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March 26, 2008

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I can't believe the people behind Clover would sell out to Starbucks! Why would they want to make so much money? Unbelievable!

Its business. Everyones got bills to pay. Besides, it shows that these other coffee shops are more concerned about individuality than the taste of the product.

Cue the indy coffee house starbucks haters.

Peaches

Forgot to name myself.

Yes, how dare Clover do something that might be a sound business practice!

javajohn

Yes, that's sound business judgement. As though anyone give's a rat's a__ about what Lounsbury thinks about anything. Wake up and smell the coffee, Matt - no one is listening to you.

DuelingDuettos

You can't fault the Clover people for going for the dough. I know that's hard for the Indies to understand. Seeing that a lot of them make their hay on being the "Anti" Starbucks, you can bet that a lot more indy chains will end up ditching the Clover, which will end up being a boon for us, merely because that will mean we will have most of the ones in service, so that means we would stand a chance of picking up the customers who had fallen in love with the Clover.


PS--The new partner cards are flipping sweet!

sbuxne

new partner cards?

Nerfebarista

hey webmaster,

Do you even look for something possitive to post or do you like to read rants?

Hey everyone else,

Who cares? it's not for anyone to say who gets tips, except the person giving the tip. Law has no bearing on who should get money, as long as it's taxable there is no problem. It's sleezy ambulance chasing lawyer types that cause this sort of grief. That and greedy self loathing beeyotches that want some free money.

DuelingDuettos

SbuxNE, if you are a partner, you should be getting new limited edition partner cards in your store soon. They come with a letter from Howard, that pushes the new Pike Place Roast, and the card uses the old school logo(complete with naked Siren), and it's brown, instead of the customary green color.

Nerfebarista:

You are wrong. The law does dictate practices, even those that you think are private.

Your company has decided how tipping will be handled, and, under those rules they must follow the law.

Please do yourself and everyone else a favor and stop acting like you're above your station in life.

Thanks!

As usual the Oregonian (aka, snorgonian, boregonian) has screwed up it's facts again. Notice where it says Starbucks bought Coffee People.

Completely false. Starbucks took over the leases to the NW locations....it did not purchase the company known as Coffee People which still exists by the way. This is a very important distinction.

What's wrong Ms Gunderson...to lazy to check your facts.....or would the truth not fit in well enough to match your clearly slanted opinion piece?

Does the media really wonder why so many of us find it hard to repsect them?

Actually, if you look closely at the new cards they do not have the naked siren. Even the belly button is covered. But, this is off topic, woops!

Jmistake

i applaud starbucks for wanting to provide the best coffee to it's customers. the clover machine is incredible and will be a great addition to starbucks. embracing technology is a good thing. embracing full flavours and improving the experience is always a GREAT thing. i find it laughable that people demonize starbucks for anything and everything they do. heaven forbid they embrace something that makes phenominal coffee...

i see it as being similar to toppot donuts. howard really liked them and gave them the opportunity to be sold in thousands of stores. great for toppot, great for starbucks. this is a win/win for both clover and starbucks.

pdxbarista

Somehow I don't think Clover people are that concerned over a coffee shop in Portland feeling betrayed.

Allie

Hahahaha, PDXBARISTA you have totally summed it up.

bbybarista

"Starbucks and Clover let haters hate, watch money pile up"

probably the best quote you can take from all this lol.

jabanga

i kind of like the one at the end about "re-programming" the customers. if i was a customer i would really feel appreciative of a company that spoke about me like that. i have never tasted coffee from a clover but if it really does make exceptionally great coffee why on earth would you switch back to something that makes inferior coffee simply because starbucks now owns the rights and patents to it? its about the coffee, right?

Jmistake

it isn't about the coffee though...

it is about this romantic idea of being "indie" or "cool"...whatever those are this week. there is an indie coffee shop here in escondido that is just awful. bad attitudes and poor coffee. i went in once and ordered a coffee and while pulling out my wallet my partner card fell out. bad timing right? i was greeted with a "i hate starbucks". first, i didn't ask for your opinion and second, i'm a paying customer. needless to say i have never been back.

there are many indie coffee shops that serve great drinks and have great coffee. kudos to them. there are also a lot of great coffees and drinks starbucks offers. the whole "us vs them" attitude is 5th grade personified.

Tallamericanoinagrandecup

I seriously cannot stand these Sbux haters anymore. They are indie-wannabes who latch onto "hating Sbux" b/c they have no idea who they are and are incapable of self reflection. It's a coffee shop. Go there if you like it. Don't go if you don't like it. End of story. Example: I had a hamster named Starbuck's. Do you know how much grief I got for that?!? "Oh you named him after an overpriced coffee chain?" My god people. Get over it. If you don't like it, keep walking and don't go in. I really cannot understand why people hate Sbux so much!

the public will be sorely disappointed when they discover that not even a clover can make starbucks burnt beans taste good. clovers don't improve coffee, they just bring everything out, and in starbucks roast "everything" is just burnt. there's no nuances to be had- they've all been roasted out.

the unfortunate part is that this will now render a pretty great tool for people who know how to use it, completely useless. starbucks will now have $11,000 ways to make crappy coffee. and no one else will want the technology.

ah well, on to the next.

the public will be sorely disappointed when they discover that not even a clover can make starbucks burnt beans taste good.


Is that why the public flocks to starbucks? Come on, we all know who is the mac daddy of coffee

Silly.
It seems likely that they were going to get rid of them anyway and took this as a way to get their names in the media...

If you REALLY care about the coffee-why would the Clover be so great one day and bad the next?

Plus, how 'Indy' could they be if they can afford an $11,000 single cup coffee maker?

it's not the clover that has turned bad- it's the beans that go into it.

they're not using it because starbucks controls it. it's starbucks that stumptown disagrees with, not the clover brewing method.

"Plus, how 'Indy' could they be if they can afford an $11,000 single cup coffee maker? "

Because the bank ain't as slow on the uptake as you seem to be. First and foremost, the Clover is collateral on the loan. It only takes 15 $2 cups of coffee a day to do $11,000 a year.

"it's starbucks that stumptown disagrees with, not the clover brewing method."

Starbucks didnt announce any plans to change the Clover, nor did they announce that you have to put their coffee in it.
They can "disagree" with Starbucks all they want-that doesnt change the fact that they thought the Clover was great one day and bad the next. Talk about throwing the baby out with the bath-water! Flip-floppers.

"Because the bank ain't as slow on the uptake as you seem to be."

I guess they had to sell them due to the sub-prime mortgage crisis - they probably can't afford them anymore!!!

Lee

Why don't people understand the Starbucks Roast is a preference..many many many people love and don't think it's burnt! If you think starbucks coffee tastes burnt, just don't drink it! Millions of others disagree. The roast is the way it is for a reason, the founders WANTED it the way it is.

I have 3 different roasts of starbucks beans from a clover in seattle, I thought all of them were delicious and I detected dozens of nuances I normally don't pick up on in coffee.

Zipy

This is just like iPods. People who are anti-trend hate iPods because everyone else loves them.

They just love to hate what everyone else loves, because if everyone likes something it must be stupid.

sherrie

utterly ridiculous.


"What? Timmy has the same bike as me!? Pfft. I don't want it anymore."

Get the frick over it. It's an excellent coffee machine, how long did you honestly think it would take before starbucks decided they wanted one? And now you're going to be losing customers to starbucks as they follow the delicious clover brewed coffee. Good job being stubborn "indie" idiots.

BarisTundra

I think the concern is more that they may not be able to get parts & service for the machine.

That they yanked the machines outright instead of letting them die off as the parts fail is just politicking though. Rather do it sooner than later, it's worth more in advertising value this way.

That being said, it is a little immature, Stumptown should be better than that. Their coffee certainly is.

Herman M.

Hey, Stumptown:
Starbucks uses Arabica beans, as well. Maybe stop using those because of the connection?

Silly PR stunt. Bet they were at the top of the list crying that the all partner meeting at the beginning of the month was just a PR stunt. Irony.

Eh!

It's not about the coffee. It's all about PR and making money.... as the stock price continues to fall...

darthsid

ANON @ Mar 26, 2008 5:27:59 PM:

There's a reason why we offer such dark roasts. One of the has something to do with using more coffee in a day, than any of the smaller cafes do in a year.

We serve millions of people daily. Simply can't afford to source out small farms and roast lighter, otherwise our coffees would taste different all over the world.

It's 'quality control', so to speak.

i think stumptown would've been better off keeping their clovers and emphasizing the fact that a good machine can't change starbucks' beans. the new york times basically did that FOR them yesterday when they took the guy from terroir coffee to taste test and he liked one or two of the coffees.

also, believe it or not, there are coffee enthusiasts outside of boston, portland, ny and seattle. we are interested in the clover and would love to try coffee from one. it doesn't matter what kind of store it is, i just want to try it.

all that said, stumptown probably has a stated mission of being different than starbucks. they have done well and seem to be thriving. they are committed to coffee and will figure out what is the best way to brew their coffee (albeit, without the clover). there is no reason to be upset with them. they are doing their best to get free marketing and sticking to their mission of being a different kind of coffee house.

kilroy

It would be great if these folks were allowed to return their use Clover so SBUX could get it in a store quickly--its going to take a while to ramp up production.The Clover simply makes a great cup of coffee.

the clover simply makes a great cup of coffee with fresh, well roasted beans that are prepared correctly..

it won't do anything for starbucks past the novelty factor.

pdxshifty

Starbucks isn't going to dump plain old sumatra into the clovers...if you go by the test stores, they are putting high quality, rare coffees in there. Coffees that are better suited to the clover process. Sure, will some custmer want gold coast in there instead of 100% kona...yeah...but just say yes.

Q

Starbucks offers a good product, they make a decent cup of coffee. In my opinion it's generally better than almost all other fast-food type options, but it pales in comparison to the product produced by many small shops. For the record, I prefer Chicago's own Intellegentsia (which has had a clover at the Jackson location for quite some time), and I'm confident that starbucks beans brewed with the clover will still not come close to matching Intellegentsia's, and most small roasters, offerings from their standard brewing machine.

I guess what really bothers me is the heavy handedness of this acquisition and the fact that the starbucks cult will excitedly purchase their clover brewed coffee, never the wiser to the fact that putting better that average beans in an extraordinary brewing sytem, at best, results in a better than average cup of coffee.

I am also concerned about the ability of the average starbucks barista to operate the clover. I don't see the corporation allowing for the appropriate training on a machine that produces wildly different results due to the slightest change in one of the variables. The baristas I've run into at the higher end small coffee shops would "barista" circles around the vast majority of starbucks partners. The clover shines when it uses the best, fresh roasted (not burned) beans, with an appropriately skilled and experienced operator, neither of which you're going to find at the local starbucks (especially the part about the beans).

Ultimately, I think Howard was afraid that if he bought 6000 clovers and still let the smaller shops acquire them the difference in the quality of the beans would become even more magnified. He might be better off just buying the company and shutting the doors and saving the hassle of building and shipping all of the new machines.

sfbuxmgr

Q,
cut and paste much?

javajohn

I think Stumptown should shutter their stores and sulk. How dare Starbucks buy one of their vendors! Stumptown, if you're all that and more then why not step up to the challenge and prove to Portland and Seattle coffee drinkers why you're better and compete with the Clover?

Jwilk

Living in the Midwest I was very happy with the Clover buyout announcement. I can understand the desire of small quality companies not to be gobbled up by large corporations but with out SB buying Clover I would be very unlikely to ever be able to buy a clover made coffee where I live. Now with several high profit 24hr stores in my area I am sure we will be getting a Clover during the rollouts.

"Is that why the public flocks to starbucks? Come on, we all know who is the mac daddy of coffee"

I disagree, Starbucks is the mac daddy of milk shakes, very little of what they do is related to, or has anything to do with coffee. Why? their coffee sucks. THey have great milk shakes though!

Lou Sussler

I particularly enjoyed the very end of the article where the Stumptown person indicated that they would have to "reprogram" their customers who had become accustomed to coffee brewed on the Clover.

There's something interesting in the Indie Starbucks Hating "Free Spirit" pretty much saying they're going to have to control their patrons and give them what they, not their customers want.

pinkypie

_____________________
There's a reason why we offer such dark roasts. One of the has something to do with using more coffee in a day, than any of the smaller cafes do in a year.

We serve millions of people daily. Simply can't afford to source out small farms and roast lighter, otherwise our coffees would taste different all over the world.

It's 'quality control', so to speak.

Posted by: darthsid | Mar 27, 2008 6:59:15 AM
_______________________

WHAT????? I would seriously like to know what you have to back up this statement!

no name

`There's a reason why we offer such dark roasts. One of the has something to do with using more coffee in a day, than any of the smaller cafes do in a year.`

Where ON EARTH did you get this???
In fact:
"Starbucks dark roast is not just a color; it is the cumulative result of expert roasters watching and listening to the coffee as it roasts, ensuring balance to all of it's flavor attributes. Darker roasting releases more of the beans' volatile oils, which gives the brewed cup more flavor and an enticing aroma."
Source: Starbucks Partner Guide-US stores, version 2, Jan.2005.

PLEASE just look things up before you post! You're giving the wrong impression. Starbucks raosts darker than usual because they like it like that!!!

kilroy

I'm a customer who's been really impressed with the quality of the Clover;The coffee's great, when it works.Today I wanted my normal grande and the machine pushed up some watery grinds and half a cup of bitters--cycled water thruogh ran it again-same result.It worked to make two talls that got combined.What's up?

UnreasonableMan

Gee. I guess reading the article before commenting would require too much investment of some people's time.

What Lounsbury said was that Stumptown didn't use Starbucks as a vendor and that he saw no reason to start now.

Stumptown and Starbucks are not remotely in competition with each other. They have entirely different customer bases, and that's not likely to change.

Part of what Stumptown does is educate cutomers to the finer points of Single Origin Coffees. This includes providing free cuppings so that customers can benefit from the expertise of some of the finest baristas and coffee buyers on the planet.

I give Starbucks kudos for what they did originally, and that's raising the bar from horrid cheap grocery store coffee to something much better.

The bar has since risen, and Starbucks has only been able to rise so far. They were the vanguard, but they are now bringing up the rear in terms of quality.

They now have a customer base that's educated to - or Programmed to - the Starbucks Way. It would be very difficult to try to change the customers' buying habits to support the increased cost and complexity that goes along with top quality beans.

Of course Starbucks can't provide the same level of beans as Stumptown. That's not even debatable. It's an entirely different business model. And that's ok.

What would not be ok would be to lose brand differentiation because of the perception of a partnership or association with Starbucks.

Clovers are just a tool to brew great coffee, but they aren't the only tool. Anyone with top beans can brew a pot of french press that will stand head and shoulder above the output of someone running an inferior roast of an inferior bean through a Clover.

I'm guessing most of the posters here haven't a clue about Clovers. Part of what makes them attractive is CloverNet, which transmits usage and configuration information to a database so that usage can be tracked and settings replicated to other machines.

Does it make sense for Stumptown to transmit proprietary information to Starbucks? Um...no....

It's interesting to see that now that because Stumptown is successful, that it must not be 'indie.'

I guess artists must be poor also to validate their art, and musicians must be destitute to craft a melody.

I understand perfectly why Starbucks bought Clover. The economy of scale is compelling. I'm sure their costs for producing the machine will drop from 11k to more like $1200-$1500.

No one at Stumptown has the slightest animosity toward the people who make up Clover. Clover made their decision to make money. Their product is a brewer. Stumptown made their decision to avoid brand dilution. Stumptown's product is coffee. I don't get the comment about Stumptown competing with Clover. That made no sense at all.


StLouieDrip

Seems to me it's Starbucks who hates the "free spirit," as indicated by them buying up the Clover company so all indies have to now go through Starbucks. If I were a much smaller indie would I want to contribute to Starbucks' bottom-line profit by buying Clovers from them? Probably not.

And if I needed parts and service, would I trust sbux people to fix it right? And if I wanted to purchase a 2nd Clover for another location, would I want to purchase it from Sbux? And when it needs repair would I want my behemoth power-hungry competitor to come anywhere near my Clover? And would I worry about sabotage, or at least not being a priority while waiting for repairs or parts?

There's really much more "free spirit" when Sbux is not in control of everything.

And any indie who promptly tosses out his/her Clover is making a very wise decision by my judgment.

StLouieDrip

I don't equate "indie" with being "poor"... I just think it just means "independent."

UnreasonableMan

"Why don't people understand the Starbucks Roast is a preference..many many many people love and don't think it's burnt! If you think starbucks coffee tastes burnt, just don't drink it! Millions of others disagree. The roast is the way it is for a reason, the founders WANTED it the way it is."

Millions of people at one time drank Sanka. Do you think that's a ringing endorsement?

Just because you don't think your ass is on fire doesn't mean it isn't. It tastes burnt to me, and did even before I knew what decent coffee was.

"I have 3 different roasts of starbucks beans from a clover in seattle, I thought all of them were delicious and I detected dozens of nuances I normally don't pick up on in coffee."

What in god's name do you normally drink? Compared to the coffee geeks I know, I have the palette of a cretin, but even I can tell the difference between Starbucks and top quality coffee.


StLouieDrip

"Mr. Howell sipped the Arabian Mocha Sanani and made a face. 'I hate it. That’s really spoiled fruit, like really bad wine,' he said, adding that he was perplexed at its popularity."
=========================

Does that mean he's perplexed at the popularity of Arabian Mocha Sanani... or the popularity of the Clover?

But either way, I guess it's not saying good things about Starbucks.

StLouieDrip

I should say that the quote above came from another article that was linked in the article mentioned in the top of this thread.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/26/dining/26starbucks.html?_r=1&ref=business&oref=slogin

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