At the risk of sounding repetitive, there’s some really great coffee writing coming out of the Serious Eats: Drinks blog, from regular contributors Erin Meister and Liz Clayton. Ms. Clayton is up to bat today, in a feature where she boldly tries the new Starbucks Verismo pod system, including its mercurial (and apparently misunderstood, if the comments are to believed) powdered milk frothing pod.

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There’s no doubt about it, robots still have tremendous intellectual appeal. Perhaps at no more enticing time than first thing in the morning, when you’re desperately hoping someone else, anyone else, anything else, might make you your coffee. The growth of the pod-coffee segment of home brewing machines has been tremendous, and it’s not just because people are lazy and they look cool. It’s because they are capable of producing a surprisingly acceptable—sometimes even good!—cup of coffee.

At long last, Starbucks is throwing its hat in the ring. The company announced in September the arrival of the “Verismo” automated pod machine, a push-button single-cup espresso maker that offers the added functionality of brewing drip coffee and…wait for it…even steaming milk for you by using milk pods…all in one handy chute.

As always with Ms. Clayton’s content, it’s a corking good read, and given the subject matter (capable of sending coffee enthusiasts into convulsions) she walks the tight-rope nicely. Read the whole thing here via Serious Eats:Drinks.

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