Starbucks Barista Aroma Quattro Review
March 3, 2005
Lest my Philips Senseo Review give you the wrong impression, not everything is bitter in the world of coffee around here.
Succumbing to my frustration with the Senseo the other day, I was out and decided to stop into Starbucks for a real cup of coffee.. Okay, well, a better cup of coffee than I’ve been brewing lately, anyway.
While I was there, I glanced at their automatic drip coffee makers, thinking evil thoughts about the coffee that lurked at home. Off to one side from the rest of them was a half-pint version of the Barista Aroma — a four cup coffee maker with a stainless steel thermal carafe. Looking at it a little closer, it didn’t have any digital timers, automatic grinders, turn signals or infrared remotes. It had one button — an on switch.
Intrigued, I found out that this was the Barista Aroma Quattro, a coffee maker they are discontinuing and selling out. In fact, it was their last one, and if I wanted it, I could take it home for $25. Twenty five bucks at Starbucks? Geeze, that’s like what — three cups of coffee? How wrong could this be? So I took it home..
After running it through the manual’s seasoning process, and cracking open a fresh bag of Columbia Supremo, I was pleasantly amazed with the coffee this little thing makes. Using a medium grind, and a paper filter (they offer gold metal ones, if you’re inclined that direction), it nicely holds the proper amount of coffee, and has a brew time of around four minutes, which appears to be about right. Measuring the temp of the coffee in the carafe immediately after brewing, it comes out at a toasty 197°F, which is right in the zone. The coffee is excellent.
A four cup pot (about 20 oz, actually) is just about perfect, as far as I’m concerned. That’s about what I can typically drink out of a thermal carafe before it gets too cold or too aged and I’m liable to brew a fresh pot anyway. As mentioned, the unit only has a single switch — it turns on, brews, and immediately shuts off (there’s no hot plate to overcook your coffee) — it doesn’t appear possible to accidentally leave it on (one less thing to worry about.)