from http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la ... 0950.story
Coffee geeks will drool over the four-group , the actual machine that powered the first Starbucks at Pike Place Market in 1972. Intelli- gentsia replaced the original panels with wood and glass, so you can see the machine's innards, most of which have been chromed. They added controls that keep water temperature stable to a tenth of a degree.
To my knowledge, Starbucks started espresso service with Faemas and no-one who's performed even a cursory reading of Starbucks history would dispute that espresso service testing started in 1984.
Part of my annoyance might be the "intelly rising from starbucks ashes" bit that is already being circulated through various articles or how this could easily morph into other comparisons http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_sur ... _Compiegne
I've bounced this question to some of the folks involved and received little more than a shrug. It's a cute gambit, but it's also bogus.
Since we can't expect the time-and-cash-strapped media involved to perform due diligence, I think it's incumbent on the folks who are being taken at their word to get the facts straight before sharing them publicly.
Having said all this, I won't pretend that the facts are neatly contained in a folder velcro'd under the machine, but these facts are important... and likely interesting. Anybody still have a contact at ESI?