned at the back of the machine but can be easily removed for cleaning and refilling. With a capacity of 0.56 liters, it is an ideal size for home use. You don’t want to let water sit for a week, even if it gets reheated.

The operation, like most Nespresso machines, is quite straightforward. The Vertuo Pop machine has just a locking mechanism and a single button to brew the coffee.

The machine lacks a physical on/off switch, instead utilizing the locking mechanism as a wake-up trigger.

Once you lock in a new pod, the light will turn on and blink until the water is warmed up and ready for use.

Then, simply press the button once more, and the machine will brew the exact amount of water, thanks to the barcode scan under the pod edge.

Since the pods are automatically dispensed inside the machine, they are stored within it. Given that the Vertuo pods are larger than regular Nespresso pods and the machine is compact, a few pods can easily jam the entire mechanism. It’s advisable to dispose of them a few times a week.

The experience

Firstly, apologies if the pictures aren’t pristine and the table isn’t tidy; this is simply an initial, quick review of the product.

As you can observe, we utilized a small cup, espresso-sized, and even with the drip tray, it nearly fills the entire space allocated for the cup.

During the initial attempt, my dad neglected to plug in the machine and puncture the pods multiple times, rendering it unsuitable for use.

Once you pierce the pods you can’t open the lid anymore and better poor that hot water to extract your coffee.

This on the other hand gives us a very good understanding in the working mechanism of this centrifugal system.

Link to how it works

Unlike classic Nespresso pods, which operate like regular coffee machines by using a seal and pressure to extract the coffee from top to bottom, making holes in both parts.

The centrifugal system creates holes only on the top of the pods, specifically in the center and along the sides. This allows hot water to be poured into the center, and as it spins at 7000 rpm, it overflows onto the sides of the pods and into your cup.

As you can see there is no whole in the black section and the coffee overflow inside the transparent recipient to drip into your cup.

That’s quite an ingenious system to be honest and people who loves innovations will love to try this machine.

The taste

Let’s begin with saying that I’ve tried regular Nespresso before, but I have no recollection of it to be honest.

All I can say is that I’ve sampled coffee across many continents and enjoyed a genuine espresso the day before at a Lebanese restaurant, which I believe used a real espresso machine with freshly ground coffee. So, keep this as a reference point.

From my recollection, of the last Nespresso I had in Troyes at my friend Steve place. The coffee was more bitter with a thinner texture and less sweetness.

This may seem unfair and unscientific, as it could merely be due to the coffee itself. However, with the Vertuo machine, I can attest that the foam is notably thick, almost resembling that of a freshly brewed cappuccino. The texture of the foam doesn’t precisely resemble crema but rather feels akin to manually beaten eggs, if that makes sense.

Crema

Although the foam is pleasant in both taste and texture, I find it lacks the smoothness and refinement of real crema. Additionally, the foam dissipates rather quickly, and while the visual aspect is decent, it falls short of being exceptional in my opinion.

The body

Thanks to this new process using centrifugal force, the coffee seems to have more body than regular Nespresso pods. Interestingly, James Hoffman has tried to mix the coffee into a blender and had a similar texture and taste.

The taste

I used the Colombia Vertuo coffee, intended for a 230 ml mug, as a double espresso. Perhaps I should revisit this experience.

The Colombian coffee tasted excellent, with a slight sweetness (without added sugar), a hint of acidity but not overpowering, and virtually no bitterness.

The foam was enjoyable and quite abundant. Honestly, it might have been one of the best cups of homemade coffee I’ve had in a while.

The temperature

This is where I found myself slightly disappointed. I’m accustomed to my coffee being very hot, to the point where it could burn your tongue, hence why I sip it slowly.

However, this coffee was borderline cold. I believe that to truly enjoy it, you should preheat your cup in advance, but even then, it may not reach the temperature you’re accustomed to. Perhaps this cooler temperature is necessary to extract the coffee without imparting bitterness.

Verdict

8.0 out of 10.

Overall, we are highly satisfied with the Nespresso Vertuo Pop. We consider it to be an improvement over traditional Nespresso machines in terms of both experience and taste.

However, there are a few drawbacks. Firstly, the coffee is extracted at a lower temperature to reduce bitterness. Additionally, the higher price of Vertuo pods and the exclusivity of the patents limit third-party coffee options.

Lastly, while the foam is enjoyable, it cannot match the quality of real crema from an espresso machine, in our opinion.

We maintain that if you seek convenience, speed, and a great experience at a low initial cost, this may be the best option available in the market.

If you are looking to enjoy the full process of brewing your coffee, perhaps you already have a Lelit Bianca and a grinder anyway.

Informations

Nespresso Vertuo POP by Krups

Official website : https://www.nespresso.com

Vertuo offering : https://www.nespresso.com/fr/fr/order/capsules/vertuo

Product page : https://www.nespresso.com/fr/fr/order/machines/vertuo/pop-rouge

What do you think?

Written by dudeoi

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