How to Buy Mastrena Espresso Machine

The Mastrena espresso machine is at the king of super automatic espresso machines, capable of producing perfectly layered espresso beverages from bean to cup. The Mastrena espresso maker is also known as as bit of a rare gem in the coffee world, simply because it is so hard to come by.

There are two primary reasons for this. First of all, the Mastrena coffee machine is priced rather prohibitively, and its exclusive supply deal with Starbucks adds to the difficulty for the average coffee lover to get hold of one.

In this article, we’ll be looking at what makes the Mastrena espresso machine the elusive figurehead of third wave specialty coffee, as well as what some lower-priced and more approachable alternatives might be if you are in the market for a fully or semi automatic espresso machine.

Sound good? Then let’s dive in.

Best Mastrena espresso machine alternative

It is no secret in coffee circles that the Mastrena is an expensive espresso machine, outside of most coffee lovers’ budgets and reach. This can seem infuriating, but at least there are many other fantastic high performance espresso machines on the market today, and while you won’t get a high-grade, super-automatic espresso machine on the cheap, the upfront investment in a high-end coffee maker is going to be worth it, particularly if you are someone who brews and enjoys coffee every day. And let’s face it, if you are reading this, chances are that this describes you.

Breville Barista Express BES870XL

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is easily the best Mastrena espresso machine dupe available to the public.

The Breville Barista Express is capable of delivering third wave specialty coffee in the comfort of your home – and you’ll be delighted to hear that the Breville coffee company does not have an exclusive trade deal with Starbucks that makes their machines difficult to get hold of. In fact, anyone with the cash to spend on a high-end espresso machine can purchases the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine from Amazon or one of the other retailers that carry it.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is, in many ways, comparable to the Mastrena espresso machine. Like any Mastrena espresso machine, the Breville Barista Express is an all-in-one, bean to cup espresso machine, boasting revolutionary coffee brewing technology and a stylish and contemporary design.

Here is a brief overview of the features that the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine boasts:

Built-in grinder with dose control and grind size dial

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express espresso maker features an innovative built-in burr grinder that enables you to grind coffee beans and deposit them directly in the portafilter, making for a seamless grinding and brewing experience.

Much like the Mastrena III, the Breville Barista Express features a built-in precision conical burr grinder that grinds the beans of your choice both quickly and effortlessly, and in precisely the way that you want, thanks to the handy grind size dial. The dial is simple and intuitive to operate, and it gives you ultimate control over the grind size.

What’s more, the dose control feature allows you to grind the precise amount of fresh coffee grinds you require on demand.

Optimal water pressure

Maintaining optimal water pressure throughout the coffee brewing process is vital to how the finished cup of coffee turns out. Thankfully, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express espresso maker has got this covered.

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express starts with a pre-infusion drip, which slowly increases in pressure in order to draw all of the taste, potency and aroma out of the coffee beans, resulting in a rich and perfectly balanced espresso shot every time.

Precise extraction

The Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine achieves precise coffee extraction thanks to the digital temperature control function, which ensures that water is delivered at the correct temperature throughout the brewing process.

Manual microfoam milk texturing

Finally, the dot over the i. If you are a milky coffee lover, you are going to particularly love the Breville espresso machine’s powerful steam wand, which enables you to create exactly the milk froth or microfoam that your favourite milky coffee recipe requires.

On a side note, the steam wand on the Breville BES870XL Barista Express Espresso Machine is also perfect for experimenting with latte art.

Other great Mastrena alternatives

Other Mastrena alternatives worth looking into are the Breville Oracle Touch, the Gaggia Brera and the De’Longhi Eletta.

First up, the Breville Oracle Touch is a highly automated espresso machine capable of producing potent espressos shots at the press of a button. The Breville Oracle touch is equipped with an intuitive touch panel that allows for easy programming and preference settings.

The Gaggia Brera is another semi-automated espresso machine, built for ease and speed. Its user-friendly LED display and built-in grinder makes it a breeze to operate, and its sleek stainless steel exterior makes it a joy to look at, too.

Finally, the De’Longhi Eletta is produced by one of the giants of the coffee industry, the small Italian appliance manufacturer De’Longhi, which is best known for its coffee machines, and for co-producing machines with Nespresso. Like the other machines mentioned here, the De’Longhi Eletta also comes with a built-in grinder and is capable of handling the entire coffee preparation process from bean to cup. However, the Eletta espresso maker is also compatible with pre-ground coffee, which is a great option to have if you do not always want to spend that extra minute finding and grinding your beans in the morning.

Mastrena, the Starbucks espresso machine

In many ways, Starbucks sets the standard for great coffee – and the fact that Mastrena espresso machines can be found in every Starbucks all over the world is at least a significant part of the secret.

Every time you walk into a Starbucks and order your favorite espresso-based drink, you know exactly what you are going to get. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Hong Kong or London, you can be sure that your Starbucks barista is going to prepare your favourite coffee recipe using a Mastrena espresso maker for the brewing process.

In other words, Mastrena Espresso machines are the secret key to the consistent quality of Starbucks coffee. It is, of course, impossible to say how great a role the reliable standard of Starbucks coffees plays in the overall success of the Starbucks franchise, but the fact that it plays some role is a given.

Linea by Far Marzocco

Back in the 1990s the espresso machine found in Starbucks coffee shops everywhere was the Linea by La Marzocco. These were more regular espresso machines with portafilters, which meant they were much more susceptible to the individual barista’s coffee brewing skills, or lack thereof. Preparing a delicious cup of coffee using a Linea espresso maker requires some skill and deftness, in a way that the Mastrena espresso machine simply doesn’t.

Mastrena CS2

When the Linea espresso machines were used at Starbucks, the quality of every cup of Starbucks coffee was highly dependent on the individual barista – which meant much more variety in the quality of coffee you’d get served at Starbucks. When Starbucks switched to the Mastrena CS2 super automatic espresso machine by Swiss company Thermoplan AG, that all changed.

The Mastrena CS2 espresso machine featured a large capacity hopper on top, capable of holding a great amount of coffee beans at once, which allowed Starbucks baristas top brew espresso shots much faster and in greater quantities than before, and without much delay or pause to refill or grind the beans.

Mastrena II

Today, the Mastrena II has taken the spotlight as the new standard Starbucks machine. While similar in many ways to the Mastrena CS2, the Mastrena II is remarkable because of its ability to produce absolutely flawless shots of espresso, as well as its bar which holds three types of coffee beans at once.

In short, the Mastrena II Starbucks espresso machine is a remarkable piece of kit – but probably overkill for most everyday coffee lovers. This point is brought home by the fact that the Mastrena II comes at an estimated cost of fifteen to seventeen thousand dollars.

Starbucks’ exclusive trade deal with Thermoplan AG and what it means for you

Quite infuriatingly, you probably won’t be able to purchase a Mastrena II coffee machine, even if you have the money for it. The reason for this is the exclusive trade deal that the manufacturing company behind the Mastrena CS2 and the Mastrena II has made with the Starbucks coffee shop franchise.

The reason for this is that, under this exclusive trade deal, only Starbucks can buy Mastrena coffee machines. By securing this exclusive agreement, Starbucks has also managed to keep their monopoly on Starbucks coffee – because no individual is able to buy a Starbucks espresso machine, even if they have the money and are willing to invest them in one of the most high-end espresso machines in existence.

This, however, doesn’t mean that you should give up on your desire to be able to brew Starbucks quality coffee in the comfort of your own home. You have other options. The most obvious one, perhaps, is that you could choose to purchase the Linea coffee maker manufactured by the brand La Marzocco that Starbucks used back in the 90s. While this isn’t quite the same thing as having the machine that Starbucks uses today, it is about as close as you are going to get.

Another alternative is the Breville BES870XL Barista Express, or another professional quality bean-to-cup espresso machine like it. If you can’t have a Starbucks espresso machine, why not set a different set of criteria for the espresso machine you are in the market for? Criteria such as quality, consistency and longevity are more likely to lead you to Breville than to Linea, since many innovations in coffee brewing technology have happened since the 1990s when the Linea by La Marzocco was all the rage.

What makes Mastrena espresso machines special

Now, let us go into a little more detail about what makes the Mastrena III coffee maker so special by looking at each of its most iconic features in detail.

Once you have an overview over the Mastrena’s features and functions, it will be abundantly clear to you why the Mastrena coffee maker is such a beast and why Starbucks has gone through the pains of securing an exclusive trade deal with its manufacturer.

Built-in grinder

One of the Mastrena II espresso machine’s most important features is its large capacity built-in burr grinder, which makes it perfect for producing large volumes of espresso shots within a very short space of time and while maintaining a consistently high coffee quality.

The built-in burr grinder is located at the top of the Mastrena II espresso maker, which makes it very easy for the barista to access and add fresh coffee beans as and when required.

Dual bean hoppers

The dual bean hoppers on the Mastrena II espresso maker is another feature which sets the Mastrena Starbucks espresso machines apart from almost any other super automatic espresso machines on the market. Needless to say, the dual bean hoppers allow for an even larger amount of coffee beans to be held and processed at once.

Digital temperature control

Naturally, the Mastrena II allows for precise digital temperature control, so that the optimal flavour, potency and aroma can be extracted from the coffee beans during the brewing process every single time the machine is in use.

The digital temperature control feature means that Starbucks baristas are able to ‘set and forget’ the optimal temperature, rather than having to adjust the temperature of the water manually whenever it is time to brew a fresh new shot of espresso.

Aroma strength settings

For your convenience, aroma strength settings are a prominent feature of the Mastrena espresso machine. This is one of the features that really sets the Mastrena espresso machine apart from any other, and one that unfortunately isn’t replicated in any of the more affordable espresso machines on the market – not with the same degree of control, anyway.

As standard, most espresso makers allow you to choose between single and double espresso shots, but they don’t give you the option of adjusting the aroma strength settings with any degree of detail or control.

Frothing wand

Of course, the Mastrena II features a powerful and sophisticated frothing wand that allows even relatively inexperienced baristas to whip up microfoam with just about any temperature and texture setting the coffee recipe at hands requires.

The Mastra II frothing wand is a truly enviable feature, as it makes creating latte art a game and really allows baristas to unleash their creativity.

Extreme internal technology

There is more to the Mastrena II coffee maker than meets the eye. While all of the external features give coffee aficionados plenty to admire and talk about, it is the internal technology and build of the Mastrena espresso maker that makes it such a remarkable piece of machinery.

Some of the Mastrena II’s technological features you should know about include:

  • Strength and memory controller features, including automatic grind, dose, tamp and brew settings, such as temperature settings and brew volume.
  • Faster brewing and milk streaming times: The Mastrena coffee machine is, on average, 28% faster at performing every necessary task, from grinding the beans to steaming and frothing the milk, than other professional grade espresso makers on the market.
  • It has computerized memory and is programmable, making everything about the coffee brewing process as automated and straight-forward as possible.
  • Thanks to its internal technology, it can produce upwards of 240 shots of espresso per hour.
  • It even gives cleaning reminders when it is time for the barista to clean or descale any part of the machine.

All in all, it could be said that the Mastrena II is the closest thing the world currently has to a fully robotic barista, capable of brewing the perfect, standardized cup of coffee every single time.

Having said that, the world of artisan coffee is a fast-paced industry, and we might very well see fully robotic baristas a few short years from now.

Built and longevity

The Mastrena II is made from high-grade brushed stainless steel and high-grade plastic, and it is worth noticing that this machine is not merely built for both speed, comfort and consistency (through standard temperature and grind size settings through to microfoam texture settings), it is also built to last. The average Mastrena espresso machine is likely to outlive the majority of all other espresso machines, even with intense and frequent use – as it should, considering the price tag.

Mastrena espressos machine FAQ

How much is a Mastrena espresso machine?

One of the reasons that Mastrena espresso machines are out of reach for most people is their prohibitive price tags – a Mastrena II is priced at approximately $17,000.

Who makes Mastrena coffee machines?

Mastrena super automatic coffee machines are produced by Swiss company Thermoplan AG.

Does Starbucks still sell espresso machines?

Starbucks does not sell espresso machines.

Quite the reverse, you might say – Starbucks are very protective of the machines that make Starbucks coffee such a unique and reliable experience, no matter where you are in the world. Starbucks has even gone as far as securing an exclusive trade deal with the company that produces the Mastrena II espresso machines currently used in every Starbucks, so that no private individuals or other coffee shops or franchises are able to purchase them.

You can, however, buy a French press at Starbucks.

Can the Mastrena coffee machine grind coffee beans?

Yes, the Mastrena espresso machines are all-in-one coffee makers, capable of handling every aspect of the coffee brewing process from bean to cup.

This includes grinding the beans, measuring and tamping the coffee grounds and controlling both the temperature and the water flow throughout the entire brewing process.

What is the best Mastrena espresso machine alternative?

You might not be able to get your hands on a Mastrena espresso machine, but don’t fret, there are many great alternatives out there.

Some of the best Mastrena alternatives include the Breville BES870XL Barista Express, the Breville Oracle Touch, the De’Longhi Eletta, the Gaggia Brera, and even the Linea by Marzocco (the espresso machine you would see in every Starbucks back in the 1990s).

Where can I buy a Starbucks espresso machine?

Unfortunately, buying a Starbucks espresso machine is not an option – unless you were to buy the Starbucks franchise.

The reason for this is that Starbucks has secured a completely exclusive trade deal with the Thermoplan AG, the Swiss manufacturer behind the Mastrena espresso makersou see at Starbucks everywhere in the world. This trade deal means that no other brand or individual other than Starbucks have access to purchasing Mastrena super automatic espresso machines.

In other words, you cannot buy a Starbucks espresso machine, even if you have the approximately $17,000 it costs. Your best option is to look into buying an alternative instead, such as the Breville BES870XL Barista Express, the Breville Oracle Touch or the De’Longhi Eletta.

Final thoughts on the Mastrena espresso machine

If you have read all of the way to the end of this article, it should now be abundantly clear to you why the Mastrena espresso machine is both fantastic and fantastically difficult to get hold of, even if you have the thousands of dollars required.

The good news about this is that the Mastrena espresso machine is as commercial coffee maker, with capacities and functions that most at-home baristas and coffee enthusiasts really do not need. If we are perfectly honest with ourselves, how many of us really need to be able to brew upwards of 250 shots of espresso per minute? No matter how keen your need for caffeine, a Mastrena coffee maker is probably not necessary.

Luckily, there are many great alternatives – and we have covered several of them in this article. It is very possible for you to buy a barista quality espresso machine, for a fraction of what a Mastrena II would cost you, if you were hypothetically ale to buy one.

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