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The Starbucks Sirena Thread
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > The Starbucks...  
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mraschko
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 2
Location: Sammamish, WA
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Jul 12, 2010, 2:41pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

I've owned a Sirena for several years now and I'm getting fed up with it.  

When I first bought it, it was fairly new to the market.  After reading the this thread, I tried pulling some shots with it using ground coffee, but it was a miserable failure that resulted in coffee everywhere.  This was without using the rubber pressurization gasket.

Since then, I've been buying pods from podmerchant.com, but even then my result are mixed.  If I use Illy pods it usually (but not always) turns out okay.  Other pods are more hit or miss.

There are two consistent problems.  First, the machine frequently leaks water from the top of the portafilter during brewing.  When this happens, I have to push the filter handle hard to the right.  Sometimes it was vibrate itself back to the left.  In this situation, I have to keep constant pressure on the handle to keep from getting a watered down shot.

The other problem is that the coffee seems to come out too slow.  I bet that I'm getting over extracted coffee.  This happens with all pods.

Anyone else have these issues?  Is there a solution?  If not, I'd appreciate suggestions for a replacement in the $300 to $400 range.

Thanks in advance,
-Michael
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alric22
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jul 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Midwest
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Aug 11, 2010, 6:32am
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

You probably had the same issue I had with a clogged coffee holder.  Try cleaning the pores in the coffee holder filter.  

I did a few things to get wonderful espresso with this machine.

  1. Get rid of the rubber gasket in the holder and use tamping.

  2. Take out the metal filter above the holder and screwed on to the machine.

  3. Get a real burr grinder.  I use a Baratza Virtuoso at setting #10

  4. Use good fresh coffee.
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Hamtaro
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Erindale, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Rocky Doser
Posted Thu Sep 2, 2010, 7:37pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

I've had this machine for little more than a year, and it still runs great.
At least once in two-week,  I descale my machine, clean up the group head, and wash out the reservoir.

I also got rocky doser for my beans, and get beans from my roaster once every week.
I must say, I'm getting tons of aroma, and tons of flavor for every extraction.

I always wanted to get crotchless PF for this machine, but that's on my next agenda.
I think I can live without it for now.

More than this machine, I think investing on a sound grinder is a good way to go.
I've never imagined that the grinder would cost more than a espresso machine, but now it all makes sense.

Fresh coffee, filtered water, proper amount (although it changes time to time, depending on the day [temp, RH]), and proper tamping.
I hope the water pump won't fail on me anytime soon. I fully enjoyed using this machine thus far, and looking forward for many more years of happy extraction :)
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Hamtaro
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Erindale, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Rocky Doser
Posted Thu Sep 2, 2010, 7:40pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

alric22 Said:

Take out the metal filter above the holder and screwed on to the machine.

Posted August 11, 2010 link

yea, I was wondering what the metal filter does on the group head.
is it safe to remove it?
is it better to remove it?

are we talking about the same part?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,469
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Sep 2, 2010, 8:32pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

Hamtaro Said:

I always wanted to get crotchless PF for this machine . . .

Posted September 2, 2010 link

So THAT'S where espresso porn comes from!   ;^)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Hamtaro
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Erindale, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Rocky Doser
Posted Fri Sep 3, 2010, 7:38pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

alric22 Said:

Take out the metal filter above the holder and screwed on to the machine.

Posted August 11, 2010 link

I'm not too sure about removing the brew head filter.

doesn't it spreads the water evenly to your PF, so that you get nice extraction?
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Hamtaro
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Feb 2010
Posts: 15
Location: Erindale, Ontario
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Rocky Doser
Posted Tue Sep 7, 2010, 6:58pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

Just want to bump this question. because I'm curious about the same thing.

since most Saeco products are like Gaggia

can this PID controller work on sirena?

Click Here (www.auberins.com)
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komarno_mark
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Oct 2010
Posts: 14
Location: Regina
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Nov 21, 2010, 8:02am
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

got my machine a few weeks ago.. it's good, and i can get better drinks that at my local SB, but im already upgrading to a silvia
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bonsai
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Jan 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Tampa
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Jan 17, 2011, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

Just bought a Sirena refurbished online from a merchant in the West Coast (not sure if I can mention their name here).  They have fixed two major issues found in the machine.  Apparently these two issues are the bulk of why people returned these machiens.
- The first being a leak in a hose that results from it not being long enough, and breaking from the "kick" in pressure.
- The second issue was a stop in the knob that controls the steam wand.

Mine had a third issue with the water lever sensor that was solved by sawing off a little protrusion on the floater (as directed by the technical support rep.).

I think the deal I got was the best I could get for the money (about $270) for a kind of decent machine.  I look forward to the machine producing some good coffee.  For now, I am using pre-grinded espresso blend coffee from green mountain and the pressurized portafilter.  As soon as I can buy a decent grinder I will start playing without the rubber contraption that pressurizes the portafilter.  I hope this machine works properly until I can graduate to a better one.

Something that kind of bothered me was that Starbucks had a centralized website for the Sirena which I guess had good information and probably some good knowledgebase, but they wiped it when they stopped selling the machine.  I am guessing a lot of the concerns and tips in using this machine were lost with that website.  If anybody that has posted previously still is using their Sirena or got rid of it.  I would appreciate some wisdom.  The original website advertising the machine can be found in the webback-machine for the Starbucks Sirena in November 2007.  I read somewhere that 2 years went into the design by the BMW people, and some of the best stuff Saeco had went into the components.  My best guess is that they didn't do enough testing after they built their prototypes and the two problems mentioned above resulted in so many returns that it just wasn't worth it for Starbucks.  Anybody knows how the story really went?
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lv1
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 12
Location: PA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Sirena
Posted Tue Jan 18, 2011, 7:55am
Subject: Re: The Starbucks Sirena Thread
 

Have been using the machine for over a year.  Absolutely no problems.  I have removed the rubber insert and plug from the portafilter and use it in a non-pressurized mode.  I have purchased a Baratza Vario ginder that it has improved the quality greatly.
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