Question about Estro Barista Athena

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Starbucks Athena I dont have the manual and have no idea how to use this. The water heats and the steam vent for frothing works fine but the bottom 2 buttons for either one or two shots doesnt light up and it wont pull a shot. I got thtis from a friend used and they dont remember how to use it either so I am stuck. Can you give me any ideas? I let it heat up until the ready light went off. I can feel heat through the top of the machine but it just doesnt draw a shot. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I am thinking about taking it up to Starbucks to see if they can get it to work.

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  • Anonymous Jan 04, 2008

    Same problem. Tried tightening, loosening hoses and tinkering with stuff (as much as I can, it's mostly electronics inside), with no result.

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I have had this machine for four years now, and it is FAB!!! it does have an extra step to it- after you put in coffee and add water to the reservoir, you DO need to prime the pump. So here's what you have to do:

-Fill the reservoir with MORE water then you think you will need, fill the coffee filter with the standard amount of finely ground bean.
-Turn the machine to "on," making sure the "steam" switch and valve (knob) are off.
-Wait till the green "ready" light comes on, then put an empty cup under the steam wand and turn the valve on (the steam switch is still in the off position). Hot water will come out of the steam wand, allow it to flow until the "ready" light blinks off. Discard this.
-close the steam valve, stopping the flow of water.
-turn the "steam" switch into the on position, wait for ready light to come on again.
-put your milk container under the steam wand and froth to your heart's content (this machine makes GREAT frothed milk and you should use a large enough milk container to allow for that! *smile*)
-when you have finished with the frothing, close the valve and flick the "steam" switch back into the off position. You are now ready to make your espresso.
-push either of the two buttons, ie one or two cups, and the espresso will start to flow. There is a way to set the length of time for each of the two buttons, but I have had mine set perfectly for so long i don't know how to do it any more. Sorry!

This has been the best machine I've ever used, and has lasted me for years. I heartily recommend it!

Posted on Dec 17, 2008

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In response to megsk8r, I've read in most coffee forums that you should prime every time you've let the machine sit for a day, no matter what you're doing with the machine. I.e., if you want to make a straight espresso and you haven't used the machine since yesterday morning, go ahead and prime the pump again. It only takes about 20 seconds maximum.

Posted on Sep 24, 2009

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Hi musicgrrl11, Your response is very helpful! Anyone - please help!! - I had one question regarding her response - do you only need to prime the pump if you are steaming milk? Or do you need to prime it to make espresso shots too? I just got a Starbucks Athena from my in-laws that they were getting rid of, but no manual and I've never made espresso before. :)

Posted on Aug 10, 2009

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Where did you get this espresso maker?

Posted on Dec 23, 2008

The Athena needs to be primed if it has been unplugged. To do this, make sure cold water is in the tank, turn the machine on and make sure the lever for steam is off. Place a cup under the steam valve, open the steam valve all the way and wait until water starts to stream out. Make sure to do this before the water heats up or you'll get steam.

Posted on Jan 19, 2008

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Excellent - I have been trying everything. Priming it solved the problem and I am enjoying an Irish Creme Latte.

Thanks
Billyd

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

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