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Founded 1974 by Domenic Steiner, Thermoplan is an international machinery manufacturer in the restaurant sector. Thermoplan's products are modular super-automatic espresso machines. The medium-sized firm employs 125 employees.
The French company fell on hard times and the Foamino supplier Thermoplan acquired all the assets and patents, moved the operation to Switzerland, and began marketing the machine under the Black and White name. In the late 90's when Starbucks was looking to replace the La Marzocco with a super-automatic, Starbucks first invested in the Schaerer-made Verismo 701, and then found Thermoplan. They realized some changes needed to be made for the US market and to meet their strict coffee quality profile (which then abandoned until the Flavor profile upgrade of 2008). Although the Foamino works well in Europe where they add a little milk to their coffee to make a little cappuccino, Starbucks understood in the USA where they add a little coffee to their 16 or 20 ounce cups of milk the Foamino would not cut it. Working with the Thermoplan engineers they replaced the Foamino with a powerful steam boiler and a thermal sensing steam wand.
In 2004, global corporations such as McDonald's and IKEA began using Thermoplan equipment. That same year, Thermoplan was awarded the 2004 Innovation Award from the Central Swiss Chamber of Commerce. The company's major breakthrough came when it was chosen by the international coffeehouse chain Starbucks as their exclusive espresso machine supplier in 2008. The module system guaranteed shortest downtime.
The company spent 1.6 million Swiss francs (US$1.3 million; €980,000) to convince Brazil's national soccer team to choose Weggis for its training camp before the 2006 World Cup. A practice ground in Weggis was turned into a temporary 5,000-seat arena called the "Thermoplan Arena".
Coffee and Espresso Machines
Verismo 801 and Thermoplan Black & White
The Verismo 801 was a superautomatic coffee machine designed exclusively for Starbucks, until it was replaced by the Mastrena in 2008. The Verismo 801 was released to the commercial market in 2010 under the Black and White CTS2 name. It features dual bean hoppers and is capable of pulling both single, double and half-caff espresso shots. It has also a steam wand and hot water spout. All functions are operated by the button control panel on the front of the device.
The Thermoplan CT1 and Thermoplan CTM are designed for operation by untrained workers: they feature an inbuilt milk-frother that allows for complete one-click beverage making. The default modes are: Latte, Cappuccino, Espresso, Black Coffee and White Coffee. The programs can be configured with the Thermoplan’s Service Master Card.
New Espresso Equipment, Magistrale, and Verismo 901
The New Espresso Equipment, Magistrale was an ill-fated Starbuck's prototype that was rejected during testing and subsequently scrapped. The Verismo 901 was the rebadged Mastrena used in Seattle Best Coffee (SBC) locations.
Mastrena, Tiger, and Black & White 2
Thermoplan manufactures the Mastrena, the super-automatic machine that Starbucks is rolling out to all equity stores. The Tiger, a lower-volume espresso machine with a similar modular design is distributed by Bunn in the United States, and the Black & White 2, an upgrade to the Black & White line of espresso machines, combining the main features found on the Thermoplan Verismo 801 and the Thermoplan Tiger.
- Swiss Trade Register: Thermoplan AG (German)
- Thermoplan: Timeline
- Thermoplan: Timeline
- Seattle PI: Starbucks will 'fight to the death,' Schultz says
- "Once-sleepy Swiss town booming after Brazilian soccer team visit". The Star Online. August 19, 2007. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
- Northcroft, Jonathan (June 4, 2006). "Fun at the carnival". The Sunday Times (London, England). Retrieved 2008-10-22.
- "Kompaktes Gerät von Thermoplan". Allgemeinen Hotel- und Gastronomie-Zeitung (in German). May 2, 2005. p. 31. Retrieved 2008-10-22. English translation
- "Thermoplan.(Coffee & Tea, Security Products)". Hotels. April 1, 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-22.[dead link]
- Thermoplan AG Official site.