HomeRoast Digest


Topic: *$ purchases maker of Clover (26 msgs / 628 lines)
1) From: Jeff Broiles
On the upside, maybe this will mean that the price for the Clover will come=
 down, or there will be a consumer oriented machine produced. On the downsi=
de, this would allow *$ to easily lock out competing shops from obtaining t=
he Clover. It will be interesting to see what happens.
<Snip>
We are proud to announce that the Starbucks Coffee Company has entered into=
 an agreement to acquire The Coffee Equipment Company. This merger will tak=
e our passion for coffee, hardware and innovation to the biggest possible s=
tage. The Clover revolution couldn't have happened without all of our frien=
ds—the roasters, the baristas, the cafés, and the growers. The revoluti=
on lives on.
       =
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2) From: Lynne
I say - LET THEM.
All of us here know just how easy it is to get a fantastic cup of coffee -
just have a source for excellent greens and have people dedicated to taking
the time to learn how to brew properly.
IMHNSO - no chain is ever going to produce this. **They (*$) have already
stated that they aren't making (enough) money. People everywhere are feeling
(or starting to feel) the crunch of not enough money. So instead of doing
the old fashioned, tighten-yer-bootstraps, *$ goes for the bigger, glossier,
more expensive avenue... Once more, with difficult times ahead, again,
(again, INMHNSO), like other huge industrialists, *$ proves again *that they
j**ust don't get it... **
*
(Laurel & Hardy were right... Ollie says to Stan, brimming with pride, "I'm
and industrialist now... You *do* know what an industrialist is, don't you??
Stan nods his head, "Yes...'e's the one who gets all the cheese...")
Lynne
who realizes that there are many who have no idea who Laurel & Hardy were...
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 1:24 PM, Jeff Broiles  wrote:
<Snip>
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3) From: Dave
<Snip>
Now there's a sad thought...
-- 
Dave
Some days...
It's just not worth chewing through the leather straps
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4) From: Bryan Wray
I've been following this whole Clover thing very closely on a few different sites and I must say, after letting it settle for a couple days and letting my mind think clearly, it only gets worse for me.
The thing is, there are mostly home brewers/baristas on the list, therefore the Clover was never really intended for them/you.  As someone in the industry, this sale makes me totally sick to the stomach.  As soon as the independent shops had a piece of technology that really (REALLY) separated them from the chains, Starbucks had to go and steal that piece of technology and put it in their corner of the market.  The Clover was the one thing that really set "indie" shops apart from their competition, the one thing that Starbucks will never have a chance to utilize... Oops, I guess we were wrong...
Now there is no way for "indie" shops to (probably) ever get their hands on a Clover again, and no way for the shops that do have them to easily get parts (again, probably).  Starbucks has really snatched a valuable piece of equipment right out of the hands of the barista.
Now, there are positives to this.  First off, if you are one of those companies that has a Clover, get ready for one of the best marketing campaigns (that you don't have to pay for) that you have seen in a while for a piece of coffee equipment.  On the other hand, those shops are now also "just another shop with a Clover" to the untrained/uneducated customer.  (We know better, but I doubt the masses will.)  Secondly... Clovers do a really great job of pulling flavor out of a brew right?  Doesn't that mean that indie shops' coffee is only going to taste better?  Anyone get a chance to try a cup of 'Bux off of a Clover?  They have been in "test" mode for a little while now in certain areas and all reports I hear say that they start out promising then fade to (da da da daaaa) jute... ash... carbon... etc.  So unless they change their roasting practices, our carefully sourced, craft roasted coffee only starts to taste better and better to customers willing to search it out. 
 Thirdly, in the same way that Starbucks get credit for bringing "specialty" drinks to the masses, they are now going to bring the $3 cup of brewed coffee to the masses.
However, even with these positives I now see things like, 
"Oh, you don't even have a Clover?  Well can I still get a cup of whatever I want?"
"Sure!  We'll just prepare it in a French Press/Chemex for you.  It will only take a couple of minutes."
"Oh, well I don't really have time for that, the Clover at Starbucks is so much faster... Hmm... Well... I guess never mind, I'll just take a cup of whatever you have brewed."
(Shop loses customer to Starbucks...)
To most customers out there, this is exactly the "commitment to improving quality" that Howard Schultz swore up and down he was going to acquire.
I don't know... I'm really, really messed up over this whole thing.  I'm surprised it bothers me as much as it does, but it really does.  When I first read it over on Barista Exchange (btw a really great read of the "industry/barista" side of the story can be found here.)  I wanted to cry.  I think about the great people like Intelligentsia, Cafe Grumpy, Stumptown, etc, etc (granted, I'm sure none of them are going to take a huge hit over this whole thing, but still...) that have poured so much effort into educating customers and the general public on how important and exciting the Clover was to bring out the best in a cup of coffee and how this was going to separate independents from Starbucks, and how now it's just all gone to hell...  Now instead of explaining why the Clover is so exciting they/we are going to have to explain why our cup of Clover is better than their cup of Clover (which we do all the time anyway, but it's still so frustrating...).  It takes all of the
 fun right out of the Clover.
What's next, Starbucks snatching up CoE lots?  I think that independent shops just on the verge of "breaking wide open" (ie really making a footprint in their area) have a lot to worry/think about now.  There is a whole new level of customer education that has to happen now.
Know what the worst part of this whole thing is?
"We are thrilled to be a part of Starbucks Coffee Company, given its brewed coffee heritage and passion for specialty coffees," Nosler said. "Personally, I'm delighted to unite our innovative technology with Starbucks' amazing influence from origin to consumer. Starbucks is uniquely positioned to change the way the world thinks about brewed coffee."  -Zander Nosler, co-founder of The Coffee Equipment Company.
That's what we kids today call "selling out."
I can't talk/think about this anymore... it puts me in a really s***** mood...
-Bry
 
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
       
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5) From: Aaron
Bryan, they might market the clovers,  yah it might cost a bit more and 
they might even do it under a guise of 'get one and be like us' yadda, 
ad nauseum....
seriously though, if you truly have a quality product, and your small 
shop coffee is as good as you say it is... those folks who would 
appreciate it, will stick with you.
Just as someone who thinks budweiser is the best beer ever, is probably 
never going to appreciate a good homebrew, or even a beer that is brewed 
with any integrety, 'because it isn't budweiser'... so goes for the 
starbucks crowd. 
The die hard starbuccaneers are going to stay there no matter what you 
do with your product, and that's that.  They bought into the 'image' 
hook line sinker and pole.
As long as you don't go on a hate campaign, but market your product as 
'different' .. and most importantly 'better'... and EDUCATE your 
customers as to WHY your coffee roast is better than starbucks, without 
a neener neener type attitude, in the long run it will probably pay off 
100 fold, because they will not only taste the difference, but KNOW why 
there is that difference, and can impress their friends with that 
knowledge, etc etc...
I dont have a coffee shop.
I don't sell coffee
I DO roast coffee and give it to friends, co workers, etc, let them 
taste it, and then explain why the 'big chains' basically burn their 
coffee... consistancy in flavor, hide defects in the flavor of the stuff 
they buy cheaply, compared to the coffee they just tasted where the 
entire origin of the coffee comes at them like a steamroller.  Then 
basically leave it at,  THIS is what coffee is supposed to taste like, 
and smell like, without getting too snobby.....   Most of them after the 
initial 'wow' factor of it, and a few months down the road, start 
appreciating it... truly... appreciating it for what good coffee is, and 
in fact there are a few folks at work now that when I cook them up a cup 
of coffee will say.. hmm... this a brazillian??... and be right on.
Sorry for the long windedness but my point is,  there is a market for 
everyone.  sbucks caters or shall I say, aims to one type of person 
mainly.. those more concerned with their 'image' as others see them.... 
afterall starbucks spent years marketing that 'image' to them,  hold a 
cup with OUR label on it and you are 'special'....  my opinion, those 
type tend to be superficial and a big pain in the ass to deal with, not 
worth the attitude for the most part.
Then there are the people who think the 'gourmet' coffee in goobers gas 
'n' go at the corner is the top of the line stuff..  These folks  you 
can probably win over, they are not conceited, but have been duped like 
most of us have been before we discovered homeroasting, that what they 
are drinking is somehow 'better'...
Of course, then there are the true lovers of coffee who know what a good 
home roast is, etc etc... them you should have.....
Let starbucks go after their section of the populace, there will be 
plenty left over to keep your store going too, especially if you are 
putting out a quality product, at a better price too.
Don't forget, starbucks is kind of in this trouble here because people 
ARE seeing through the ruse and starting to go 'hmmmm'...
dont give up hope, this could be your opportunity.
Aaron
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6) From: raymanowen
Which one had the unique pronunciation of "Imbecile?"  -ro
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7) From: Rich
Its important to keep your eye on the *$ business ball here.  They want 
whatever they are selling in Peoria to be just like what they sell in 
Seattle.  They have to have this Folgers like uniformity to obtain and 
maintain the brand loyalty.  The addition of the Clover coffee brewer to 
the lineup will only improve the degree of uniformity between *$ 
locations.  Starbucks is the McDonalds of coffee shops.
Therefore, the small local quality shop will not be hurt and maybe enhanced.
Bryan is also right when he says that "The Coffee Equipment Company" 
sold out.  The did indeed do that.  They have taken the money and ran 
right into early retirement.  They have collected a large pot of gold by 
selling the sizzle and not the steak.
Bryan Wray wrote:
<Snip>
<Snip>
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8) From: Coffee
On Mar 21, 2008, at 3:41 PM, Bryan Wray wrote:
<Snip>
Or you can get them, but they say STARBUCKS Clover all over them. You  
customers will come in and say, "Oh, you're carrying Starbucks now..."  
I bring coffee to work in a Starbucks Thermos, and everyone who has  
commented has thought I brought Starbucks coffee. I have to explain it  
to everyone.
<Snip>
I think this is a real concern. It wouldn't take much for Starbucks to  
buy up entire microlots and offer them as limited specialty coffees in  
their flagship stores (there wouldn't be enough to stock all 11,000  
stores).
-Peter
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9) From: Sandy Andina
Well, given the choice I will always patronize the indies; but for the  
times when it's a strip-mall S'bux or a MickeyD's, it'll be good to  
know the S'bux will be a little better than before. Baby steps.  And  
for those locales where it's the only game in town (and nobody's  
enlightened or flush enough to compete), if they can now have access  
to something closer to what it used to be, so much the better.  
(Nonetheless, I still carry homeroast for brewing in my hotel room and  
give it as a gift whenever I can).
On Mar 21, 2008, at 8:07 PM, Aaron wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy Andina
www.myspace.com/sandyandina
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10) From: Bryan Wray
Bryan is also right when he says that "The Coffee Equipment Company" 
sold out.  They did indeed do that.
I only meant the statement seemed like a sell-out statement.  I congratulate
CoEqCo on their sale!  Good for them!  Their loaded now!  Maybe they will start
another company or something... who knows?  It just sucks for the little guy...
On the contrary... I don't think that uniformity across the board will hurt them
I think it will probably help, especially if they introduce new roasting practices.
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
       
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11) From: Bryan Wray
Or you can get them, but they say STARBUCKS Clover all over them. You  
customers will come in and say, "Oh, you're carrying Starbucks now..."
  
I bring coffee to work in a Starbucks Thermos, and everyone who has  
commented has thought I brought Starbucks coffee. I have to explain it
  
to everyone.
Just what we needed... more confusion in the coffee industry!
Hurray!
-Bry
Bryan Wray
NaDean's Coffee Place
Kalamazoo, MI
"It is my hope that people realize that coffee is more than just a caffeine delivery service, it can be a culinary art"- Chris Owens of Cafe Grumpy in NYC.
       
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12) From: Cameron Forde
What seems to be lost in all of this discussion is that there has been
a way for coffee shops to extract the best out of their coffee beans
for quite a while.  It's called an espresso machine.  Starbucks has
never learned how to use one and never learned how to roast their
coffee for one either.  How is the Clover going to change this?  It
won't.  Starbucks hasn't learned a thing about coffee in all their
years of business.  For the most part they have made a good business
of selling flavored milk drinks to the masses.  Any true coffee shop
will be able to compete with that business model.
Cameron
On Sat, Mar 22, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Bryan Wray
 wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
ceforde
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13) From: Brett Mason
"Starbucks hasn't learned a thing about coffee in all their years of business"
I disagree.  You may want a history lesson...
Brett
On Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 11:43 PM, Cameron Forde  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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14) From: Jarred Vallozzi
Yet I would agree a small shop can most definitely still compete.  A
Starbucks with a Clover is like a Crest tooth brush with rubber grips.  It
is just a name brand doing the new and improved bit.  A small shop still has
superior beans, roast, extraction, atmosphere, and service, at which point
it just becomes a matter of marketing.  Am I wrong?
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15) From: Rich
No, Jarred, you are spot on.  The small shop will always survive even if 
they can not compete on he possible lower price as long as they provide 
the items you mention.  These are the items that the new management of 
*$ wants to provide / simulate if possible also.
Jarred Vallozzi wrote:
<Snip>
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16) From: Jared
The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if the clover was purchased by
starbucks to suppress the technology the way people think the big three auto
makers keep buying 100mile per gallon engines from garage mechanics only to
suppress the technology.  (I don't actually think this but it is a fun
angle.)  Jared
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17) From: Brett Mason
I sees some blak hellycoptrs in the sky.  They's over y'alls house.
Rasmus
On Wed, Mar 26, 2008 at 9:28 AM, Jared  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
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18) From: raymanowen
"The Clover revolution couldn't have happened without all of our friends—=
the
roasters, the baristas, the cafés, and the growers. The revolution lives
on."
The idiots were quick with a quip- Without paying customers, their Friends
won't be hard to find... Somewhere down the street.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Thu, Mar 20, 2008 at 11:24 AM, Jeff Broiles  wrote:
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ll
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-- =
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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19) From: miKe mcKoffee
Compete on quality absolutely, serving the educated few. Of course where it
is virtually impossible for the small shop to compete is "just" the
multi-million $ mass marketing which leads the masses to believe the Mermaid
IS quality. 
Howard's brilliant 3 hour all shops "training" move was indeed exceptionally
broad reaching basically free advertising. And many actually believed "the
training" was the important and beneficial part of the equation.
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffeehttp://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must">http://www.mcKonaKoffee.comURL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc:http://www.mckoffee.com/Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.
Sweet Maria's List - Searchable Archiveshttp://themeyers.org/HomeRoast/
<Snip>
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20) From: Rick Copple
Jarred Vallozzi wrote:
<Snip>
Well, in our small town we've had a coffee shop for many years called 
"The Java Bean." While not perfect, they do roast their own coffee at 
least once a week for their shop and usually it is pretty good (though 
naturally sometimes I would have roasted it a little lighter...but 
that's to be expected to some degree).
Last year a Charbucks moved into our small town. It does seem to be 
doing decent business. At least every time I've driven by it there are 
cars there. But just a couple weeks ago, our local shop expanded to a 
second store about four miles down the road from *$s. So, they seem to 
be doing well. Of course, with a smaller town like this (a little over 
5K if I recall correctly), the local shop is going to have more 
dedicated followers per capita than it might in a place like Austin, and 
not be as likely to be hurt as much by it.
-- 
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21) From: Seth Grandeau
There was an article that made the rounds a few weeks back about how many
local shops thrive with Starbucks for a neighbor.  Starbucks brings more
people to the area and people will try the other shops.  They expand the
market, not just steal it.
On 3/26/08, Rick Copple  wrote:
<Snip>
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22) From: Joseph Robertson
Seth,
Right on. If your in the coffee business like I and miKe and others
StarBucks is your friend and always will be. I have been very critical of
the corporate mantra and business model with previous posts but Seth's point
here is for all of us to learn from. I am new to a coffee business but
thanks to miKe M. and other home roasters like yourselves I found very early
on how easy it is to best *bucks quality. Long live *$'s.
JoeR
On 3/27/08, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and pallet reform.
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23) From: John Despres
Hence the closing of a *bucks in NYC when a new *quality* shop opened =
next door on Broadway.
John
Seth Grandeau wrote:
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-- =
John A C Despres
Hug your kids
616.437.9182
Scene It All Productions 
JD’s Coffee Provoked Ramblings =
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24) From: raymanowen
On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 8:07 AM, Seth Grandeau  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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25) From: raymanowen
Fat fingers and myopia conspire against me again.
I wonder how much of
"..local shops thrive with Starbucks for a neighbor.  Starbucks brings more
people to the area and people will try the other shops.  They expand the
market, not just steal it." is actual supported fact, not just nice-
sounding fiction from the *$ propaganda mill.
I could start some BS myself like "Surrounding businesses have traditionally
prospered when a new cat house brings additional clientele to the area." We
don't steal business- just think of the new clinics and pharmacies that
wouldn't exist without us...
If you can't beat *$ quality, forget it. Can you say 'execrable?' You're
sword fighting with Zorro if you try to beat their business plan.
Cheers, Mabuhay -RayO, aka Opa!
On Thu, Mar 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM, John Despres <
john> wrote:
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-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
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26) From: Seth Grandeau
Here's the original article from Slate, which quotes stats.  57% of coffee
shops are still independent, "Mom & Pop" shops growing by 40% between 2000
and 2005.  It's a quick read.http://www.slate.com/id/2180301/pagenum/all/On 3/27/08, raymanowen  wrote:
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