Being your own barista just got a bit easier.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
April 19, 2019

While many of us are content to pop into a coffee shop for a morning pick-me-up, some people prefer to control their own caffeinated destiny. Before the coffee pod revolution brought on by brands like Keurig and Nespresso, getting an actual shot of espresso at home, however, required not only some special equipment but essentially the same knowhow as any barista behind a counter. But for fans of Starbucks’ espresso offerings, the ease with which you can potentially skip a detour to a store and accurately recreate the experience at home just jumped up a notch with the coffee brand’s soon-to-be-released product line available on Nespresso machines.

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A representative for Nespresso said the collaboration was under a year in the making (relatively fast for these kinds of major known-quantity mashups) to perfect the Starbucks experience via Nespresso’s technology, a result of Starbucks and Nespresso parent company Nestle joining forces in August 2018 to form the Global Coffee Alliance. While the espresso, which comes in five roasts, is the exact same beans (100-percent arabica) you’ll find at Starbucks stores, translating the grind and other characteristics to Nespresso’s pod system took, it seems, some doing. The result, however, is an initial range of espresso roasts that should taste familiar to Starbucks devotees: Starbucks Espresso Roast (also in decaf), Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast, Starbucks Single-Origin Columbia Coffee, and Starbucks Pike Place Roast.

I tried the pods at a preview event as both a straight shot and in a variety of mixed espresso drinks designed by Dana Pollack, founder and CEO of New York City’s Dana’s Bakery, and as a semi-regular Starbucks drinker, the product seemed to deliver on what I'd expect in my usual Blonde Flat White (The Single-Origin Columbia roast was especially robust and flavorful, my personal favorite of the bunch.) Considering the push-button ease of both the Nespresso machine and the accompanying milk frother (which can work with both dairy and non-dairy milks, oat milk converts should note), it’s easy to see how, should you have the counter space, a Nespresso machine could be, in the long term, a cost-saving option that lets you play with creating your own menu of unique lattes, macchiatos, and more. The Starbucks Espresso Nespresso pods (which are recyclable) will retail for $9.99 for a pack of ten, and be available online at sites like Amazon.com, Jet.com, and Walmart.com in early May 2019 before rolling out in brick-and-mortar stores later in the year.

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