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Starbucks Barista - Jim Robin's Review
Posted: February 17, 2000, 7:47am
review rating: 8.3
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 459,212 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: 9.2
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 8
Average Price: $120.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: Aficionado Would Buy Again: n/a
Similar Items Owned: Not entered
Bottom Line: A simple, well-designed, highly capable grinder for home espresso
Positive Product Points

conical burrs
short path from ginding burrs to hopper
timer control with override
small footprint
very easy to clean
good espresso grinding capability
no static

Negative Product Points

all plastic exterior
grinds too fine for french press
no doser

Detailed Commentary

I purchased the Solis Model 166 (not the Starbucks Barista version) for $125 by mail order.  I use it exclusively with my Rancilio Silvia.  I currently have the grinder set at 4 clicks from the finest setting, I tamp with 30-40 pounds of force, and my double shot extraction times are in the range from 20-30 seconds for two ounces.  If I adjust to a finer grinder setting, I can easily "choke" my Silvia.  This is contrary to the capability of the Starbucks Barista version, which has a more "multipurpose" grinding range.  I cannot grind coarse enough to use with my french press.  The Model 166 version of this grinder is specifically adjusted for espresso grinding.  

The grinder is VERY easy to clean.  The chute from the burrs to the hopper is short, so very little is left behind when the hopper is removed.  A small brush is effective in removing any grinds left behind in the chute.  The bean hopper is removable without tools, directly revealing the conical burrs, which can also be cleaned easily with a brush.  

The grinder is operated with a mechanical timer.  I find this useful for grinding consistently small amounts for a double espresso shot at a time.  It can grind enough for about 5 or so double shots if the timer is set to maximum.  The timer can be interrupted by moving the dial forward by hand without damage (it's designed for this).

Contrary to other reports, I have not had any static problems.  And this is while using it indoors during January and February in Minnesota (extremely low humidity, static-inducing environment).  

I would like to get a grinder with a doser one day.  I considered the Rancilio Rocky, but the doser seems to get mixed reviews for various reasons.  And it's much more expensive, harder to clean, leaves behind more coffee, etc.

I really like this grinder a lot, and I have not found a home or so-called "semi-commercial" model (including Rocky, Gaggia MDF, Pavoni, others) that I would rather have for espresso.

Buying Experience

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review rating: 8.3
Posted: February 17, 2000, 7:47am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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