Just when we thought we’d be buying those trapezoid Nespresso capsules for the rest of our lives (okay, for the forseeable future), the coffee company throws us a curveball. Literally. Nespresso has come up with an entirely new coffee system called the Vertuo, with new machines and coffee capsules that are completely different in shape — the new Vertuo capsules are dome-shaped and bigger than the older capsules, as their USP is that they will garner you larger cups of joe — all the better to enjoy your fave blend in leisurely fashion in the comfort of home. According to Nespresso, 80% of Singaporeans prefer a long cup of coffee, as influenced by local coffee serving sizes.
The problem, of course, is that to enjoy the new brewing system, you need to buy a new Nespresso machine, and new capsules. What to do with the old machine and old capsules if you are a true blue Nespresso fan who cannot wait to try all its latest releases? We’re still thinking about that. Meanwhile, here’s how Vertuo works: It extracts coffee in a different way from the previous system, with Centrifusion — basically using a spinning technology instead of pressure to extract the coffee. The capsules are spun up to 4,000 to 7,000 rotations per minute, blending the coffee grounds with water and producing thick crema and a quality cuppa.
Each Vertuo coffee capsule has a barcode to allow the machine to identify the type of coffee being prepared — it then automatically adjusts the brewing parameters such as the length of infusion, the temperature and amount of water, the speed of the rotation and the flow rate, to prepare each blend and cup size in the most optimal way.
Wow. 8days.sg tried it for ourselves, and first impressions of the machine is that it’s much cooler and more sci-fi than older machines — the machine head opens and closes mechanically by itself at the touch of a lever. No need to use strength to press down on the capsule — very good because we basically have no strength in the morning before our cuppa.
The capsules are kinda fun, too. They come in three different sizes, which can be extracted into coffees of five different sizes. The biggest capsules give you either the Mug size that is 230ml or the Alto, a giant cup of coffee that’s 414ml (for comparison, the Starbucks Grande drink is 473ml). The medium-sized capsules give you either the Gran Lungo cup (150ml) or Double Espresso (80ml), while the smallest and flattest capsule yields you an Espresso cup (40ml). The barcode on each capsule will tell the machine what to do — all you have to do is make sure you put the right-sized cup on the machine. Don’t be like us — the first time we used the Vertuo, we used the largest dome, and put on a normal sized mug, not knowing we’d picked the Alto capsule. Let’s just say our cup runneth over that time.
There are 27 coffee blends, which seem to be new blends that are different from the existing ones —how about a Diavolitto Espresso (described as a “short devil”), a Bianco Leggero (to drink with milk, described as “sweet embrace”) or an Alto Intenso (“pillar of strength” — we like).
Of course, the coffee we made with the Vertuo was delicious (once we got the cup size right) — it’s a perfect full-bodied cup of dark coffee every time, and the big difference is the crema — the top foamy layer. The new system produces heaps of silky crema that looks and tastes smooth and gorgeous.
There are four different models of Vertuo Plus machines available here: Vertuo Plus White, Vertuo Plus Cherry Red, Vertuo Plus Piano Black and Vertuo Plus Titan, starting at $368 and $438 for a Machine Bundle (inclusive of Aeroccino3 Milk Frother).
And don't worry, the older machines will not be phased out or replaced. Nespresso tells us that "Original is one of the most successful portioned coffee systems and has single-handedly revolutionised the way in which millions of consumers drink coffee. We are still driving innovation on our Original Line technology and coffees, and it will continue to be sold worldwide as it remains critical to our consumers’ coffee drinking pleasure, as enjoyed by many Singaporeans."
As for whether you should get the Vertuo or stick to your Original, here's some advice: Original is designed for those seeking the classic espresso and espresso-based coffees (Americanos, cappuccinos and lattes) while Vertuo is for coffee lovers who prefer versatility or a large cup of coffee with the same high quality.
So how? Will you take the new dome-shaped plunge?