Nice to see the Clover coffee maker covered in the print and online editions of The Economist:
Near the hard-working espresso machine at Ritual Coffee Roasters, a café in San Francisco, sits a stainless-steel box about the size of a desktop computer. This box, the Clover, produces a cup of coffee with a spectacle of streaming water, whirring motors and an ingenious inverse plunger. Zander Nosler, the industrial designer who invented the Clover nearly three years ago, seems to have done the impossible: attracted a cult following for a new coffee-making machine that is both slower and vastly more expensive than other machines and requires the undivided attention of a trained operator…
In the past decade, changes in the way the finest coffee is produced and traded have given roasters unprecedented access to small lots of exceedingly good beans, spawning artisanal roasting and wine-like focus on terroir. These coffees are at their best in a lighter roast, and served as single-origin brews—neither of which works well in an espresso machine. Yet brewed coffee is the neglected stepsister in most cafés.
By allowing its operator such close control, the Clover permits super-speciality roasters to extend obsessive handling of their beans all the way into a cup and, if they are adept, to bring forth their best qualities. But a Clover is a big commitment. Bruce Milletto, a retail consultant to the coffee industry, notes that a typical American café spends around $50,000 on equipment, about one-quarter of which goes on an espresso machine. At $11,000, a Clover costs the same again.
Unfortunately you won’t find one of these in any DC shop yet, but you can catch one in operation on YouTube: