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What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use Today?

I’m sure we can all agree that Starbucks makes an insanely good shot of espresso.

What’s more, it tastes exactly the same in whichever of the 21,000 coffee shops around the world you’re at.

You might be wondering, how’s that possible?

Well, the answer is actually pretty simple – they all use the same espresso maker.

So, what espresso machine does Starbucks use? 

Let’s find out more.

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use Today?

Starbucks always keeps up with the hottest coffee trends. This means using an espresso maker with the newest technology to make a perfect cup of coffee.

Today, Starbucks achieves that with the help of the Mastrena espresso machine.

What is The Mastrena Espresso Machine?

Mastrena is a super automatic espresso machine found in Starbucks coffee shops around the world today.

You see, back in the ’90s, Starbucks baristas had to do everything from grinding beans and tamping ground coffee to pulling the espresso shot and steaming milk.

Not only did that take time and practice, but they also had to use two different machines for that.

Who has time for that when there’s a long line of people waiting to drink your awesome coffee?

Well, this is where Mastrena enters the scene. 

A small Swiss company named Thermoplan AG is behind the machine used in about 21,000 Starbucks cafes around the world.

Mastrena is a bean-to-cup machine, meaning it does everything for you – from grinding and dosing to brewing and steaming milk. And not just that.

It also uses computerized memory to adjust the grind for different brews and dose it accordingly. Basically, it leaves no room for human error.

Mastrena is a commercial-grade machine, meaning it’s built to make cup after cup of great tasting coffee without sacrificing quality.

Not only that, but this espresso maker is fast, without having to wait to heat back up in between. And, you can pull a triple shot at once!

Can You Buy Mastrena Espresso Machine?

starbucks

No, I’m not overexaggerating when speaking about Mastrena with such enthusiasm. This espresso machine is that good!

Who wouldn’t want to have a Starbucks coffee machine at home?

Unfortunately, I have some bad news for you.

This machine costs around the same as Ford Focus 2017. Not the same thing, I know, but I find it ridiculous for a coffee machine to cost as much as a car. For many, that equals several months’ worth of paychecks. 

The reason behind such a high price tag lies in the fact that this is a commercial-grade machine. It’s designed to make more coffee in a month than a single user would in a year. And because of that, the price is justifiable.

If you happen to own a coffee shop, having such an espresso machine at your disposal would be quite convenient. 

Unfortunately, you’re out of luck again. 

Starbucks coffee company knew from the start everyone would want the machine that allows them to make consistently good coffee.

So, the brand acquired exclusive rights to Mastrena to ensure the secret to making good coffee stays in the family.

Well, not everything is lost.

Today, you can buy some of the Starbucks espresso machine models that they no longer use. But they still cost an arm and a leg, so you really need to ask yourself how much you actually want to spend on a coffee machine.

The History of Starbucks Espresso Machines

starbucks coffee shop

Back in the 1990s, Starbucks used the Linea by La Marzocco, which is a semi-automatic espresso machine. This model required quite a bit of output from the barista. 

First, you have to grind the coffee bean manually (which also requires using a separate appliance for that). Then, you need to pack the ground into a portafilter and tamp it evenly. 

Finally, you need to pull the shot yourself. 

A semi-automatic espresso machine is great because it really lets your shot-pulling skills come to light. But making good coffee takes time and practice. 

And when there’s a long line of people waiting to get their daily dose of caffeine, you don’t have time for mistakes. That’s where a super-automatic machine steps up. 

In 1999, Starbucks signed an exclusive contract with Termoplan AG. That’s a small manufacturer that specialized in commercial-grade kitchen appliances. 

The first machine Thermoplan AG designed exclusively for Starbucks was Verismo. This model was the main tool for making espresso for the next 9 years before it was replaced with the Mastrena CS2.

To make this clear, Verismo was great. The only real issue with it was that it’s so huge that a Starbucks barista can’t interact with customers because of its height. That’s why the new model was much more compact in size.

Additionally, the Mastrena CS2 also had the option to pull both ristretto and lungo alongside a regular espresso. It made pulling a shot as easy as ABC.

Of course, you can always improve your coffee-making game.

The newest addition to the family is the Mastrena 2, which came out in 2019. What makes this model even better than its predecessors is the fact that it has not one, not two, but three bean hoppers! 

This means you don’t have to empty the hopper every time a customer wants to try out a different roast.

Instead, each hopper contains one of these most popular options: 

  • a signature store espresso roast
  • Starbucks blonde roast
  • Decaf

That way, you don’t have to clean the hopper that often.

FAQ

Have other questions regarding the machines Starbucks coffee stores use? Let’s address them now!

Does Starbucks use automatic espresso machines?

Since 1999, Starbucks has been using super-automatic espresso machines, which do everything for you. Until then, they used a semi-automatic standard espresso machine, which required more input from a barista.

Does Starbucks sell espresso machines?

Starbucks neither makes nor sells espresso machines. In fact, the company holds exclusive rights to espresso machines it uses in its line of coffee shops around the world. The only way you can buy a Starbucks machine is to wait for its contract to expire.

What drip coffee maker does Starbucks use?

For making drip coffee, Starbucks uses a commercial-grade Bunn coffee maker. Unlike espresso makers, the company doesn’t hold exclusive rights to other coffee machines it uses.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, the magic tool behind a consistently perfect cup of Starbucks espresso.

This bean-to-cup machine makes brewing fast and simple. With very little input needed from a barista, there’s no way your drink can turn out less than great.

Unfortunately, you can only enjoy this perfect cup of joe at Starbucks since the machine is exclusive to the company’s coffee stores.

Is Mastrena that good? See it for yourself.

Next time you’re at Starbucks, order a shot of espresso with any of these coffee beans and see how they turn into a perfect cup.

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Viktoria Marks
Viktoria is a writer and a journalist who can't imagine sitting by her computer without a large cup of java in her hand. She loves sampling coffee from all over the world as much as writing about it.