Introducing the Verismo System

Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer

Starbucks Verismo 580 Brewer

First, a little lingo lesson: verismo is Italian for “realism.” And that’s just what Starbucks is trying to recreate for you in your own home with the new Verismo at-home system. The Verismo System 580 and Verismo System V.585 will let you enjoy authentic, Starbucks-quality coffee drinks without having to head out to the local cafe.

The Verismo system uses specially designed Verismo Pods to make a Starbucks espresso, coffee, or latte with pre-measured, consistent quality. Like other pod systems, the Verismo is simple to use – just pop in a pod or two, press a button, and voila. And they come in five colors, so are sure to match any kitchen décor.

Meet the Machines

Verismo System 580 ($199) and the Verismo System V.585 ($399) both have a 19 bar pressure pump, manual water level regulator, and heat up in 15 seconds or less. Why the cost difference? The V.585 has more bells and whistles: a temperature variation control button (for those of you who like your lattes extra hot), LED display, and an internal water filtration system. Plus it’s also just plain bigger, holding 3.5 liters of water and 30 pods compared to the 580’s 1 liter and 10 pods.

Ready to buy? Order online for free shipping.

Enjoy (or godere as they say in Italy)!

Editor’s Pick: Hamilton Single Scoop Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach Single Scoop Coffee Maker

Hamilton Beach Single Scoop Coffee Maker

If you’re in the market for a single scoop coffee maker, then the Hamilton Beach Single Scoop Coffee Maker may be a worthy contender. Very affordably priced under $60, this machine brews single servings of coffee using your favorite beans – no pods, K-Cups, or special filters needed.

With the HB Single Scoop, you get to use your own beans. Read: no need to wait for your favorite micro-roaster to join the K-Cup crowd. Just grind and add. It even comes with two metal scoops to make the perfect cup of coffee. You can make an 8-ounce mug of coffee or a 14-ounce travel mug size, and you can pick between two brewing strengths – regular or bold – to suit your tastes. All of this under two minutes and at just pennies per cup (compared to .25 to .50 for individual pods).

It’s worth noting that some users complained of weak coffee due to the water not hitting all of the grounds. As with all our reviews, we recommend reading a few other consumer reviews before making a decision.

Are There Newfound Health Benefits to Coffee?

Health Benefits To CoffeeIsn’t it great when something you love turns out to actually be good for you? Last year we waxed poetic on the many health benefits of drinking black coffee. And this year, the news just keeps getting better. It seems like every few months, there are more reports touting the health benefits to coffee drinking, as opposed to its risks. Some experts even go so far as to categorize caffeine as a nutrient, not a drug. That’s good news for us coffee lovers.

So go ahead and pour that second – or sixth – cup as we take a quick look at the most recent findings.

Coffee Linked to Reduced Type 2 Diabetes Risk

“There have been many metabolic studies that have shown that caffeine, in the short term, increases your blood glucose levels and increases insulin resistance,” Shilpa Bhupathiraju, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Department of Nutrition has said. In a 20-year study, coffee consumption was linked to an eight percent decrease in type 2 diabetes in women and a four percent decrease in men drinking regular coffee and seven percent who drank decaf.

So what’s the magic inside the cup? Caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeine — the three most common components in coffee – seem to be the culprits, with caffeic acid leading the bunch in terms of benefits. The fact that caffeic acid is in higher concentrations in decaf may mean that the health benefits of decaf are even greater.

Does that mean you should switch to decaf? Experts say not yet, but it’s fine to have another cup.

Brewing Up a Fresh Pot of Pain Relief

If you work at a computer and have neck, shoulder or back pain, consider drinking more joe before you punch the clock. In a recent study, people who drank coffee before work exhibited less pain throughout the day.

More studies still need to be done on the impacts of pain relief and caffeine, however, so don’t through away that Ibuprofen yet.

…And So Much More

Aside from those hot topics—and the sheer fact of its deliciousness—there are a bunch of other reasons to drink your daily cup. The antioxidants in coffee have been linked to the reduction of risk of coronary artery disease and stroke, reduced symptoms of depression, and (surprise, surprise) increased levels of awareness while driving on long road trips.

And perhaps our favorite health benefit of all: The New England Journal of Medicine found that people who drank coffee lived longer than those who didn’t. We’ll drink to that.