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Starbucks Barista - J. Valenta's Review
Posted: July 10, 2003, 12:52am
review rating: 6.8
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista
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More About This Product
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has 163 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Barista has been rated 8.23 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 1,035,222 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bam T 9.50
Carl Lobitz 8.67
Rick Wayne 8.22
Dave Jahsman 8.00
Kevin Bailey 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.2
Manufacturer: Estro Quality: 7
Average Price: $350.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $217.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 3 years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: Professional Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Great "starter" machine, best bang for $ when bought on sale. (although the competition is closing in)
Positive Product Points

Best value for beginner.  Leaves room in your budget for a decent grinder.  Huge reservoir.  Relatively quick boiler time.

Negative Product Points

Steam is a little weak out of the wand, but if anything, it will just teach you how to properly steam milk.  Water temp can be a little inconsistent, so learn to surf.

Detailed Commentary

This machine is a great setup for the beginning junkie...er, enthusiast.  I pull solid doubles of my own roast from it, with good crema.  It comes with a pressurized portafilter to take some of the guesswork out of grind and tamp, but once you get the hang of things, it's easy enough to modify.  I paired mine the Starbucks (Solis Maestro) burr grinder.

You can pick one up the local 'bucks, though I wouldn't pay full price.  Fortunately, they seem to go on sale pretty regularly.  

Learning and setup were pretty easy.  Included is a video to help you get going.

I probably outgrew this machine, but a lack of money and the fact that I have a La Marzocco Linea 4 group at work, keeps me from buying a new one.

I think this machine is great for the first time buyer.  If you catch the bug, well...you'd be on a never ending upgrade cycle anyway.  But if you don't, or you find this is just enough machine for you, you can pocket half the difference from a Livia and send me the rest!

Buying Experience

The model I purchased was on sale, plus I was able to buy the floor model which had only been used a handful of times.

Three Month Followup

I have now owned this machine for over 3 years and it is still going strong.  Starting to notice a little wear on the steam valve.  Still a great beginner machine.

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review rating: 6.8
Posted: July 10, 2003, 12:52am
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