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Oct 21, 2012 11:04 PM

Starbuck Verismo (Starbuck coffee at your home)

I saw the machine today. It has a nice appearance, but I am not a huge coffee drinker. It is Starbuck's attempt to go in the home brew system market -- basically competing with Keurig and Tassimo alike. I don't expect Starbuck Verismo to offer the same wide selection as Keurig, and it isn't. However, Verismo goal is narrower and yet more ambitious. It aims to replicate Starbuck coffee at your home -- making these drinks as good as those from the real stores. Thus far the reviews seem to be very positive. However, the pods are expensive.

From Seattle Times:

"Shots of Starbucks Espresso Blend from the Verismo taste just about like a solo shot you'd get at a Starbucks store and it's quicker."

"Figuring out how to make an acceptable latte from a pod is perhaps the biggest innovation in the Verismo..."

"The Verismo latte is pretty good. It has a distinct taste of powdered milk, which some may dislike, but the drink is rich and fresh-tasting, with some caramel flavors of the coffee coming through"


From Huffington Post:

'"Somehow Starbucks has learned the art of coffee making through this machine. It made a latte better than I've ever had in a Starbucks coffee shop."'

"The verdict: We were a little surprised at how much we liked this machine. If you like Starbucks coffee and you want to drink it at home, this is the ticket."


Obviously, this machine only makes sense if you like Starbuck coffee. If not, it is a moot point.

So? How many of you are considering getting one?

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  1. I loathe starbucks coffee with a passion. I will continue my quest with porlex hand mill and hario pour over until I go back to Canada in January to visit and pickup my syphon and buy an aeropress. I found an amazing roaster here in this city too, roasts the most amazing beans and I can buy them very fresh, he also collaborates with the local craft brewer and makes the best coffee stout I have ever tasted. Didn't expect to find all this in a small city in Japan :P

    39 Replies
    1. re: TeRReT

      Who makes the coffee stout? The best one I have had in Japan is the one from Hitachino Nest.

      1. re: Tripeler

        Its a tiny tiny microbrewery, I really doubt you would be able to find it, but its kibidote brewery and aroma coffee roastery's coffee

        They just had it on tap at the start, but it was a popular beer so they bottle it now too.


        and the coffee


        It would be nice if you could find it, but otherwise I can try to find a bottle and figure out a way to send some.

        1. re: Tripeler

          Here is a picture of the bottle for what its worth

          1. re: TeRReT

            This is a bottle of what? Coffee Stout?

            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

              Indeed, because coffee with alcohol will always trump anything Starbucks

              1. re: TeRReT

                and the only thing that can make coffee better is alcohol, which makes everything better, including my night tonight?

                1. re: TeRReT

                  .... so should we add sake (Japanese rice wine) to coffee just to make it more Japanese? :)

                  By the way, why do you hate Starbuck coffee with a passion? I am not a coffee drinker. I drink about once a month. I can drink it, but I rarely feel the need. To be Starbuck tastes fine, but a bit expensive -- probably because I am not a coffee drinker to begin with.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    There are many reasons, their coffee has always been expensive for me, especially anything espresso based. I have always enjoyed drinking brewed coffee as well as espresso based drinks, and theirs are also far too large. Even a small cappuccino is too large (sorry, I guess I mean tall not small, another pet peeve) and its not just that there is too much volume, too much volume I could deal with, but its an unbalanced taste.

                    The brewed coffee has always tasted burnt to me and it has just never fit my taste. I have always just supported my local cafes which generally produce far superior product for less money and usually are close enough to me. Failing that, or if I am in a different city or something, I have just supported a Canadian equivalent Second Cup. While not as good as smaller cafes, their coffee flavour profile has always tasted better for me.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      I get a chemical aftertaste from their brewed coffee.

                      1. re: JonDough

                        <I get a chemical aftertaste from their brewed coffee>

                        From their coffee shops, or from the new machine Verismo?

                      2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Starbucks moves a lot of coffee beans, which normally would make it very difficult to ensure consistency. Their solution is to over-roast the living daylights out of their beans. This creates a very 'full' flavor, while ensuring that their coffee is very consistent from store to store, regardless of the beans they started off with. It also makes their coffee taste (to my palate) burnt, bitter, and uninteresting. Some people like super dark roasts like starbucks makes. I think it kills the subtler flavors that I love in a good cup of coffee, and I certainly don't feel the need to pay premium coffee prices for the experience.

                        1. re: cowboyardee

                          <Their solution is to over-roast the living daylights out of their beans. This creates a very 'full' flavor, while ensuring that their coffee is very consistent from store to store,>

                          I never thought of it as a way to enforce QC/QA, but this does make sense.

                          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                            The one thing they do well is maintain consistecy, so I'm not buying this argument. They literally have it down to a science.

                            1. re: ferret

                              I agree, they are consistent! But I think their over-roasting practice stems more from their origins than from any concerns for consistency.

                              Keep in mind that the founders of Starbucks all started under the tutelage of Alfred Peet, & he LOVED overly-roasted beans! Peet's coffee is not only burnt (IMO), but to my palate it's also ground far too fine to brew correctly. But that's the way he liked it, & that's the way he taught it.

                              Starbucks learned his methods & carries them on to the mases today. Their popularity simply shows how many people like their coffee this way. Nothing wrong with that, especially if you're a for-profit business!


                              1. re: Eiron

                                <founders of Starbucks all started under the tutelage of Alfred Peet>

                                I didn't know this. The students and the master, huh? Thanks.

                                1. re: Eiron

                                  "I agree, they are consistent! But I think their over-roasting practice stems more from their origins than from any concerns for consistency"
                                  Interesting. I'll take your word for it as to why SB went with super dark roasts in the first place. But at any rate, a nice ancillary benefit (from SB's point of view) seems to be that over-roasting eliminates a lot of variability in the beans themselves, in turn making them extremely consistent as big-time coffee merchants go.

                                  I should note that I don't hate SB or resent them as a business or anything. From what I've tried, I just don't enjoy their coffee.

                                  1. re: cowboyardee

                                    Their quality control methodology is insane for what I consider to be mediocre coffee.

                                    1. re: ferret

                                      And now, their Verismo machine will make the QC even more so.

                                    2. re: cowboyardee

                                      "I'll take your word for it as to why SB went with super dark roasts in the first place."

                                      Just so you don't have to do the research... ;-)

                                      From McGraw-Hill Higher Education:
                                      (see 2nd paragraph under "Company Background")

                                      From Peet's website:
                                      (see 3rd paragraph)

                                      1. re: Eiron


                                        Man, you are the definitely the coffee expert. Does your wife appreciate your vast knowledge (i.e.: she is a coffee drinker), or does she thinks you have been cursed (she is not a coffee drinker)?

                                        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                          No, she's not a coffee drinker. She tolerates my enjoyment of coffee & has even fed my addiction (before we got married she bought me a very nice stainless percolator (now relegated to the camping eqpt), & a few years ago she bought me a decent burr grinder), but I think she views it more as HER curse than mine.

                                          And once you get married, you'll understand that wives rarely appreciate whatever knowledge you may have, & will more readily accept the same information from a complete stranger...

                                          1. re: Eiron

                                            <I think she views it more as HER curse than mine. >

                                            Hmm, I can totally see this :D

                                            1. re: Eiron

                                              I am fortunate that my fiancée almost shares the same love for coffee as I do. She appreciates a good cup and loved going places to get good coffee, but making it at home is not quite as a fanatic as me, though she also bought me a burr grinder and a small roaster.

                                              1. re: TeRReT

                                                Small roaster.... yes, I might be heading down that road as well.

                                                But I'm trying to push that demon off my back for the time being....


                                                1. re: Eiron

                                                  Its just a small pan with a screen, fun to play with and experiment with, but now I have found an amazing roaster in my city so I would rather support him for now.

                                                  1. re: TeRReT

                                                    Ah, yes! I have roasted several pans of beans myself! The process was not as satisfying as I had hoped, so for now I, too, support the small roasters. One is local, & the other I found online.


                                                  2. re: Eiron

                                                    Once you start roasting, there is no turning back but it's worth it!

                                                    1. re: scubadoo97

                                                      LOL, yes, that's what I've heard!

                                                      And that's also why I'm afraid to get started....

                                                      1. re: Eiron

                                                        It is so worth it.

                                                        I spend about 30 min a week roasting. My average roast is about a pound and it takes about 15 min plus cool down. Average cost of green beans to my door $6-7/lb

                                                        1. re: scubadoo97

                                                          How long did it take you to perfect your roasting technique?

                                                          1. re: chuckl

                                                            No Perfection in life but the coffee Is good

                                                        2. re: Eiron

                                                          Man, didn't the two of us talk about this roasting thing before? (using air popcorn heater). Anyway, I don't know anything. I only listened to a NPR interview with Tom Owen who you are familiar with.

                                    3. re: cowboyardee

                                      Bingo. CBAD, you mirror my impression of $B and why I never want to visit one. Not into the overly sweet mocha, latte, dry, wet......orders. They did bring a lot of attention to coffee but very few of their loyal followers know what they're missing. But to counter those that say their coffee is over roasted, they have come out with a new roast. Blonde

                                      1. re: scubadoo97

                                        "But to counter those that say their coffee is over roasted, they have come out with a new roast. Blonde"
                                        I'm sure I'll try it someday. Might even be decent - considering they have Clover brewers, they should be able to make a decent cup if they start off with good beans. But I'm in no huge rush.

                                        1. re: scubadoo97


                                          ha ha ha. I thought it was a typo, and then realized that you did it intentionally.

                                          1. re: scubadoo97

                                            Starbucks, like them or not, HAS brought a lot of attention to coffee and helped raise the bar on a mass appeal basis. As a nation, we tolerated completely undistinguished cans of pre-ground beans from anywhere in huge quantities guaranteed to go stale within weeks or months of roasting and then we would percolate the heck out of them at boiling temperatures until you extracted some flavor or you joe dimaggioed them into a tea colored eye wash.

                                            Starbucks over roasting has brought some varietals to the edge of sweet caramel, mocha flavors but more often takes them over the edge into the realm of the bitter; however, they created a demand for better java and that has led to the ascendency of some really fine craft roasters. Our current favorite is cafe vivace in Seattle where they stop the roasting just short of extracting the oils onto the surface of the beans and they package their roasts in smaller 1/2 lb true vacuumed sealed bags to help them last a few days at their peak.

                                            1. re: ThanksVille

                                              <Starbucks, like them or not, HAS brought a lot of attention to coffee and helped raise the bar on a mass appeal basis.>

                                              I think that is a fair statement.

                                              1. re: ThanksVille

                                                My International business professor in Spain used to say that before Starbucks Americans drank dirty brown water as coffee.

                                            2. re: cowboyardee

                                              I'm glad to hear you guys saying you think Starbucks coffee tastes burnt, because that's always been my feeling as well. I'm not crazy about Peets either, but I don't get that same burnt taste from Peets. Unlike in other parts of the country, good coffee, like craft beer, is not a recent phenomenon in the Bay Area. And it seems new roasteries are popping up all the time. I think it's sad that people drinking burnt Starbucks think that's what coffee is supposed to taste like. I recall reading a while back that coffee has something like 1,000 identifiable flavor components, but you wouldn't think so drinking Starbucks. If they were as good at making coffee as they are at marketing, it would be a much better experience. I don't begrudge them their business, but it's just not good coffee.

                              2. I probably won't buy this. In fact, I will highly unlikely to buy it since I am not a coffee drinker. However, given that many people do like Starbuck coffee, a cofee machine like this may actually sell well. We will see in time.