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.