If you’re like most people you won’t be able to start your day without your morning cup. Starbucks, in particular, has cashed into this need with an array of different coffee drinks using state-of-the-art technology to brew great-tasting beverages.
Tell me a little bit about Starbucks.
Originally founded in 1971 by a few friends, the Seatle based company has become synonymous with coffee houses. Having nearly 20,000 stores in over 58 countries makes Starbucks not only one of the most successful coffee-based chains but companies in the world.
What kind of coffee does Starbucks use?
Anyone who has looked at a Starbucks board in their store has seen the dizzying offerings of flavors – Americano, Machiatto, and Mocha oh my! Most Starbucks use around 20 different roasts which vary in strength and flavor, that they brew in a multitude of varying ways.
What are some of the roasts?
Blonde roasts are lighter and milder in flavor and are great for those that don’t want anything too strong. Medium roasts are what most people drink, with dark roasts giving an extra deep and strong flavor that has been described by some as bitter.
What espresso machines do they use?
Aside from the ingredients and preparation, the machines they use are remarkably important in getting that unique Starbucks flavor. Most Starbucks stores use the Mastrena Superautomatic Espresso Machine. This machine is used exclusively with Starbucks.
Tell me more about this Mastrena machine.
Manufactured by a Swiss-based company called Thermoplan AG, these impressive machines have a digital menu along with a bean-to-cup design. This means the coffee is made fresher than other comparable residential makers.
Sounds good to me, how do I get one?
Unless you get lucky and find one on eBay or other second-hand sites, you’re not going to find the Mastrena machine for purchase. The reason for this is that Thremoplan AG has a strict partnership with Starbucks, providing them with all of their machines.
Darn, is there anything I can get that would work the same way?
Other companies are out there that copy the Mastrena machines and are purchasable by anyone. Chemex, Clover, and Verismo are all brands that provide equivalents – keep in mind though that these machines can cost a considerable amount.
Ouch, is there anything else out there that doesn’t break the bank?
While still costing a few hundred dollars, there are a few machines out there that produce remarkable brewing quality. In particular, the JURA 15079, Sage BES980UK, and De Longhi Magnifica are all remarkable espresso machines.
If I want to make espresso like Starbucks what would I do?
There are several steps you need to keep in mind – grinding, adding the proper amount, tamping, the portafilter, and extraction. While pretty straight forward, there are a few caveats you need to keep in mind before each step – including what type of beans you use.
Alright, so what do I need to know about grinding?
Make sure to buy high-quality beans and grind it to a very fine setting. It is important to grind you’re own as this gets you the freshest coffee and best taste. To get that signature Starbucks taste, try buying their espresso roast from a Starbucks location.
How much of ground coffee should I add?
It depends on what type of espresso you are making. A single shot of espresso, which is used in short and tall size Starbucks beverages, needs about 1 ounce of grounds, while grande and venti rely on 2 ounces, while trenta requires 3 ounces of espresso grounds.
What is the best way to tamp down the grounds?
First, you’re going to want to gently push the grounds down with your finger. Once in the machine, you’re going to want to apply even downward pressure to the grounds – with at least 30 pounds of pressure being required to fit in correctly.
What do I need to know about the portafilter?
Use cold, preferably filtered, water in the reservoir then lock the portafilter in place. Place the cup under the spout and get ready to pour. For espresso, you’re going to want to put the extraction temperature within the 195 to 205 Fahrenheit range.
What about extraction?
Once you set your machine up at the proper parameters its time to start brewing. Regardless of the number of grounds used it should take around 20 to 30 seconds to completely brew. Ideally, the darkest contents should be on the bottom and the lightest on the top.
Is there anything else I need to know?
Starbucks has a specific partnership with an espresso machine manufacturer that gives them their unique taste. There are many great espresso machines out there though and as long as you use the right ground and preparation you can get that great Starbucks taste.