I Tried Nespresso’s Smallest and Most Versatile Coffee Maker

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If you're an avid coffee drinker, chances are you've heard of Nespresso. Landing a spot on our best coffee makers list, Nespresso's capsule-based machines brew quality coffee and espresso with the simple touch of a button. The latest addition to Nespresso's offerings is the Vertuo Next, which I was lucky enough to try out. After using the Nespresso Vertuo Next almost every day for the past few weeks, here are my thoughts.

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​(While I did receive the Vertuo Next in exchange for an honest review, all of the following thoughts and opinions expressed below are my own and are not influenced by Nespresso, in any way.)

The Specs

Dubbed the smallest and most versatile of the Vertuo line, the Nespresso Vertuo Next ($159) makes both coffee and espresso. It has a sleek and compact design (measuring in at 5.5-by-16.8-by-12.4 inches) with a 37-ounce water tank and weighs 8.8 pounds. Not only is it quite stylish with chrome accents and availability in a variety of colors, but it's also the most eco-friendly Nespresso machine, as it's made from 54% recycled plastic.

The Vertuo Next can brew six coffee sizes, from a 1.35-ounce shot of espresso to a larger, 18-ounce carafe. To accommodate different cup sizes, you can adjust the drip tray to three different heights. With over 50 Vertuo capsules to choose from, you can stock up on a variety of options to suit all of your caffeine needs, whether you want a single-origin coffee or a hefty double espresso. And once the coffee is made, the capsule is automatically discarded into a pod bin (with a ten-capsule capacity) when you lift the machine lid to refill for your next cup. Since the Vertuo capsules are made of aluminum, they're completely recyclable, but that's not all that makes them special. Each one has a unique barcode that the machine reads. It then automatically adjusts its settings to for quality and consistent results.

As with other machines in the Vertuo line, this coffee and espresso maker differs from the Original espresso machines by using Centrifusion rather than a high-pressure extraction system. With Centrifusion technology, the capsule spins inside the machine while water infuses the grounds, extracting coffee in a way that produces a rich crema.

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The Pros

After using other single-serve, pod-based coffee makers, I can say that using the Nespresso Vertuo Next is the closest I've ever gotten to making barista-quality coffee at home. I was impressed with the smooth crema that I genuinely did not think you could get with an at-home automatic coffee machine. But the best part is, it's super easy to use and only takes the push of one button to consistently make a delicious cup of coffee or espresso in no time with absolutely no guesswork or adjustments needed on your part.

Additionally, the Vertuo Next is a total space saver, just like the design intended. It's a compact coffee machine and required minimal rearranging to fit nicely on my countertop. It covered about three-fourths of the depth of my countertop, which still allowed for ample space, in my opinion.

Last but not least is the Nespresso recycling program. The Vertuo Next capsules are made of aluminum and can be recycled via mail with a free recycling bag or dropped off at a Nespresso Boutique, waste collection center, or partner store. According to the brand, the recycled capsules return to the "aluminum value chain," and are used to make items from car engines to soda cans. The coffee grounds are also reused to create compost or green energy.

The Cons

After a few weeks of almost daily use, I have no complaints about the Nespresso Vertuo Next and the quality of its coffee.

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While I haven't experienced any issues myself, it's worth noting customer reviews on the site stating potential problems that may arise, including leaking and consistent orange error lights. However, according to Nespresso customer service responses, there are a few things to watch out for when maintaining your Vertuo Next. First, Nespresso recommends ejecting the capsule after each use and running the Clean Cycle once a week, minimum. Second, when brewing a new capsule, make sure the lever is completely locked and you hear a clicking sound when the cover is closed. Third, descale your machine every six months or 600 coffees to thoroughly clean it out and get the best results. For even more Nespresso tips, check out our cleaning guide here.

The Verdict

If you want a multifunctional coffee and espresso maker that's easy to use and makes amazing coffee, I highly recommend the Nespresso Vertuo Next. Whether it's for yourself or it's a housewarming gift to a friend, it's something any coffee lover can enjoy.

Nespresso Vertuo Next, $159

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Pauline is Hunker’s Associate Commerce Editor. She covers all things home and shopping, whether it's the next must-have product launch or a roundup of the best home and decor sales. You can reach out to her at pauline.lacsamana@hunker.com.