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Starbucks Barista - Eward Sonneveld's Review
Posted: July 9, 2002, 4:10pm
review rating: 5.4
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Starbucks Barista Grinder
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More About This Product
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 458,975 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: 8.6
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 9
Average Price: $120.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $90.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Starbucks, London, UK Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Excellent value for money (GBP 60 / USD 90). Tweaking requires patience and confidence, but after that it is superb.
Positive Product Points

When tweaked it grinds the beans even fine enough for the semi-professional Vibiemme Domobar. Excellent value for GBP 59.95 (USD 90), and the size makes it fit in a tiny London kitchen.

Negative Product Points

It is a consumer grinder, and you can tell by the plastic casing and limited features. Range (coarse to fine) is not wide enough. I had to dismantle the machine to tweak it for real espresso grinding.

Detailed Commentary

Much has been said by many people before me. I can't really add anything new, neither positively nor negatively.

Adjusting the coarseness to a finer grind than the preset, requires patience and confidence, but is not difficult. For my Vibiemme Domobar, which has a semi-professional group, I had to adjust the ring inside the machine eight holes counter-clockwise. (try alt.coffee or the review at 10/Jan/01.)

This machine is also sold under the Dualit brand in the UK, eg at www.qed-uk.com or Peter Jones (John Lewis) in London. It looks almost identical to the Starbucks Barista.

Buying Experience

I bought it at Starbucks. They only had show-room models. It had collected a lot of dust. I guess for Britons it is not quite their cup of tea.

PS Try to haggle for a free bag of Espresso beans with it, they always will give you one without any protest ;-)

Three Month Followup

It is quite important to regularly clean the burrs. Ground coffee builds up on the burr cone. As a result the burrs do not fit according to the desired coarseness, additionally the grinding process takes longer.

The 'mouth' of the grinder, ie the tunnel that leads the ground coffee from the burrs to the coffee holder/collecter, is locked by a small valve. Coffee tends to build up there and it is quite hard to remove. I suggest to use a flexible cotton bud.

I noticed an interesting phenomenon, that certain bean blends cause more static than others. I am not quite sure why that is.

Finally this has been one of the best purchases since I bought my espresso machine. If I used my espresso machine more often, I would go for a slightly more professional one that produces a more even grind.

PS You may be interested to know that this grinder is currently on sale at Starbucks for 39.99 ($63.00)

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review rating: 5.4
Posted: July 9, 2002, 4:10pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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