How Do Nespresso Machines Work? [Originalline + Vertuoline]

Published: 08/17/22 •  9 min read

Nestle revolutionized the espresso industry with Nespresso in 1976. Nespresso globally made its mark due to the popularity of its single-serve coffee machines. Krups, Breville, Magimax, and DeLonghi are the official manufacturers of these machines, ensuring high-end quality.

Every Nespresso coffee maker has unique specifications and functions, making it suitable for everyone. With the ability to make different types of coffees, providing various flavors, and its convenience, Nespresso has become Keurig’s biggest competitor.

Keurig dominates the US espresso market with its affordable machines. Along with coffee machines, it is known for 400 varieties of coffee and 60 brands. It uses K-cup scanning technology for brewing coffee which tastes not as good as Nespresso.

Nespresso has 26 models in two categories: The VertuoLine and the OriginalLine.

VertuoLine machines use centrifusion technology for brewing. The water rotates the pod to blend with ground coffee and dispenses espresso. VertuoLine machines offer various sizes depending on the model you have. A VertuoLine coffee machine does not accept any third-party capsules.

On the other hand, the OriginalLine models use 19-bar pressure as a brewing method. The pressure pierces the Nespresso pod to extract coffee and makes the perfect brew. Most Original machines make two cup sizes but offer a variety of models as well as pods.

This article contains a detailed overview of the working of Nespresso machines. Read till the end to understand the difference between the VertuoLine and OriginalLine machines.

How do Nespresso Original Line Machines work?

Nespresso Original Line machines work through the following steps:

  1. Add water to the reservoir.
  2. Turn on your espresso machine.
  3. Put a cup of the right size on the drip tray.
  4. Open the lever, insert a pod and close it.
  5. Press the lungo button. The lights will start blinking to confirm the machine is warming up.
  6. Press the brew button.
  7. The coffee will dispense from the outlet.
  8. Eject the pod from the capsule container.
Nespresso Original Line Machine Working

How do Nespresso VertuoLine Machines Work?

Nespresso Vertuoline machines work through the following steps:

  1. Fill the tank with the required water.
  2. Turn on the coffee machine.
  3. Put a mug under the coffee outlet.
  4. Open the head and Inject a vertuo capsule.
  5. Lock the lever. If the machine has an automatic lever, it will close automatically.
  6. Press the brew button.
  7. The lights will flash, and the machine will start pouring coffee after the warm-up is complete.
  8. Pick up your coffee once the light is stable and the brewing has ended.
  9. Open the lever to eject the capsule into the bin.
Nespresso vertuo line machines working

Nespresso Machines with and without Milk frother

Most Nespresso machines do not have an inbuilt milk frother. The Nespresso machines brew coffees of different cup sizes, so you can customize your drink by adding milk. The espresso machines that do not have a milk frother can make espresso for you, and you can use Aeroccino separately to froth milk for your Nespresso recipe. However, some Nespresso machines have integrated frothers that make the job easier.

Nespresso Lattissima and Creatista are perfect for people who like milk-based coffees as both models have a milk frother. These machines can make lattes, cappuccinos, hot chocolate, and iced coffees.

Nespresso Creatista from the Original line machines has a steam wand and a stainless steel milk jug for making milk-based recipes. The frothing process is more controlled with this model and offers different temperature settings for the milk. Nespresso Lattissima has complex features. It has a detachable milk frother and has nine presets for its drinks, but not as great with milk frothing as Creatista.

How to make cafe-style coffee at home using coffee Pods?

Making cafe-style coffee at home is not a big task because coffee pods make the brewing process fast. Coffee pods are single-serve containers packed separately with a certain amount of ground coffee. The pods are packed in plastic or aluminum to keep the flavor intact and prevent leakage. Brewing coffee using coffee pods is convenient because we don’t have to measure coffee grounds, check the intensity, or search for the flavor as all these details are on the pods.

For your coffee to taste better than ever, consider these points:

What is the difference between VertuoLine Machines and OriginalLine machines? 

The following table contains the comparison between both lines of Nespresso coffee machines.


OriginalLine Machine

VertuoLine Machine


It uses a 19-bar pump pressure system.

It uses Centrifusion brewing technology.

Brew Sizes

  • Ristretto (0.7 oz)

  • Espresso (1.4 oz)

  • Lungo (3.7 oz)

  • Espresso (1.35 oz)

  • Double Espresso (2.7 oz)

  • Gran Lunfo (5 oz)

  • Mug (7.8 oz)

  • Alto (14 oz)


Coffee Capsules

  • Nespresso pods: Barista Creations (10), Ispirazione Italiana (19), Espresso (4), Reviving Origins (1), Master crafted single origins (7), Decaffeinato (3)

  • Third-Party CapsulesPeet's espresso pods
    Lavazza Variety Pack 

  • Nespresso Pods: Barista Creations (10), Reviving Origins (1), Master crafted single origins (7), Craft Brew (2), Coffee (9), Espresso (7), Double Espresso (3), Gran Lungo (4)

  • No alternative pods.

Milk Frother

Creatista and Lattissima have a built-in milk frother.

  • No builtin frother

  • Get an Aeroccino 3 separately. 


Thicker Crema

Foamy Crema


  • Machines:
    $95 to $250

  • Capsules:
    $0.70 to $0.85

  • Machines:
    $159 - $250

  • Capsules:
    $0.90 to $1.25

How are Nespresso Pods Made?

Nespresso Roasts and grounds coffee beans in its factories in Switzerland. Out of their three factories, one is used to pack the processed coffee beans into Nespresso Pods and exported all over the world. Each Nespresso Pod contains 5 to 7 grams of ground coffee to make a perfectly portioned coffee cup.

Step-by-Step Procedure:

  1. The first step is to ground the coffee beans of good quality.
  2. The pods are covered in colored lacquer to differentiate the flavors.
  3. The pod goes on the assembly line, and a belt moves them while filling each pod with ground coffee.
  4. After filling each pod, it gets a seal with an aluminum cap.
  5. Once the pods are filled and packed, some advanced tools inspect them for leaks or damages.
  6. Sample pods get tested by putting them through brewing to check coffee and pod quality.
How are Nespresso pods made

How do Nespresso Pods work?

The Nespresso pods have two categories: the original pods for OriginalLine machines and the Vertuo pods for Vertuo machines. It is necessary to use pods that are compatible with your coffee machine. The original pods are cylindrical with a dome top and are smaller in size. On the other hand, the vertuo pods look like a half circle and are larger than the original pods. The vertuo machines accept no other pod except the vertuo pods because of the bar code scanning method used for brewing. However,  OriginalLine can use cheaper substitutes.

What a Nespresso Machine is made up of?


Two pieces of strong ABS plastic align to form the outside shell of the machine.


The Nespresso machines have a 1550-watt heater for the water.


The machine’s pump transfers water under pressure of 1-2 bars from one tank to another.

Air compressor:

The air compressor pressurizes the air in the machine.

Water Tank:

 A tank, mainly at the back of the machine, often contains up to 1.5 liters of water. It has a spring-loaded valve connected to the machine’s pump.

How to descale your Nespresso Machines?

A Nespresso machine requires descaling twice a year or after using 300 capsules. It involves the following steps:

  1. Eject the used capsule and fill the tank with water and descaling solution.
  2. Each machine has different buttons for the descaling mode. Check the user manual for details to start the descaling process. Put a container under the coffee spout.
  3. The Descaling takes 10 to 15 minutes. Repeat the process if needed.

How to Fix the Nespresso Machine if it stops working?

The common problems with Nespresso machines are usually due to poor cleaning or incorrect settings. Here are the top five issue and their solutions for Nespresso users:

The machine produces noise and air bubbles in the coffee cup.Clear the airlock of the machine.
The machine fails to provide a full cup.Restart the device or descale.
Slowly brewing coffeeDescale
Lack of water pumping by machineDescale 
The coffee temperature is not hot.Descale 

The Bottom Line

Nespresso coffee machines are easy to use and produce the perfect brew, putting an end to your runs to the coffee shop. Depending on your preference and budget, you can choose an espresso machine from the various models of Original Line and VertuoLine machines. With the ease of use, top-notch quality, and great-tasting espresso, Nespresso is worth the money.


What are the 2 buttons on a Nespresso machine for?

Lungo and espresso are the names of two buttons from the original Nespresso range. When you press any button, the other will also light up and begin to blink. To remove all the water, press the lungo button. The machine will be thoroughly rinsed and left with no residues by repeating this process two or three times.

How many shots of espresso are in a Nespresso pod?

A single-serve capsule makes a full espresso shot, and double espresso capsules make two shots.

Can you use a Nespresso pod twice?

Nespresso pods are for one-time use. The machine extracts all the flavors from the pod during the brewing process. If you are willing to compromise on the espresso quality, you can use a pod twice, but the coffee will be bland. 

How do the Nespresso machines heat up water so fast?

Thermoblock is the water heating system used by Nespresso machines. Water pumps through heated coils causing the water to heat up. 

Do you need to add milk to Nespresso coffee?

You can enjoy Nespresso coffee on its own or create different recipes using Nespresso pods and adding milk using the Aeroccino frother

Is Nespresso coffee stronger than regular coffee?

Nespresso coffee is stronger than regular coffee but less intense than commercially produced coffee. Regular coffee lacks the intensity, flavor, and crema that Nespresso coffee has.

Is it possible to use tea bags in a Nespresso machine?

No! No matter what Nespresso machine you use, it is only compatible with pods. However, you can make tea with tea pods or get hot water from Nespresso and add a tea bag.

Hans Mast

Hans loves coffee and loves teaching about coffee