The Espresso Machine That Powers Starbucks: Unveiling the Secret

Starbucks, the renowned coffee chain loved by millions around the world, has built its reputation on delivering consistently high quality coffee beverages. Central to their success is the espresso machine they use, which plays a pivotal role in creating their signature brews. In this expert article, we delve into the world of Starbucks espresso machines, exploring the brand behind them and shedding light on the equipment responsible for their iconic coffee creations.

Understanding the Starbucks Espresso Machine

When it comes to the espresso machine used at Starbucks, one name stands out: Mastrena. Starbucks sources its equipment exclusively from Mastrena, a manufacturer that specialises in producing espresso machines tailored to the needs of its cafes. While Starbucks’ specific model is not available for home use, understanding the features and capabilities of Mastrena machines provides valuable insight into the coffee-making process at Starbucks.

The Mastrena Espresso Machines: Starbucks’ Choice for Performance and Efficiency

When it comes to espresso machines, Starbucks relies on the exceptional performance and reliability of Mastrena machines, manufactured by Thermoplan AG.

Designed specifically for high-volume coffee production, Mastrena machines excel at delivering consistent and flavourful espresso shots, even during peak hours in Starbucks stores worldwide. With features such as automatic cleaning cycles, intuitive displays and precise temperature control, these machines streamline the brewing process and empower baristas to create high-quality beverages efficiently.

The sleek and modern design of Mastrena machines optimises counter space while accommodating the necessary components for espresso brewing, making them a practical choice for Starbucks cafes. While Mastrena machines are exclusive to Starbucks and not available for individual purchase, home baristas can explore commercial-inspired home espresso machines to recreate the Starbucks experience at home. These machines often offer features such as temperature stability, programmable settings and precise extraction.

The Price of Perfection

Commercial espresso machines, including the Mastrena line, come with a higher price tag compared to home espresso models. The Mastrena machines used by Starbucks range from $4,000 to $18,000, reflecting their advanced features and capabilities. While these machines are designed for large-scale operations, coffee enthusiasts can still achieve exceptional results with more affordable home brewing equipment.

The Starbucks Espresso Journey

The Starbucks espresso journey begins with the meticulous selection of the finest Arabica coffee beans. Starbucks sources its beans primarily from Latin America, where the unique climate and growing conditions contribute to the rich flavours and balanced acidity that define its espresso. The company also occasionally sources beans from African origins to add diversity to its offerings.

Once the beans arrive at Starbucks roasting facilities, they undergo a careful roasting process. Starbucks uses different roasting profiles to enhance the unique characteristics of each coffee origin. This roasting expertise allows Starbucks to create a range of espresso blends, each with its own flavour profile and complexity. The roasting process is essential to unlocking the flavours and aromas that make Starbucks espresso so distinctive.

The final step in the espresso journey involves skilled baristas and state-of-the-art equipment. Starbucks uses only Mastrena espresso machines, renowned for their precision and efficiency. These machines are designed for high-volume production while maintaining consistency and quality. Baristas meticulously adjust variables such as grind size, dosage and extraction time to create the perfect shot of espresso for each beverage. Their expertise and passion for coffee are instrumental in delivering the iconic Starbucks espresso experience to customers around the world.

The Evolution of Starbucks Espresso Machines

The evolution of Starbucks espresso machines has been marked by a commitment to innovation and quality. In the early days, manual lever machines were used, requiring skilled baristas to manually control the pressure and extraction process. As Starbucks expanded, semi-automatic machines were introduced, offering greater consistency and ease of use.

A major milestone came in 2008 when Starbucks partnered with Thermoplan AG to introduce the Mastrena espresso machines. These fully automatic machines were designed specifically for high-volume coffee shops and included advanced features such as built-in grinders, temperature stability and automated cleaning cycles. The Mastrena machines streamlined operations and empowered baristas to produce consistently high quality espresso beverages.

Since then, Starbucks and Thermoplan AG have continued to refine and improve the Mastrena machines. Ongoing research and development has led to improvements in temperature control, extraction precision and user-friendly interfaces. In addition, sustainability has become a key focus, resulting in energy efficient designs and the use of environmentally friendly materials.

Bringing Starbucks Home

While replicating the exact Starbucks experience at home can be challenging, coffee lovers can still achieve remarkable results with the right equipment and techniques. Home espresso machines from a variety of brands, such as Breville and Nuova Simonelli, can help recreate the flavours and brewing methods reminiscent of Starbucks offerings. Investing in quality beans and honing your brewing skills are key factors in achieving a satisfying cup of coffee in the comfort of your own home.

Bottom line

Starbucks’ commitment to excellence extends to the espresso machines they use to create their iconic brews. Mastrena, the trusted manufacturer behind Starbucks’ equipment, provides state-of-the-art machines designed to meet the demands of high-volume coffee production. While Starbucks-specific models are not available for home use, coffee enthusiasts can still embark on their own coffee journey, using home espresso machines and premium beans to create exceptional brews. Whether enjoyed in a Starbucks café or brewed at home, the quest for the perfect cup of coffee continues to fuel the passion of coffee lovers around the world.


Which espresso machine does Starbucks use?

Starbucks uses only Mastrena espresso machines in its stores. These machines are manufactured by Thermoplan AG and are specifically designed to meet the high volume requirements of Starbucks locations worldwide. Mastrena machines are known for their reliability, advanced features and ability to consistently deliver high quality espresso shots.

Can I buy a Starbucks espresso machine?

No, Starbucks does not sell its Mastrena espresso machines to individual consumers. These machines are used exclusively in Starbucks stores and are not available to the general public. However, there are other reputable brands that offer commercial espresso machines for home use that can help recreate a similar coffee experience in the comfort of your own home.

What espresso beans does Starbucks use?

Starbucks uses primarily high-quality Arabica coffee beans for its espresso. These beans are sourced primarily from Latin America, where the unique climate and growing conditions contribute to the rich flavours and balanced acidity that define Starbucks espresso. In addition, Starbucks occasionally sources beans from Africa to add diversity and additional flavour profiles to its espresso blends.

How much does a Mastrena espresso machine cost?

The cost of a Mastrena espresso machine can vary depending on factors such as the specific model, features and any additional equipment or accessories included. However, as these machines are designed for commercial use and intended for high volume operations, they tend to be quite expensive. In general, the cost of a Mastrena espresso machine can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.

How many coffee beans does Starbucks use in a year?

The exact number of coffee beans used by Starbucks in a year is not publicly disclosed. However, it is estimated that Starbucks uses a significant amount of coffee beans due to the large number of beverages it serves in its global store network. Given the high volume of Starbucks sales and the variety of coffee-based products they offer, it is safe to assume that the number of coffee beans used by Starbucks in a year is significant.

How much coffee does Starbucks sell in a year?

To my knowledge, Starbucks does not publicly disclose the exact number of coffees it sells in a year. However, Starbucks is one of the largest coffee chains in the world, with thousands of stores worldwide. Given its widespread popularity and customer base, it is safe to assume that Starbucks sells a staggering number of coffees each year. The actual number may vary from year to year due to various factors such as store openings, seasonal demand and global market conditions.