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Table Chat News for Health, Travel, & Coffee Lovers and Connoisseurs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Starbucks Acquires $11,000 Single Cup Coffeemaker Company

What makes the Clover so special? Clover is comparable to great wine making only can be done in a few minutes. You are rather scientifically able to control the water temperature, water quantity, grind quantity, and grind quality. The coffee is ground fresh for one cup at a time. If you owned one you could play with the various qualities of aroma, acidity, body, and flavor by experimenting with the control factors. Hopefully, your barista serving you has done the experimenting ahead of time for you and will serve you a fresh, unique cup of "Joe". The coffee is ground fresh for each cup and can be automatically brewed at the perfect time and temperature if you don't wish to experiment. The grinds are sucked down the hole in the top and the hot water is added next. Next the coffee brews and when it is finished it will pull the coffee through a 70 micron filter. Lastly, the wet grounds are pushed to the top and a squeegee is used to pull them away to a dispenser. Some consider it the best tasting cup of coffee ever brewed. 

Starbucks bought the Clover manufacturing business. 250 Clovers were sold across the country to coffeehouses prior to Starbucks acquiring the Ballard Coffee Equipment company. Don't be too disappointed that you won't be able to buy one. You probably couldn't have afforded on anyway. They were selling for anywhere from $8,000 to $11,000 for a single cup coffee maker. There are other affordable options for a single cup coffee brewer that range between $249 for a Bunn My Cafe Pod Brewer MCP to $299 for a Breville Gourmet Single Cup Brewer.

I am luckily enough to know where I can get Clover coffee in my neighborhood and it isn't Starbucks. It is called Intelligentsia Coffee Bar and is located at 1331 Abbott Kinney in Venice, California. They have several Clovers I was shocked to find. I have to count how many next time I go. I had very high expectations when I got my first cup of Clover coffee. It tasted good and there was no lingering aftertaste. It was a very clean taste, but that was not terribly exciting. It wasn't earthshaking. It was fresh though. It was $3.00 to have the coffee there and $2.00 to take it to go. It seemed a shame to order fresh coffee only to stick it in a paper cup, so I opted for the in-house coffee and you know what? They stuck it in a paper cup anyway. Next time I go I will have to request a cup... or bring my own. 

Clover machines will be appearing in many Starbucks across the country, but are not in every Starbucks. Here is a list of the select few Starbucks that have the Clover machine. 

Seattle, Washington 
1st & Pike, 102 Pike Place
Columbia Center, 701 - 5th Avenue

Miami, Florida
Lincoln & Pennsylvania, 601 Lincoln Road

Boston, Maine
Swampscott, 1016 Paradise Road
Chestnut Hill, 1154 Boylston Street


 BUNN is going to come out with a comparative machine soon. Yay!

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