Starbucks Banks on New Hardware
Company counts on gadget for better espresso, more customer face time
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2008 4:59 PM CDT
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, right, unveils the new Mastrena espresso machine that will be introduced into company stores Wednesday, March 19, 2008.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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(Newser) – With the grounds of a sour economy sticking between shareholders' teeth, Starbucks is looking to a new espresso machine to perk profits back up, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. "What this machine is about is whether Starbucks can get its virginity back," one observer says of the semi-automatic Mastrena, which brewed its first shot in New York today. How the Mastrena might help:

  • Fresh grind: With new beans in every shot, no chance  to dull the brew.
  • Consistency: Adjustments for humidity and other weather variations ensure identical shots, and in the same amount of time.
  • Manual lever: A cosmetic touch, perhaps, but steaming milk manually restores the human to the equation.
  • Say hi: Shorter than the machines it's replacing, Mastrena allows baristas more interaction with waiting customers.