Thursday, July 1, 2010

Starbucks Doing Something Right?

I'll never be a fan of the giant corporate entity that is Starbucks but an article on Gizmodo hints to something they might be doing right. Clover arguably one of the best espresso machines out there with the ability to tweak nearly every parameter in the process. Starbucks bought Clover and only rolled the machines out to 50 locations which is approximately 0.000000001% of their total locations. (Percentage is completely made up but I don't think by much.) Well, times maybe are a changing and there are reports of Clover popping up.
Starbucks' first Clover showed up in New York around two months ago, in a nearly 20-year-old location that's been converted into a concept store. The thaw is beginning. Starbucks plans to finally expand the Clover's footprint gradually over the next 6-8 months, as they figure out how to integrate the machine into the natural rhythm of stores—which is basically dominated by Frappuccinos these days, not coffee.

In a way, it's a hard sell. The kind of people who would be most interested in coffee made via Clover, designed to pull the most out of a coffee—so shitty coffee would taste shittier—don't go to Starbucks. Starbucks is so reviled by people who actually like coffee that they've experimented with burying the Starbucks name at two pilot stores in Seattle which are designed to look more like the kind of place that serves Intelligentsia or Stumptown coffee. So it's heartening to see them try to live up a bit more to the ideals of caring about coffee and how it's served.

Special thanks to commenter FritzLaurel for giving us a shout out.

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