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Nespresso Vertuo Creatista review: Growing pains

Nespresso's latest Vertuo machine has a familiar formula but doesn't taste as good as it should.

Nespresso Vertuo Creatista
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Type
Pod coffee
Pump pressure
15 bar
RRP
🔥 Save 13% $1099 $999
Fergus Halliday
Aug 15, 2023
Icon Time To Read6 min read

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Quick verdict: Nespresso Vertuo Creatista

The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista fills out a necessary niche within the wider Vertuo roster but it's a little expensive and rarely feels as cohesive and clean as its standard pod coffee counterparts.

pro
Pros
pro Premium aesthetics
pro Built-in steam wand
pro Expert Mode
con
Cons
con Vertuo pods can be hit and miss
con Very expensive
con Can't brew & froth milk at the same time

Pod-based coffee is no longer novel. It's normal. So rather than get consumers to try it out for the first time, Nespresso is now looking to build out an ecosystem that draws in those who are willing to pay extra for a better version of that experience.

The Vertuo Next was a good first run at this. The Vertuo Pop did the same thing, but cheaper. Now, the Vertuo Creatista is looking to win over power users who want a more mature pod machine that's every bit as versatile as the alternatives. The finished product mostly gets there, but that success is often only as solid as its weakest link.

The Vertuo Creatista is shiny and new, but prone to growing pains in a way that feels all too familiar. It's aiming for the right targets, but it misses the mark more than you'd expect. It's not bad by any stretch, but it's not quite as good as probably needs to be given the price either.

Vertuo Creatista header

How much does Nespresso Vertuo Creatista cost in Australia?

Starts at $1,099

In Australia, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is available at an RRP of $1,099. That's pretty expensive for a pod-based machine, even for one that uses Nespresso Vertuo pods.

Fortunately, there are already more than a few retailers running discounts on Nespresso's premium pod-coffee machine. Check out the table below for a round-up of pricing in Australia to see which retailer has the cheapest Nespresso Vertuo Creatista price.

Store
Price
More info
The Good Guys
From
$999
Bing Lee
From
$999

Nespresso Vertuo Creatista - Design and features

Shiny and chrome
Nespresso Vertuo Creatista on bench

In both name and nature, the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is a hybrid of the Nespresso Vertuo Next and the company's Creatista line. The short version is that you get a built-in steam wand, a sleek stainless steel design plus support for Vertuo coffee pods rather than standard Nespresso capsules.

The longer one? The Vertuo Creatista is the all-in-one machine for those who want the best pod coffee pods Nespresso has plus the hardware to go with it. To that end, it even includes the "Expert Mode" that was previously exclusive to the Nespresso Vertuo Pop.

Compared to Nespresso's leaner and meaner Vertuo machines, the Vertuo Creatista is a bit bulkier. Rather than the elegant unibody of its namesake, the form factor here is more two-pronged in shape. At times, it looks like two coffee machines have been merged into one. The left-hand side of the machine is where the espresso pump lives while the right houses the steam wand. There's a spill tray that connects the two halves of the Vertuo Creatista, but this can be quickly and easily detached whenever you need to clean it or need more legroom to brew a larger or carafe-sized beverage.

As with the other Nespresso Vertuo machines, the back end houses a 2L water reservoir and a cleaning kitOther specs here include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity (which is used in conjunction with the Nespresso app), 30 seconds of warm-up time and a power-saving setting that'll automatically turn off the device after two minutes of inactivity. None of that is new, but it is nice to have regardless.

All told, the Vertuo Creatista ekes out an uneasy middle ground for itself. It's not quite as subtle and compact as either its siblings on either side of the family. Still, the larger form factor does make for a machine that's a little friendlier than previous Vertuo offerings when it comes to bigger beverages.

Nespresso Vertuo Creatista - Setup and performance

Simplicity and stainless steel
Nespresso Vertuo Creatista on bench

Like its predecessor, the setup process for the Vertuo Creatista is super straightforward.

You plug the machine into a power socket, fill up the water tank and you're good to go. From there, all you need to do is slot in your Vertuo pod of choice, lock it in with the crank handle and hit the glowing button. About thirty seconds later, you should have a creamy and full-bodied beverage that's either ready to drink or ready to be mixed up with some milk.

It's a similar situation when it comes to the steam wand on the Vertuo Creatista. You put your cup, mug or alternative coffee vessel below the spout, press the button and let the magic happen.

As opposed to the standard Creatista Pro, there's no LCD screen here letting you choose and customise the beverage you want. Instead, you've got just two additional keys that let you quickly and easily adjust the level of heat and frothiness you want in your milk. This is especially useful if you prefer plant-based milk, as those tend to feature a lower boiling point than traditional milk.

Beyond the inclusion of a steam wand, the most noteworthy feature here is support for Nespresso Vertuo Pods. This type of coffee capsule are more expensive than the alternative but comes encoded with a bar code that contains additional instructions for how best to brew a given capsule.

Unlike other pod-based or even other Nespresso coffee machines, there are no third-party pod options for the Vertuo Creatista. The pods for this machine tend to be slightly more expensive than standard Nespresso pods. Where regular Nespresso pods start at around $7.90 (for a 10-pack) on the official website, Vertuo pods start at around $8.50.

That might not sound like a huge difference, but it adds up quickly over the life of the machine. Essentially, you're going to be paying more in addition to the privilege of fewer choices.

While the Expert Mode here does allow you to dispense the contents of any given Vertuo Pod as either a single-shot, double-shot or ristretto rather than strictly as the barcode says it should be brewed, the more time I spent delving beyond my usual staple of Vertuo Pods designed for espresso, the less confident I was about the advantages writ large.

While it is capable of producing more sophisticated pod coffee, not all Vertuo pods are created equal. Generally speaking, I found that where the smaller-sized Vertuo pods delivered a huge bump in beverage quality that the same couldn't be said of larger ones. The ability to deviate from the exact specifications of a given pod using Expert Mode provides some welcome flexibility, but the final results were sometimes hit and miss.

The other key performance shortcoming here is that while the Vertuo Creatista can service both your coffee and milk needs, it can't do the two simultaneously. Having to do one then the other is a pretty small ask, but it feels far inferior to the ease with which the Creatista Pro covers off every part of the process in a single interaction.

Nespresso Vertuo Pop vs Vertuo Creatista

How does the latest Vertuo compare to the last?

Those looking to tease out the differences between the Nespresso Vertuo Pop and the Vertuo Creative, do not have to look very hard. The Vertuo Pop takes up less space, looks a lot more colourful and is significantly cheaper.

The Nespresso Vertuo Creatista is larger and more expensive. It also comes with an integrated steam wand and a larger water reservoir. It's the better bet for those who prefer beverages that involve milk, but the cost is somewhat prohibitive for a pod machine. If you favour espresso or don't mind investing in a dedicated milk frothing solution, I think you could probably get away with the Vertuo Pop or Vertuo Next instead.

Recommended for your new coffee machine
These are the best sellers on Amazon that go with your Nespresso coffee machine

*Pricing and deals only accurate as of last page update. 

Is Nespresso Vertuo Creatista worth buying?

Bigger expectations take a bite out of bigger ambitions
Nespresso Vertuo Creatista on bench

If you've been longing for a single all-in-one machine that can handle both Vertuo pods and milk prep, there's a lot to like about the Vertuo Creatista. Where the previous Vertuo machines have been geared towards espresso first and foremost, the Creatista is all about catering to everything else you could be brewing. Compared to what's come before, it's less of an appetizer and more of a banquet.

Unfortunately, those strengths are offset by factors like the higher price and uneven execution. What's here is good, but it's too expensive and not nearly as cohesive as its standard pod counterparts. It fills out a necessary niche within the wider Vertuo roster but it's easy to imagine how it could be better, which is not really what you want when you're spending this much on a pod coffee machine.

Nespresso has done a pretty good job of translating the Creatista to this new format, but you can't help but feel like something has been lost in translation.

How does the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista compare?

Product
Our score
Price
Pump pressure
Coffee type
More info
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $229
$189
15 barsPod coffee
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $499
$449
15 barsManual espresso
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
From
$507.84
15 barsManual espresso w/ grinder
4.3 out of 5 stars
4.25
From
$1449
19Manual espresso w/ grinder
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
🔥From $249
$199
15 barsPod coffee
4 out of 5 stars
4
From
$749
15 barsAutomatic espresso w/ grinder
4 out of 5 stars
4
🔥From $899
$719.20
15 barsAutomatic espresso w/ grinder
3 out of 5 stars
3
🔥From $529
$199
15 barsManual espresso

How we review coffee machines

The short answer: by making (and drinking) a lot of coffee. The longer one: We spend some serious time not just using the coffee machines we review, but also thinking about the type of users they're for. We don't just read and regurgitate a spec-sheet. We take stock of what the landscape looks like, and how machines like the Nespresso Vertuo Creatista fit into it.

Even if there are clear differences between home espresso machines like this one and cheaper pod-based options, those differences can be bridged by a thorough assessment of how successful both approaches when it comes to solving the problem of delivering the quality homemade coffee possible with as little effort as possible.

For a full breakdown of our approach to reviewing coffee machines, visit this page.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a journalist and editor for Reviews.org. He’s written about technology, telecommunications, gaming and more for over a decade. He got his start writing in high school and began his full-time career as the Editor of PC World Australia. Fergus has made the MCV 30 Under 30 list, been a finalist for seven categories at the IT Journalism Awards and won Most Controversial Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards. He has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, GamesHub, Press Start, Screen Rant, Superjump, Nestegg and more.

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