Apologies for the Lateness of this post: so much t…

Apologies for the Lateness of this post: so much to tell you guys not enough time.

Anyway I wanted to talk/rant about a new machine which has drawn my attention and also a lot of others in recent week and the benefits it brings to small/medium roasters like ourselves

The Clover Machine.

It’s a single brew ‘filter’ machine, which will enable cafe’s to serve quality specialty coffee (and by that I mean single origin and not mocha choca latte) quickly and correctly.

The Clover has parameters which the barista can change for each specific coffee thus creating easy to use extraction profile. I have seen a lot of comment on blogs and news article praising its versicitility. Having not played with it myself I will have to reserve judgment until early 2007 , the expected time of a UK release. I can’t wait. The prospect of a large amount of people tasting the subtle flavors that we see in the cupping room is an exiting one. The Idea of someone stepping into their local cafe and have a constant, fantastic cup of coffee that’s not stewed or badly made really gets my juices going as an trainee roaster. Hopefully it will change the ‘instant coffee’ culture that we see around us and force retailers to up their quality train their staff properly.

The pessimist inside me brings me back to my favorite pet hate. Operator laziness. I can spot holes for the operators to slide through. I like to think of these so called ‘baristi’ like water, they will always take the route of least resistance. I’m sure lots, if not most will neglect to change the profile for each coffee, just as they will forget to backflush there espresso machine for 10 days. So its still down to each individual operator to get things right.

A good example of something similar to this is when Malcolm (my uncle) and I were in Seattle being taken on a tour of the city by Dietrich coffee Roasters and were taken to Costco. They had recently purchased a roaster from them and were roasting in store. Gushing at the prospect of showing us his profile roaster at work with a form filled packaging machine in tow we were shown the controls and the process from start to finish. He then revieled to us at the end of the demo that the monkey who had been operating the machine had set the wrong roast profile for the coffee they were supposed to be roasting.

Although this was a little daunting at first, seeing someone produce well roasted coffee from a shop floor with little or no experience, that comment made me feel a little more at ease. The roasters craft is safe for a few years yet.

As a part time barista the clover makes me feel good about coffee and what we can offer to the public.

So, the clover is a development in the tools of a barista, not replacement of them. Just as the profile roasting system was for the roaster.

Viva La Barista


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