I’m sure it’s been official for a while now, but this is the first time I’ve seen it confirmed:
Starbucks is willing to share custody, however, of the 250 [Clover] machines already out there, plus maintain and repair them, but it won’t sell any more Clovers to independent cafés. The company has already pulled the plug on CloverNet, the online database that tracks sales, maintenance, and brewing preferences for Clover owners.
That’s unfortunate. Despite all the hype, the real beauty of the Clover wasn’t in how it brews coffee, but in how it could reliably bring out clean flavors and refocus attention on the beans: their origins, their roast profiles, the way they were processed, etc. Putting Starbucks beans into it isn’t going to make Starbucks coffee magically delicious. It’s a great tool that now won’t ever live up to its full potential.