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As Keurig surveys its domain from atop K-cup Mountain, it spies a potential upstart in the form of Starbucks’ Verismo. Unquestionably, Keurig is the King of the single-serve coffee revolution, selling far more than any other company in that market.
However, in a head to head competition, Starbucks Coffee Maker vs Keurig, which one actually comes out on top? Which one makes the better cup of your favorite morning brew? The short answer is – both, but for very different reasons. We’ll explain the particulars just below, and guide you toward making the best decision for you.
Keurig Coffee Maker
Keurig invented what has become the most popular way that people enjoy coffee in America these days. One cup at a time, with the coffee dispensed in handy, single serving size cups. K-Cups, as they’re called in the Keurig ecosystem, and there are lots of different flavors to choose from. Scores and scores of coffees, teas, and hot chocolates. Literally something for every taste.
This vast selection is one of the main reasons people prefer Keurig over other brands of single serving machines. The choices are essentially unlimited.
Having said that, Keurig is desperate to keep their K-Cup monopoly, and their newest machines come equipped with a digital rights management software that can detect when you try to use a generic K-Cup, and the machine will simply refuse to brew.
The reasons why are obvious: Keurig makes a bundle of money selling their somewhat pricey single serving pods, and doesn’t want anybody taking those profits away. Even so, the move angered a significant portion of Keurig’s user base, and the long term fallout from that move has opened the door for others to try and grab the top spot.
Starbucks Coffee Maker
The Starbucks Verismo is a comparable machine from a technical point of view. They both operate the same way, and they both use specialty pods to serve up individual cups of coffee. Because Starbucks is the smaller of the two players in the market, nobody has copied the Starbucks pod as yet, and although the company doesn’t have DRM software to kill the machine if you try to use a generic pod, since nobody else is making them, if you opt for a Verismo, you’re going to be stuck buying all your pods from Starbucks.
This is the one major drawback of the Verismo. The selection is less than a third the size you have available from Keurig. Granted, Starbucks has all the basics covered, and you can recreate most of the drinks you’d buy from a barista at your local Starbucks, but in terms of having that mind boggling selection, you’re just not going to get it with the Starbucks offering.
Which Makes the Better Cup of Coffee?
Starbucks stated purpose with the Verismo was to replicate the flavor of your favorite coffee drinks that you buy from their stores, in this machine, and on that front, they’ve done a good job. The Verismo makes a good, solid cup of coffee, and yes, a better tasting one than you’ll get from a Keurig.
Cost-wise, the base units, Starbucks and Keurig, are about the same, retailing at just over a hundred dollars, so there’s no real difference there, but you will see a difference in pod cost.
Starbucks pods tend to cost slightly more, so on a per-cup basis, although the Starbucks machine will give you the better cup of coffee, it’ll also cost you slightly more.
Starbucks Coffee Maker vs Keurig Conclusion
At the end of the day, what it comes down to is how you plan to use the machine.
If you’re buying it for everyone in your house, and everybody has different tastes and preferences, you’re probably going to be better off with the Keurig. Starbucks just can’t compete with it in terms of the selection of drinks offered. Note too, that we’re not just talking about coffee here. As mentioned, Keurig also offers teas and a splendid assortment of hot chocolate drinks.
On the other hand, if you’re buying the machine just for yourself, or if everyone in your family has pretty similar tastes where coffee drinks are concerned, then you’ll be better served by the Starbucks Verismo. While your selection is notably limited, you’re going to consistently get barista-level coffee, right from your own home. So when considering the head to head match up of the Starbucks coffee maker vs Keurig, which side do you fall on?