What is Clover Coffee?

What is now being called ‘Clover Coffee’ is coffee brewed using the expensive machine made by Clover Equipment Company based in Seattle, WA.

When the machine first started popping up around 2007, very few coffee shops had it (since it used to start at the reasonable $11k) and it become a real attracting boon for the few shops that offered it’s amazing coffee.

The machine brews coffee one cup at a time. Its hard to describe the process, except that a barista can intimately control the water levels, brewing time, and lot of other variables that are usually hard to control with such precision for normal human beings. It also looks awesome.

la-clover-coffee-machine-smallIn 2008, Mr. Howard Schultz of Starbucks (just coming back as CEO after a hiatus, had a cup in a New York coffee shop and called it the best coffee he had ever tasted. Starbucks then purchased the company, and now Clover may only sell to Starbucks.

It is rumored that many coffee shops here in L.A. actually started trying to sell the machine after it was sold, forseeing that the future of machine was ambiguous (would it be in all Starbucks shops across the country? Would boutique shops need to up their game to differentiate themselves? Would they have to start using crazy new methods (bluebottle, SF?) to attract customers away from commercialized starbucks stores?). According to their website, Starbucks has more than 500 retail stores in greater LA right now!

Regardless, the machine really is good – and if you get a chance to try it, I recommend it. However, it only automates the same process that can be used to make amazing coffee if a (home or paid) barista just works at it. I’ve had Melita & Chemex coffee’s which I personally think were just as good.

Here are all the tagged coffee shops in LA with Clover Coffee machines.

References: How it Works, Time, Watch it on Wired, BeClover.com, Starbucks, NYTimes.