Starbucks Clover Comes To Walnut Creek - Have You Tried It?

The coffee giant has a new device for brewing individual cups of specialty coffees, and Walnut Creek has two locations with the machines.

There is a coffee brewing revolution in the works, according to Starbucks. It's called the Clover, and it doesn't look like a revolutionary device. But the company promises the machine is an innovation the likes of which only rarely comes along. The cups of coffee it produces are priced accordingly. 

According to the company's Web site, the Clover uses a vacuum technology and precise temperature control to extract the maximum flavor from the beans. The process doesn't involve the kind of steam-driven white noise that espresso machines make. 

These Clover machines are rare enough throughout the Starbucks empire. But Walnut Creek is fortunate to have two locations with them - 1340 N. Main St. and 7000 Sunne Lane. 

Coffee is not the simple drink it was a few decades ago. These days, there are more styles and brands and flavors than most other beverages. So it is not unreasonable to approach the claims of the Clover with a skeptical palate. 

But to this jaded set of taste buds, the promise was fulfilled. Choosing for this experiment Jamaican Blue Mountain beans, the Clover process turned out a hot, black cup of perfection. I don't know about the advertised citrus overtones or chocolate finish; that talk is for wine experts. I do know that the flavor was rich and intense, and never lost its appeal. It was indeed something special. 

Have you tried a Clover coffee? It's about a dollar more than a regular brew, partly due to the process, and partly due to the fact that a lot of the Clover offerings use limited-edition beans like Jamaican Blue Mountain (which is priced at $30 for a half-pound). 

Do you think brewing innovations like this are exciting, or just a way to increase already-high prices for what is, in the end, a cup of coffee? Tell us in the comments.  

Richard Fong November 30, 2012 at 04:00 PM
How about the siphon pot? Pacific Bay Coffee Co. has it!
Scot Murberger November 30, 2012 at 07:25 PM
What you get from the Clover is great, but I think that's all because of the beans, and not much from the machine. An iced Kona from the Clover is fantastic, but at nearly $6 each (and no refills with the gold card), I'll have to reserve them for (very) special occasions. One annoying thing about the stores with the Clovers is when you order plain coffee, they offer to make it on the Clover with the same beans, or try to upsell the bean choice, but forget to mention the increase in cost and the lack of free refills.
"The Black Panther of Poetry" December 01, 2012 at 02:15 AM
I have not tried it but I hope it comes to Benicias' "Penny Universities"!!


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