Starbucks has finally come home to roast – so to speak. The brand has taken the leap from behind the counter and will now turn you into a barista at home with their addictive Verismo System 580. This isn’t entirely new territory for Starbucks, having debuted the VIA Ready Brew coffee packets awhile ago and Keurig K cups too. So in reality, Starbucks has been convincing us to brew their coffee at home for sometime now. Let’s also not forget about the option of grinding Starbucks beans too. However this latest venture makes it that much easier for you to have a caffè latte, americano, brewed coffee, or espresso at home or in the office, with the press of a button. The only one who will need to know your name is the loved one making the tall, grande, or venti in your kitchen.
The Verismo 580 is a sleek machine that will fit into any kitchen decor. While the Keurig machines are traditionally more bulky and lack any type of charm, the Verismo 580 adds style to the coffee machine industry without breaking the bank like the pricer Nespresso machines do. The Verismo is available in a choice of Silver, Burgundy, Champagne, and Black.
Utilizing a pod system, the Verismo currently has a solid line-up of Starbucks most popular blends. From espresso to lattes to the simple pleasure of the breakfast blend – it should curb your cravings in the morning before heading to a Starbucks to satisfy your need for a macchiato with double espresso and whip. The pods however are specifically designed for the Verismo. So if you think you can use them in other machines - you can’t and vice versa. K cups will not fit into this machine.
Like most coffee machines that have a pod system, it doesn’t take much brain matter to operate the Verismo 580. The system comes with step by step instructions on how to operate it and make the perfect cup of coffee. The most important task is to first give the machine a rinse before brewing a cup of coffee. The whole set-up takes all of 5 minutes and then the system is ready to go. Just fill the water tank with water and press the rinse/espresso button to begin the process.
The Verismo Pods look similar in design to Keurig’s K cups, but they are significantly smaller. There is also a pod opening on the top of the machine for you to slide the Verismo pod into. Once the pod is placed in the machine, all you need to do is pull the lever down and the pod is set in place and ready to be turned into a cup of joe.
One of the many unique features to the machine is the adjustable drip tray. This allows you to use small cups for espresso and larger cups for latte’s and coffee. What’s the big deal you ask? Well that means your coffee is bound to stay warmer because of the close proximity to the spout and also limits splashes from the coffee being spout out from the machine. The drip tray’s backside also houses the used pod containers.
So does the Starbucks Verismo produce the same quality as a Starbucks store bought coffee? YES. In fact, in some cases I would say it is even better. The ability to be your own barista and manage the intensity of the espresso yourself is a thrilling concept. The 19 bar high pressure pump reassures me that I get a solid cup of Starbucks quality coffee every time. There is also the availability of milk pods which enhances the whole experience. The coffee is nice and hot and you can see the heat billowing out of it easily. The water is also hot enough to make a cup of tea with a tea bag. Do you prefer your coffee with more or less frothy milk? No problem – the dedicated milk button on the machine makes sure your milk pod treats your latte with love.
Once your coffee intake is done, just pull out the drip tray and dump the empty pods. Everything can be easily cleaned in your sink without breaking a sweat.
Almost like the perfect opera (Verismo is a term used for describing realism in the Opera world), Verismo’s design is minimal and sleek, it is also easy to use, easy to clean-up, the first round of Verismo pods highlight Starbucks’ most popular roasts, and it is priced right. Would I like to have the flexibility to use pods from competing brands? Sure. But I’m also excited to see what Starbucks has in store for us in regards to its growing Verismo pod selection. While the Verismo certainly will be a joy to have in your home, it still doesn’t take away the experience of being called by name when your drink is done at your local Starbucks. Now, you just get to have the best of both worlds. The Starbucks Verismo System 580 currently retails for $199 and can be purchased online via Starbucks.com, Williams-Sonoma, Sur La Table, and other speciality retailers.
The Good: A thoughtful machine that produces quality Starbucks store bought coffee. Sleek design, realistic price point, easy to use, and easy to clean.
The Bad: Attracts dust and exterior is a bit plasticky. Watch your cups, because the caffeine is pretty strong for such tiny pods.