Barista Aroma Solo by Starbucks
by John Doe
Barista aroma coffee
Sometimes you want a quick mug of coffee to take with you as you go out the door. A nice machine for this is the Barista Aroma Solo sold at Starbucks. It brews one mug (16 oz) at a time directly into an insulated, stainless steel mug that surprisingly keeps the coffee hot for a couple of hours. Four years ago, I received a Solo for Christmas. I loved it as I used it for one mug, almost every morning. After almost a year's use, the electronics that controlled the machine simply stopped working. It was in the middle of brewing when I heard a strange noise from the machine. I found the machine dead, and I could not resuscitate it.
At this point, this sounds like a sad story, but I was impressed how Starbucks support their products. The machine had a two year warranty, and it had not been a single year. I called the company and explained my experience. They replaced my unit with a new one and a new two year warranty with no hassle.
Nearly a year later, the new machine contracted the exact same electronic controller death. Once again, I had the machine replaced with no hassles and a new two year warranty.
Soon after the second replacement, I received a French press for Christmas. Many say that a French press makes the best coffee, and I must say it is very good. It does take longer to make the coffee. So I continued using my Solo for the quick mugs. I estimate my Solo brews to be about half of that prior to getting the French press. With 50% usage, it took almost two years for the second Solo replacement unit to encounter the electronic controller death. Obviously, there is an electronic problem with these coffee brewers that is very predictable.
This time, when I spoke to Starbucks Warranty Service, they gave me an option to get a new unit or receive my money back. Not wanting to live through another death, I chose the latter option, and now I am in the market for another "one cup" brewer. I'm not excited with the pods or X-ring options because of the limiting coffee selections and the price per cup. I would rather grind my own beans at brew time.
Moral to the Solo story: If you are looking for a machine that ultimately does not cost you any money, because Starbucks will keep replacing it, then gives your money back when you're finished using it, the Barista Aroma Solo is for you!