Verismo vs. Keurig. It’s a battle as old as time…or at least, as old as the respective single-serve coffee makers.
Today, we take a closer look at the Starbucks Verismo V and the Keurig K-Elite brewer to find out which machine is more worth the investment. Which one comes out on top? Read on to find out.
Verismo vs. Keurig
Sipping on Starbucks
Unless you’ve spent a large portion of the last nearly 50 years under a rock, you’ve no doubt heard of Starbucks Coffee Company. What began as a single shop in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971 has now evolved into a beloved staple in the coffee industry.
Thanks to the Verismo V, you no longer have to wait in long lines for your favorite Starbucks beverage. Yep, you read that right! Since the introduction of the first model in 2012, Starbucks’s Verismo brewing system has allowed users to recreate their favorite drinks from the popular coffee brand from the comfort of home.
These sleek little machines feature Swiss-engineered, dual-pressure technology to brew a mug full of your favorite Starbucks coffee blend, or a strong shot of espresso. You get the best of both worlds in one little machine, and it’s all as simple as pushing a button.
Kicking off with Keurig
Now partnered with Dr. Pepper, Keurig is the 7th largest food and beverage company in the United States, boasting over 25,000 employees, and a roster of over 125 owned, licensed, partner, and allied brands.
The first Keurig single-serve coffee maker made its debut in 1998, and since then, the brand has evolved into a multi-billion dollar coffee empire. Current Keurig models are the kings of the U.S. market, and the company’s coffee makers are known for their quick brewing times and customizable brewing settings, a feature not shared by many other top brands.
Perhaps the biggest differences between the K-Elite and Verismo V are the brewing capabilities of the machines. Much like the majority of Keurig’s machines, the K-Elite is designed to only brew coffee, while the Verismo system uses Swiss-engineered, dual-pressure technology to make both drip coffee and espresso shots.
What the K-Elite lacks in beverage variety it makes up for in drink size, boasting the option for a 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12-ounce cup of brew. Meanwhile, if you want more than 10 ounces of Joe from your Verismo, you’ll need to hit the brew button a second time.
As with any single cup coffee maker, the intended purpose of both the Verismo and the Keurig is to brew a cup of coffee as quickly as possible, and these machines do this almost instantly. If your morning is a bit hectic and you find yourself in a bit of a time crunch, either maker will help you get out the door quickly without having to skip out on your cup of Joe.
The K-Elite brews a cup of coffee in under a minute, and thanks to the 75-ounce water reservoir, you can brew up to 8 cups before having to refill it. This may not seem like much of a perk, but on your busiest mornings, you’ll be grateful for the few seconds you saved by not having to add water daily. Plus, the machine brews quietly, so if you live with a housemate or family members, you can go about your coffee routine without fear of waking anyone up.
On days when you need a little something extra, hit the strong brew option on the Keurig for a stronger, bolder brew, or use the iced setting to brew hot java over ice.
On the other hand, when turned on, the Verismo is ready to brew in 15 seconds. Its 77-ounce water tank also saves you the time of having to add water every day. As we mentioned earlier, the Verismo can brew both regular coffee or a 1-ounce espresso shot, so if you’d prefer something a bit stronger standard cup of drip but don’t have time to swing by a Starbucks storefront, this coffee maker has you covered.
Pro-tip: Starbucks sells a Verismo milk frother, too, so if you can swing a few extra dollars, you can make a classic latte at home that would wow even the most skilled baristas.
Let’s talk coffee — you know, the reason you’re on this site in the first place! Knowing what kind of coffee you can brew in each respective machine will play a big role in which appliance you invest in, so it’s important to be sure you have all the facts you need to make an informed decision and be confident in your purchase.
Because Verismo is owned and distributed by Starbucks, all of the machine’s coffee pods are — you guessed it — Starbucks coffee blends. If you’re exclusively a Starbucks snob, this is good news for you, but if you’re a more adventurous coffee drinker or prefer a different brand, then this may not be the most convenient option.
Any Keurig coffee maker requires a K-cup pod for your at-home brew, but unlike Verismo pods, K-cups are available in an assortment of brands, from Dunkin Donuts to Folgers. With such a diverse range of coffee available, you’ll never run out of options for your morning cup of java.
If you’re looking for a planet-friendly coffee experience, it’s worth noting that pods for both machines are recyclable, so long as you peel off the tops and dispose of any grounds and paper filters.
Reusable coffee pods are also an option for both coffee machines, so you can brew any ground coffee of your choice in your machine. However, not all reusable pods are created equal, so though they may be the cheaper and more sustainable choice in the long run, they may or may not always produce the highest quality cup of coffee.
Design and Build
While we here at Roasty are most concerned with the quality of a coffee maker, we also understand how important aesthetic can be, and we want to help you choose a machine that not only produces the best brew for you but also matches your kitchen decor to a T.
If you’re concerned about matching color palettes or interior design styles, each coffee machine is fairly neutral, making it somewhat easy to pair one of them with any setup. While other Keurig machines come in bright colors like cardinal red or evening teal, the K-Elite is only available in brushed silver, brushed gold, or brushed slate. The Verismo, however, offers only one color option: the always classic and easy to match black.
We know for many people, size plays a role in determining whether or not to purchase a coffee maker, but in this scenario, that criteria may not be much help. The two machines we’re comparing are quite similar in size, with the K-Elite coming in at 8 pounds and the Verismo not far behind at 7.7 pounds.
Now, to address what probably is your most important question: how do they compare price-wise?
Both coffee makers fall on the higher end of the price range compared to other brewers but given each of their features and trusted brand names, this isn’t really all that surprising.
Of the two, though, the Keurig is a bit more expensive than the Verismo, but given its programmable features, like adjustable temperature, high altitude settings, and an auto-on feature, we think the difference in price makes sense.
So, which coffee maker is better, you ask?
If you’re willing to shell out the extra dough, we say go for the Keurig. Between its modern-looking design, impressive features, and Keurig’s long-standing trustworthiness in the beverage industry, the machine definitely gives you all the bang for your buck.
But we also recognize that many have all but sold their souls to the Starbucks Coffee Company, and if that’s the case, the Verismo brewing system is probably the best option for you. Sure, your choice for Verismo pods is limited solely to Starbucks brews, but if that’s your java of choice, then a smaller selection should be no problem for you at all.
By now, you know we here at Roasty are all about brewing the highest quality cup of coffee, and the truth is, a single-serve drip coffee maker does not always guarantee that. But we also understand that brewing methods like the Aeropress or French press are not the most convenient when you’re in a rush, so a single-serve coffee machine is often a wise investment.
So, choose your machine and coffee wisely, and as always, happy caffeinating!