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February 14, 2008

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Sbuxnewbie

Ah, yes... the Clover.

Several people were writing about it a few weeks back.

I have to look for one of the places that use it, the next time I get to Boston... And that should be sometime in the next few weeks...

Melody

Oh yes this is old news. Webmaster Jim, I emailed you about the Clover Machines, and was quite surprised you hadn't posted on it yet. I've been to both of the test stores in Seattle which have the clovers. It makes a reverse french press, so grounds come up and not down.

It does make a delightful cup of coffee, and you can get it with more exclusive beans than what is normally available at Starbucks.

I'd say that the 2 stores with Clover Machines (the special individual french press coffee machines) have been at those Starbucks stores in Seattle for almost a month now.

Also, I don't know if they're still doing it, but if you ask about it, you can get a little coupon to fill out an online survey on your Clover coffee, and Starbucks sends you a $5 gift card for the survey.

Elese

Hmm ... I'm actually not quite sure what to make of this one. I'm in favor of anything that produces a better tasting coffee, especially if it can get anywhere near the flavor one gets from a french press. But to unveil such a new and expensive machine in all stores would be such an undertaking.

As a partner though I'd just like to say how much I love getting online or on the portal everyday and finding out about something new they're testing or implementing. It's a very exciting time to be with the company and I'm glad we're turning around and heading in the right direction so quickly.

Melody

More on this:
I've tried the Clover with Casi Cielo, Starbucks Aged Kenya Sumtra, and Starbucks Ethiopian Shakisso, and the Sumutra & Shakisso are apparently limited production beans, and amazing!

Melody

Edit:
I wish I could edit my post: The Aged Kenya Sumutra and Ethiopian Shakisso are beans ONLY available in Starbucks stores with Clovers.
Sorry.

I think $2.50 is more then the average customer is going to be willing to pay for 12oz, when you can get for a little less. I would be intreasted in trying it though, I love my french press at home!

that should say, when you can get 20oz for the same, i not a little less. Sorry

ember

I didn't like shot glasses at first, now I don't mind them. I wouldn't mind this if there is a machine that does this, at first I thought they'd be promoting bodums or something. but I don't think people would be willing to pay for this...
I think people who would want this are people who like sitting in the cafe doing nothing+know about coffee. this is definitely a small group.

i say espresso!

which stores in Seattle? I'm from that area....I want to visit!

tuppy

my local starbucks here in cambridge, ma, has it and it's awesome! the coffee tastes great (much better than the regular drip) and it's really popular — hopefully the people who go to peet's or other places nearby because they like regular coffee will starting coming into the big SBUX!

Kris

The Seattle stores are Queen Anne and 6th and Union. (I don't know which Queen Anne store specifically. Sorry.)

I really, really like the "fresh pressed" coffee. Enough that the price difference is very much worth it.

At the 6th and Union Starbucks they've started offering Kona via Fresh Pressed, which is a bit of a treat.

jane

there is no way starbucks can unveil this unilaterally- this machine requres intimate knowledge of each bean in order to grind and set the water amount and temp. it also takes a few minutes to make. starbucks employees can't figure out how to set a superauto right, there's no way that they will take the time to do this right.

jane

also, it's telling that once again, starbucks has made up terminology (fresh pressed!) rather than just calling it clover coffee like the rest of the industry.

HopkinsBella

Ha! I wondered what Starbucks was going to do with the Clovers it purchased. I am surprised that the purchases weren't mentioned earlier on this site, though. Will probably run into SBUXNEWBIE in Boston and not even know it in a few weeks, when I get up there to try it. A friend of mine's been to the Cambridge location and liked the Clover cuppa.

Melody

The one on Queen Anne in Seattle is on the corner of Queen Anne Avenue and W. Boston. The one in City Centre in on the 6th Avenue side of the City Centre building. I think that building has a total of 3 Starbucks, making it a wee bit confusing.

It IS the best cup of coffee ever. You can taste the difference. I can't wait to go back to the one on 6th & Union and try the new coffee.

It is well worth the higher price.

With the Clover machine ("Fresh Press") there is also an option to get a "Black and Tan" which is French Roast Coffee made by the Clover, with foam from the espresso bar, with nutmeg on top of the foam. That's a nice drink but I think the strength of a Clover is in just a perfect basic cup of coffee, and not coming up with some weird hybrid drink between the espresso bar and the Clover.

I'm really happy to hear this. Clover machines are awesome =)

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

I also had some of the coffee from the Clover. I do have to say that I tried to french presses and then from the clover. The simalarities are very close and worth the amount of money. I did however make a cup of the Sinani for a customer in the cafe and he was very happy.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL
PRIMUS INTER PARES
STARBUCKS REBEL ALLIANCE
AIM SN: BOSTONSTARREBEL

Pat Nerr

oh my... another chunk of equipment on the counter.

I give it about 2 more quarters of below avg performance before people get really mad

Melody

Pat, don't knock it until you've tried it! It makes a wonderful cup of coffee!


This is in today's PI, I notice:
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/351231_dunkin14.html

I have no idea if Dunkin is a real threat to Starbucks or not ... Jim, maybe that could be it's own thread? Or probably too tired of a topic.

b

The Stores in Boston with the Clover are 75-101 Federal (Downtown) 1 Charles (Beacon Hill) and Harvard Square (The Garage).

The exclusive beans to the Clover stores are Aged Sumatra, Kenya Mathira, and Ethipia Shakisso. In addition 100% Kona (otherwise only available online and in Hawaii), Arabia Mocha Sanani, and Decaf Sumatra are also on the Clover menu.

One of the most amazing things about this machine though, is these stores now have the ability to brew any of the core coffees by the cup. That customer who asks for Breakfast Blend every mornig, when your mild is clearly House Blend, can now (with a slight upsale) get that Breakfast Blend. Or the Customer who really wants to know about the diffrences between Guatamala and Colombia can inspire a quick impromptu tasting, with a brew method that brings out all the flavor characteristics of the beans.

The biggest concern about these machines for me was they bring out ALL the flavor characteristics of the beans, but most of our coffees have held up to the Clover pretty well (some more than others) and Im not afraid to offer any of them up to our customers. With our "return to our coffee roots" these machines are the perfect vehichle, and will force the buyers and roasters to provide an even higher quality product than already exsitst (though its going to be tough to top the Ethiopia Shakisso).

Goodbye Ovens-Hello Clover

cP

I pay 3.50 for a French press now - approx two grandes.
What's the advantage of the smaller press?

Shift Super

If you only want one cup?

Beantownsbuxbitch

I am going to go to 75-101 Federal in Boston tomorrow before work to try the Clover coffee. My ASM said that the machine is really cool!!

b

Its not quite the same as a french press. It combines a vacume press with a fine screen, and produces a very light bodied coffee full of flavor. You dump in the fresh ground coffee, give it a stir, and it poduces a perfect 8 12 or 16oz cup sans sediment.

Christin

A coffee shop under my apartment complex has a Clover, I have bought a cup or two from them, and I think it is great. I was just telling my store partners about the maching a few days ago! I love that Starbucks is testing this.

WOW... Old story. The Clover thing was in a store North of The University of Washington over six months ago. It was a cool machine and made great drip coffee... just seemed like an extra time consuming thing for the baristas though. It got in the way of the flow of everything going on. They didnt really have counter space for it. It cluttered everything up. I think it would be great to have a store or 2 per district that had the machines, but not every store.

oh my... another chunk of equipment on the counter.

I give it about 2 more quarters of below avg performance before people get really mad

I can't wait for this to be in the stores, but my fear is that Starbucks seems really good at STARTING something and then getting lax with standards. The Clover coffee might be good now, but wait until the subpar help decides like it usually does that they don't want to clean the machine.

Plus, like you said, another piece of equipment. Most stores can barely manage their espresso machines at this point (as referenced by the comments on this site). Unless this machine is something a chimpanzee can run, coffee WILL not be good from this thing once the newness rubs off and "baristas" begin to be annoyed at actually having to do their job and brew another cup of coffee a different way.

It's unfortunate that this happens, but that's because Starbucks is soft on its staff. When the help gets out of line, they need to be reprimanded once, have their benefits and pay cut on the second occurrence and terminated on the third. Things like poor coffee-making skills, bad customer service and entitled attitudes should be the jumping off point for an employee to get fired.

Customers won't stand for the horrible service much longer, and investors won't stand for it even sooner. Starbucks should basically drop most of their staff and replace with lower paid workers with comparable (read very little) benefits to the food service industry. That'd save the company money, pad the bottom line and make investors very happy.

And save the whole line about Starbucks' culture being pro-employee, etc. They won't let your unionize if you so chose to, so they can't really truly "support" their staffs. You're there to make the company cash and that's basically all they care about. The rest of it is just the company being extra generous, which I can't imagine it can be for much longer on the current path it's headed.

As a customer AND investor, I'm frankly SICK of paying DAILY (with no return on the investment since the company seems destined to drive itself into the ground) to see some entitled brat think they can have me pay their salary AND school tuition, etc, and only have a "job" mixing coffee and water together. PLUS you get horrible service and subpar coffee more and more as each day goes by. Let's hope Starbucks gets it together and revamps their HR policies to be more inline with a truly pro-customer/ pro-investor corporation.

To each their own. I think our company is extremely employee focused. We can't be all things to all people, but I really can say that I've never worked for a company that treats it's employees so well. I can be honest and open with my manager, and my peers. I have great benefits, and I work 40 hours a week. You can't say that in almost any other company across the retail industry. I like that my company provides work-life balence.

Staxman

Here's a link to find coffee places, Starbucks or not, that use the Clover:

http://cloverequipment.com/find_a_clover.aspx

I've heard that Caffe Vita in Seattle also uses it. Whether at every store, I don't know.

8:00:01 PM...

Wow, you must be a horrible person.

I'm sorry your experiences have not been good ones - I don't know where you go but I'll bet EVERY store isn't all crap. I'll bet there are great people, ok people, just mediocre, and crappy people where you work, too. Also, we don't just mix water and coffee together. I'm sorry that it bothers you that much that many people use the money we make (and p.s. I worked almost 40 hours a week EVERY WEEK for a year and made just over 12000 dollars - hardly the grand amount you make it out to be) to do things like PAY TUITION, EAT FOOD, PAY RENT, ETC......... No, I do not feel entitled to 50,000 a year, but yes, I do feel entitled to what I do earn because I work my butt off, despite what you think our job entails.

And we are back to the customer/investor vs. partner argument... we are investors as well. And many partners are investors beyond the stock we are given by the company. If you are that unhappy with your investment, sell your stock or trade it and buy something else. General Electric is a good company to own stock in... why don't you use some of that?

Oh and news flash...if you treat your employees like crap you wont have a good company - and I don't mean to be anti any group of people (I'm just being honest) - but people who are citizens of this country who can do better than crappy jobs that immigrants often must face.... people who can walk into any retail store and make more than any fast food employee off the bat... people who can DO BETTER.

If you hate it so much, don't go to SBUX and sell your stock. It's not doing well anyway. The company is trying to fix things, so instead of bitching about how the solution is treating their employees like crap, maybe you could be positive... or sell your stock.

Jim Lane

Hehehehe, now if the company can figure out how to let each customer regulate the time the coffee brews, they might get close to what some coffee houses do - let the customer do the brewing time by using actual press pots. Now there's an idea that is sure to have gone over management's heads - not that that is too difficult to do. But they would rather throw the investor's money at it with grandiose machinery that, eventually, will not be run nor maintained correctly.

Then they could catch up with such operations as Caffe Calabria in San Diego. And I can have the pick of ANY beans they have for that press post. Of course, there is ready brewed coffee on hand for those not willing to wait for the best.

As a customer AND investor, I'm frankly SICK of paying DAILY (with no return on the investment since the company seems destined to drive itself into the ground) to see some entitled brat think they can have me pay their salary AND school tuition, etc, and only have a "job" mixing coffee and water together. PLUS you get horrible service and subpar coffee

OMG, don't you get tired of saying the same old thing over and over? You sound like such an arrogant person. Maybe you and Jane up above should start a website, then you can bash everyone all day.

CP

Customer and investor - liar.
If you are truly an investor you would actually understand how dividends are paid.
If your experiences were as bad as you state as a customer - you would GO TO A DIFFERENT COFFE SHOP.
Based on what you write on this post...I say liar. You are neither an investor or customer just a sh@t kicker.

Al Stevens

I've tried two of them now, at the Bosotn Charles/Beacon Street Starbucks: Aged Sumatra and Arabian Mocha Sanani. Both were great, well-worth the additiona fifty-cents.

I checked out the Clover website. In addition to allowing lots of control over all of the coffee parameters, it's web enabled -- which means, I guess -- that Starbucks could watch what's brewing all over the world minute by minute.

cOFFEEISLIFE

I just want to post an open comment to all the partners who read on here.
Please, don't take anything any customers post on here personally and PLEASE don't think it reflects the feeling of all Starbucks customers. Some of us do realize how hard you work and know that you deserve every penny you earn, and probably more.
You want to talk about a sense of entitlement, look at some of the customers who post on here.
Personally, I think that everyone should at some point in their lives work in the service industry. And I mean real customer service. Food service, retail, etc...
If every person in America worked even for just a little while in these industries, you'd never hear of a rude customer again.
I personally worked my way through college in those types of jobs (usually 2 or 3 of them at a time).
I waitressed, babysat, worked in a deli, a department store, you name it... After those experiences, I would never treat someone who was serving me the way customers who post on here treat you guys.
I truly applaud you guys for putting up with all the crap you do.

Customer and investor - liar.
If you are truly an investor you would actually understand how dividends are paid.
If your experiences were as bad as you state as a customer - you would GO TO A DIFFERENT COFFE (sic) SHOP.
Based on what you write on this post...I say liar. You are neither an investor or customer just a sh@t kicker.

Posted by: CP | Feb 15, 2008 6:13:26 AM

Investor Basics 101: When the net dividend payments cannot make up the difference in your loss in your investment, the investor has effectively netted a loss. The spread is negative at that point and that indicates a failing company. Starbucks' declining stock price continues to produce a loss. You may want to learn a few things before you decide to open your mouth.

Customer Service 101: I have moved to another shop, but as an investor, I have a critical role in your company. That's pretty much why I frequent these boards. You all have produced an experience that comes across as horrible to the customer and frankly, enough people have had it.

Your attitude is EXACTLY the reason Starbucks needs to redevelop its help. Let's hope you're not an employee. If you are, your employer should terminate you immediately.

If every person in America worked even for just a little while in these industries, you'd never hear of a rude customer again.

Why should someone have to suffer through a subpar job in a service industry if they don't have to? I mean, no one deserves a mindless job if they're intelligent and can actually get placed in a decent job like most truly intelligent, hard-working people.

Raj

Sorry "blank" poster, it is horrible customers like you that make our jobs on occasion miserable.
I would like to see you work the bar when there is a line to the door for two more hours at a time.
We are hard working intelligent people. You on the hand.....
My guess is that you are one of those "investor" that has maybe one or two shares and you just think you are hot stuff.

Oh wise one, what is it that you actually do? What is your job? I'm interested to see how the "enlightened" ones live...sheesh.

BOSTON STARBUCKS REBEL

Enlightened ones live off their trust funds of course.

Christin

"Investor" if you are so sick of Starbucks, PLEASE sell your stock.


If you are getting such horrible service at your location, talk to the manager, call the DM, do something. That is not how Starbucks is supposed to be, and I will proudly say it is not like that at 99.9% of the store's I visit at a customer.

"It's unfortunate that this happens, but that's because Starbucks is soft on its staff. When the help gets out of line, they need to be reprimanded once, have their benefits and pay cut on the second occurrence and terminated on the third"

I don't know where you get this idea of how the Corrective Action and termination process works, but that is not it. You are misinformed as to how Starbucks manages their underperforming baristas.

You truely seem to hate the company, what are you doing about it other than complaining on message boards?


Enlightened ones live off their trust funds of course.
You say it like it's a bad thing.

"Investor" if you are so sick of Starbucks, PLEASE sell your stock.
Do your jobs and get that stock price above $30 and we'll talk. I'm not very confident in the company mostly due to the help that I see on the front lines. I say cut expenses (including pay, staff, benefits and labor) and the bottom line will be much more appealing to investors. What the front line people can do is stop whining, do their jobs and quit acting entitled or even remotely like their opinion matters to anyone that matters.

It's not good business sense to sell at a loss when you're in it for the long-term. But, the minute it hits $30, I'm out for good.

radiopromoguy

Why should someone have to suffer through a subpar job in a service industry if they don't have to? I mean, no one deserves a mindless job if they're intelligent and can actually get placed in a decent job like most truly intelligent, hard-working people

I've got to tell you... you're not helping your case here. I, for one, resent this comment. I am an intelligent, hardworking person. I have been the Director of Marketing in the media for 15 years. Circumstance has forced me to take a, and I quote, "mindless" and "subpar" job in the service industry. Cutting jobs and pay is NOT going to get the stock above $30. We are underpaid to begin with, and lowering the pay anymore is certainly not going to attract the caliber of people that you, in your infinite wisdom, seem to think will do a better job. Let me tell you... this is NOT an easy job. You have to be on your feet for 8 to 9 hours at a stretch and deal with rude and obnoxious people (for the love of god... hang up your damn cell phone when you place an order... I deserve your attention). And while 99.9 per cent of the customers are wonderful and make me feel like it is worth the trouble and aggravation, the .1 per cent that you fall into helps to make the job a nightmare. But we are generally able to ignore your .1 per cent. As others before me have stated, if you are unhappy, sell your stock... we certainly don't need you. If you are having a bad experience, than it is your responsibility to bring it to the attention of your local store manager. If you still don't get satisfaction, find out who the District Manager is and complain to them. Posting on a message board is not going to solve anything. I can assure you that your problem is either localized or a figment of your tiny little imagination, and doesn't reflect the company as a whole. And by the way... it takes a really big man (or woman) to post here anonymously. (sarcasm).

Darleen

Do your jobs and get that stock price above $30 and we'll talk. I'm not very confident in the company mostly due to the help that I see on the front lines. I say cut expenses (including pay, staff, benefits and labor) and the bottom line will be much more appealing to investors. What the front line people can do is stop whining, do their jobs and quit acting entitled or even remotely like their opinion matters to anyone that matters.


And are you someone that matters? I think not. If you ask me it is YOU who should stop the whining and acting entitled. Your opinion means absolutly nothing when you have that type of attitude. Do you get any love at home? You sound so miserable it's hard to imagine that you do. The way you speak to people is appalling, or better yet horrendous. You need to learn respect, manners, etc.

John

I think treating the customers well is critical for SB doing well. Look at Costco and In-n-Out, two companies in businesses that on average, hire less-than-competent employees. But Costco and In-n-out seem to attract highly motivated people for these kinds of jobs, and as a result, they're among the best in the business.

That said, customer service is about all SB has going for it right now. A Peet's moved right next door to the SB I used to go to everyday. I thought I'd try Peets for awhile just for something new and now I don't think I can go back. I did go back once...and I'm a coffee ignoramus...but I could immediately tell how bad SB's coffee was in comparison to Peet's. Hopefully this new press will change things, but $2.50 is 90 cents more than a regular cup at Peet's...so it'd better taste 90 cents better.

HEY! MORON! It's not the baristas' faults that the stock is so low... its the higher ups that have been fired who ran the company into the ground and the fact that the market has been over saturated. When the company decides to open a store a block from mine, that is not my problem.

If you get crappy service, I'm sorry, but that does not represent the entire company... hardly a fraction. Don't kill the messengers, so to speak. We, as baristas, are getting screwed by the company not doing as well just like you... but things are getting better.

So relax, sell your stock if you don't want it anymore, and get over it.

Beantownsbuxbitch

I tried 100% Kona from the Clover machine on Friday, and it was awesome. It had a really sweet and smooth taste; I actually had it black and I am a cream and sugar girl. This should be the future of brewed coffee at Starbucks. If a customer wants Kenya, he gets Kenya, if he wants House he gets house. This would actually set us apart from Dunkin and McD's.

disgruntledbarista

"Customers won't stand for the horrible service much longer, and investors won't stand for it even sooner. Starbucks should basically drop most of their staff and replace with lower paid workers with comparable (read very little) benefits to the food service industry. That'd save the company money, pad the bottom line and make investors very happy."

Replace with lower-paid workers? I think that in most states, that would be against the law since SBUX would then be paying workers below minimum wage.

As to the rest of the rant, I agree with others who say that 99.9% of customers make me love my job where I stand all day on my feet doing ALOT of grunt work. Seriously, I love them and I like my job (most days). the few complaints we have had from the people in the 99.9% were complaints that were done with respect and the expectation of helping us get their drink right. They were not rude nor of the "you should be fired" type of customer. That other .1% with the attitude of 8:00:01 make me want to run screaming for the doors.

Consider this, for the lousy pay (but somewhat decent benefits), I'd say the vast majority of us from the newest barista to the most experienced SM can't say they work at SBUX for the money. Maybe because it is an exciting, dynamic place to work where we are treated with respect and gratitude. But it sure ain't the money, honey.

And to get back on topic, I wonder if perhaps the clover is what I saw in our store yesterday when I popped in for my drink. We hardly EVER sell any french pressed coffee but this looked like it was on the counter to be sampled so I'll have to ask tomorrow when I head back to my job (which pays just above our state's minimum but which I love anyway thanks to the employees and 99.9% of the customers I get to interact with).

COFFEEISLIFE

"Why should someone have to suffer through a subpar job in a service industry if they don't have to? I mean, no one deserves a mindless job if they're intelligent and can actually get placed in a decent job like most truly intelligent, hard-working people."

Oh my god, are you kidding me??? I consider myself to be quite intelligent, thank you very much. Not that you need my resume to prove it, but I'm an editor for a publishing company, a graduate student, a freelance writer, and I graduated from my undergrad WITH HONORS! The fact that mommy and daddy didn't set me up with a trust fund to pay for my education doesn't make me any dumber than you. I'm proud of the fact that I paid my own way through college. I value my diploma so much more than a lot of people I know because I had to work multiple jobs waiting tables, selling clothes, changing diapers, whatever I had to do to make my tuition payments. And now, I look at that diploma and I know that not only did I earn it by studying hard and getting good grades, I earned it because I PAID for it! There is nothing wrong with working in the service industry. For one thing it takes an incredible amount of stamina, and for another, it takes a great amount of emotional intelligence to stay positive and friendly, knowing that you'll be spending your entire day dealing with jackasses like you!

radiopromoguy

I think I figured out what's bothering this self-centered moronic jackass... He's actually a 16 year old girl who's holding a grudge because she couldn't get hired by Starbucks!

I'm pretty sure the offensive poster is a troll just looking to get rises out of people. Just ignore him. He says the same thing with every post he makes and invariably everybody posts back to him asserting it isn't so. It's a vicious circle and he/she/it probably derives great amusement from it. Don't sink to that level and don't waste your time defending yourself. If he's not a troll, he's too stubborn to listen.

On a related note, I wish we had the Clover Machines here. They sound wonderful.

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