Tuesday, March 11, 2008

$10,000 Coffee Maker?

One question I am always asked when I say I am opening a bookstore is "Are you going to sell coffee?" Well, I still don't have the answer but this post is for all you serious coffee lovers.

On Wednesday, the March 5, edition of Slate Magazine asks: Could a Coffee Maker Be Worth $10,000.

Paul Adams writes:
The New York Times used words like "cult object," "majestic," and "titillating"; the Economist called it "ingenious" and "sleek." The subject of these encomiums is, incongruously, a commercial coffee machine—the Clover 1s, an $11,000 device that brews regular coffee (not espresso) one cup at a time. Could the Clover represent that much of an advance in the state of the coffee art? I had to try it for myself.

the passionate young Clover virtuosos at Cafe Grumpy indeed remind me of wine enthusiasts; they're seriously invested in their work, nothing like the sullen soy-foamers at Starbucks or even at other independent coffee shops I frequent. On the cafe's blog, barista Ed describes his recent visit to coffee farms in Panama.

Is owning a Clover worth $11,000? Not for the individual—don't be silly. But even a smattering of Clovers in the right hands promises to broaden the way we think about coffee. The very fact that an $11,000 coffee machine is receiving such excited media attention seems like a clear sign that we're headed toward a "third wave" of coffee, an age of terroir, aided by technology that can give different beans the different careful treatments they deserve. In the foretold era, popular dark roasts, which obscure those subtleties, are scorned, and enlightened customers gladly pay exorbitantly for rare brews.

I can guarantee that the Clover will not be coming to Paragraphs, but is there anyone else interested? Coffee as the new wine, maybe a perfect fit for Zeste's or Naturally's. Maybe we could take up a collection. I would probably buy a cup or two.

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