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Starbucks Barista - Bob Abbott's Review
Posted: February 20, 2004, 12:15pm
review rating: 6.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista Grinder
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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 474,271 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: 7.0
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 6
Average Price: $120.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $129.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 2 years Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Solis, Kitchen Aid
Bottom Line: If you do drip or have a Starbucks espresso machine -- works fine, but it is a "lightweight" compared to other brands for little more $$.
Positive Product Points

Relatively quiet, less static than most

Negative Product Points

Plastic parts, difficult to adjust beyond factory settings, not fine enough grind capability

Detailed Commentary

I wore out one of these, bought another, but quickly then went on to another brand, so this is not my current machine.  This is a decent machine compared to other "similar" plastic construction grinders, but there are better grinders with metal parts for not a whole lot more money, and ones that do a better job overall.  The Starbucks version of the Solis grinder seems to be set up for a grind that fits the Starbucks expresso machines.  The factory setting was too coarse for even my old Krupps Maximo (replaced recently with Silvia).  Adjusting to a finder grind was a chore and not to be attempted by the non-mechanically inclined -- even they will find it a challenge!  I did get it adjusted, but in doing so took several months off the life of the burrs when I accidently let them touch (can't be sure where you are when you try to adjust this machine).  Anyway, it will probably work for most home espresso machines, but if you have one that is at all finicky about grind, try another brand.

The first one I owned was quite good about reducing the static problem (supposedly a special plastic is used in the catch hopper).  The second one had terrible static problems (at least I still had the old hopper to swap).  Since the hopper is so small, static can be a bigger problem than with other brands with bigger hoppers (the grind has to "jump" higher to get out of a bigger hopper).  The hopper size is a tad small and the tight quarters make it harder to extract the grind with a scoop.

The chute seems to collect a lot of fine coffee, which has to be dislodged -- it comes out in dense clumps.  Even the normal grind tends to collect and the machine needs a good whack to dislodge it after each cycle.  This can be a big problem if you go from flavored beans to non-flavored -- a disaster if the non-flavored happens to be for espresso.

Buying Experience

Bought from Starbucks stores -- no problem here, but wait for a sale.  I did call Starbucks customer service to see if they had replacement burrs, which they do not sell (before I knew it was made by Solis, which I understand does have replacement burrs).

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review rating: 6.0
Posted: February 20, 2004, 12:15pm
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