A Starbucks store in Sherman Oaks is one of a handful of Los Angeles area Starbucks stores to offer the ultimate coffee experience; a cup of coffee individually brewed to perfection by the eleven thousand dollar Clover brewing machine. The Clover machine so impressed Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz when he first saw it at a coffee shop in New York in 2007 that Schultz decided to buy the company that makes the pricey percolator.
In March 2008, Starbucks bought the Coffee Equipment Company, a Seattle-based startup that makes the machine that Schultz said makes ‘the best cup of brewed coffee I have ever tasted.’ At first the Clover brewer machine was exclusive to a couple of Starbucks stores in Seattle, but gradually America’s most successful brewed coffee seller started installing the Clover brewer in its flagship stores. The Starbucks store at LA Live is believed to be the first Los Angeles store to feature the Clover.
Now Starbucks is quietly rolling out the next revolution in coffee brewing at select Los Angeles area stores. The Clover brewing system arrived at the Ventura and Allott store in September 2011, and the ever-friendly Barista there says ‘It’s a popular choice’ for clients who are slowly becoming aware of their option to ask for a ‘Clover brew.’
So far Starbucks has not made a big noise about Clover; if it were not for a discrete poster on a window saying ‘Taste coffee like never before. Clover. A revolutionary new brewing method.’ you might not even know it’s there; the machine itself his quite small and inconspicuous.
Although the Clover costs eleven thousand dollars, the cost of a Clover-brewed cup of coffee is currently a modest twenty cents above the price of a cup of traditionally brewed drip coffee. Is it worth it? Nick, a Starbucks regular and self-admitted ‘caffeinista’ says ‘It is definitely worth it, in fact I drive 5 miles from my local Starbucks just to get a Clover brewed coffee.’ What in particular makes Clover worth twenty cents more and a five-mile drive? ‘It is so smooth, the flavor is consistent, the temperature is perfect and best of all, I can choose from a variety of coffee beans instead of just two.’ Nick said.
So if you want to try an eleven thousand dollar cup of Morning Joe, Anniversary Blend, or any of Starbucks’ range of coffees, head for the Starbucks store at 13535 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91423, or use the Starbucks store locator to search for a store in your area with the Clover brewing system. You might be pleasantly surprised.
To get a better picture of the Clover brewing system, check out the photo gallery for some in store shots, a cut-away illustration showing the internal workings, and an excellent video review by Wired magazine.