There’s been a lot of chatter about the new Starbucks Verismo, billed as the first machine to produce coffeehouse-quality lattes, espressos and brewed coffee, one cup at a time. So you might be wondering, is it any good? This unabashed Starbucks lover gave it a two-week test drive, and here are eight things you need to know.
1. It’s pretty frickin’ great.
You can make four drinks with it: espressos, lattes, Americanos and coffee. They all taste great—pretty similar to the ones you’d get at an actual Starbucks. And they all come out at a really nice, hot temperature. The lattes even look like real lattes. (Tip: get some glass mugs so you can fully appreciate this.)
2. It’s pretty easy to use.
When you take it out of the box and plug it in, you’re 90 percent of the way there. All you have to do is put a liter of water in the back, drop one of the pods in the pod holder, pull down the handle and press a button. In about 15 to 30 seconds, you’ll have your drink. It’s basically idiot-proof.
3. Your friends and neighbors will like it.
It really is a little like having a mini Starbucks in your kitchen. So you can invite over a friend or neighbor and make them a latte, and they’ll love it. In some cases, this thing could probably even help you get laid.
4. It’s not perfect.
It’s got two main downsides. First, when it’s brewing, it’s kind of loud. (Then again, that’s how you know it’s the real deal—it’s doing some serious high-pressure extraction in there.) Two, you have to clean it. You’re supposed to quickly clean it every day (which is easy) and clean it more thoroughly every month. And every three months, you’re supposed to “descale” it. Yikes.
5. It’s not cheap…
The standard one, the 580, costs $149. There’s a bigger one with more features for $299.
6. …although, it could end up saving you money.
You can buy the coffee pods on verismo.com for about a dollar apiece. Each latte will cost you about $1.60. So if you start using this every day instead of going to a Starbucks, you could actually save a little dough, in the long run.
7. You won’t miss your old coffee maker.
Compared to the Verismo, it will quickly seem like a dinosaur. This thing is faster, sleeker, more precise and less wasteful.
8. Okay, you might miss it a little.
The Verismo is like digital audio. Your old coffee maker is like vinyl. But until further notice, it’s my go-to brewer. Get one for yourself, or score a last-minute holiday gift, at starbucksstore.com.