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:
Impossible until now: The Verismo System by Starbucks.
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.
The Verismo V on StarbucksStore.com
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!
Do we have a pricepoint for the new Verismo?
Bill, if you purchase just the Verismo V, it’s $149. I’m pretty sure there’s a special offer where you buy the Verismo, a box of pods, and the milk frother for $179. Good question.
Will there be two options for pods (one for the original machine and a second for the new machine?)
If not, won’t the coffee to water ratio be off with the old machines if they are built to brew 8 ounce cups and the new pods are designed to brew for 10 ounce cups?
@Cd That was one of the questions I asked the developers. I was told that everything is “backwards and forwards compatible.” So, the answer appears to be that you can interchange the pods??
… oops! my machine is Verismo 600!
Are the new pods recyclable? That would be the tipping point for me. I no longer use my verismo for a variety of reasons that appear to be addressed in the new model.
Hi Jocelyn – The pods really are not recyclable. You have to deconstruct them. I doubt many people will do that. I have taken them apart and then put the coffee into the compost and plastic into the recycle. There are still large swaths of the country that don’t have a city compost program like Seattle does. 🙁 Even recycling is not in every single city in the US.
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but I am confused by the above statement, “The Verismo coffee pods have a little tab that you pull off the bottom.” Is there something I should be removing before brewing?
@Rayna – I didn’t show pictures here (maybe I’ll upload one later) but the bottom sides of the 2 kinds of pods are different from each other. You essentially buy 2 kinds of pods – One is the “espresso” pods when you want a shot of espresso. The other kind of the “brewed coffee” when you want a cup of brewed coffee – not espresso. The top of both pods is a very thin plastic which has just a few words on it – the name of the type of coffee – Like “espresso roast”, or “Ethiopia espresso” or if it is coffee something like “Pike Place Roast.”
Turn the pods over, and on the espresso ones, the bottom halves are just smooth plastic. On the espresso pods, you don’t do anything at all to the pods before dropping them in the Verismo machine. Just drop it in and hit the espresso pod.
On the coffee ones there is a little silver tab that you pull on – you have to remove the tab before dropping it into the Verismo machine. The tab is obvious and it removes easily.
I’m considering purchasing this for use at home! There aren’t many review videos on youtube (I watch a boat load of reviews before purchasing anything somewhat pricy) but there are the Starbucks videos, and the guy shows using the milk frother on the cold setting for iced lattes. I’m just wondering, do you know why they are suggesting that and don’t even do it in the store? I’m guessing I don’t need the frother (I never drink hot drinks). Any idea? And do you find the shots truly similar to the store ones?
I bought the machine this week at a Starbucks for $59, the frother for $39 and 2 for one on the pods. This is while supplies last. Previously I owned a Tassimo that just failed after six years. I was going to buy another Tassimo, but stumbled upon this and could not pass it up for the price. The verdict so far, I like the machine, but it is a little more complex to use vs. the Tassimo (The Tassimo reads the bar code, so all you do is load and press the button). The Verismo you have to think for a second which button to press, however, the fact that this holds about two liters makes them about equal.
I think the lattes taste a little weak. I admit that I am going over on the amount of milk to make it a tall vs. a short, but to me that should not matter as eight ounces (1 for the shot + 7 for the milk) should be the same. I am going to play with stretching the shot to 1.5 ounces vs. running a double every time to see if that changes things up.
Worst case scenario, I will try it for about a few months and if I can’t get the taste right, I will buy another Tassimo, but keep the frother, vs. use the Tassimo milk pods as I did previously. Either way, I can’t go wrong, considering the price I paid for the Verisomo V.
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… have the Verismo 580 and like the looks better in silver and allows me to put it on top of a pull out drawer stan that holds my pods.
… knew about the new pods about 2 months ago from our local Starbucks when I questioned the new, darker box for Sumatra Verismo pods. It was the only box of all the varieties with new look. Manager told me that it was a new style pod with better strength. Love it and have noticed other varieties in the newer boxes starting to appear on shelves.
… some Starbucks do not have a lot of choices and was told that their store was not a Verismo store. – this at another store.
… so when will we see a self filling pod for the Verismo?