Better than before: The New Starbucks Verismo
The Starbucks Verismo has just gone through a big overhaul. It’s newly re-released, improved from its original version. You might remember, Starbucks introduced the first Verismo back in September 2012:
And now, October 19, 2016, there is a new and improved version of the Verismo available. Starbucks sent it to me a little early to try out and play with. You can find the new Verismo V in Starbucks stores on October 21, 2016, or available at StarbucksStore.com on the 19th.
I opened up the big Verismo box, put it together, and immediately got started making coffee. The first steps are to “prime” the water. When it’s brand new, you want to run just a few cycles of water only through the machine. That’s the “rinse” button. If your Verismo has been sitting, unused, for an extended period of time, you may want to run some “rinse” cycles before making coffee. On the whole, the entire thing was very intuitive. Even the buttons seemed pretty obvious to me:
The power button is the very furthest button from the front. I noticed that the machine will automatically turn itself off after a few minutes of inactivity. Second from the power button is “rinse.” To make coffee, click on the button that looks like a large coffee mug, closest to the front of the machine.
The Verismo coffee pods have a little tab that you pull off the bottom. Then you place into the top of the machine. Then click the button. Make sure you have filled the reservoir with water.
I made myself a cup of Pike Place Roast with the machine, and then after that, I experimented with the espresso pods:
Once you have a beautiful shot of espresso, you’ve got lots of choice. Drink it straight. Add some hot water and make an Americano. Add some steamed milk and make a latte. Add ice milk and a syrup and make an iced latte. I made a latte using the frother. It was delicious. The shot of espresso had a lot body and flavor and stood up to 6 ounces of milk being added to it.
Let’s talk about the shot of espresso for a moment. To me, it seemed much more flavorful and better formed than the espresso shot from the previous generation Verismo machine. It turns out, this wasn’t my imagination. It IS a better espresso shot. Today (October 19, 2016), I talked with the Verismo developers, Anthony Carroll and Paul Camara and asked them about the design changes. Both the machine and the new espresso pods are producing a better quality espresso shot than before. The capsules have been redesigned. Underneath the plastic foil, there is now a plastic cap that wasn’t present on the old version of the espresso pods. The new structure of the espresso pods causes a far better distribution of water, creating a good, even extraction.
You will get an amazing shot of espresso with “a great, dark beautiful crema,” according to Anthony, who tested and developed the Verismo coffee quality. Anthony told me that he loves a short double Americano from the Verismo: His Verismo drink of choice is just “two shots and some hot water.”
I want to go back to the whole machine being intuitive. When I took it home, I didn’t take upstairs to my apartment right away. My place is small and messy. I set up the machine in the community room of my condo building. I sent an email to the other condo board members letting them know it was there and to go try it. A friend in the building, Marc, sent me a text message a day later with this:
Marc texted me the above photo and wrote, “Class act Melody. Delicious coffee by the way.” This tells me anyone can use this machine to make great coffee at home! Marc is a super nice, retirement age guy who has never owned a Verismo before. That’s my summary of the machine: “It’s a class act, and delicious coffee by the way.” 😉
The Verismo produces a larger cup of black coffee than before. You now get a 10 ounce cup of coffee, instead of just under 8 ounces with the old version of the machine.
If you are looking for Verismo pods, here’s where you can buy them:
- Most Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada.
- Inside Bed Bath & Beyond stores, and online at BedBathandBeyond.com, as well as Staples.com.
- Online at StarbucksStore.com
I had a lot of fun reviewing the Verismo V. It’s just super easy to make a great cup of coffee. I always have to let you know when I get something as a gift from Starbucks. This was a very nice gift from Starbucks.
If you are not using a Verismo V, and you’re making coffee at home, be sure to follow the 4 Fundamentals of a Great Cup of Coffee!