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Clover brewed coffee

robin

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The Starbucks closest to my office finally received a Clover machine. Has anyone tried coffee made from these yet? I asked for their strongest roast (from Zimbabwe or something) and the result is pretty damn good by Starbucks standards. It's about on par with what you'd get from a french press at home I think and it also reminds me of the great coffee that I can get at Caffe Darte up in the downtown area.

Anyways, onto the machine - it only makes one cup of coffee at a time. It works like french press with brew controls, but instead of pressing the grounds out of the coffee the machine uses a vacuum filtration system. Here's a video:

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IIRC, the cost of these machines when they were on the market were about $10k. Starbucks owns the company now though.
 

Renault78law

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Where are you located? I haven't seen a Clover at Starbux in my town yet. I think the Clover machine makes an appreciable difference, but cannot compensate for the poor quality of beans at Starbux.
 

robin

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Seattle, specifically the International District. The Starbucks that has this one is supposedly one of the busiest and has the highest earnings in town. I see that Clover still has a map of some indie shops that bought machines before Starbucks came in: http://cloverequipment.com/find_a_clover.aspx

I agree with you on their roasts, but the cup I had tasted nothing like their regular drip coffee (which I despise).
 

whacked

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Originally Posted by robin
I asked for their strongest roast (from Zimbabwe or something) and the result is pretty damn good by Starbucks standards. It's about on par with what you'd get from a french press at home

That's awfully underwhelming for a $10K machine.


I like my french press + Bialetti moka pot just fine.
 

sonick

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I noticed the machine tucked away in the back of my coffeeshop near my girlfriend's place. Never really realized what it was until for some reason this thread popped in my mind. I looked up pictures, and surely it was a Clover.

Weird how it wasn't advertised at all (nor priced on the menu), there was no way to know that they even offered it. Anyways, I digress.

I asked the cashier how much it was. $7.30 for a large. I asked for one. The guy behind me in line muttered "ridiculous" under his breath. Yeah, it was, but when in rome. Now I can tell people I had a $7 cup of black coffee made with a $11,000 machine.

On the first sip, the most surprising was how smooth it was, almost a creamy mouth-feel. After a few more, I began to realize it looked like coffee, and tasted like coffee, but it was unlike any other cup of coffee I've ever had, for some reason I cannot put my finger on.

Worth $7? Maybe... not something I would get regularly, but perhaps once a month type dealio as a 'treat'.
 

robin

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Was that at Starbucks that you tried it? I don't remember them charging $7 for a large, maybe like $3-4.
 

sonick

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Originally Posted by robin
Was that at Starbucks that you tried it? I don't remember them charging $7 for a large, maybe like $3-4.

Naw, its a local Western Canadian (afaik) coffee chain, Cafe Artigiano (also price is in CDN).
 

redgrail

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I tried it. No real appreciable difference vs. a french press (just quicker). Same issue with overroasting of the beans that Starbux has always had. Pretty labor intensive for a cup of coffee that only charges a 50 cent premium over drip.

Meh. Not particularly impressed (though watching the machine do its work is pretty entrancing). I'd get it again if at a location with a machine, because it's clearly better than the normal crap they serve up. But why not just get french presses? They do this all over Europe. Get a french press with freshly ground beans, either a small individual one or a larger one to share with the table. Wait a couple of minutes. Voila, "clover quality" coffee and no 11k machine. But then, of course, you couldn't get it to go while you run from your 2:30 budget meeting to your 3:30 yogalates class.
 

Augusto86

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Originally Posted by redgrail
I tried it. No real appreciable difference vs. a french press (just quicker). Same issue with overroasting of the beans that Starbux has always had. Pretty labor intensive for a cup of coffee that only charges a 50 cent premium over drip.

Meh. Not particularly impressed (though watching the machine do its work is pretty entrancing). I'd get it again if at a location with a machine, because it's clearly better than the normal crap they serve up. But why not just get french presses? They do this all over Europe. Get a french press with freshly ground beans, either a small individual one or a larger one to share with the table. Wait a couple of minutes. Voila, "clover quality" coffee and no 11k machine. But then, of course, you couldn't get it to go while you run from your 2:30 budget meeting to your 3:30 yogalates class.


Yeah, it's really an 11K French press.

BTW, did you see my post in your haircuts/boston thread?
 

Spatlese

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Originally Posted by sonick
Naw, its a local Western Canadian (afaik) coffee chain, Cafe Artigiano (also price is in CDN).


Which location? This sounds so daft I may actually have to clear out my desk change and try one. I guess this is still a relative bargain compared to the $15 / cup brew they were peddling last summer.
 

sonick

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Originally Posted by Spatlese
Which location? This sounds so daft I may actually have to clear out my desk change and try one. I guess this is still a relative bargain compared to the $15 / cup brew they were peddling last summer.

The one I went to was in Burnaby Heights at Hastings and Grosser.

I believe they have it at their Hornby location as well downtown.
 

imatlas

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If anyone is looking for a Clover brewed cuppa in San Francisco, Ritual Roasters on Valencia has one.

I haven't had the urge to try it yet. I remember hearing that coffee brewed in a french press could raise cholesterol levels (not because it has cholesterol, something else is going on). I wonder if this device has the same issue.
 

Chips

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I have had the coffee brewed on the Clover at Ritual, but their south san location. Worked for me, cause I could actually park, go in and sit and drink for a bit.

They have a Clover, and a $15,000 Lamarzocco Espresso machine. The Clover costs $13,000 now, but Im not sure if Starbucks is willing to sell it yet, they'd rather keep it in the company. It was quite a shock to see nearly $40,000 worth of coffee making equiptment (including expensive grinders) sitting in a small corner in the back of a nursery.

Without a doubt, the cup of coffee I had brewed in the Clover is literally the best thing I have ever drank in my entire life, with nothing else even coming close. And I homebrew my own beer. Yes, it was coffee, but it had such an amazing flavor, mellow, zero bitterness, and it brought out all the nuances in the coffee. I didnt have to pay for the drink, since I bought a coffee cup. I will definitely buy another in the near future.

I have the best commercial coffee maker available, the Mochamaster, by Technivorm. Even using that, with the same beans, and quality water, etc, didnt create the same drink. This machine is much more than a presspot. A presspot couldn't come close.

People scoff at the thought of paying $4-5 for a cup of coffee, but are willing to pay 3 times that for a glass of wine. Thats the perspective I take. Am I willing to pay $4-5 for the best coffee I will ever have? I certainly am.

If you like coffee at all, and there is a Clover in your area, then you owe it to yourself to try one. I doubt there are many out there though.
 

kdaust

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Good lord! Is it really so hard to find a decent cafe in north america?

Eg. My local in Sydney roasts their own beans, grinds them into the group head of a quality commercial espresso machine (i'm talking custom paddle-operated la marzocco), and pumps out incredible coffee (any style) at a huge rate of knots when the morning rush is on.

Why would you want to drink coffee made at starbucks?
 

sonick

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pretentious, elitest douchebag, much?
 

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