I got this as a birthday gift. What a great gift idea! I have had this on my list for years. Very excited, I took the machine home, read the directions thoroughly, watched the accompanying video in great anticipation. At first I thought I was doing something wrong when I started priming the machine. Nothing was happening so I decided to call the Starbucks help line. After a brief discussion, figured out that the pump had malfunctioned. The man on the phone set up an exchange of my Athena at a local Starbucks Store where I received my second Athena Machine.
In anticipation, once again, I set out to make my latte! After priming and steaming and priming the brew head now, I placed the espresso in the porta filter, as directed. Pressed the two shot button, and nothing came out. Primed the brew head again, pressed the two shot button, and one shot poured out. At this time, I thought perhaps the 2 shot button needed to be reprogrammed. So, following the directions, I reprogrammed the two shot button. Primed the brew head again and 3/4 of a shoot came out.
Back to the Starbucks help line. After much testing and working with the patient woman, figured out that the computer portion, or whatever it is that programs your shot, had malfunctioned.
This time corporate decided they would mail me one direct from the warehouse. It arrived in 3 days. Hooray!
This one worked, for 7 weeks, until the brew head started leaking water out where it hooks into the inside of the machine, like a little waterfall. At this point, I was nearly in tears when I called the Starbucks Help Line.
After a rather brief review of the circumstances, the woman said the brew head was defective. She wasn't sure , that if she were me, that she would even want to try yet another machine.
As I await my next Athena, I am contemplating an upgrade to the Saeco Italia that Starbucks has on sale now. While the machine worked, I must say, it made great beverages, saving me loads of money. I want another one, but I want it to work correctly.