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Starbucks Buon Caffe 330 - M S's Review
Posted: November 16, 2004, 2:07pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Buon Caffe 330
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Arrow The Starbucks Buon Caffe 330 has 8 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Buon Caffe 330 has been rated 7.73 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Starbucks Buon Caffe 330 reviews have been viewed 55,047 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Rod Shutt 9.00
Tony Reynolds 8.50
M S 8.00
Allan Peters 7.66
James Hathaway 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Manufacturer: Estro (Starbucks) Quality: 7
Average Price: $250.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $75.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Ebay Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Starbucks Barista, Krups Gusto, Rancilio Sylvia
Bottom Line: A great machine, but hard to get parts for.
Positive Product Points

Quick warm up, good steaming capabilities, intuitive design (i.e. water tank easily removes, adequate drip tray, steam wand swivels nicely to accommodate larger pitchers), metal housing, and no priming necessary with Thermal block design.

Negative Product Points

Parts can be purchased from Krups, but the Buon Caffe line has been discontinued, so the catch lies in knowing which Krups part will work for your machine. This machine was not made to be rebuilt, although the capabilities rival that of many brands marketed today in the $250 range (Krups Novo Series.) Also the Aluminum Thermal Block tends to melt down or clog up after a few years, depending on the water you use.

Detailed Commentary

I quick side note. Coffee Geek states that this machine has a boiler, and that is incorrect. The Buon Caffe 330 utilizes a Thermal block Heating system, not a boiler. This makes a bit of difference in performance and maintenance.

I purchased this on EBay and was quite impressed my it's performance. I have run this machine side by side with a Rancilio Sylvia, and although the Buon Caffe is considered lower on the food chain, because of the Thermal block Heating system, it was able to steam milk constantly without stopping to refill the boiler. The 330 also comes with a One and Two Shot Brew Basket, and the portafilter comes sans crema enhancer, making it ideal for the true coffee connoisseur. The metal housing is a bit of an anomaly in today's low-end espresso machine market.

This is the first machine I have used that utilizes the Thermal block heating system. Although there are many pros and cons to the system, I will sum it up in one sentence. The Thermal block Heating system is designed for those that don't have the patience to wait for the boiler to heat up. If you don't know or care about boilers and their characteristics, this machine will work for you.

Buying Experience

For brewhead gaskets I used to send people to Action Appliance in Seattle (206)448-2020 for a Krupps Model 964 gasket, but either the business moved or shut down. Since then I have referred people to www.smallappliance.com- tell them you want the Krups Model 964 grooved gasket...

Three Month Followup

For brewhead gaskets I used to send people to Action Appliance in Seattle (206)448-2020 for a Krupps Model 964 gasket, but either the business moved or shut down. Since then I have referred people to www.smallappliance.com- tell them you want the Krups Model 964 grooved gasket...

One Year Followup

I have since parted my machine out to other CGers looking for obsolete parts. The most common question was where to find a brewhead gasket- a Krups 964 Grooved Gasket works perfectly- if you can find it. If your thermoblock goes out, which mine did, your machine is toast, but anything else can be found online through Krups dealers. This machine's only flaw in my opinion is the thermoblock, but it is what makes it so user-friendly at the same time.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: November 16, 2004, 2:07pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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