The Nespresso Vertuo by Breville is more expensive than other single-cup coffee makers we reviewed; however, it brews both coffee and espresso. This coffee maker can prepare hot drinks to fill five cup sizes, including espresso (1.35 ounce), double espresso (2.7 ounce), gran lungo (5 ounce), coffee (7.7 ounce) and alto (14 ounce). The machine includes a cup support stand you can fit in three positions, depending on how tall your cup is.
Unlike some single-cup coffee makers, this machine doesn’t work with premeasured K-cups or reusable filters – you can only use Nespresso’s Vertuo-brand capsules. The Vertuo doesn’t even accept Nespresso Classic capsules. The company makes capsules with 16 coffees and 10 espressos, each with different flavors and intensities. Its capsules are made of recyclable aluminum, which is a nice touch.
The Nespresso Vertuo’s 40-ounce reservoir is removable, so it’s easy to clean and refill. Once you select and insert a Nespresso Vertuo capsule, you push the “on” button, and the coffee maker heats up in approximately 15 seconds – a light flickers during the process and then stands steady once it’s ready to brew. You don’t need to change any settings because the machine reads a barcode on the capsule.
This machine uses a brewing technique unlike those used by other single-cup coffee makers. Namely, it has a trademarked centrifusion technique that spins coffee-filled capsules at 7,000 rotations per minute so the coffee grounds and hot water thoroughly mix during the process.
You can push the button early if you want the machine to stop brewing. Also, the coffee maker turns off automatically after nine minutes, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally leaving it on after you walk away. If you can live without the espresso but want a versatile single-cup coffee maker, you might check out the Bunn My Cafe MCU as an alternative.