Doesn't brew hot enough, carafe doesn't keep coffee hot for more then 1 hour, won't produce anything better then you can get from a $30 to $60 drip machine.
Positive Product Points
Nicer looking design. Most parts are easy to clean/take apart.
Negative Product Points
Coffee doesn't brew hot enough. Coffee doesn't stay hot for long enough in included carafe. Key part does not come apart for cleaning (carafe lid). $100 to $120 for this product does not mean coffee is any better then similar $30 to $60 drip machine.
Starbucks Barista Aroma 8-cup (40 oz). Retail $119 (was on sale in March 2006 for around $100).
Ideas of machine are good but not well executed... carafe, water filter, permanent coffee filter, etc. Doesn't produce a cup of coffee that is any better then your average $30 to $60 drip machine.
I will be returning this machine later this week... gave it three months to see if it would do the trick. Should have returned it right away... as I knew it wasn't brewing hot enough or holding temp in carafe.
Coffee isn't brewed hot enough. 32 oz batch... temp taking from container direct from brew head prior to entering brew basket or carafe. - 6 minutes to brew (start to finish) - first 8 oz (160 degrees F) - second 8 oz (170 defrees F) - thrid 8 oz (179 degress F) - fourth 8 oz (179 degress F)
Coffee doesn't stay hot for long enough in included carafe. Coffee cools so quickly it is undrinkable if it sits in carafe for more then 1 hour... 1 1/2 hours max... luke warm by 2 hours.
Key part does not come apart for cleaning (carafe lid). Carafe lid can not be taken apart... so you can't properly clean seals, gaskets, etc. This affects coffee going into the carafe from the brew basket. Brew basket seals onto the carafe via a pressure point/seal. If this seal got really gunked up from coffee grounds (which it will)... it could cause coffee to not go into carafe. i.e. Hot coffee could spill out of brew basket and leak onto counter.
All other pieces are easliy removed and cleanable (brew basket, water resevoir, etc). Quality of brew parts is average... plastic like all other drip coffee makers I have owned.
Permanent coffee filter that comes with the machine isn't very good... it lets a lot of sediment through regardless of grind.
Water resevoir has filter in bottom... filter can be replaced - purchased at Starbucks store. Not sure it really does much if you are putting filtered (Brita/PUR) water into it. The location/design of the water filter doesn't seem to force all the waterthrough it prior to brewing (more for looks).
External quality of components realtively good... metal exterior, heavy feeling carafe, etc.
Bought at local Starbucks store... easily purchased... will see how they are on returns... I saved my receipt.
Three Month Followup
Starbucks returned the machine... and was fine with my explanation that it didn't work as expected... I was not hassled about the return at all.
I did have to wait 10 working days for Starbucks to process the return and mail me a check. This was due to Starbucks Return Policy... the return was over the threshold ($80 or some where around that amount) for an on site refund (even though I paid via Credit Card and had my receipt). I could have gotten an on the spot refund... had I been OK with receiving an in store credit for the full amount of the refund.