Today we talk about the most common Verismo problems and possible solutions.
Verismo doesn’t make hot coffee
Make sure to always run the rinse cycle first. Rinse cycle is necessary to make sure that machine is properly heated, but it also helps keep your machine clean. Don’t forget that Verismo brewing temperature is somewhere around 175 – 180 °F, which is a little under an optimal brewing temperature of 195 – 205°F degrees. How to make the coffee a bit hotter? You can run one brew cycle without inserting the pod to preheat the machine really well and then make the coffee. You can also rinse your mug with hot water before you brew the coffee. If the mug is already warm it will not steal as much heat from the coffee.
Brand new Verismo not working, water won’t come out
The machine needs some time to get ready and start dispensing the water. If you’re sure you’ve done everything correctly and you followed the setup instructions from your manual, but nothing happens not even after 2, 3 minutes, then something is wrong with the machine. Few of my readers have had the “not dispensing water” problem with their brand new machines. Melanie called support, and they recommended to pump top stainless steel handle up and down about 20-30 times because machines are sometimes ‘stiff’ when they are new and have to be broken in a bit. Her machine worked ok after this. Jim got a replacement machine at the end. Adam too. Maybe you can try the handle trick or you can call Starbucks customer service: 1-800-334-5553 and 1-877-421-9062 right away to get instructions.
Verismo button flashes red?
If you have Verismo V and the brewed button blinks red during drink preparation, you need to descale the brewer. But, that’s only if you’re using the Verismo V model.
On older Verismo models (580, 583 and 600) the red blinking button is a protection from overheating. If the rinse button is blinking red and hot water button is blinking green then that’s the reason. This normally lasts for about 60 seconds and after that, the machine should turn on back again automatically (all lights will go green again). This can happen when the brewer is used a lot, so keeps the machine safe from overheating. You don’t need to descale the brewer.
If the brewed button on your Verismo V blinks red permanently and quickly, and won’t stop even though you descaled your machine you will need to contact Starbucks Customer service at 1-800-334-5553.
Verismo smells like sour milk
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 avoiding using milk pods in your machine from the start, if possible. Spend your money on coffee pods instead and use real milk! 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.
If the smell has already developed, you can try cleaning your machine with special dairy cleaning solution like Rinza. It’s for use on steam wands and milk frothers (not really for use on internal parts of the brewer, so please use at your own risk), but I’m sure it can help clean the milk protein build-ups and I honestly doubt it will do any damage.
How to clean Verismo with Rinza: pour 1 oz Rinza and 16 oz water in the tank, and place the tank in its place. Run milk button twice. Let the brewer sit for 15 – 20 minutes, then press milk button again until the tank is empty. Remove the tank, rinse it well and fill with fresh water only. Put it back and repeat the rinsing process until empty. Do this twice. Note: You need to rinse and discard 1/2 reservoir of cleaning solution + water. Then rinse and discard 2 full reservoirs of fresh water. Don’t forget to always keep a handle closed while rinsing.
Verismo doesn’t puncture the pod, only water comes out
Sometimes the machine can just send the pod into the bin without puncturing it. This usually happens for no reason and you don’t have to worry a lot.
First, check to see if the pod is stuck in the machine or it went to the bin. If it’s still in the machine, lift the handle to send the pod to the bin. Take out the drip tray and the bin, get the unused pod out and empty the bin before brewing the pod again. Also, try this fix before brewing: pump the handle up and down about 20 times. Make sure to lift the handle all the way back so it is at a 90 degree angle to the machine before you insert the pod. Insert the pod and slowly and firmly close the handle and try brewing the pod again. This should normally help. If it doesn’t or it’s happening over and over again, the machine simply won’t brew or it keeps sending pods into the bin without brewing, I suggest to call Starbucks customer service.
Verismo pod is stuck in the machine
First, unplug the machine. Then take out and empty the used pod bin (a full pod bin can sometimes cause this) then try closing the handle once again. If the pod is stuck in the pod opening, try pulling it or losing it out with light pressure. There are 4 needles inside so please don’t use your fingers, but some tool like a paper clip or a knife. If that doesn’t work then it’s best to call Starbucks customer service.
Verismo handle won’t close or won’t stay down
Please check the used pod bin and make sure it’s empty, then try closing the handle once again. A full bin can sometimes be the reason. If the bin is empty but the handle still won’t close, you need to check if the pod is stuck in the machine. First, unplug the machine, then take out the bin and check from the top and bottom side of the pod opening. If there’s a pod inside, try pulling it or losing it out with light pressure. There are 4 needles inside so please don’t use your fingers, but some tool like a paper clip or a knife. You can also try this fix: lift the handle all the way back (don’t insert the pod) to make sure it’s in the place and aligned properly then firmly close the handle. If the bin is empty and there’s no pod in the machine, but the handle still won’t stay closed after this, please contact Starbucks customer service.
If this doesn’t solve the problem or you don’t see a specific issue listed here, please contact Starbucks Customer Service for further assistance. Customer service help is available Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 3 p.m., at 1-800-334-5553.
Keeping your machine is important. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean Starbucks Verismo machine.
Starbucks has discontinued all Verismo models (583, 600 and Verismo V). Verismo pods are still available for purchase at select retailers and Amazon.
If you have a question about the Verismo system or you need help, Starbucks Customer Service is available at 1-800-334-5553.
Verismo compatible pods: If you’re looking for Verismo pods alternative, the CBTL pods will work with your Verismo machine. There are also really cheap Italian coffee capsules($0.44 per pod) which also work with Verismo.
Want to upgrade? If you only drink Starbucks coffee, Starbucks now makes Nespresso pods for Nespresso OriginalLine espresso machines. If you don’t necessarily drink only Starbucks espresso and you want a machine that can do both, coffee and espresso just like your Verismo, there’s Nespresso Vertuo Line system.
Different from the Original line which only makes espresso, Vertuoline can make coffee and espresso. Vertuoline espresso pods are even cheaper than Verismo pods ($1.10 for coffee, $0.85 for espresso). The Vertuoline bundle (machine and milk frother) normally retails for $249.99, but you can usually get it on sale on Amazon. Here you can read my Nespresso Vertuoline review. Plus, all Nespresso pods are recyclable.