What kind of espresso machine is used at Starbucks?

starbucks espresso machine

Starbucks Espresso Machine - what espresso machine does Starbucks use?

Starbucks uses a range of espresso machines in their stores, depending on the location and specific needs of each store.

However, the most common espresso machine used in Starbucks stores is the Mastrena High-Performance Espresso Machine, which is made by the Swiss company Thermoplan AG. The Mastrena machine is designed specifically for high-volume environments like Starbucks, and it's known for its speed, consistency, and ease of use.

Starbucks has been using the Mastrena machine since 2008, and the company has worked closely with Thermoplan to customize the machine to their specific needs. The Mastrena machine is used in most Starbucks stores worldwide and is a key part of their coffee-making process.

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Want better Starbucks? Find a Starbucks Reserve Roastery

You may have seen a Starbucks Reserve and asked yourself "what is a Starbucks Reserve?" One thing is for certain - they make espresso the proper way at these cafés using higher quality equipment meant for better flavor, not necessarily speed like most Starbucks locations using the Mastrena. 

starbucks reserve chicago

The Starbucks Reserve in Chicago is massive and features custom-made prosumer machines.

What is Starbucks Reserve?

Starbucks Reserve is a line of premium and rare coffees offered by Starbucks, featuring unique blends and single-origin varieties sourced from around the world. The Starbucks Reserve program was launched in 2010 as a way for Starbucks to showcase their expertise in sourcing and roasting high-quality coffee.

The Starbucks Reserve line includes small-lot coffees that are only available in limited quantities, often with unique and distinct flavors that reflect the terroir and processing methods of the beans. Some Starbucks Reserve coffees are also aged or barrel-aged, adding complexity and depth to the flavor profile.

External Link - Find a Starbucks Reserve In Your Area

In addition to offering these rare coffees, Starbucks Reserve also features special Reserve-only coffee bars in select locations, where customers can try a range of brewing methods and taste the latest offerings from the program. Starbucks Reserve stores also offer specialty drinks and food items to complement the coffee experience.

How to make Starbucks espresso without an espresso machine

Making a Starbucks-style espresso without an espresso machine can be challenging, as the espresso machines used by Starbucks are specifically designed to create the high pressure required for a true espresso. However, you can still make a strong coffee that mimics the flavor of a Starbucks espresso using the following method:


  • Coffee beans (preferably dark roast)
  • Hot water
  • Coffee grinder
  • Moka pot or French press
  • Measuring cup


  1. Grind your coffee beans to a fine consistency. For an espresso-like flavor, use a dark roast coffee.

  2. Boil enough water to fill your Moka pot or French press. Let the water cool for a few minutes before using it, as espresso should be brewed at a lower temperature than regular coffee.

  3. If you are using a Moka pot, fill the bottom chamber with water up to the safety valve. Insert the filter basket and fill it with the ground coffee, then screw on the top chamber.

  4. Place the Moka pot on the stove over low to medium heat. The coffee should start to percolate through the filter into the top chamber.

  5. If you are using a French press, add the ground coffee to the press and pour in the hot water. Let the coffee steep for 3-4 minutes.

  6. Once the coffee is brewed, pour it into a measuring cup. You should have about 1-2 ounces of coffee, which is the standard serving size for an espresso shot.

  7. Enjoy your homemade Starbucks-style espresso by sipping it straight or adding your favorite creamer or sweetener.

Note: While this method can create a strong coffee that mimics the flavor of a Starbucks espresso, it will not be a true espresso due to the lack of pressure from an espresso machine.

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