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Starbucks Barista Quattro 4 cup coffee maker

by Darin
(Kennewick, Washington)

Starbucks made its own coffee makers for several years. You might still find one at a Starbucks store, a Liquidation outlet, or maybe a garage sale. If you do, I recommend picking one up. They are reliable, easy to operate and clean, and make great coffee.

Starbucks machines are different from most coffee makers in that there is no burner or heating element under the carafe. This is because heating the coffee changes it, actually "cooking" the coffee. The flavor rapidly goes downhill into nasty if you heat the coffee. Instead, the carafe is made of double-walled stainless steel or (the newer ones) of porcelain. This keeps the coffee hot for a couple of hours. If you can't drink it in that much time, make less coffee!

The machine I currently have is actually my second Starbucks Barista. The first one was a 12-cup model. It lasted through more than four years of making eight to ten pots of coffee a week. It was easy to fill, with a single lid on the top. The water reservoir came out for filling and cleaning. The basket came out, too, both for dumping the grounds and for cleaning it. It also had a clock timer, so I could set it up the night before and have my coffee already ready when I got up.

The current machine is a Quattro, which is a four-cup size. This is a lot better for me, because I'm the only one in the family who drinks coffee. I still set it up the night before, and it has just one button to start the cycle. The basket is still removable, but the water reservoir is not.

Both of them, along with the porcelain carafe model currently sold in stores, are very easy to clean. I just use the same product Starbucks uses, a powder called Urnex that you can get at restaurant supply stores. (If you know your Starbucks people really well, they might give you an envelope of it from their stock.) It only takes about 1.5 Tablespoons of the powder in a full batch of water to clean the machine. Just run it with no filter or grounds once with Urnex, then scrub the metal parts with a stiff bristled brush if the staining doesn't come out. Then run two full batches of plain water through to rinse. If you've never done this, you won't believe how shiny clean the steel can be!

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Aug 18, 2014
Flaw in the design NEW
by: JF

There is a small flaw in the Quattro that affects some users more often than others.

On some units the cap of the carafe will seal causing water to overflow while brewing.

Best as I can tell, this is cause by steam flowing up to the inside top of the cap then condensing into water which seals what is supposed to be the vent around the circumference of the outer cap, and the moving inner cover. This creates a high pressure area which then keeps hot water from entering the carafe.

A simple work around to this is to drill a small 1/8" hole at the upper part of the inverted cone of the cap. This this allows the pressure to escape and seems to fix the problem

After that the Quattro works great and as advertised.

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