Saturday, February 11, 2006

   from Peter G

More musings on the Clover

I spent a little time with the Clover this week, and I had a few little musings about the thing.

1. Cup quality and "granularity" - I won't go into too much detail about the quality of the cups I had, other than to say it generally reminds me of vacpot and eva solo coffee. But this has been said before. The thing that suprised me was how great the impact of small adjustments in dwell time were. Huge. For example, when we were brewing some Illili Daarartu Harrar at 40 seconds/10 ounces, we found very little fruit character. Changing the dwell by four seconds resulted in a complex, fruity cup. Wild. In my opinion, subtle changes in brew time (and perhaps grind as well) have an even greater impact on Clover coffee than espresso. Perhaps this is because Clover coffee is more subtle overall.

2. On-demand brewing - Much of the the punditry I have heard on this device focuses on the mechanics and cup quality of the thing. While important, I feel the most incredible impact of this machine is its ability to brew any coffee at any time, within just a few seconds. This takes instant gratification to a new level. We had the machine for two days, and the day after it was gone, everybody was bummed that they couldn't have their fave coffee instantaneously. (Of course, I was shouting, "how hard is it to make a dang French Press", but nobody listens to me.) I feel that this will have a HUGE impact, perhaps more than we anticipate, on coffeeshops that also retail beans. As we demo'd the machine for folks, they would ask "Can I have a cup of coffee?" The response is: "Sure. What kind?" Typical response: "I dunno. Whatever you are brewing." Answer: "We have everything. You must choose". This dialog has incredible power when trying to emphasize the highly differentiated world of coffee.

7 Comments:

Blogger AndyS said...

> I feel the most incredible impact of this machine is its ability
> to brew any coffee at any time, within just a few seconds.

Zander said that the Clover was really only a portion of the machine that they had originally started out to build. Their original idea was an office coffee brewer that would grind, dose and brew automatically at the push of a button. That machine will come eventually. But meanwhile, the Clover allows (as you say) the barista to brew any coffee available in any order with complete convenience. For shops that can justify the expense, it will be a fantastic tool in introducing customers to a world of coffee choices.

2/11/2006 08:07:00 PM  
Anonymous gee said...

along the lines of the barista being able to brew anything at anytime, i've been thinking about something that hasn't been really discussed much either: on-demand blending. imagine being able to go in and have a blend that you create brewed for you in 60 seconds. say you like the body of indonesian, and love the fruitiness of africans. the barista can make a custom blend for you that will highlight both the body and the acidity that you like. this could start to be the real culmination of the barista/sommelier analogy. (notice i'm not making the analogy, trish, simply referring to it.) a customer comes in describes the profile of what they want in the cup and it becomes the well educated baristas job to create that.

2/15/2006 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger trish said...

Gee,
the analogies don't bug me anymore. Now I'm hating on the similies and metaphores. They are the must that needs punching down in the midst of early ferment...very much like empty stained boxes of Gallo table red at the end of a picnic at the in-laws'.
I digress.
Hey Pete...did 3 Cups get a Clover? That's the shop that needs one, boy howdy!

2/15/2006 06:16:00 PM  
Anonymous gee said...

3 cups is all about the "replicable" coffee experience. that's why they don't do espresso or commercially brewed coffee...just presses and melittas. the clover would defeat that a bit.

2/16/2006 09:14:00 AM  
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