Thursday, April 17, 2008

Roll me over in the Clover

I don't know how many of you have heard of the big new gadget in professional coffee makers- the Clover. Now, having first heard about the price and the fact that it was basically a drip coffee maker I thought "$11000 for a Mr. Coffee? A la guillotine!" But of course being a reasonable chap (quiet, you!) I thought I would try before I judged. I went to the coffee shop in my area that had one of the machines, only to run accross a note reading that they didn't have one anymore because of problems with it. But yesterday I met friends at a place in Silverlake called LA Mill that does indeed feature not one but two of the machines. The first thing that struck me was the size of the things. At first I thought that the hammered-copper covered behemoths the size of a small Datsun had to be the fabulous Clover. I was wrong. The Clovers, side by side were drab rust colored things, about the size of a breadbox. I know, you're thinking "size queen" right about now. Well, you are right, but still. I was waiting for my friends and perused the coffee menu. Choosing one of the less expensive brews I awaited this transportive cuppa. What I got was.. a nice cup of joe. Not the be-all-and-end-all of the coffee experience. Not coffee as I had never tasted coffee before. Frankly, not even something that was that much better than the coffee I'd head earlier in the week that my friend Sue served me. Perhaps my unsophisticated plebian palate was not up to the task of discerning the fine gradients of why this cup was the penulitmate cup of coffee, the Apollonian ideal of brewed divinity. Perhaps if I had not been a cheap bastard and chosen the more expensive beans- the ones that Juan Valdez hand-carried down from the mountain and personally roasted individually in his hand-fired roasting pit I would understand the miracle that a coffee machine that costs more than my last automobile had wrought. As it is I thought it was nice, but needed the splosh of cream and a touch of sugar.

The main thing I thought is not even that this particular emperor is running around nekkid- it was a nice cup of coffee and certainly Starbucks wouldn't go to the trouble of buying the whole company if there wasn't something to the thing that I perhaps was not necessarily seeing in my $3.50 cup of coffee. No, the thing that struck me is that I am sure that there are some homeowners here with more money than sense who will buy one of these things for their homes: the kind of people who have kitchens with Cluny 1400's, a Miele dishwasher and a Sub-Zero the size of a motor home but still really exists on Hot Pockets and Starbucks.

Which I suppose means in my heart of heats that I am clover-green with envy...

Image: University of Wyoming

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