The Starbucks Barista is a good value, easy to use espresso machine that is durable, provides consistent quality and is relatively easy to clean and maintain. Great for new coffee/espresso loving families.
Positive Product Points
realiability, simple to use, consistent quality, good steam, compact size, great for home - single use, or small parties
Negative Product Points
no option for direct water feed, water holding tank must be cleaned routinely,
My Starbucks Barista experience began in the summer of 1998 and ended almost 6 Ĺ years later in the spring of 2005. I was a novice with coffee and espresso to say the least, but quickly became addicted to coffee and enjoyed learning how to prepare various drinks. My machine went through a torturous life. I feel for the money this machine is perfect for in home espresso.
I frequently took my Stainless Steel Barista on the road to parties and events to pull shots and serve espresso drinks. We entertained at our home often serving over 50 drinks a night. The Barista never let me down. I often wondered just how much more of a pounding this thing could take. In April of 2005 she was finally put to rest.
After five years and literally thousands of shots and steamed espresso drinks I had to replace the metal filter basket and handle. The act of tightening the filter handle compresses the metal edge of the filter basket and reformed the metal. I filed the edge of the metal filter cup down twice so that it could still fit securely on the brew head. Finally, the filter handle broke and I ordered a new handle and metal filter basket and carried on for another 18 months.
The Barista is easy to use and maintain. At nine years old my oldest son wanted to learn how to use the machine and become a barista. He learned it very quickly and took over as master making my drinks seem inferior. He in now 15 and still serves me often and takes over for me at parties and functions.
The few negative points that I saw in the machine were keeping the water in the holding tank fresh and the lack of option to hard plumb a water line into the unit. That is it after over six years of use. Fresh, pure filtered water is one of the keys to great espresso, if you leave your water sit for more than a day or so you greatly compromise quality and introduce nasty things to the water tank and internal works of the machine.
Iím sure I would be in the minority for wanting to hard plumb the filtered water supply, but this would be convenient and save time cleaning the water tank. I would lose the convenience of taking it on the road as I did with my first machine.
I compared many machines to my Barista. Many much more expensive and elaborate machines were just too difficult to use and maintain. My friends just came to my place to be served. I found that none of my friendsí machines matched the simplicity and consistency of the Barista. I considered new Italian machines with many more features, but purchased another Barista.
For the money, I could not find a better machine that meets my needs. I purchased another stainless steel Barista machine from Starbucks this month.