Thanks Steve... I've had one cup off a clover. It was a Kenyan Tembo AA that I ended up purchasing from my importer. I'm drinking it right now. By the second sip I realized how phenomenal the brewing method actually was. It's a good coffee, with a clover it really pops!
Once the investment has been payed off the profit margin for the cafe goes through the roof (unless you were forced to increase staff)... A lot to think about.
Ideally, you increase business so much by having this new, innovative way to brew coffee that you have a line out the door, nessessatating the addition of staff to handle the flow.
Of course the way to make that work is to have whoever works on the Clover to be well-versed in the story behind all of the coffees and good at talking about them to the customers, it's an added value that can really make you stand out.
so, mike, what are your thoughts on grind? why do you use (or, at least, mention) gold cone grind? have you ever noticed coffees of similar processing methods behaving similarly, as opposed to grouping together by growing region?
Last may Trabant hosted Joe Molina, agronomist and manager of El Salvador's Finca Bosque Lya, and we put him to work brewing his coffee on the Clover. I'm pretty sure he was the most well-versed Clover operator our customers have seen. Joe had a great time comparing his 2006 & 2007 crop side by side and was super appreciative of how the Clover expressed his coffee! I dont think we enough about what opportunities Clover is affording the opposite end of our chain in countries such as Ethiopia and Colombia where Clovers are accessible to producers.
I was just talking about the Bosque Lya yesterday - best single origin espresso I've had! I remember downing my espresso and excitedly rushing back to the counter saying, "I want to see how it tastes in milk!" It was like mandarin oranges dipped in dark chocolate.
Not bad on the Clover, too. I walked in and said I wanted something off the Clover and told Joe I wanted the finest coffee Trabant had to offer. With absolute confidence but not even a hint of conceit he replied, "You'll have the Bosque Lya."
My Clover is sitting in its box on the floor during build-out, so I don't have any specific operational questions yet-- but I do have an ergonomic question... If you were to design the perfect counter area specifically for the Clover, how high would you build it? Would you keep with a 36" countertop, or would you drop it down a bit lower? I was thinking of dropping the Clover's work station down to 30"-- our design is very bar-centric, and I like the idea of the customers being able to have a better view of the machine and to be able to keep eye contact with the barista, but is it going to be difficult to operate when lowered?
The lower the better, Anthony! You want to be able to look down into the brew chamber, and it'll be hard on your shoulders if it's any higher. Plus, customers like to see it operating.
Move your arms through the stirring and scraping movements and see what height is comfortable. I recommend having the drip tray just below elbow height, but I might be crazy. Keep in mind that you can switch out the legs of the machine with shorter legs that you could pick up at any hardware store.
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