Single-serve coffeemakers that use coffee pods are gaining in popularity, and everyone wants a piece of the market, including Starbucks. Consumer Reports just tested the Starbucks Verismo machine and 21 others, costing from $25 to $300.
Testers found the fastest will rush you your caffeine in about a minute. But the Hamilton Beach Personal Cup 4997 took 3 minutes to deliver that first cup.
As for the Starbucks Verismo machine, you can make Starbucks’ espresso, café latte, and brewed coffee, but it’s pricey. It starts at $200, and it’s pretty basic. For example, you can’t adjust brew strength, and the manual says you should flush the machine with water after each brew.
Far better for less, says Consumer Reports, is a $150 DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto Circolo. It brews a cup in a minute and makes cappuccinos, espressos, and other drinks as well. If you want a smaller pod coffeemaker that takes up less counter space, Consumer Reports recommends the Piccolo in the DeLonghi Nescafé Dolce Gusto line that goes for $100.
But be aware—buying a pod machine is just the beginning. The coffee pods can be expensive, up to $1 a cup.