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Starbucks Athena - Jeff Novick's Review
Posted: September 6, 2003, 3:58pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Athena
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More About This Product
Arrow The Starbucks Athena has 12 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Athena has been rated 7.45 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Starbucks Athena reviews have been viewed 78,116 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
M G 9.40
James Kelly 8.14
Jeff Novick 8.00
J K 8.00
Sally Grimsley 7.66

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 4.8
Manufacturer: Estro Quality: 4
Average Price: $299.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $400.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 4
Owned for: 1 month Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: Advanced Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Save your money for a better machine
Positive Product Points

Perfect crema every time
Fast heat up time
Great Starbucks service

Negative Product Points

Lacks steam power
Noisy pump
Must bleed steam and brewhead every time
Ugly plastic looking box
Way overpriced
Cheap portafilter

Detailed Commentary

My La Pavoni Europiccola had to be brought in for servicing recently and I decided to try the Athena because I am looking for a machine that's capable of pulling more than a couple of shots. My first reaction was the cheap plastic look and feel of it. Reading the instructions, then watching the video, there was a difference in how one primes the system. You have to prime the pump everytime you make a shot! This is a pain in the ass plus it is too noisy. The steam unit is not powerful enough and doesn't hold a candle to my La Pavoni. However, every shot has perfect crema, not matter how much you try to blow it! This is due to the pressurized portafilter. The shots look great in a shot glass. And, they taste good, if you don't know that much about great espresso. Most people don't. Many people equate crema with a great shot. This is not necessarily true. My La Pavoni makes a much better tasting shot than this machine and it has much less crema. This machine is for the seriously misguided consumer who doesn't want to spend any time making themselves knowledgeable about what is available and what a good espresso machine should be about. This ain't it. Even the programming feature that allows you to measure the amount of your shots doesn't work correctly.

Do yourself a favor and spend your hard earned money on a real machine that will give you years if not a lifetime of great coffee and service. Try to get an all metal bodied machine. Nothing less than a Rancilio Silvia for only $50 more than the Athena is money much better spent. And, the Silvia is at the low end of decent machines. Don't let these marketers take your money. Do your homework and get a product that is supposed to give you great coffee and last for decades. I have my La Pavoni for over 20 years. Get a machine made by one of the great names. Spend a little more and you will be much happier for a longer time!

Buying Experience

Every company should be as easy to do business with as Starbucks.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: September 6, 2003, 3:58pm
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