PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Starbucks unveiled the high-priced and high-taste Clover brewing systems at several Seattle stores Tuesday and says more will follow, as part of a recent deal that set the coffee community abuzz.
The Clover is a complex brewing system that was once the domain of independent coffee makers and hard-core coffee fans. But Starbucks Corp. announced in April that it was acquiring Clover, made by The Coffee Equipment Co., in a deal with undisclosed terms.
The deal frustrated some independent coffee store owners because Starbucks said it would no longer sell the device to others, thereby cornering the market on one of the ultimate brewing systems for aficionados.
The Clover, which used to sell for about $11,000, makes one cup at a time and aims to coax out each of the hundreds of flavors known to reside in the average coffee bean. In addition to brewing a complex flavor, the by-the-cup versatility means a wider array of beans can be used creating a top-shelf coffee menu of sorts.
It is one of several moves Seattle-based Starbucks has made recently to pump up its slumping business.