A review of Starbucks Verismo machine: design, usability, compatible pods, cleaning routine and everything in between.
UPDATE Oct, 2016: Although Verismo models 583 and 600 were not officially discontinued, Starbucks no longer sells them. However, they have just released a new model Verismo V brewer.
There are two Verismo models: Verismo 583 and Verismo 600.
Even though they look different, on the inside these two models are pretty much the same. Both 583 and 600 can do espresso and brewed coffee, and use the same pods. Both have removable 33.8 oz water reservoir, removable drip tray, place to store empty pods, energy saving system and a 19 bar pump pressure.
With a 33.8 ounces reservoir you can make 4 brewed coffees or up to 30 espresso shots until it needs to be refilled. When you lift the handle, the machine automatically sends an empty pod into the pod bin, and it can store up to 10 used pods. Drip tray can be removed so it can fit larger cups. Also, this machine has an auto on/off system to help save energy. It’s 19-bar pump pressure has enough power to extract espresso properly and make a good shot, not just steamed coffee.
The only difference are two extra buttons on the Verismo 600: a dedicated rinse and a dedicated Americano button. With 583, espresso button is also a rinse button and we use two buttons to make an Americano. But, as far as the drink quality, ease of use and their performance these two machines are absolutely the same, so it really depends on what you like more.
Although Verismo machine was not officially discontinued, they no longer sell them at Starbucks website. But, you can probably still find them on Amazon.
HOW TO USE VERISMO
This single serve type of coffee makers make life and mornings so much easier. There’s no grinding, measuring, cleaning…nothing. You just take the pod, insert it into the machine and press the brew button. Done.
Starbucks Verismo is super easy to use. Just take a Verismo pod of your choice (depending on the drink choose verismo espresso pod or brewed coffee pod), lift the handle, insert the pod, close and press the button. When done, simply lift the handle to send an empty pod into the bin and that’s it. For example:
To make espresso, take one Verismo espresso pod, lift the handle, insert the pod and close. Press the top, espresso button. One espresso pod makes 1 ounce espresso. That’s like 1 espresso shot. To make a latte, add one verismo milk pod or 5 ounces fresh, hot milk.
To make an Americano with 583 model, brew 1 espresso pod using top, espresso button. Then press brewed coffee button to add hot water to your espresso. Makes 8 ounces Americano. With Verismo 600 use espresso pod and a dedicated Americano button.
Brewed coffee makes 7 ounces. To make coffee, get 1 brewed coffee pod of your choice and press middle, brewed coffee button. If you want to fill up a travel mug, you will need two brewed coffee pods (makes 14 ounces).
The third button is used for special milk pods.
These are just some of the recipes, but you can make so many different drinks using this machine. For ideas & inspiration, check out my post with Starbucks Verismo recipes.
A quick note about the rinse cycle: When you turn on your machine, the machine will remind you to run a rinse cycle. Rinse cycle is necessary to make sure that machine is properly heated, but it also helps keep your machine clean. To rinse, place a cup under the drip nozzle and press top espresso button (without inserting the pod) to run a rinse cycle. After rinsing, all three buttons will light up and Verismo will be ready to make drinks. You will need to rinse the machine every time it is turned on.
STARBUCKS VERISMO PODS
Verismo machine works with specially designed Starbucks Verismo pods. There are 15 different Verismo pod options, including espresso, brewed coffee, tea and milk pods.
Unfortunately, they don’t make reusable Verismo pods.
There are however, foil seals for Verismo pod type available to purchase online. A 100ct foil pack retails for $15.99. You need to open used pod, clean it, fill with your own coffee then close with a foil. It works great for most people but for some there’s too much work…So it’s really about price vs. convenience, but it’s still an option.
Probably the best way to save on Verismo pods is to buy them in bulk. You can get a 96ct box for $79.95 and $84.95 depending on the blend (FREE shipping included) which makes them $0.83 – $0.88 per serving. That’s $0.16 – $0.19 less per pod.
COMPATIBLE PODS: THE CBTL CAPSULES
The CBTL capsules are a good alternative and will work in your Verismo machine. They come in over 20 varieties, including espresso, brewed coffee, flavored coffee and tea. Price $7.00 for 10ct and $11.00 for 16ct box. That’s $0.68-$0.70 per capsule.
Please note : manufacturers recommend using only original pods. Using different pods can sometimes cause a damage to the machine. This rarely happens, but let’s say that original pods/capsules are an ideal option. Use other pod options at your own risk.
Few words about Verismo milk pods: Please avoid them.
After some time, your Verismo machine can develop sour smell because of the milk pods. With espresso machines, it’s really important to clean all the parts that come in contact with milk, after each use. The problem with Verismo is that milk goes through an entire unit and you simply can’t clean it properly. Starbucks recommends you rinse the machine after brewing a milk pod, but this isn’t enough.
So, prevention is really important here. Because, once that spoiled milk smell develops it’s almost impossible to get it out. That’s why I suggest to avoid using milk pods in your machine from the start, if possible. Spend your money on coffee pods instead and use real milk! You can heat the milk in the microwave or use a frother. Espresso tastes so much better with fresh milk and your machine will last longer. And will smell so much better.
When using fresh milk, use after you’re done with brewing and pour milk directly into the cup. Do not use milk in the Verismo water reservoir because this can damage the machine.
Can you use k-cups in the Verismo
No. Keurig k-cups are bigger than Verismo pods and won’t work in your Verismo machine. It’s the same with Verismo pods in Keurig machine, it won’t work neither. Starbucks Verismo machines & pods use K-fee capsule system. The system was developed in Switzerland and it’s a part of KRÜGER Group. The k-fee system is not compatible with Keurig k-cup system.
If you’re deciding between Verismo and Keurig, and you prefer Keurig k-cups, check out their new Keurig 2.0. It’s a great choice if you like only regular coffee (k-cup brewer can’t do espresso) especially because k-cups are much cheaper than Verismo pods. This new brewer has an option to brew a carafe too.
Do Verismo pods work in Nespresso
Verismo pods are not compatible with Nespresso machines. You can’t use Nespresso capsules in Verismo neither.
MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT
All Starbucks Verismo machines include a limited one-year warranty for normal home use. Customer service help is available Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m. , at 1-800-334-5553 and 1-877-421-9062. To keep your Verismo in good shape, clean the external parts of the brewer with wet cloth regularly and descale it every three months. Here’s a detailed guide on how to clean your Verismo machine properly.
I hope this helps. Thanks so much for reading and contributing, as always! xoxo