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Starbucks Barista - Fred Kennedy's Review
Posted: November 16, 2004, 8:42pm
review rating: 5.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista
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More About This Product
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has 163 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has been rated 8.23 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Starbucks Barista reviews have been viewed 1,036,258 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bam T 9.50
Carl Lobitz 8.67
Rick Wayne 8.22
Dave Jahsman 8.00
Kevin Bailey 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.6
Manufacturer: Estro Quality: 9
Average Price: $350.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $249.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Krups
Bottom Line: This machine makes my latte one of the best times of my day.....
Positive Product Points

I enjoy extremely useful and high quality tools in my kitchen; I have no time for novelty or poor quality gadgets.  The Barista, along with it's fellow Barista Burr Grinder, are an excellent addition.  Sorry Starbucks, "I have found a replacement for my daily coffee fix at home!"  It helps me make the finest coffee drinks I have found anywhere......

Negative Product Points
  1.  Priming seems excessive, but necessary.
  2.  I wish the portafilter was less complicated and more durable, although, after a long conversation with a tech at Starbucks, I can live with it understanding its limitations. (Be careful not to bang it too hard when knocking out the grinds, you can dislodge the pin under the basket)
Detailed Commentary

I have had two espresso makers since 1985 (none with the quality of this machine), nonetheless, they were Krupps and seemed to be satisfactory for straight shots but not lattes.  Both machines are in working order and were cleaned thoroughly (complete disassembly) over the years.  I hated to part with them.  I did give one, my oldest one and a blade grinder, to a person who loves espresso but didn’t have the funds for his own machine, he loves it.  The newest one, I have promised to another person as a starter machine with an inexpensive burr grinder.
Now, for my newest and most delightful machine, the Barista…..  I had been eyeing the machine ever since Starbucks came to town.  They were the first store to offer premium pump-driven machines in Prescott, AZ, and (aside from the large commercial machines), were quite appealing, although rather expensive (I have two sons at the U of A and my financial priorities are not purchasing expensive kitchen items).  But like most people, it is nice to dream.  I spent time researching pump-driven machines and began obsessing about what it would be like to have a better machine in my kitchen.  Again, it is nice to dream.
I believe my wife sensed my hidden desire to own a pump-driven machine.  My wife is extremely frugal and will not pay full price for anything.  As my fiftieth birthday got closer ( 04/04), Starbucks had a sale, $100.00 off!!!! Wow…. The machine was still $250.00 and I quietly fantasized ownership, trying to remember how important my son’s education is to them.  Oh well, life goes on and my thoughts of my fiftieth were centered on an evening with my closest friends.
So, imagine my surprise when I woke up to a new Barista, along with its adequate coffee mate, the Barista burr grinder, on my birthday.  I couldn’t have been happier.  Now the real test began.  Would this new duo produce an elixir that would draw me away from my daily fix at Starbucks?  It certainly did, and, now, I go through my morning ritual of making the BEST latte I know.  What a nice way to start the day ……

Buying Experience

The buying experience could not have been more pleasant.  The people at Starbucks, both locally and at their technical hotline, were more than helpful.  While I made all of my inquiries prior to ownership (and while still dreaming), and afterwards, when I wanted to be certain about the operation,  the employees were very professional and truthful about the operation of the machine.  High-pressure sale tactics were not part of their vocabulary, no question was to stupid or to simple to answer with delightful respect, and they were never to busy to take time to assist with a smile.  Thank you, Starbucks, and thanks, most of all, to all of the wonderful employees who provided me with such superb customer service.

Three Month Followup

Couldn't be happier with this machines performance....

One Year Followup

Superb machine, no problems, well-used, great for the single espresso user, descaling a little time consuming (but no more than my new upgrade; a super-automatic), all in all, an excellent value for the money....

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review rating: 5.7
Posted: November 16, 2004, 8:42pm
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