Clover: A Proper Plug

When I wrote about the Clover coffee brewing system the other day I didn't do so with any intent other than to mention a great cup of coffee. Today, however, I received an email from one of my fellow BBTC members, Zander Nosler, thanking me for the plug. The rest of his email lead me to believe he was thanking me for mentioning the Clover system -- and I did recall him saying he owned a company that makes coffee equipment the last time we rode together -- so I Googled him up and found out that, yes indeed, Zander is the brains behind the Clover. Small world, isn't it?

From a 2006 article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

Is the world ready for an $8,000 drip coffee maker? The Coffee Equipment Co., an eight-person startup in Ballard, has bet $1 million that it is. Co-founder and resident Zander Nosler, 34, said he has loved product design all his life, inspired at age 11 by the distinctive action and sound of the turn-signal stalk in a new Honda.

Zander Nosler, 34, president of The Coffee Equipment Co., pours grounds into the Clover, a commercial-grade machine that makes individual cups of drip coffee. In May 2004, when he perceived a gap in the expanding market for coffee products, he wrote a business plan and left his job at Seattle industrial design firm Teague to produce the ideal drip coffee maker.

Dubbed the Clover, it's claimed to be the first commercial-grade machine to give baristas consistent, independent control over the four variables of drip coffee: water temperature, coffee grind, coffee-to-water ratio and brew time.

Investors -- mainly family and friends, but also some Seattle-area venture capitalists -- have pumped just more than $1 million into the company since mid-2004. The Clover is intended to complement top-quality espresso machines now
finding their way onto the market from companies such as Seattle's Synesso.

High-priced equipment may yield commensurate rewards in the big business of coffee, which grew to $9.62 billion in 2004 (the latest year for which figures are available), from $8.96 billion in 2003, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America.

You can read the rest of the article about Zander and his $8,000 coffee maker via this link. And, like I alluded to the other day, if you find yourself in a cafe that has the Clover system, give it a try. Sure, it will run you $3-5 for a cup of coffee depending on the beans you select, but it's a nice treat and it sure beats taking out a second mortgage to buy the coffee maker yourself.

Edit: I'm told the Clover now costs $11,000, but is still in line with other high-end espresso machines.

No comments: