The attraction of some single-serve coffeemakers, also called pod machines, can be more about convenience than great taste or cost savings. Equally handy, if you don't count drive time, is picking up your daily brew at the local Starbucks but it's not cheap. Now that Starbucks has its own single-serve machine, the $200 Verismo 580, we wondered whether brewing a daily cup at home versus buying one at the store would eventually pay for the machine.
To find out, we used Starbucks Pike Place coffee, which is available in both Verismo pods and at Starbucks coffeehouses. The Verismo 580's serving size for regular coffee is 7.1 ounces, so we needed two pods to make what amounts to the 14.2 ounces you get when you ask the Starbucks barista for a 16-ounce "grande" cup with room for milk. We added local tax and left out the cost of milk and sugar for both brews.
The bottom line? Buying out was cheaper by a mere nickel. If you have to justify the cost of the Verismo 580 think about what you'll save on gas by brewing at home. Otherwise just enjoy the convenience. To really save on Starbucks coffee, you're better off buying it by the bag at the supermarket and brewing it in a regular drip machine. The medium-sized machines on our list of top coffeemaker picks range in price from $30 to $100.