Not the Kind of Java I Had in Mind

SAN FRANCISCO (08/29/2000) - Starbucks Corp. (800/782-7282, http://www.starbucks.com) points to the iMac as the inspiration for its new Barista Utopia. And they're similar, as long as the comparisons stop at encased in see-through plastic. As for matching the iMac's famed ease of use, the Barista Utopia may be the first coffeemaker to come with a 30-minute instruction video. Setup is a chore, and brewing a pot can take as long as rendering an iMovie transition. That flaw overshadows the Barista Utopia's novel vacuum-brewing system. Hot air pushes water up from the coffee carafe through a funnel and into the filter, where it mixes with beans. Eye-catching, sure -- but the iMac has proven it takes more than a pretty face.

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