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Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: They're Totally Different

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: They’re Totally Different

Nespresso Guides May 30, 2023

If you are considering between Nespresso Vertuo Pop and an Essenza Mini, it means that you are torn between two of Nespresso’s brewing systems.

  • Nespresso Vertuo Pop = Nespresso Vertuo machine
  • Nespresso Essenza Mini = Nespresso Originalline machine

Key Differences

Brewing systems: Vertuo is a espresso and coffee machine, while Essenza Mini is an Espresso machine.
Different Coffee pods: Vertuo uses different pod sizes that are exclusive to Nespresso, while Essenza uses espresso pods from Nespresso pods or 3rd party brands.

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: The Differences

Let me start with explaining why I am comparing Nespresso Vertuo Pop to Essenza Mini, even though they are two totally different things.

It’s becaus each of these models are the smallest machines in each of Nespresso’s categories. Vertuo Pop is the smallest VERTUO machine, while Essenza Mini is the smallest OriginalLine machine.

How To Choose Between Them

The question here is, do you want a Nespresso Vertuo system or a Nespresso Original espresso machine?

It’s important to know what you’re going to be brewing mainly…

  • Nespresso OriginalLine, or Essenza Mini in this case, is perfect for espresso drinkers. It makes espressos and any espresso based drink, as long as you bundle it with a milk frother to help you easily make your favorite latte at home.
  • Nespresso Vertuo, or Vertuo Pop, offers you a wider range of coffee drinks. But it locks you to Nespresso’s own capsules.

One of the great features of Nespresso Vertuo Pop is bluetooth connectivity. I was never a fan of bluetooth connected machines, but I do like this for one reason:

  • receiving periodic updates to the machine.

What does this mean for you? It means that your Vertuo Pop, or Vertuo Next, can expand in features without you having to buy a new machine.

But again, not everyone is looking for such advanced features.

What I can tell you for sure is, and this is from my own experience which you can read about here, if you want to brew espresso only, Vertuo is not your machine, choose an OriginalLine instead. But if you want to brew a variety of coffee sizes, you’ll enjoy a Vertuo system.

Design and Dimensions

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: They're Totally Different

Vertuo Pop features a modern and sleek design, with its stylish appearance and compact size. The materials used are a mix of plastic and metal (in the Vertuo Pop Deluxe version), with clean lines and minimalistic details. With its one-touch brewing system and user-friendly interface, Nespresso Vertuo Pop makes it easy for you to enjoy a great cup of coffee with a push of a button.

Dimensions of Nespresso Vertuo Pop are 8.6 x 14 x 10.4 in WxDxH. So while it is short in height, and slim in width, it does have some depth to it.

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: They're Totally Different
My personal Essenza Mini

On the other hand, Nespresso Essenza Mini is an ultra-compact coffee machine with a simple yet elegant design. It’s made primarily of plastic, with dimensions of 4.3 x 12.8 x 8.1 inches WxDxH and weighs just 2.3 pounds. This small size allows Nespresso Essenza Mini to fit seamlessly into any kitchen space, office or dorm room.

Coffee Brew Sizes

Brew sizes is the one ‘make or break’ factors in deciding between Nespresso Vertuo or OriginalLine, or in this case, Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini

Nespresso Vertuo Pop Brew Sizes

Vertuo Pop offers a versatile brewing experience with six different brew sizes, ranging from a single espresso shot to a full carafe of coffee. The brew sizes include:

  • Espresso (1.35 oz)
  • Double Espresso (2.7 oz)
  • Gran Lungo (5 oz)
  • Mug (7.77 oz)
  • Alto (12 oz) (Vertuo Pop and Vertuo Next only)
  • Carafe (18 oz) (Vertuo Pop and Vertuo Next only)

Vertuo uses a different pod for each of these brewing sizes. Each pod has a unique barcode on its rim, which Vertuo’s barcode reader automatically reads and recognizes the pod you are trying to brew, then dispenses the exact brew size automatically.

Related: Nespresso Alto Pods

Nespresso Essenza Mini, on the other hand, is a simpler machine that focuses primarily on brewing espresso and lungo drinks. Its two available brew sizes are:

  • Espresso (1.35 oz)
  • Lungo (3.7 oz)

Though the Essenza Mini offers a more limited brewing range compared to Vertuo Pop, it still provides the essential sizes for those who enjoy espresso-based beverages.

So, when considering Nespresso Vertuo Pop or Nespresso Essenza Mini, think about what brew sizes are most important to you. If you require a wide selection, Vertuo Pop has a lot to offer. However, if you’re predominantly an espresso or lungo drinker, Nespresso Essenza Mini might be the more suitable option.

Coffee Pods

nespresso pod compatibility

This is another vital deciding factor when it comes to choosing between Nespresso Vertuo vs OriginalLine. You’ll want to make sure that you can commit to the pod your machine uses, since both Nespresso Vertuo Pop and Essenza Mini use different type of capsules.

Nespresso Vertuo Pods

Vertuo Pop uses Vertuo Pods. These pods are exclusive to Nespresso, which means you can only purchase them from Nespresso (their online store, boutiques or amazon store).

Nespresso Vertuo pods come in different coffee varieties, sizes, and intensities, offering you an extensive range of options to suit your preferences.

Due to the patented technology used in these capsules, you won’t find any compatible alternatives from other brands. This means that your choice of coffee pods is limited to what Nespresso offers.

The only exception here is Starbucks pods which are available for Vertuo machines, as they are made by Nespresso, but they’re available in local grocery stores and slightly less expensive than Nespresso’s own pods.

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Essenza Mini: They're Totally Different
the difference between an originalline capsule (left) and Vertuo capsule (right)

Nespresso Original Pods

On the other hand, the Essenza Mini uses Nespresso Original capsules. Unlike Nespresso Vertuo pods, there are various compatible alternatives available from other brands. This means you have more options to choose from, in addition to the Nespresso Original pods.

Some popular Nespresso Original compatible pods include: Starbucks, Dunkin’s, Lavazza, Illy and many many more.

Being able to use a wider variety of pods not only provides more options for your taste buds, but it can also be more cost-effective, as some compatible pods can be cheaper than the official Nespresso pods.

Related: Nespresso Pod Caffeine Content Chart

Pros and Cons of Each Model

Nespresso Vertuo Pop offers you a variety of features for your brewing experience. One notable feature is the capsule specific brewing system, which reads the barcode on each capsule to ensure precise brewing parameters for each blend.

Overall, Vertuo Pop has the same ‘core’ as every Nespresso Vertuo machine, but it is mainly considered as a smaller version of Nespresso Vertuo Next.


– It is compact in size and comes in a set of POP colors
– It has Bluetooth connectivity which allows it to receive over the air updates
– It has two exclusive brew sizes that other Nespresso Vertuo machine can’t brew: XL Coffee and Carafe Pods.


– Cup clearance is shot, it barely fits taller cups or travel mugs.
– Limited to Nespresso’s own Pods

Bluetooth Connectivity

Nespresso Vertuo Pop has Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect it to your smart phone using Nespresso’s app. You can use this feature to track your pod usage and it can alert you when you’re possibly running low. It also offers software upgrades for your machine, and descale alerts or troubleshoot guides.

Also read: Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Vertuo Next vs VertuoPlus

On the other hand, Nespresso Essenza Mini is designed to cater to your espresso needs while taking up minimal counter space. It’s a perfectly reliable machine that delivers espresso quickly and efficiently, making your mornings much easier.

Nespresso Essenza Mini’s compact design and light weight make it easy to store away when not in use.

Nespresso Essenza Mini is the least complicated espresso machine you’ll come across. It Is VERY simple to use, no complicated features, brews espresso and lungo perfectly. And if you want to make espresso based drinks, you can do so with the help of an Aeroccino.


– Small and easy to use
– Great variety of coffee pods to choose from
– Compatible with 3rd party pods


– Very basic features
– limited to Espresso brewing. Not suitable for someone looking for large coffee cups.

Ease of Cleaning and Maintenance

When it comes to cleaning and maintaining Nespresso Vertuo Pop, the process is quite straightforward. First, turn on the machine and move the lever to the LOCKED position, this will cause the machine to start heating up. Once the light becomes steady white, it means the machine is ready for cleaning1.

  • Fill the water tank with warm water, preferably 55° C.
  • Place a container beneath the coffee outlet.
  • Press the button for cleaning mode and allow the machine to run through the cycle.
  • Once the cleaning process is finished, discard the water and rinse the water tank.

You should also regularly descale Nespresso Vertuo Pop to ensure optimal performance. The descaling process is similar to the cleaning process but involves using a descaling solution.

For Nespresso Essenza Mini, keeping it clean and well-maintained involves a few simple steps. To start, you’ll want to fill the water tank with warm water (max. 55° C) and run the water through the machine for its first use.

To maintain your Nespresso Essenza Mini:

  • Empty the water tank, drip tray, and used coffee capsule container as needed.
  • Clean the water tank and drip tray with mild detergent and water.
  • Regularly descale the machine, as per the user manual3.

By maintaining the cleanliness and functionality of your Nespresso machine, you’ll ensure that it continues to produce excellent espresso for a long time.


  1. https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/machine-assistance/vertuo-pop
  2. https://www.nespresso.com/us/en/machine-assistance/essenza-mini

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