Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Better coffee than I expect from Starbucks

Got tempted into trying out the new "Clover" device at $tarbuck$ today. This is a new toy that they've installed at a small number of locations -- only 50-some in the US, but they have one at the Starbucks on Mall Road in Burlington, and I gather the rest are scattered around Seattle, San Francisco and Boston.

The guy behind the counter (clearly the person who knows how to operate it) described it as "an upside-down french press", which is a fair description. He tosses the grounds into a hole in the top of the gadget, and it then squirts in the hot water. It all froths together for a minute or so with him stirring it, then he presses a button to activate the "press". There's a filter underneath the grounds and water that slowly rises up while a vacuum sucks all the water through the filter, so you watch as a column of grounds rises up out of the gadget. The coffee comes out the bottom, and he squeegees the grounds off the top into an attached garbage pit.

They've combined this with what seems to be a very good line of eight fancy single-grower coffees to show the thing off, and the result is rather good. Still *very* dark-roasted, as one expects from Starbucks (which means some folks will still hate it with a passion), but this coffee actually has *flavor* to go with the burned notes. Needs a bit of cream and sugar to mellow the burnedness IMO, but the result is distinctive and tasty. I tried the Guatamalan, which bills itself as "floral" and isn't kidding -- I don't even have the vocabulary to describe the complex flavor.

Quite nice, and a recommended experiment if you happen to be in that neck of the woods and are a coffee aficionado. I can't drink coffee very often due to stomach issues, but I'll have to find the occasional excuse to work my way through the new menu...

ETA: And OMG, that's *stronger* coffee than the mostly-milk confections I usually get there. I am positively vibrating right now...
Tags: reviews
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