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Peet's Coffee & Tea
 

 

The Clover

I encourage you to stop by The Coffee Ethic in Springfield, Missouri, on the downtown Park Central Square, and try a cup of single origin coffee from the Clover. The Clover is a machine that brews one cup of coffee at a time. It has controls to specify exact temperature and extraction time to custom brew each cup. The Clover company was bought by Starbucks in 2008, so finding a local shop where one is utilized is a real special treat since Starbucks will be the only shop able to access new machines.

What is it? How does it work?
The Clover’s unique design actually combines two different brewing methods the “French Press” and the “Vacuum Pot.” The barrista adds freshly ground beans of your single origin of choice to the machine. Then the barrista will add water. The machine uses a PID controller (proportional integral derivative) to bring the temperature of water within about a 10th of a degree. This is important because fluctuations in water temperature during brewing have a dramatic affect on the final outcome of the brew. The water and grounds sit at the top of the machine. After a programmed preset steep time, the stainless steel cylinder under the coffee and water activates and drops down, creating a vacuum chamber. The water and coffee are pulled toward the vacuum chamber because of the change in pressure. (Pressure always tries to equalize). The mesh bottom of the top cylinder prevents the grounds from entering the vacuum chamber. This filters the grounds. The drain valve then actuates to deliver a fresh cup of single origin coffee straight to your cup.

You can read a great detailed summary of the Clover and how it works at this HowStuffWorks.com article titled “How the Clover Coffee Maker Works“.