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Starbucks Italia Digital - J J's Review
Posted: November 16, 2009, 4:11pm
review rating: 0.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Italia Digital
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More About This Product
Arrow The Starbucks Italia Digital has 21 Reviews
Arrow The Starbucks Italia Digital has been rated 7.92 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 24, 2004.
Arrow Starbucks Italia Digital reviews have been viewed 143,060 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Dan Cascioppo 8.12
Ernie Scheidl 7.88
Andrew Brady 7.20
Gary Howarth 7.00
Kevin Clifford 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.8
Manufacturer: Saeco Quality: 8
Average Price: $995.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $650.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Amazon.com Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 4+ years Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Francis X1, Saeco Vienna, La Pavoni Piston
Bottom Line: Easy to use once setup properly, requires a bit of regular maintenance and cleaning.  Can't complain, great machine for my office.
Positive Product Points

Very good shots once you "dial-in" the settings.  Lots of control options (e.g., grind fineness, dosing, shot temperature, shot sizes, pre brewing, pre grinding, rinsing).  Relatively easy to work on if you are handy and have decent tools.  Pretty easy to get parts.  Good internal parts.

Negative Product Points

Kind of ugly.  Exterior could use more metal rather than plastic.  Takes some initial time commitment to learn and adjust machine's features and settings.  Lots of moving parts require periodic cleaning and maintenance.

Detailed Commentary

I've had this machine for about five years and use it in my office where it sees 5-10 shots per day of use.  Coffee itself can be very good once you take the time to "dial in" the right combination of grind, dosing, temperature, and pre-brewing to suit your tastes.  I've found that a good shot requires finer and greater dose than factory settings.  Pre-brew option (set on "long") in my opinion improves crema and produces a better shot.  Steam wand is adequate for producing decent foam, but I haven't been able to get really dense foam, which may be due to my lack of skill rather than the machine.  Sometimes the grind is a bit off, but after a thorough cleaning, things get back to normal.  Although this machine is a superautomatic, you do need to take the time to sufficiently learn it's features and operation in order to produce good, consistent shots.

Rock solid for five years, until I kept getting a "need to prime" message.  Pump was making noise, but no water was coming through the steam wand.  I've experienced similar problems in other machines, so I assumed the pump was bad.  Ordered an Ulka EAX5 (52 watt), opened up the machine and replaced the pump.  Wasn't extremely difficult to do, but took my time as this is a superautomatic and has a lot of internal parts.  Someone who is comfortable with repairing mechanical things should be comfortable with basic repair and maintenance of this machine.  Parts are pretty easily obtained.  The important internal parts seemed to be of good materials and construction compared to other machines I've seen in the same price range.   With regular cleaning of the brew group and descaling, I expect that this machine will last for some time.  I'll probably take some preventative measures and replace some o-rings, seals, and other parts prone to wear later this year.

Buying Experience

Easy.

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Posted: November 16, 2009, 4:11pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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