Starbucks Verismo Review: the Basic Way to Make Espresso with an Interesting Espresso Machine

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Editor’s rating: 4.5 Star Editor's Rating

Starbucks Verismo System, Coffee and Espresso Single Serve Brewer, Black What a promising product the Starbucks Verismo was. Sleek, simplistic, and even a little bit ahead of its time, this espresso machine was crafted to shift the idea of how good lattes and cappuccinos should be made by bringing powder milk pods into the coffee-making game. Right when it was about to charm the coffee lovers with its brilliance, however, the Starbucks Verismo became a fallen idea, a flower that never got to bloom. In spite of its user-friendly design and its clever way around coffee, the machine didn’t meet the standards of its target audience.

We can forgive the beautiful Verismo’s high price, but we cannot accept the flavorless milk pods, nor can we forgive its Starbucks exclusivity. As you’ll read in the rest of our Starbucks Verismo review, we love the idea behind the espresso machine, but we think it was poorly executed. Could you maybe give this pretty, but mistrusted espresso machine a chance, though?

Key features:

  • Works with coffee, espresso, and milk pods
  • 33-ounce water tank
  • 19-Bar
  • Variable temperature system
  • Integrated rinse function
  • Height-adjustable drip tray
  • Brew stop and brew start
  • 15-second heat up


It’s clear that Verismo’s manufacturers had an interesting and innovative idea about how an espresso machine should work

Brews coffee and espresso at different temperatures for a better-flavored drink

Has a very intuitive control panel

Looks really nice


Flavorless milk pods

The machine is compatible with Starbucks pods only

No option for reusable coffee filters and ground coffee

Tray requires frequent emptying


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Starbucks Verismo System, Coffee and Espresso Single Serve Brewer, Black A beautiful design

We really like the beautiful champagne housing of the Starbucks Verismo 580. It is obvious that Starbucks took a good lesson from Nespresso when creating this model, and the lesson did pay off, at least when it comes to beauty.
You can see a fancy silver coffee spout that accents the black surface of the housing on which it is attached. The spout is not narrow, but wider, and that suits the espresso machine beautifully.

Beauty is also present in the simplicity of the control panel of the Starbucks Verismo 580, with only three buttons that will fascinate you with how intuitive they are. One button for espresso, another one for coffee, and a third one for milk foam— this is it, easy and very promising.

The rest of the housing is, like we mentioned, champagne, and this sophisticated champagne color runs all the way to the back of the machine where the 33-ounce water reservoir is located. Overall, the design of the Starbucks Verismo 580 makes the machine compact and beautiful, and with those lever-like surfaces on both the machine head and the reservoir, user friendliness is on point.

Three unique pods

The Starbucks Verismo 580 is compatible with two kinds of Starbucks pods great for espresso and coffee and milk pods for lattes and cappuccinos. We love this simplistic idea behind the capsules where each capsule results in exactly one product: espresso, coffee, or milk. The milk powder pods would’ve been an amazing and mess-free shortcut to hot milk if they were to taste better; you can’t clean a milk frother that isn’t there, after all! While other espresso machines, like the De’Longhi Lattissima Pro, have automatic milk carafes or frothers that have to be washed, and purged, and wiped after frothing, the Starbucks Verismo 580 keeps things simple by heating up milk in a pod!

Drip tray, slash capsule compartment

Something very interesting about this espresso machine is that its capsule compartment is fused with the drip tray. This invention is very handy for cleaning since it makes the capsule compartment easily come out of the espresso machine. Once it’s out, you can clean it together with the drip tray/

It’s not like the tray and the capsule compartment are attached to one another, but they do overlap, and this is something very cool to see.

The compartment has a capacity of 10 used capsules and its capacity perfectly corresponds to the capacity of the water tank. Even though the Starbucks Verismo 580 is a compact machine, it can really brew big with its well-sized tank and capsule compartment!

Starbucks Verismo System, Coffee and Espresso Single Serve Brewer, Black Fascinating beverage system

The beverage system of the Starbucks Verismo 580 is truly crafty and well thought out. If you remember from earlier on, the espresso machine had three simple and intuitive buttons for coffee, espresso, and for milk foam. Well, you should know that, once pushed, each of these buttons will help the machine brew the coffee or the milk with a 19-Bar pump and at the specific temperature that each button is programmed for. This means that the temperatures at which espresso and coffee are made are different, and different is also the temperature of the milk foam.

Why the fuss about temperature? It’s not like this is a Keurig coffee maker! Well, because each coffee drink is important and because different coffees are usually made at different temperatures for flavor optimization.

It seems like Starbucks wanted to really bring its customers the best Starbucks-like experience through their Starbucks Verismo 580, and it really got close to that with the one-touch function of the machine. Almost as if you’ve been served in Starbucks, you can have your coffee at the touch of a button. Well, at the touch of two buttons when it comes to lattes and cappuccinos; you’ll have to press the milk button to process the milk pod and then add the foam to the already brewed coffee or espresso.

Other interesting programs and features

The Starbucks Verismo 580 has a few more features that we’d like to talk about, like, for example, the flow stop feature. While you’re making your drink with the help of the espresso machine, you can have it stop the coffee flow by pressing the button in charge of your drink.

This is a very convenient feature that could, for instance, help you taste your coffee before you serve it to yourself fully brewed and see whether you like its strength or not. Naturally, this feature also allows you to add as much coffee as you’d like to your milk-based drinks. If you, however, want to restart the coffee flow, you can do so by pressing the same button again.
Apart from the flow stop feature, the Starbucks Verismo 580 also has an integrated rinsing function, which means that Starbucks put some good thinking into automatically keeping the machine well clean for you.

Being on the side of your precious time, the Verismo is a quick and energy efficient coffee maker. The proof of this is the quick, under-a-minute extraction of all the three products that the machine prepares and its flawless auto off time, much more convenient than that on other espresso machines. The Starbucks Verismo 580 automatically turns off after only 5 minutes of not being used for making coffee, which we think is brilliant.

FAQ about the Starbucks Verismo

Can I use reusable coffee capsules on this machine?

Using reusable capsules is not possible with the Starbucks Verismo 580. This espresso machine works with the three types if Starbucks coffee pods only.

Does the Starbucks Verismo 580 work with Keurig K-Cups?

No, it doesn’t. Is there a water filter that I can put in the water tank of this espresso machine? The Starbucks Verismo 580 doesn’t use a water filter in its reservoir.

What are some alternatives to the Strabucks Verismo?

Nespresso Lattissima Pro Original Espresso Machine by De'Longhi, Silver The Lattissima Plus by De’Longhi

We understand if you prefer fresh milk over powdered one and would like to suggest you the Latissima Plus espresso machine if that’s the case. This machine uses a 19-Bar pump to make espresso, lungo, cappuccino, and latte macchiato and it has these beverage as preset, which means that they are available to you at the touch of a button. This is possible with the automatic milk carafe of the machine that froths and then pours the milk directly into your cup.

Keurig K-Cafe Special Edition Coffee Maker, Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee, Latte and Cappuccino Maker, Comes with Dishwasher Safe Milk Frother, Coffee Shot Capability, Nickel The Keurig K-Café

If you don’t mind that the K-Café cannot make espresso and you like regular coffee, this could be a great coffee maker for you. You’ll have access to a lot of K-Cup pods, third-party pods, and even ground coffee with the My K-Cup universal and reusable coffee filter. The milk frother of the K-Café is automatic, and there’s also a Strong brew option. Apart from that, the coffee maker brews 4 cup sizes and it fits 7.2″ travel mugs. Check it out in our list of best Keurig coffee makers here.


We like the idea behind the Starbucks Verismo 580 and we’d like to see the technologies of this machine implemented in other espresso machines as well. Overall, the criticism of the Verismo is not about the machine itself, but about the milk pods and the exclusive usage of only Starbucks pods.

We also think that Starbucks has people loving its coffee because of the atmosphere that it creates at Starbucks venues: delicious coffee, nice service, a nice choice of coffees, and a nice ambient. All of this is hard for an espresso machine to replace, and a part of the criticism could be inspired by that as well.

If you really are a Starbucks fan, however, you could give the Verismo 580 a try; the machine was made for Starbucks aficionados, after all and hence the exclusivity. It could be that with a separate frother, like the Aeroccino3, for example, you might get close to the popular Starbucks flavor.

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