A tiny Swiss company of 230 employees is responsible for making the espresso machines in Starbucks’ 21,000 cafes around the world.
Thermoplan AG is nestled on the shore of Lake Lucerne in the small village of Weggis, which is home to just 4,400 people, Bloomberg reports.
The company, which sells espresso makers for as much as $US17,625, developed a machine exclusively for Starbucks called the Mastrena that debuted in stores in 2008.
The automated machine has a computerized menu that leaves little room for human error in making lattes and cappuccinos.
It’s designed to be shorter than most commercial espresso machines, making it easier for Starbucks baristas to make eye contact with customers.
According to the Bloomberg report, Thermoplan has 40 employees in its research and development department and another 140 who work in production and assemble the machines.
Each machine takes up to eight hours to assemble and must brew 100 perfect cups of coffee before leaving the factory.
Thermoplan generated $US130 million in revenue last year, according to Bloomberg.
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