Desperate for a Starbucks latte? Now you won't have to make that arduous 15-foot journey to your nearest location. That's because the company has rolled out its single-serve espresso machine on its website; it'll hit Williams-Sonoma and other stores in early October and come to Starbucks' own shops soon after, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Verismo sells for $199, or $399 for a bigger version. Focusing on espresso, rather than drip-coffee, "is a big bet we're making," says CEO Howard Schultz. But it's not the only company betting on the classy stuff.
Espresso "is the next evolution of the coffee culture in the United States," says an analyst. Despite the fact that just 4% of coffee makers sold in the US last year were for espresso, other firms are getting into the game—including Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, whose Keurig machines are in 11.5 million homes and account for some 90% of the single-serve market. Nestlé is also planning an updated version of its Nespresso machines. But the Verismo has a leg up on Nespresso: It offers pods containing espresso and milk that can make you a latte, whereas with Nestlé's machines, you must froth the milk yourself.