Ponderings and Discoveries…

So, I guess you could call this phase two of my existence as a Clover-ized barista. My experience with the Clover has been epic to say the least. I went from being an ignorant, espressoholic to an actual coffee advocate. It was the Clover that lead my heart toward single origins. Where, once I discovered how amazing each coffee can be, I began to become concerned with the farmers producing the fruit. I really wasn’t too worried about Fair Trade and CoE before I fell for what coffee really is.

However motivating these discoveries have been for me, it all goes back to that lovely, aesthetically pleasing machine that is so expensive, but produces one cup of coffee at a time. Magical.

Lately though, in a new region, things have gotten more complicated. Before I continue, I would like to say to Anastasia, David, Zander, and all the other great people at Clover, I, in no way, have anything negative to say about the Clover and all it’s glory. This has nothing to do with you. Please take no offense.

The LA Times decided to write a lovely piece a few months back. One featuring this dream of a machine. Thus sparking a county wide interest in the Clover. Thanks to that God-forsaken newspaper, everyone in LA has heard of this multi-thousand dollar brewer. Here’s where it all goes wrong… Customer walks in and is greeted by the friendly, smile wielding barista. Barista throws out the normal questions, “How are you?” “What’s going on?” “What can I get for you?” Then customer, mid way through order, breaks his sentence and shouts, “Is that one of those twenty thousand dollar coffee thing-a-ma-bobers?!?!” Immediately, they go off about how they have to try a ‘clover.’ And so on…

It’s not a bad thing. It actually, many times, has opened the door for me to introduce them to one of our finer coffees at a higher price point. And, generally, they walk away from the experience, totally satisfied in having something delicious and fulfilling… However, it has lead me to giving a new speech a hundred times a day. Not one of how the machine works, they assume that one on their own. No, no… It’s a speech on the basic elements of what makes the Clover special. The coffee.

I’m sorry friends, but not everyone with a Clover has the quality of coffee we are able to offer. In fact, I know where most, if not all, of the Clovers are in Minneapolis, and I can tell you that only 3 are using excellent coffee. With the changes at Groundwork, who knows what coffee they will begin to buy, and how it will be roasted. Anyway, I wrap this up now, simply by saying, we must not forget what it is we stand for, why we care, and what it really is about.

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3 thoughts on “Ponderings and Discoveries…

  1. there are those days when it would be so much easier to play the part of the ignorant barista: “i don’t know. my boss says it tastes like chocolate or something.” in the end, i would rather have my jaw hurt from talking about amazing coffees than going through a list of sandwich condiments and types of bread offered for their lunchmeat all day. thank god for coffee-focused coffee bars.

    “i know where most, if not all, of the clovers are in minneapolis, and i can tell you only 3 are using excellent coffee”…does someone other than andrew (and miguel) have a clover in the twin cities? i’m heading to minneapolis next month for scaa committee meetings and would be curious to see a clover in use brewing subpar coffee.

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