A little more than a year ago, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned in memo about “the commoditization of the Starbucks experience”. Schultz specifically blamed the Swiss made espresso machines, which “blocked the visual sight line the customer previously had to watch the drink being made, and for the intimate experience with the barista”.
Swiss manufacturer Thermoplan was worried. At the time of the memo Starbucks bought 50 percent of their production. Since 1999 Thermoplan has been delivering automated espresso makers to every Starbucks store around the globe.
Thermoplan acted fast. They’ve just introduced a brand new machine, specifically designed for Starbucks. It is called Mastrena (pictured), and it looks like it was designed by a prop master for “Star Trek”. Schultz calls it the “gold standard among espresso machines”. It’s much lower profile enables baristas to connect with customers.
Starbucks wants to aggressively rollout the new machines. By the end of the year, 30 percent of all U.S. stores should have it, by the end of 2010 the Mastrena rate should stand at 75 percent.
Thanks to the Mastrena, Thermoplan will increase its revenue by 35 percent. The small, family owned company in Weggis, Lucerne, will hire an additional 40 employers to manufacture the new machines. Their dependency on Starbucks also increases. From now on, the coffee chain giant buys up 65 percent of Thermoplan’s production.
Early last week, Starbucks managers traveled to Switzerland and threw a mountaintop party for Thermoplan’s 210 staff members. “They told us that Starbucks wouldn’t be where they are without us”, says Thermoplan managing director Adrian Steiner.
But will it make their espresso taste better, that’s the question.
just want to point out that i was relieved of my duties as a service technician because i refused to leave the store with a dirty espresso machine
Starbucks just wanted me to fix the technical problems and not the health concerns i had about this so called high production espresso maker
these units would only be serviced on a 2to 6 month average and cleanliness was not a major part of this plan
in my opinion this unit needs to be kept clean on a weekly bases i personally would prefer every other day
they claim to have this process automated
however that does not account for the build up of dust 2to 3 inches syrup loose or lost beans and the dust mites that live inside the equipement
not to mention when i do service the unit their is sometimes heater elements that are falling apart and end up in your drink from the hydraulic module inside
for the record i would never have a beverage unless i personally inspected the unit and this would take up to 3 hours to complete.
this unit and the one before is a total health disaster waiting to happen and is happening
and also very expensive drink that can kill you
i have serviced this unit many times with the health inspector in the store and they did not even look inside the unit to see the lack of cleanliness when it was open
for the record all health inspectors don’t open equipment
they just look for signs of neglect
on the outside never truly doing their jobs yes
i do recommend the coffee that process is fairly safe (except they never drain the tank and the water filtration system is also suspect
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