August 18, 2023

Can you use Nespresso original line capsules in Vertuo brewers?

First introduced in 1986, Nespresso original line coffee capsules are incredibly popular. Similarly, you can find the machines that brew these capsules in homes, offices, and hotels around the world.

But after their patents expired and more competitors emerged, Nespresso launched the Vertuo capsules in 2014. Vertuo capsules are larger than original line coffee pods and have a different shape. They are also brewed in a different way. 

So, can you use Nespresso original line coffee capsules in Vertuo brewers? Read on to find out.

Coffee capsule coffee served in a disposable cup.

Why did Nespresso introduce Vertuo coffee capsules?

When Nespresso first emerged, it marketed its coffee capsules mainly at businesses and offices. However, the first commercial Nespresso capsule brewer was as big as a traditional espresso machine and was not very successful.

However, in 1990, Nespresso changed its strategy. It struck new deals with several coffee machine manufacturers including De’Longhi, Siemens, and Krups, and began distributing Nespresso brewers in several key markets.

It raised the price of coffee capsules and rolled out hundreds of Nespresso boutique stores around the world. After this, the brand continued to become more and more successful, eventually dominating the European coffee capsule market.

For consumers, the appeal is obvious. Coffee capsule brewers simplify coffee preparation, meaning you don’t need specific skills to brew high-quality espresso-style coffee. The process is quick, convenient and efficient, and requires minimal cleaning up.

Effectively, coffee capsule brewers are an all-in-one solution for home consumers and today, manufacturers sell around 14 billion coffee capsules each year. Despite this, Nespresso has faced several challenges over the years.

In 2012, Nespresso’s various patents began to expire. Facing legal challenges in Germany and England, it quickly realized it could no longer hold a monopoly on original line coffee capsules. 

Two years later, in 2014, Nespresso diversified its capsule portfolio with the Vertuo system.

A Metropolis coffee capsule brewer.

What’s the difference between Nespresso original line and Vertuo coffee capsules?

The difference between Nespresso original line capsules and Vertuo capsules can be summed up in a few points:

  • Vertuo capsules are bigger.
  • They have different shapes.
  • They work with different machines that use very different brewing mechanisms.

Capsule design

Nespresso original line capsules, as well as third-party coffee capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line brewers, can be made from various materials.

Regardless of the material used to make them, these capsules all share virtually the same shape. Furthermore, each capsule contains between 5g and 7g of finely ground coffee and are usually hermetically sealed to prolong freshness. 

Vertuo capsules are also made from aluminum. However, they’re much bigger, contain up to 13g of coffee and have a dome shape rather than the classic original line cup shape.


Once a user inserts an original line capsule into a brewer, the machine pierces the base and pumps hot water through it. The pressure forces the capsule seal to rupture, forcing coffee through the spout and into the cup.

With most capsule brewers, the machine ejects the spent capsule into an internal refuse tray as soon as you insert another capsule. The entire process – from heating to brewing – takes just minutes, and there’s nothing to clean up afterwards.

Vertuo brewers use a different process to prepare coffee. The brewing method is similar, but with one key difference – the capsule spins at up to 7,000 rpm as the coffee extracts.

Metropolis Redline coffee capsules in packaging.

Can consumers use original line coffee capsules in Vertuo machines?

Nope. Nespresso sells totally separate machines for its original line and Vertuo coffee capsules. The capsules are different in size, shape and function, meaning there’s no way to use them interchangeably.

Moreover, Nespresso is the only manufacturer of Vertuo capsules – and the machines that brew them. 

Since introducing the Vertuo system in 2014, Nespresso has launched it in other markets like Europe, the Middle East and Asia. However, when it comes to sheer sales volume, accessibility, and variety, original line compatible capsules are still by far the most popular around the world

Metropolis wholesale espresso capsules

At Metropolis, we only make espresso capsules that are compatible with Nespresso original line brewers. 

They’re also plant-based and commercially compostable, meaning they address many of the environmental concerns historically associated with aluminum capsules. And as they are commercially compostable, you can dispose of them of at any commercial composting facility in the US.

Our espresso capsule lineup includes several house blends, including:

As well as this, we also offer wholesale espresso capsules through a number of channels. This means you can buy our existing capsules on a wholesale basis, or work with us through our private-label and co-packing services.

With private-label espresso capsules, we work with you to create a blend suited to your specific needs. We then grind, fill, seal, and flush the capsules using our cutting-edge Italian filling machine, before putting your brand on the capsules. With co-packing, you can provide the coffee, and we’ll do the rest.

Interested in learning more? Check out our wholesale co-packing and private-label espresso capsule solutions today.

Certified compostable facilities may not exist in your area. To find a composter near you, visit or on all packaging and marketing materials.

Metropolis Coffee is not affiliated with, endorsed, or sponsored by Nespresso. Nespresso is a registered trademark of Société des Produits Nestlé.

Metropolis Coffee

Want to keep up to date with our latest blog posts, news and products? Sign up for our newsletter here.