Review: Verismo Single Serve Coffee and Espresso System by Starbucks
Starbucks recently sent over the Verismo Single Serve Coffee and Espresso System which besides VIA instant coffee is their first single serve coffee and espresso system. Currently there are two models of the Verismo - the 580 and the V-585 larger model. The Verismo will make a variety of cafe beverages by using a combination of espresso Verismo pods and milk pods. You can also brew fresh coffee by using a Verismo coffee pod that has a freshness foil on the bottom of it you need to remove to reduce the pressure in the pod while brewing a single serve cup of coffee.
We received the Verismo 580 machine and it's very sleek and not very heavy. We like the fit and finish of the machine, and the overall design on the machine for us is one of it's strengths. If you're going to spend $199 for the 580 and $399 V-585 Verismo the machine had better be appealing. The water reservoir was easy to fill, and the lever to insert the Verismo pods was also easy to use repeatedly. We like the catch basin and multi-tier design of the cup stand allowing you to use larger or smaller cups, and you can even rise the cup stand high enough to use a shot glass for espresso shots.
The lift handle and insertion of pods is easy.
Verismo Highlights include:
- Starbucks quality lattes, espresso and brewed coffee, all from one machine ␣ Lattes are made to our café standard of caramelly, rich espresso and natural, creamy 2% milk
- Fresh, natural milk makes creamy, sweet, frothy 2% milk that is perfect for Starbucks Lattes
- Uses Swiss-‐engineered high-‐pressure technology (19 bars) to deliver a caramelly, rich Starbucks quality espresso shot
- Functions as both a high-‐pressure (espresso) and low-‐pressure (brewed coffee) machine with automatic temperature settings
- Pods are made using 100 percent arabica beans and roasted at the peak of freshness the same coffee we serve and sell in our cafés
- Pods available in Espresso Roast, Decaf Espresso Roast, , as well as the full Starbucks® Coffee Roast Spectrum (Blonde, Medium, and Dark)
- Sleek design with small footprint that blends seamlessly on countertop, with a removable container for used pods
- Two machine models available 580 (base) and V-‐ 585 (premium) will be sold at Verismo.com, Starbucks stores, and specialty retailers
Making a Shot of Espresso with the Verismo Single Serve Coffee and Espresso System by Starbucks
We took our Verismo out for it's first test drive by making several shots of espresso using the espresso roast pods. The results was a very rich and intense espresso with excellent crema on top. We thought this out of all the drinks we prepared made the system a standout. Two shots of espresso combined with a little hot water made a great Americano as well.
Making A Caffe Latte with the Verismo Single Serve Coffee and Espresso System by Starbucks
We decided our first multi-pod drink should be a Caffe Latte as it's one of our favorite drinks at Starbucks cafes. The milk pod is used in conjuction with a shot of espresso to make the Caffe Latte:
- Step 1: Remove height-‐adjustable drip tray, replace grate, and then put 8 oz. glass on top.
- Step 2: Lift handle, insert milk pod and close.
- Step 3: Push milk button (bottom) and wait for milk to pour.
- Step 4: Lift handle and insert espresso pod; the button lights will start blinking while the temperature adjusts.
- Step 5: Wait until light stops blinking (8-‐10 seconds), then push espresso button (top) for espresso pour.
The result is a pretty yummy caffe latte if you like shelf stable milk. This is going to be the dividing point for most US coffee drinkers as the shelf stable milk has a more buttery flavor than using fresh milk that has been frothed / steamed. If you like this flavor you'll be fine, and most people when given the blind caffe latte don't really taste the difference. We however can taste the difference and it's not one we truly prefer.
The recently announced Rivo from Keurig and Lavazza will use fresh liquid milk right out of your refrigerator and whatever percent of fat you choose. It will be interesting to see how the Rivo with this feature alone makes headwind or doesn't gain much wind in it's sails from the fresh milk feature. Maybe US customers won't care, but maybe their taste buds and dollars will.
Making a Cup of brewed Coffee with the Verismo Single Serve Coffee and Espresso System by Starbucks
Making a cup of brewed coffee with the Verismo is very easy. We received the House Blend coffee pods to use with the machine and you only really need to lower the cup stand, use the larger coffee setting, and remove the freshness foil from the underneath of the coffee pod.
- Step 1: Place 10 oz. glass on grate of height-‐adjustable drip tray.
- Step 2: Important: Before brewing, remove foil freshness tab from bottom of pod (to expose filter).
- Step 3: Lift handle, insert coffee pod and close.
- Step 4: Push brewed coffee button (middle) and wait for coffee to pour.
The resulting coffee was piping hot and really quite good. We like the small amount of oily top, along with the fresh taste of the House Blend coffee. We also liked adding a shot of espresso right into a cup to make it have a bit of extra punch.
Pricing and Verismo Pods available now:
- Caffè Latte Pack (16 ct., 8 Espresso and 8 Milk Pods): $12.95
- Espresso Pods (12 ct. ): $11.95 ␣ Milk Pods (12 ct.): $9.95
- Coffee Pods (12 ct.): $11.95
- Brewed Coffee Pods: Veranda Blend (Blonde), Pikes Place Roast (Medium), House Blend* (Medium), Caffè Verona® (Dark), and Christmas Blend (Dark)
- Espresso Pods: Espresso Roast, Decaf Espresso Roast, and Espresso Guatemala Antigua
- Milk Pod: 100% natural and creamy
As we stated above there isn't a lot of options right yet, but given time we think Starbucks will offer more brewed coffee varieties and perhaps some flavored milk pods to make a Peppermint Mocha or other options in the future. We can only hope because they have not announced any flavored varieties yet.
The variety of brewed coffee options are limited right now but should serve the majority of households from light to dark roast drinkers. The real reason to purchase the Verismo after many weeks with it is for the espresso and espresso based drinks. We love the brewed coffee producted, but the limited variety also places it a far distant winner from the Keurig brewed systems which have hundreds of coffee flavors available.
We think espresso and coffee drinkers who want to get more Starbucks in their home lives the Verismo system will deliver a great cup of coffee or shot of espresso. We can only hope that Starbucks will make various new coffee flavors and rare espresso or single origin roasts available for the Verismo as time goes on. At $199 we think the Verismo is also priced right for a system that makes a really great shot of espresso. The more expensive V-585 with the integrated LCD display may be for you but we encourage you to seek it out in person and make sure double the price for the same beverage delivered is what you need to spend your hard earned dollars on.
For machine availability in Starbucks stores and at various retailers please visit the Starbucks Verismo web site.
Thanks again to Starbucks for providing us the Verismo 580 and various coffee, milk, and espresso pods to use in this review.
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Posted by Jay Brewer at November 27, 2012 8:24 AM