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Starbucks Barista - Gone Gone's Review
Posted: January 21, 2008, 1:00pm
review rating: 0.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has 94 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has been rated 7.89 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 459,619 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
D R 9.50
John Eubanks 8.57
JP Cordill 8.40
Mark Prince 8.33
Jim Robin 8.33

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 4.0
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 4
Average Price: $120.00 Usability: 3
Price Paid: $89.10 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 4
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 4
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Works for drip grind, but the Barista won't meet the needs of most baristas.
Positive Product Points

Excellent warranty and Starbucks customer service. Reasonable counter footprint. Solid, robust stainless burrs. Ample power. Easy to use.

Negative Product Points

Grinder static caused by grinding speed. Narrow grind selection -- not coarse enough for press pot, not fine enough for espresso. Plastic grounds holder and bean bin are brittle plastic, prone to cracking, and significant static.

Starbucks is inclined to toss out/lose product operation manuals, warranties, packaging.

Detailed Commentary

I settled on the Starbucks Barista because of consumer product reviews in this forum. According to the reviews the Barista is a Solis / Baratza Maestro.  Product reviews for the Baratza Maestro Plus suggests that Baratza has addressed the issues I find in the Barista.

Baratza Maestro Plus has adopted a 240 volt DC motor which slows grind speed and addresses static issues. The Barista generates significant static and grounds scatter on counter tops, stick to  grounds bins,  stick to grinder interior, stick to drip filters.

Function of the Barista -- The grinder is well built with ample power. It makes somewhat less noise than a blender.

I found the range of grind settings unsatisfactory.  The Barista grinds too fine for press pot and too coarse for espresso. Evidently the Baratza Maestro Plus -- which is the ungraded model of the Starbucks Barista -- provides a wider range of grind settings.

If the "drip grind" range suits your needs, the Barista produces uniform, quality results.  The conical burrs are stainless steel, robust, and well designed.

Static is significant. Product discussions attribute static to grinder motor speed. Static is eliminated with a slower grind speed accomplished by either using a more expensive, slow speed motor, or  by using reduction gears which also add to product cost. The Baratza Maestro Plus has gone to a better motor, and this improvement is reflected in an increased price.

Having used the Barista extensively for a couple weeks, I'm finding it inadequate for press pot and espresso. It works fine for drip grind if you can tolerate significant static. The Barista is ample for drip grind, and at the $99 price point for a conical burr grinder it far outclasses the double parallel plate style burr grinders such as the Krups.  

To their credit, Starbucks stands by their products, and I will be returning my Barista. In all fairness, I'm replacing this grinder with a Rancilio Rocky at three times the price point.

Buying Experience

Starbucks staff doesn't know much about their products. Packaging, instructions, warranties are missing as part of Starbucks storage and sales policies. Staff focuses on coffee sales, not coffee equipment sales.

The Barista I purchased from a Starbucks retail outlet was a "floor display" model and sold to me for a 10% discount. I discovered the grounds bin was cracked. Starbucks replaced the entire machine same day, but this required somd driving to another local Starbucks outlet. I'm in a remote, rural area. The distance ran 55 miles one direction.

Starbucks Customer Service 800 access is excellent. Warranty and returns are easy.

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Posted: January 21, 2008, 1:00pm
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