Summary -- A good bargain that became a doorstop when I couldn’t grind my favorite dark roast.
Positive Product Points
Convenient under-counter size, ease of operation, realtively quiet, ample cord length, half-pound sized hopper, consistent grind with little to no dust
Negative Product Points
Jams when griding dark roast beans, some of grind bypasses cup and ends up on counter, easy to mis-assemble after cleaning (use the hopper to re-align burrs), some problems with static
I have owned the Barista for almost a month, grinding the supply of beans I had on hand without a hitch. Unfortunately, about two weeks back I shifted to a darker and more oily roast only to find that the grinder simply would not feed beans reliably. I have cleaned the burrs and washed the "hopper" carefully, but still experience very poor results. In order to "do my daily grind" I am now prodding the beans into the burr with a chop stick!
Although Solis makes the Barista for Starbucks -- and at $30 less I thought it would be a bargain -- this grinder is different from the Solis machine in at least one important way: the Maestro's hopper allows roughly twice the open space for beans to fall through and reach the burrs. I am guessing that this results in fewer jams.
I am grinding for a Krups Moka (wonderful!) and believe that previous comments are correct. The grinder probably needs adjustment before it will provide a proper espresso grind.
One other note ... In disassembly and cleaning, I did not experience the breakage problems noted by users of the Maestro. But I did find it relatively easy to misalign the burrs when putting the unit back together. If this happens, you can use the hopper to rotate the top element/burr (usually counterclockwise) until it falls back into place.
Starbucks didn't know what they were selling ... had no knowledge of Solis ... didn't know what a conical burr grinder was ... no personal experience with the product. But ... it's probably not fair to expect this of them.