The Clover

Starbucks. Clover. Perfection.

If you haven’t heard about the Clover then I am going to guess you aren’t a true Starbucks fanatic.  Back in 2007 when Howard Schultz had come back to save the company, he came across a unique coffee brewing machine in a little coffee shop in NYC.  He followed the Clover’s trail back home to Seattle and struck a deal with its creator…thus raising the bar for coffee pretentiousness.

The Clover is a rarity in Starbucks stores, so consider yourself lucky if your local hangout has one.  Recently, Mark and I drove to downtown Atlanta to check out what all of the Clover hype was about.

Why is it so special? Well, coffee is created one cup at a time, no pouring your brewed coffee from a warmed carafe here folks.  The machine uses a vacuum-press and works in a sort of reverse french press style.  If you aren’t in the know, the French Press is considered the best way to drink your coffee to preserve flavor and body.

Another thing, when drinking a cup of clover coffee, you’ll find yourself opening a door to a whole new array of coffees that Starbucks only brews on this machine.

The verdict? I really wanted the Jamaica Blue coffee but ::sigh:: they were out again.  So I asked the barista which coffee he recommended for a cup of iced clover brewed coffee.  He told me about two, the Kenya and the Kenya Tapa River.  He said both had an excellent flavor with the Tapa River variety being a little bit brighter and more citrusy.  I ordered both.  You know…one for me and one for Mark…after I tasted both that is 🙂  Obviously a coffee lover, the barista was pleased with this decision because he said I’d get to compare the subtle taste difference in the two Kenyan coffees.

You want to know how it tasted, right? The answer is simple, they both tasted excellent.  I am a big fan of bold coffee these days and these both definitely delivered on that front.  As with french press, the coffee was full of different flavor notes and no watery diluted taste at all.  I think what I like most about bold coffee is that it has body to it.  It is by no means ‘coffee flavored water’ like some single cup home brewing machines I know….Bold coffee from the Clover is thick, like a cup of whole milk hot chocolate on a winter’s day.

The Clover makes coffee an experience.  It reminds me of making Cuban coffee, it takes a process to make, it is a wonderful treat and it is something you savor.  I suggest going to your nearest Clover store, ordering a cup and sitting around with a book to savor it for a while.  I love the coffee shop experience, the smells, the noises, and the company of my Mark and a great book…that is a perfect afternoon!

P.S. Did I mention I was reading Onward by Howard Shultz (Starbucks ceo) while enjoying my Clover coffee? Coffee geek, coffee snob, coffee pretentiousness…call it what you like, I had a fantastic afternoon!


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