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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Keurig vs. Starbucks Verismo vs. Senseo Coffee Brewing Systems

Single Serve Coffee Brewing Systems

There are three major competitors in the single serve coffee brewing market:
  • Keurig
  • Starbucks Verismo
  • Senseo

These coffee machines promise a hot fresh cup of coffee fast.  Which is better: Keurig, Verismo, or Senseo?

Keurig Review

The Keurig brewer uses small plastic cups filled with ground coffee called K-cups.  The K-cups have a tiny built-in coffee filter and are sealed with a foil lid to maintain freshness.  The Keurig brewer has a needle that punctures the foil lid injects hot water into the K-cup.  A cup of coffee is brewed in about 15 seconds.

Keurig coffee brewer with top open
Keurig Coffee Brewers start at about $65

The Keurig coffee brewing systems are currently very popular, and the machines and K-cups are readily available:
  • Keurig machines and K-cups are common on store shelves at discount stores (Wal-mart, Target, K-mart)
  • There are several Keurig machines at the office
  • K-cups are sold in grocery stores
Keurig machines vary in cost depending on the size and control screen options.  The price range is about
$65 to $500.

The K-cups cost about 65 cents per cup, which is about twice the cost of the same amount of gourmet ground coffee.  A new Keurig brewer format has been released that uses Keurig Vue Packs instead of K-cups.

small cup with foil lid
K-cup for Keurig Brewer contains ground coffee and built-in coffee filter
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Starbucks Verismo Review

The Starbucks Verismo brews coffee in a manner similar to the Keurig brewer.  The Verismo uses plastic cups called Verismo Pods that contain ground coffee and a built-in filter.  Like Keurig's K-cups, the Verismo Pods are also sealed with foil lids to maintain freshness.  The Verismo Pods appear to be about half the size of K-cups.  Like Keurig, the Verismo produces a fast, hot cup of coffee.

Starbucks Verismo coffee brewer
Verismo System 580 sells for about $180
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Unlike Keurig, the Verismo also has milk pods.  These are used to brew latte drinks.  The milk pods are filled with milk rather than ground coffee.  The Verismo machine comes in 5 color choices.

Verismo Pods cost about 65 cents each for brewed coffee pods, $1.25 for espresso pods and milk pods.

Close-up of Verismo Pod, similar to K-cup
Verismo with Verismo Pod
Image Source: Dr. Penny Pincher

Senseo Review

Senseo coffee pods are sort of like round tea bags that contain ground coffee.  This is an older style of single serve brewer.  The machine opens up to allow you to insert a Senseo Pod.  Senseo machines start at about $65.

The Senseo pods are much less expensive than Keurig or Verismo pods at about 35 cents each.  This is about the same cost as ground gourmet coffee.  Sometimes you can find cheap Senseo coffee brewers on eBay.

Keurig vs Verismo vs Senseo Review

Machine Cost:
  • Keurig and Senseo entry level machines are much less expensive
    • You can find basic Senseo machines very cheap- around $25
  • A Verismo machine costs about twice as much for a similar system
    • Look for better Verrismo prices on eBay or Amazon instead of buying in a Starbucks store

Availability of Coffee Pods:
  • Keurig K-cups are easily found in grocery, discount stores, and on-line
  • Verismo Pods can be found at Starbucks stores and on-line
  • Senseo Pods can be found at some discount stores and on-line, but are not as easy to find as Keurig K-cups

Cost of Coffee Pods:
  • Senseo is the cheapest at about 35 cents per cup
  • Keurig and Verismo are the same for brewed coffee at about 65 cents per cup
  • Verismo has some more expensive pods for espresso and latte drinks

Coffee Quality:
  • Keurig and Verismo produce high quality coffee
  • Senseo tastes a bit watered down- too much "tea bag" flavor
  • Senseo pods also go stale much more quickly than K-cups or Verismo Pods


  • Keurig is the best value for brewed coffee: inexpensive entry-level machine, readily available coffee pods, and makes great tasting coffee.  Check out Keurig coffee brewer deals on eBay.
  • Keurig has refillable K-cups available so that you can use your own ground coffee to make your own K-cups to save money.
  • Verismo may be worth considering if you want espresso or latte drinks as well as brewed coffee.  Check out Starbucks Verismo coffee brewer deals on eBay
  • If cost is a major factor, Senseo is the least expensive single server brewing system.  Both the Senseo brewer and the Senseo coffee pods are the least expensive option.

Copyright © 2013 by Dr. Penny Pincher.  All Rights Reserved. Coffee Maker Journal