Starbucks may have figured out a way to make its near-$4 Caffe Latte seem like a bargain: It's rolling out a $599 Starbucks espresso machine this holiday. For just the second time, Starbucks is placing its name on a high-end hot beverage machine. It co-developed the Sirena espresso maker with a likely partner: BMW's design team. Little wonder the highbrow machine, whose name means "mermaid," looks a bit like a BMW dashboard. For Starbucks, it's all about image — and sales. With its same-store sales growth slowing and its stock price seriously softening, the chi-chi coffee kingpin is refocusing on core customers with moola to spend by offering a larger assortment of upscale coffee products. It's trying to own the superpremium coffee-buying experience not only inside the store but at home. "They want to own the world," says Al Wittemen, retail strategist at TracyLocke. "Will this increase Starbucks' share of stomach? I think it will." Like Starbucks, many of its customers are focused on self-image. "The excess of Starbucks is the gift that people give themselves," says Bryant Simon, author of the upcoming book Consuming Starbucks. "The more expensive the gift, the more we love ourselves." Starbucks is heavily promoting Sirena on its website. The espresso maker is in step with Chairman Howard Schultz's demand that Starbucks refocus on its coffee culture. In a memo leaked earlier this year, Schultz said Starbucks was "watering down the Starbucks experience" with too many other non-coffee items. "This machine can be a centerpiece in the kitchen," says Maria Kaplan, director of the Coffee at Home division at Starbucks. "Customers are interested in coffee as part of a culinary experience." Among its features, the machine has a rapid steam component that uses two small boilers. For Starbucks, it's a matter of following consumer habits. While there's no growth in most of the coffee world, superpremium sales are at a 9% growth pace. Sirena — sold at 2,100 suburban Starbucks stores and at Starbucks.com — isn't the most expensive espresso machine sold by Starbucks. It sells an even more upscale Magnifica for $999. But officials expect Sirena to be the big holiday hit.