Starbucks unveils new expresso machine

Before I forget, I want to close the loop on an earlier thread on Starbucks (here and here).  From a news item on Howard Schultz’s unveiling of the new expresso machine (here), it looks like they’re quickly implementing some of the changes hinted at earlier.

More interaction with customers…

Schultz announced the arrival of the Mastrena…about seven inches shorter than machines in stores now, making it easier for baristas to interact with customers.

Restoring coffee quality and “aroma” to the stores…

[E]xecutives said the company will also quit using flavor-locked bags of pre-ground coffee next month. Instead, it will grind beans in most of its U.S. stores to bring back the aroma that’s been missing since it started using sealed grounds years ago.

Becoming more reliable…

Starbucks also is introducing a new “everyday” drip coffee — a signature brew called Pike Place Roast that baristas will serve up daily in all its stores — rather offering new blends from day to day.

“As we talked to customers over the last year, what we heard was that the morning occasion was very, very habitual and they want a taste they can count on,” Gass said.

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