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Thursday, September 20, 2012

review: the starbucks verismo

the starbucks verismo 580

Sometimes you need a latte and you need it. Right. Now. And sometimes it positively has to be a Starbucks. Enter the new Verismo, Starbucks at-home coffee/latte/espresso machine. How does it compare?

A review machine arrived last week and so far we have made dozens of lattes, espresso shots and cups of coffee. We compared these drinks to our current at-home coffee machines including the Keurig and Nespresso Lattissima machines. I prefer the Keurig because there are hundreds of different flavors available. L. like the Nespresso for the pure, deep espresso taste. Comparing the Verismo to these two machines, if you are a Starbucks fan, this is clearly going to be a product you will love when you can't get out to a Starbucks. All the drinks we tried were similar to the store's offerings with the small exception being that the lattes weren't as hot as I would expect them to be. They were hot, yes, but not as hot as it would be if it were served to you in-store. Also, the pods were on the expensive side ($1.61 for a latte, $1 coffee)

Interesting notes

Update 10.16.12 There have been several comments regarding the drip tray which fills easily with leftover milk/coffee.  It doesn't affect your coffee drink.  However, it's unappealing. If you experience this problem, contact Starbucks to alert them. Hopefully the next model will fix this issue.
  • There are two models: The 580 (base at $199) and the 585 (premium at $399)
  • The Starbucks Verismo uses only Starbucks pods unlike the Keurig which allows you hundreds of variations for coffee, tea and hot chocolate flavors
  • The pods are made from Starbucks 100 percent arabica beans, the same coffee served in the Starbucks restaurants
  • To make lattes, you use 1 powdered milk pod made from 2% milk and 1 espresso pod (I like my  lattes STRONG so I use two espresso pods + 1 milk pod)
  • The 580  and 585 models will be available 10/2 at specialty retailers and 10/16 (base only) at Starbucks locations
  • Pod prices: 
    • Caffe Latte Pack 8 Espresso + 8 Milk pods = $12.95 ($1.61 serving)
    • Espresso (12 pods) = $11.95 ($1 shot/serving)
    • Coffee (12 pods) = $11.95 ($1 cup/serving)
  • To make a Vanilla latte brew 1 milk pod, 1 espresso pod and mix with 1 Tbsp. Vanilla syrup

If you can't start the day without your cup of Starbucks, this product is ideal for you. If you prefer choices other than Starbucks (cocoa or tea), the Keurig is the better option.

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