Vertuo, Nespresso’s line of machines that can brew both espresso and coffee, have been around for a while now. After the success of their OriginalLine machines, which were the first ever single serve espresso machines to be made from any brand, Nespresso innovated a whole new system for single-serve brewing and called it Vertuo.
Many people are wondering, is Vertuo being discontinued? As a technology or as a machine?
The answer is no, Vertuo is not being discontinued. Nespresso could discontinue some Vertuo models, and replace it with newer designs. But the technology and pods are still pretty much continued and going strong.
To understand why, you need to understand how and why Vertuo came around as a technology.
Why Did Nespresso Create Vertuo?
The first ever Vertuoline machine came out in 2014. It came as the first ever machine by Nespresso to make coffee cups in larger sizes, and not only Espresso servings, which is something the USA market had a huge demand for.
But, to make larger cups, Nespresso needed larger pods (to fill in more coffee grounds). So Nespresso did two things differently:
- They changed the pod design completely.
- They changed the brewing technology, because high pressure of espresso machines doesn’t work for large coffee cups, so they came up with something new that works for both coffee brewing methods.
Why Did Nespresso Change Pods Design and Sizes?
Other than the fact that Nespresso needed to make pods that can hold more coffee for larger cups, there’s another great reason for changing the pod design completely:
When Nespresso started their OriginalLine machines, they held a patent for the design pods for a long long time. Which meant, they were the only company allowed to sell OriginalLine pods. But things have changed when they finally lost the patent for the pod designs, and now, so many third party companies are allowed to sell Nespresso OriginalLine pods. This took away from Nespresso’s revenue, which was mostly from selling pods, not machines.
To combat that problem, they invented a whole new system – the Vertuo – which is their own exclusive and patented pod design and brewing technology. Now, only Nespresso can sell Vertuo pods as long as they still hold the patent for the design.
Is Nespresso Discontinuing OriginalLine, Then?
If Nespresso came up with Vertuo because they lost their OriginalLine patent, does that mean they will phase out OriginalLine pods?
No, nespresso is not discontinuing OriginalLine. They are the leading single-serve espresso machine and they’ve sold more OriginalLine machine over the last 20 years than any Vertuo machines. They won’t give up on those customers, for sure. They are earning less from OriginalLine, and they are definitely pushing towards selling more Vertuo, but they’re not phasing out OriginalLine for sure.
When Will Nespresso’s Patent on Vertuo Pods Expire? When Will Other Companies Make Vertuo Pods?
The answers to both these questions are interchangeable. Other companies can sell Vertuo pods only if Nespresso’s patent on the pods expires. So, when will the patent expire?
According to this document, the anticipated expiration year is 2029. But that’s only the ‘anticipated’ year, the patent could renew for a longer time. This means that Nespresso isn’t losing this Patent any time soon.
If other companies were ever able to make pods for Vertuo, they will be made by Nespresso, just like their partnership with Starbucks. But looking at their history with OriginalLine pods, their only ever pod production partnership was Starbucks.
Which Nespresso Vertuo Machine Has Been Discontinued?
As of the time of writing this post (Feb 2023), no Vertuo machine has been discontinued. In fact, Nespresso is working on adding more Vertuo machines to their line of products. All Vertuo machines (Vertuo, Evoluo, Vertuo Next, VertuoPlus) are available from Nespresso directly or through their partner brands, Breville and DeLonghi in the states, or Krups or Magimix in the UK.
What Happens If My Vertuo Machine Becomes Discontinued?
If your Vertuo machine, whichever model you choose, becomes discontinued. Or if you buy an older model, Nespresso will continue to support it until your warranty expires.
If your machine breaks or under performs while still in warranty, Nespresso will most likely offer you a new one.
Which Vertuo Pods Have Been Discontinued?
When it comes to pods, there are the permanent pods which are sold all year long, and there are the seasonal limited edition pods, which only come around for holiday seasons or as a limited edition. These Limited Edition pods always change, some never come back while the popular ones make it back in their respective season.
Were Alto and Bianco Leggero Permanently Discontinued?
One pod that Nespresso has discontinued for the Vertuo is Alto, which was a 14 oz serving size pod. They never mentioned a reason for discontinuing this pod. UPDATE: Alto is now back!
Bianco Leggero was replaced with a new pod under the name Bianco Doppio, which is meant to taste the same, especially in a milk recipe.
Why Did Nespresso Discontinued 14 oz Alto Pods?
Nespresso’s previous 14 oz Vertuo Pods, which are the XL Alto Pods, used to make 14 oz of coffee using the same amount of coffee grounds in a 7.7 oz coffee pod. That resulted in a weak 14 oz of coffee.
So Nespresso now reformulated the XL pod, added more coffee grounds and smaller serving for a stronger tasting cup of coffee.
Can You Buy Vertuo Pods in Stores?
Vertuo pods can be purchase from Nespresso only, which as I mentioned, still hold the patent for them and no other brand is allow to make or sell Vertuo pods.
You can buy Vertuo pods from:
- Nespresso’s online store or boutiques (physical stores).
- Nespresso’s Amazon store.
Some online retailers resell Vertuo pods for slightly higher price, but I always recommend that you buy your pods from Nespresso to ensure the quality of the pod.
Starbucks Vertuo Pods
The only brand that sells Veruto pods other than Nespresso is Starbucks. Those pods are actually officially licensed and are made by Nespresso. Starbucks Vertuo pods can be purchased from Starbucks or some major supermarkets or online retailers.
Is Nespresso Vertuo Worth It?
If you’re worried about buying a Vertuo machine because it might be discontinued soon, rest assured that these machines are here to last. Vertuo is currently Nespresso’s money maker, as long as they continue to have the patent for the pods, which is still valid for years to come.
Keep in mind though that buying a Vertuo machines means you are committing to buying your pods from Nespresso. Is Vertuo worth it enough to commit to one type of pods from a single brand?
This is a question only you can answer. Personally speaking, I would make sure you really want to use larger pods from Vertuo, which is what makes them special. If you’re an espresso drinker, or make espresso based drinks only, you’re better off with an original line.