Espresso And Machine

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use? All You Need to Know

Making a cup of coffee in a highly competitive market takes an excellent machine and high-quality coffee beans. Starbucks has become one of America’s favorite coffee shops by doing exactly that. 

What espresso machine does Starbucks use to command such a large portion of the domestic market?

In 1999, Starbucks and Swiss company Thermoplan signed an exclusive deal to produce espresso machines for the coffee chain. 

Since that time, Thermoplan has supplied the Mastrena high-caliber espresso machine to Starbucks shops all over the world. That is Starbucks’ big secret. 

Starbucks didn’t always have its name, and it didn’t always use Mastrena. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

History of the Brand

How many of you were aware of the fact that Starbucks was called Pequod when it first came into existence back in 1971?

Started in Seattle, Pequod was named after the ship in the infamous storybook, Moby Dick. The name was then changed to “Starbuck,” which was the name of the chief mate of the ship.

The inspiration behind creating this brand was to provide customers with the best quality of coffee beans and drinks. They intended for these to be made with the absolute best equipment. 

Over the years, Starbucks has become one of the world’s most well-recognized and well-respected brands to ever have existed. They have thousands of stores worldwide. As of 2019, the brand has an impressive 31,256 stores present and operates globally in over 58 countries. 

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use

Which Espresso Machines Has Starbucks Used?

Let’s look into the history of the brand to understand the journey they took to become global with their coffee brews.


Starbucks has made use of the Linea made by La Marzocco. These machines had a regular portafilter, which served them just fine in the old days. 

These machines did demand some extra attention to work them to the full capacity because they weren’t automated. They have since upgraded their machine type to accommodate their growing size and customer base.


The Chemex coffee maker was also used by Starbucks in the past. This beauty served the brand with many delicious brews, but as time passed and the company required more forms of coffee, they had to let this one go.

This machine simply required boiling water to be poured over the coffee grounds over a filter. The Chemex machine produced great coffee because the taste was never dominated by any one flavor.

This is a manually-operated espresso machine. If you are looking to start a small business of your own, and you’re tight on budget, you can look into this product because it is easy on the wallet.

However, you should not buy it if you don’t plan on accommodating around ten or more coffee drinkers. Otherwise, you will be wasting your money on a machine that is fit for more than a few people.


This coffee maker was exclusive to Starbucks back in 2008, but it no longer is used. This is because the company has entirely moved on and left this machine for the history books. Many people still miss this machine for the unique brews it featured.

This machine brought with it some revolutionary technology that made perfectly balanced cups of coffee. It was also known for ensuring standardization in taste and experience.

Just because Starbucks doesn’t employ the use of this machine doesn’t make it any more accessible now — sadly, you still aren’t able to buy this on the market. 


The Verismo coffee maker was also of great use to Starbucks. Contrary to other machines, this one came with a very simple design. 

The machine was also stocked with espresso pods, which could be tossed into it to instantly produce fresh coffee in a matter of seconds. But by its nature, Starbucks is continually improving. With time and innovation, this machine was swapped out for a newer model.

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use Now?

A brand like Starbucks has become the biggest and most recognized coffee company internationally, as we all know. But most don’t realize that they did this by realizing the importance of having high-quality espresso machines that brew high-quality coffee. 

The business grew and coffee lovers became loyal to Starbucks’ cappuccinos and lattes. Because of this, the brand decided to upgrade its coffee machinery.

Starbucks now uses the Mastrena high-performance espresso machine. This is the exclusive choice of espresso machine in every store. These machines are manufactured by Thermoplan, which is a Swiss company. 

Thermoplan is the official supplier of Starbucks for the Mastrena espresso machines. 

This automatic espresso machine is not sold to the public, so sadly you won’t be able to haul one into your kitchen. We’re sad about it too. 

What Is So Special About This Machine?

First, what sets this Mastrena apart from the rest is that it is exclusively sold to Starbucks only to maintain some secrecy. It makes sense. Many competitors would likely love to be let in on some of Starbucks’ secrets to success.

What Espresso Machine Does Starbucks Use


This fully-automated machine is very convenient for a fast-paced business. It is known for efficiently producing a variety of coffee drinks. 

Being fully automatic, the coffee machine has a digital menu. It is accompanied by memory space to save all the innovative coffee recipes. This feature is a great help to the baristas who have many drinks to make at a very fast pace. 

Short Height 

Another important feature is the coffee machine’s height. It is intentionally manufactured to be shorter than other industrial machines to enable employees to communicate with customers without any interruption. 

This is a practical way that one of their company values is acted out. Starbucks is on a mission to nurture the human spirit one cup at a time. This starts with the connection between baristas and customers. Have you noticed this at any of your visits?

Cleaning and Maintenance 

Another time-saving feature is easy cleaning. The espresso machine is easily dismantled to ensure thorough cleaning. 

You might assume that a brand as big as Starbucks surely keeps track of hygiene at their stores. But, how can you be sure of the cleanliness of these machines?

These machines come with a special feature that promptly sends important reminders to the baristas. These alert those tending to it to clean it regularly. What’s amazing is that it even shuts down after a few of the cleaning alerts are ignored.

This is how your coffee drinkers can be sure your cup is completely clean.

Bean-to-Cup Feature

The goal of a Starbucks barista is to hand you the freshest cup of coffee possible in the shortest time possible. Mastrena’s bean-to-cup feature not only makes this possible, but also quick and easy for even a rookie barista.

The machine grinds coffee beans, extracts rich flavor, and makes a cup of espresso in a matter of seconds.

Storage Capacity 

Mastrena espresso machine also sets itself apart from the rest by having a huge storage space for the coffee beans. This is handy because it doesn’t require refills very frequently.

This space combined with the built-in coffee grinder makes the Mastrena the true shining star of Starbucks coffee shops. 

After all, experienced coffee brewers would know first hand the importance of using freshly ground coffee beans.

You can not get the same espresso drink from ground coffee powder. 

Milk Frothing

Frothed milk tops many espresso drinks and other beverages like tea. The Mastrena machine has a steam wand that makes the barista’s job of milk frothing very easy.

The steam wand hangs off the side of the machine. It warms milk by forcing high-pressure steam into the milk. The steam also introduces air into the milk, causing it to froth. 

The barista uses a small metal pitcher for this process. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Other than wanting to know why Starbucks always spells your name wrong on your cup of coffee, you might have some other questions regarding their coffee machines. Here are some of the most common questions asked:

1. How much does the Mastrena espresso machine cost?

This espresso machine can cost anything from $17,000 up to a whopping $40,000. The prices vary according to the different sources the machine is bought from. 

This amount is easily three to six times more expensive compared to other simpler coffee-making machines. 

Needless to say, even the cheapest machine is going to set one back financially to a degree.

2. Can I buy a Mastrena espresso machine?

To cut you to the chase, the simple answer is a clear “no.” No, you can not buy this very exclusive machine. 

The most obvious reason that you’re not able to buy this machine for your kitchen counter is its ridiculously high price. It’s not a good investment to spend such a huge sum of money only to make espresso for yourself.

The second more binding reason is the exclusive rights that Starbucks has on owning this machine. The only way you can get access to a Mastrena is if you own a Starbucks franchise first. 

Another way for you to be able to own a Mastrena without owning a Starbucks is to wait for the specialty coffee shop to move on to fancier technology. When this happens, you have a better chance of getting an exclusive deal on Mastrenas. 

3. Why did Starbucks choose a bean-to-cup coffee maker?

A bean-to-cup coffee maker is different from the regular one. This one saves the baristas a lot of time and effort by self-grinding fresh coffee beans.

In addition to saving time and energy, this feature also influences the quality and taste of the signature coffee blends. These are largely what Starbucks is so renowned for. 

Grinding fresh coffee beans on the spot preserves the flavor of the beans, which ultimately makes for a far superior tasting coffee.

4. Does Starbucks sell espresso machines?

Starbucks does not manufacture the machines that they have used over the years. So, they do not have the rights or frankly the need for selling these machines. 

Starbucks is supplied with these machines. 

5. What similar machine to the Mastrena Espresso maker can I buy?

If you have your heart set on finding the perfect espresso machine that makes the same high-quality coffee as the Starbucks Mastrena, try investing in a Breville BES870BSXL. It comes with many similar characteristics and features as the Mastrena.

Yet, the Breville is a much more reasonable investment because it is available for purchase, and it does not cost as much as the Mastrena.

This machine is much more compact and portable, too, making storage quite possible. 

Though you should be aware of the fact that Starbucks coffee is superb because of the baristas and coffee beans. The espresso machine, talented baristas, and special high-quality coffee all make up the exceptional Starbucks experience.

You can also read up on the Jura E6, the SAGE BES980UK, and the De Longhi Magnifica coffee machines to have some variety to choose from. 

These are all excellent espresso machines with many favorable customer reviews to back them up.

We have also mentioned a few machines which have been used by Starbucks in the past and now can be bought by the public for use.

You can read up on them in the article and see if any of them suits your needs. 

Final Word

Making a cup of excellent quality coffee is nothing short of an art form, and Starbucks has more than perfected it.

The brand name “Starbucks” almost instantly dominates our thoughts whenever we think of grabbing a good cup of coffee. 

The company has remarkably remained a top contender in the coffee industry for decades at this point, and they have no intention of slowing down. A huge part of their notoriety is their choice and selection of supreme machinery.

The Mastrena espresso maker is nothing short of a miracle worker, which is why it has become the exclusive property of Starbucks. In this article, we have talked in detail about the machine.

It has become much more clear why the brand chose Mastrena as an official part of its business model. The automation of the entire coffee-making process has done wonders for the service. It has also improved the quality of their drinks as well as the overall experience provided to the customers.

Hopefully, now you understand the Mastrena and its advantages a bit better than before.

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