Clover Gets Wired

So a couple of days ago my father-in-law asked if we had seen the new issue of Wired yet. It’s one of my favorite magazines, and since my father-in-law loves geeky tech stuff as much as me I bought him a subscription last year for Christmas. Anyway, the answer was no, but he said to keep an eye out for it.And what do you know but it arrived yesterday and it has one of the first in-depth consumer magazine stories I’ve seen about the Clover and Starbucks acquisition of the Coffee Equipment Company. You can read it online here:

It’s a very interesting story and actually filled me in on a bit of the behind the scenes/acquisition of the Starbucks/Clover saga that I hadn’t heard before. And I’m more than a little jealous that Zander got his picture smack in the middle of Wired. Cool.

About Ken 262 Articles
Kenneth R. Olson (he/him) is co-founder and publisher of Barista Magazine the worldwide trade magazine for the professional coffee community. He has written extensively about specialty coffee, traveled near and far for stories, activities, and fun, and been invited to present on topics important to coffee culture. He is also an avid fan of the Portland Trail Blazers, the Washington Huskies, and public libraries.


  1. When I got my copy, that was the first article that I read-all the way through. I read about the acquistion earlier this year, but I wasn’t aware that Clover had cut off selling new units to independents.

  2. Some interesting details in the Wired article – although the topic was well covered back in March when it was announced.

    We (River Maiden Artisan Coffee) have one of the 70 or so Clovers in the U.S. (we got ours in November ’07). It’s been a real asset to us. It allowed us for example to sell the Panama Esmeralda Especial for nearly $15 a cup. It definitely gives you an ability to showcase single origin coffees at their finest – something most cafes only dream of.

    The reason he sold, I believe though, was it wasn’t the right market for most cafe owners. It’s price at $11K alone scared off plenty, but it’s also very coffee intensive. To make one 12 oz. cup of Clover, it takes 39 grams. You can make an entire pot of traditional drip with just 145 grams.

    Most cafes are more interested in margin than in producing the finest coffee experience. That means the only real market for the Clover were roasters who were sourcing their own coffees and not paying the wholesale markup for roasted beans that most cafes do (like us with our roaster – Stumptown).

    As far as Starbucks goes, I see the angle they were going for, but simply their coffees weaknesses will be highlighted by the Clover. Add in the one minute prep time for each cup, and I think Clovers won’t last long at Starbucks

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