Ever since K-cups hit the market, every coffee company in the biz has been scrambling to catch up with Keurig and come up with their own single-serving machine. Cuisinart makes one, Mr. Coffee has its own version, and even Starbucks jumped on the bandwagon with it’s Verismo machine. Now Nespresso is joining the fun with VertuoLine.
If you’re unfamiliar with single-serving coffee makers, here’s a rundown on how they work. Instead of buying a bag of beans, grinding them up, and scooping grounds into a filtering chamber, these machines use little plastic capsules filled with pre-ground coffee and powdered milk. Just pop one of these capsules into the machine, press Go, and within about 30 seconds, the machine will brew a single cup of coffee – no need to toil with pots, filters, or grinders of any sort. To coffee snobs, these machines are blasphemous, but to us regular folks who just need a quick pick-me-up, they can be a godsend.
While the VertuoLine definitely isn’t the first machine of its kind, it does have a few key differences when compared to Keurig. For starters, it doesn’t use the same type of pods. Practically every other single-serving machine on the market right now is compatible with Keurig’s ubiquitous thimble-shaped K-cups, but Nespresso decided to break the mold and do its own thing. The company’s pods are more spherical, and come equipped with little barcodes on the rim so the machine can automatically recognize what kind of brew you’re making, thereby eliminating the need for you to adjust settings manually for each brew.
It’s definitely a cool innovation, but these differently-shaped pods might end up being the kiss of death for Nespresso. The company currently offers just eight different flavors, and it only sells them online and in a handful of different retail stores. K-cups, on the other hand, are everywhere. They offer hundreds of different brands and flavors of not only coffee, but also tea and hot chocolate, and you can buy them at practically any grocery store. Nespresso pods might be more convenient to use, but at the moment they’re definitely not more convenient to find.
That being said, the quality of Nespresso’s coffee pods still remains to be seen. We’ll get back to you on that once we get a chance to review one of these badboys, but if you’d rather just take the plunge and try it for yourself, you can pick up a VertuoLine right now for $299.
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