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.