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Starbucks Verismo vs Nespresso: Which Should You Choose?

Verismo vs Nespresso

Do you want to be able to pull shots of espresso — or brew cups of coffee — with no mess and a simple push of a button? You will want to take a close look at two of the top single-serve pod espresso makers currently on the market: Starbucks Verismo vs Nespresso.

To help you pick between these well-known brands, we’ve put together a detailed comparison, looking at the basics of each coffee maker and then doing a head-to-head comparison of the major features. Is the Verismo better at lattes? Which coffee pods work with Nespresso models? And most of all, which coffee maker will work best for you? Scroll down to find out!

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All About Nespresso

Nespresso Prodigio

Nespresso is a European company famous for making home espresso accessible. Its pod-based espresso machines produce crema-topped shots of espresso — quite a feat without a full espresso maker.

There are Original and VertuoLine espresso machines. Vertuo models feature a special “Centrifusion” technology that spins the capsules over 7,000 times a minute for better extraction. These models scan barcodes on the pods and automatically adjust their settings.

Many Nespresso models are designed to produce lattes and cappuccinos. Original models like the Lattissima Pro have built-in milk frothers, but you can also opt for a bundle that includes Nespresso’s Aeroccino standalone frother.

Ready to start shopping? Here are our favorite Nespresso coffee makers!

  • Many models to choose from
  • High-end feel
  • Wide range of coffee pods
  • Classic crema-topped espresso shots
  • Generally more expensive
  • Not designed to brew regular coffee
  • Vertuo models can only use Vertuo pods

All About Starbucks Verismo:

Starbucks Verismo

If you’re a big fan of Starbucks coffee, you’ll want to know more about the Verismo line of coffee makers. These Starbucks-brand pod coffee machines can provide you with that classic Starbucks flavor — in the comfort of your home.

Choose between espresso, coffee, and latte pods in Starbucks’ most popular roasts, like Sumatra, Veranda, and Pike Place. You can brew espresso shots or full-sized cups of coffee using the Verismo’s dual-pressure system. This Swiss engineering means that the machine automatically adjusts the pressure it uses depending on which type of coffee you’re brewing. Easy!

If you’re a fan of lattes, you can buy the Verismo milk frother, a compact device that froths milk in about two minutes. Starbucks also sells milk pods, which you can use instead of a frother. These pods are filled with shelf-stable powdered milk, similar to the powdered creamer you might find at a restaurant.

SEE ALSO: Starbucks Verismo vs Keurig: Which Is Better?

  • Works with Starbucks’ most popular roasts and flavors
  • Designed to brew espresso shots and regular coffee
  • Can buy a separate frother or milk pods
  • Somewhat less expensive
  • No built-in milk frother
  • No pod recycling program
  • Less high-end feeling
  • Limited model options
  • Fewer coffee pods to choose from

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Important Factors to Consider

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to go a little more in-depth. What are the biggest considerations when choosing between these coffee brands? Keep reading to find out!


Both of these coffee machines are well-built and streamlined, so it comes down to your personal preferences. Both models are largely plastic, though you can upgrade some Nespresso machines to premium metal finishes. They also both have clear water reservoirs and simple brew heads.

If you want an especially high-end feel, you’ll probably prefer a Nespresso machine. But keep in mind that the high-end materials come at a higher cost.

Nespresso Prodigio with capsules

Which Is Better for Lattes?

This one is a toss-up, but we have to give the edge to Nespresso. Though many of the VertuoLine Nespresso machines work with a separate milk frother (the Aeroccino), you also have the option to buy models like the Creatista and Lattissima, both of which have built-in, automatic milk frothers.

The Verismo, on the other hand, doesn’t have a built-in frother, so you’ll have to buy a separate frother or use Starbucks’ powdered milk pods to make a latte. But if you already have a favorite milk frothing method, your Verismo will produce a tasty shot or two for a latte.

Which Makes Better Brewed Coffee?

If you’re a fan of regular brewed coffee, there’s no contest on this one. The Starbucks Verismo is designed to brew 10-ounce cups of coffee and shots of espresso, whereas most Nespresso machines specialize in espresso.

Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Neither of these coffee machine brands is especially cheap, but they also don’t cost as much as, say, super-automatic espresso machines. You can expect to spend a fairly large amount of money on either. Nespresso machines range in price, so while you can find more budget-friendly models, you could also end up spending hundreds of dollars.

Nespresso capsules

Which Coffee Pods Are Compatible?

The Starbucks Verismo works with Starbucks-brand coffee pods. You can choose between espresso and coffee options in all of the classic Starbucks roasts. There are also tea and milk pod options.

Nespresso models work with Nespresso’s coffee pods. You’ll need to pay attention to the model type — VertuoLine models only work with Vertuo pods — but there are dozens of flavors, origins, and roasts available for both lines.

One perk of choosing a Nespresso is that the company offers a free recycling program for its pods. They’ll send you a recycling bag, which you can fill with used pods and ship back or leave at a dropoff location. Easy and eco-friendly.

If you don’t want to buy Nespresso’s somewhat pricey coffee pods, there is another option. Glorybrew offers coffee pods that are compatible with Nespresso’s Original line. Read our full review here!

What About Warranties?

Nespresso machines come with one- to two-year warranties, depending on the model. Nespresso is famous for its generous and responsive customer service.

Starbucks coffee makers come with one-year warranties. You can register your device online to keep track of any service requests.

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Verismo vs Nespresso: The Bottom Line

So which pod coffee maker should you choose? If you’re shopping for a high-end pod espresso machine, you’ll probably do best with a Nespresso machine like the Nespresso VertuoPlus. These models are a bit more expensive but produce crema-topped shots of espresso with a high-end feel. They’re also more designed to produce lattes, as several models feature built-in milk frothers.

The Starbucks Verismo may work better for you if your budget is a little tighter or you prefer the flexibility of a brewer designed for coffee and espresso. Verismo’s dual pressure system means it does a good job on both types of coffee. There aren’t any built-in frothers, so you’ll have to put in a little more work to produce a latte. And if you’re a big fan of Starbucks coffee, you may not be able to resist the Verismo’s pods, which come in all of the most popular roasts.

Whichever you choose, you’re sure to be enjoying delicious coffee at the touch of a button! We hope this comparison has helped you make your decision.

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Kate MacDonnell

Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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