Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
consumer product reviews
consumer espresso machine reviews
Starbucks Barista - Max Ekstrom's Review
Posted: January 15, 2004, 6:08pm
review rating: 0.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista
Where to Buy
Arrow No Business Listed
 List your business site here.
About "Where to Buy"

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 1,038,937 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

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Manufacturer: Estro Quality: 7
Average Price: $350.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $159.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 2 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: If you are ready to tinker, it's a solid shooter.
Positive Product Points

The barista makes a convincing (if misleadingly so) cup of espresso from day one. With a little tinkering, it can shoot a very decent shot.

Negative Product Points

-It's hard to get the machine hot enough. This applies to both the heat of the steam wand and the heat of the steam coming out the grouphead.
-The pressurized portafilter is an insult to the connoisseur.

Detailed Commentary

I got this machine on a partner discount during the holidays. So I paid almost half the usual retail price.  My "cost vs value" rating, therefore, is biased. Who can turn down a $150 espresso machine?

Perhaps the biggest problem with the barista is that it comes with a pressurized portafilter, which is designed to eliminate the need for tamping. The issue here is that if you use a fine grind and/or tamping in the quest for a satisfactorily long shot, the barista will stutter the coffee and produce espresso molasses. With a coarse, nearly tampless dose, you get reasonable duration (about 14-18 seconds) thanks to the pressurization, but the mouthfeel is loose (at best--at worst, it's watery) and the bean flavors fail to thoroughly integrate.

The good news: this can be corrected! I've followed the advice of fellow coffeegeeks and repeat it as follows:

1) De-pressurize the portafilter. Dissasemble to it and remove the plastic stuff inside. Use a nail or awl to slightly widen the opening in the valve of the removable plastic ring.
2) Always do a dry run without coffee in the portafilter to heat the components.

After you do this, the barista will give you a solid shot. Sure, the crema is modest, but a humble crema is better than an articifial crema.

Buying Experience

As I mentioned, I got this on partner discount during the holidays. Buying a machine from starbucks is tough, since most partners don't know the merchandise. But their return policy is good and the company stands behind their products.

Previous Review Next Review
Write a Review for this Product
review rating: 0.0
Posted: January 15, 2004, 6:08pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Login Password
forgot pw | signup
Experience Qualia Coffee
Indescribably good coffee from DC's premier shop roaster with the widest selection & freshest beans.
Cafe Espresso Machines
Video reviews, nationwide installation, leasing options... Nuova Simonelli, Rancilio, La Marzocco.
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2015 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.189007043839)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+