Does anyone have any ideas on what the impact of Starbucks purchase of Coffee Equipment Co. will have on current and future Clover owners? Not sure if this has already been discussed, but I just happened to see the article about it today.

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Well I belive starbucks just bought a fleet of ferrari's and nobody knows how to drive them. Any shops that already own a clover know that it might hurt there rep, but for the serious coffee minded they know starbucks can never use this machine to its full capabilities. The market right now for this type of machine is now wide open.
The concerns I have about the acquisition based on what little information is available would be how SB would address on-going support for current Clover owners. Since the Clover has only been around a short time (and I don't own one at the moment), I'm not sure how much maintenance, parts replacement, etc. is required to keep this baby humming. Hopefully the support model does not disadvantage indies.

And since I don't own one but am looking to get one sometime in the future, I'm wondering if they will continue to sell to indies, whether the pricing changes, and whether they plan to tinker with the current design and ruin a good thing.

So, for potential buyers -- would it make sense to wait and see? Or buy now??
My advice would be to wait it out and see. I really don't know if sb would sell the clover, if you go into any starbucks they are selling frech press's and cuisnart brewers. Majority of sb customers really won't appriciate this amazing machine, its a shame i think. I say bad image for clover, wait it out and see maybe somthing better will come along? But if anybody has any further insight on what sb is going to do I sure would like to know?
Unfortunately, Clover is now effectively off the market for everyone but Starbucks. The 90 or so Clovers in the USA will apparently continue to be supported by Starbucks for the time being, but new units will not show up at your local independent cafe.
If you are interested in this type of brewing technology you should check out WMF. This is a German company that has been making commercial brewers that are basically larger volume Clovers. These machines work with permanent filters and are essentially automated French Press machines. They also dose ground coffee and are better suited to higher volume situations. in other words, you could use one in lieu of a Fetco or Bunn machine, and get Clover quality.
I wrote a little bit about Clover earlier this year on another blog if you want to check it out
Starbucks will be responsible for repairing any maintenance issues on machines that were purchased before they acquired the Clover.

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