I found a hidden Nespresso setting, and it's a game-changer

Nespresso Pop
(Image credit: Future)

One of the perks of buying a Nespresso Vertuo machine is the huge variety of capsules available. From a single shot of espresso to a full-sized carafe, the best Nespresso machines are designed to always brew the perfect length of coffee for your selected flavor. However, for users like myself who prefer to drink espresso-based coffee, the Vertuo pod system can prove a little restrictive if you run out of the right capsules. 

I'm guilty of racing through new packs of espresso or double espresso pods, while my gran lungo or mug-sized capsules gather dust at the back of my kitchen cupboard. That is, until I discovered Expert Mode, which gives you the option of overriding your Vertuo's pre-set shot lengths and automatically brewing a shorter shot, no matter the size of your capsule. 

If, like me, you really want to try Nespresso's myriad limited-edition flavors but don't feel like brewing a Gran Lungo or Mug-sized amount of coffee, this hack will unlock a whole new world of options. It's also handy as we enter iced coffee season and start to use our coffee makers a bit differently. When making iced coffee, it's best to brew a concentrated dose of coffee over ice to prevent your drink from becoming watered-down or lukewarm, so Expert Mode is a huge help. 

Although Nespresso's Expert Mode has been available for over a year, I only recently learned of its existence, and it's completely changed the way I use my Nespresso. And according to a recent TikTok, I'm not the only one. 


♬ original sound - Brookelyn | coffee girly🌸💗

In the viral TikTok, which has already hit nearly one million views, user @brookelynlikesespresso shows users how to activate Expert Mode to convert any size coffee capsule to a more concentrated shot. If you don't want to invest in an espresso machine but prefer shorter shots of coffee, it's a great workaround. 

Viewers pointed out that they love to use Nespresso's flavored capsules this way as an easy hack to make homemade vanilla or pumpkin lattes. They also highlighted that Expert Mode is a great way to use up old capsules that aren't the right size for your preferred drinking preference.

What does Expert Mode do? 

Nespresso Pop

(Image credit: Nespresso)

Expert Mode will make a more concentrated version of whatever capsule you put in your machine. The size of the concentrated shot will vary depending on what pod you choose, though. 

  • Espresso becomes Ristretto
  • Double Espresso becomes Espresso
  • Gran Lungo becomes Espresso
  • Mug becomes Double Espresso

How to activate Expert Mode

Activating Expert Mode on your Nespresso Vertuo couldn't be easier. All you need to do is turn the machine on, add your selected capsule and lock it into place, and then double-tap the brewing button. It should then start to flash blue, indicating that you've selected Expert Mode to override the pre-set brewing preferences for your capsule. 

Which Nespresso machines feature Expert Mode? 

Nespresso Vertuo machines in a row

(Image credit: Nespresso)

Unfortunately, only Nespresso's latest machines feature Expert Mode. It's exclusive to Vertuo machines, but excludes the Vertuo Plus. 

If you have the following machines, you should be able to make use of Expert Mode:

  • Nespresso Vertuo Pop+
  • Nespresso Vertuo Creatista
  • Nespresso Vertuo Lattissima 
  • Nespresso Vertuo Next

Why can't I use Expert Mode?

If you have one of the compatible devices but you can't activate Expert Mode, you need to update the software on your machine. To do this, you simply need to download the Nespresso app and pair it with your machine. From there, you'll get the option to update your firmware, which will enable the new mode. 

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Millie Fender
Senior Homes Editor

Millie is the Senior Home Editor at Tom's Guide. She's been reviewing home tech for over five years, testing everything from coffee makers to the latest vacuum cleaners. Starting out in 2019 as a Staff Writer at TopTenReviews, Millie then moved on to Future's Homes portfolio, where she eventually oversaw all product testing as Head of Reviews.

With particular expertise in cookware and kitchen appliances, you'll struggle to find an air fryer Millie's not tested. She's traveled the world reporting on the latest home innovations and product launches, learning how to use pizza ovens from Pizzaiolos in Naples, and touring the De'Longhi factory in Venice.

When she's not reporting on home and appliance trends, Millie loves watching live music. She's currently learning the guitar - naturally, she plays a Fender.

  • jimgardner
    Why would you do this and waste a pod? I have a few 230ml pods left over although I tend to prefer double espresso. HOWEVER rather than use this feature to get a double espresso single drink (which presumably is more intense which i wouldnt like) I simply use a 230ml to fill a cafetiere and then only pour half the contents into a cup. I then reheat the remainder in a microwave (perfectly ok) later in the day. This gives me 2 drinks from a single pod
  • missbanjo
    cOmpLeTe GaMe cHanGEr Mmmk, can't read the manual huh? There aren't a huge variety for Vertuo, that OL. 🙄