Fast, easy to operate and even easier to clean! Water begins to bubble instantly upon turning it on and a six-cup pot takes only four minutes to brew. The flavor seems "full" (not to sound like Mrs. Olsen) and dark, yet not in the least bitter like my various drip coffee makers produce. I‘m impressed.
Negative Product Points
Lid on top is made of brittle, thin clear plastic and it seems likely to crack, though I may be critical due to the relatively high cost for a mostly plastic pot. I would like to have a slightly larger version for those times when 10 6oz. cups isn‘t enough. The "permanent" filter seems a little flimsy also, and I haven‘t seen where Starbucks is selling replacements yet.
I bid for a couple of "Starbucks Barista Utopia Vacuum Coffee Pots" on eBay after reading a review in TIME magazine last October, but when they reached the $150 mark with $20 s/h, I decided to hit the local Starbucks and convinced my partner that‘s what I needed for Christmas. It cost the standard price of $169 + tax, but I‘ve fallen in love with this baby! I was leary of a machine that has a videotape to show you how to use it, but laughed when I was done viewing, because you‘d have to be an idiot to screw it up! I‘ve used it every day since Christmas and I still get a kick out of watching it brew. I mean, it‘s so interesting that I feel I need to sit down with a cup of coffee to watch it, but I won‘t drink coffee at my house now unless it‘s from the Barista Utopia, so I can‘t--what a Catch 22! I clean it after every use and that seems much more painless than retrieving a cold, wet, paper filter full of grounds the next morning and trying to hit the garbage can. I just put the tube of the top section down the drain, pop the permanent filter out and run water through it. A light sponging and it‘s ready for the next run. I hope this baby never wears out.