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Starbucks Barista - Terry L's Review
Posted: March 3, 2007, 8:15am
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 452,201 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: 7.4
Manufacturer: Solis Quality: 7
Average Price: $120.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $99.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 month Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: none
Bottom Line: reasonable grind -reasonable price- good bang for the buck
Positive Product Points

Works well, & reasonably quiet.  Looks good, priced well.  Easy to clean.  Good "entry level" grinder.

Negative Product Points

Static issues noted (see below for suggestions).  Small 'wobble' with upper burr in it's carrier...probably results in some variance in grind, but probably not enough to worry about

Detailed Commentary

I received this as a gift, but probably would have purchased on my own due to the reasonable price, and generally good reviews here at CG.  As I'm pretty new to the 'real' coffee scene, this is my first grinder, and can't really compare the quality of the grind to more expensive and higher rated machines.  What I can say is that the machine grinds well, with conical burrs with a low speed-high torque motor (doesn't get hot/warm).  The unit is easy to clean (hopper and bin come off quickly/easily) however a small amount of grounds seem to find their way into nooks and crannies and stick there with the darker (oily) beans.  I've had no jamming issues at all with the 5 lbs or so I've put through it.
I'm a french press and drip man so far, so I reserve my details comments for espresso use, however in playing the with grind settings, it appears as if the grind would be fine and consistent enough for espresso....and mods are available for even finer grinding.  In it's courser settings, I see very little to no dust, and a pretty uniform size noted.
As mentioned  by others, there does seem to be some static issues.  Right out of the box (quick rinse of the hopper and bin) the first batch seemed to "jump" right out of the bin, and stick badly to the sides of the grounds bin.  This is also noted after it's weekly soap and water washing of these parts.  I received the grinder in January, and am reviewing in March, so my use has only been in winter with home heating system that really drys out the air.  Maybe in spring/summer this may go away on it's own.  My solution, although less than elegant, has been to wipe the grounds bin with a dryer sheet (bounce) a little after each use.  I simply put the sheet in the grounds bin after each use, and really, no more static.  Now I'm sure some purists are saying to themselves "ewwwwwooo" but we're talking about a using the same sheet for weeks....it really doesn't smell like a bounce sheet anymore...and is quite tan now with coffee stain.  Even when new, I certainly couldn't smell nor taste any hint of 'spring freshness' in the coffee.  Really, a quick wipe is all it takes to completely eliminate any static.  
Overall, I'm quite happy to grind with the Solis (and I will continue to refer to it as a Solis rather than a *$'s for my own self respect) I'm quite certain there are much higher quality grinders out there, but for the price, and as an entry level grinder, it does the job well!

Buying Experience

received as gift..no comment

Three Month Followup

Still going strong.  I use this grinder multiple times daily (morning and evening) and it is holding up great.  Either my eye is more keen now, or I missed it before, but some dust is noted while coarse grinding.  Static issues have dissipated somewhat, but I continue to use the static sheet method described in the detailed commentary.  I'm finding that final rinsing in cold water seems to make the static less noticeable.  I clean this grinder weekly, first by running Minute Rice thru the unit (starting coarse and moving to very fine) and then a thorough brushing of the burrs.  Soap and water on the grounds bin and hopper and a wipe of the exterior.  The grinder looks as good as the day I received it.  Still I consider this an entry level grinder, and true espresso purists might have issue with the consistency, but for me and my press pots & drip...a good value.

One Year Followup

1 year followup.  Grinder still works and looks like new.  I've used this grinder virtually everyday since purchased, most days in the morning and evening.  I still use it mainly for press pot (French Press) but also for espresso with a Gaggia Coffee.  Doesn't quite go fine enough to choke the Gaggia, but close.  It is capable of producing a great double (1.5 oz in 25 secs).  Either I'm now used to the static, or it's dissapated some.  Not a bother anymore.

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review rating: 6.0
Posted: March 3, 2007, 8:15am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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