No Starbucks Allowed: Indie Coffee Shop Says It Will Stop Using Its Fancy Clover Coffee Makers

As we’ve mentioned previously, Starbucks has purchased the company that makes the $11,000 Clover coffee maker. Now that acquisition isn’t sitting well with some of the Clover’s current customers.

One indie coffee shop says that it will discontinue use of both their Clover machines on Friday:

The Portland independent bought one of the first Clovers in 2006, later bought a second and also began selling them to smaller shops.

All that ends this week.

“We’ve never purchased parts or service from Starbucks in the past, and we’re not going to start now,” said Matt Lounsbury, Stumptown’s director of operations, who said the company’s two stores with Clovers would stop using them by Friday.

Take that, Starbucks!

Starbucks buys tiny Seattle maker of Clover coffee machine [Oragonian via Starbucks Gossip]

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  1. Pasketti says:

    I’d be worried that they’ll change the machines to burn the coffee.

  2. Machete_Bear says:

    That’s pretty lame. So the store will stop making the coffee that they’ve made for over 2 years, because the owner has indie pride.

    What a self-righteous douche.

  3. DanC922 says:

    lol Are you kidding me? The ‘indie’ shop doesn’t like Starbucks because of the Starbucks image and because they don’t like the coffee. So if the coffee machine the indie shop has been using to make their ‘better’ coffee is still the same machine, why does it matter? Their egotistical attitude is as bad or worse than the attitudes of Starbucks and Starbucks lovers that they hate so much.

    I’ll be sure to steer clear of the pretentious ‘indie’ snobs if the opportunity arises.

  4. hubris says:

    You don’t know why this company dislikes Starbucks. Maybe they have ethical issues with the company and it’s not just “indie pride”. If Wal-Mart purchased a company that made something I used, I would damn well purchase another one from a different company.

    On a related note, I saw that the Starbucks closest to my house, which opened a few years ago, got beat out by the Dunkin’ Donuts nearby. It made me chuckle, even though I don’t drink coffee.

  5. ClayS says:

    They ought to smash those $11K coffee machines with a sledgehammer…that would show them!

  6. K-Bo says:

    There are probably filters and other parts that have to be replaced, that would mean writing checks to Starbucks on at least a quarterly basis, and since they are Starbucks competition, I wouldn’t be surprised if those parts suddenly got much more expensive.

  7. No problem, my indie friend: I’ll just get my coffee from the Clover at Starbucks.

  8. Wubbytoes says:

    @Machete_Bear:
    Agreed, this guy is a moron.

  9. AaronC says:

    This is about dumb. You have already purchased the two machines. I can see you not buying future machines because of starbucks ownership. I can even see you not repairing the machines… If you have that much pride. But you are basicly saying you would rather get rid of a machine than provide the best coffee that you are capable of. There is a time for principle, but this is just a bad business move IMO.

    Ahh well, they have the right to run their business how they see fit. I just don’t see the logic.

    Hardly a comparison to walmart. I don’t see walmart as evil anyhow. Provide a better/cheaper product if you want to compete.

  10. freshyill says:

    @AaronC: Wal-Mart floods the market with inferior Chinese crap, and pays their employees shit so that they have to rely on public programs to pay their bills. That’s pretty evil.

    Just because people are stupid/broke enough to shop there doesn’t mean that what they do is right. Popularity does not equal quality.

  11. morganlh85 says:

    Makes sense on the one hand, but totally doesn’t on the other. I mean, they already OWN the Clovers, so it’s not going to benefit Starbucks in any way to continue using them. Plus a lot of their loyal customers will be unhappy I’m sure.

  12. thewriteguy says:

    K-Bo above probably nailed it down correctly. I’m not familiar with these machines, but maybe they do cost money to maintain over time. And this coffeehouse just didn’t like the idea of giving Starbucks any of their money for maintaining the machines.

  13. MeOhMy says:

    Not dumb at all. Meg’s writeup focuses too much on the “Indie”/sticking it to SBUX part and not the “Having to buy parts and service from your direct competitor” part which is the real heart of the matter.

  14. IssaGoodDay says:

    Hmm… Do they want to donate the Clovers to a good cause?
    I tend to agree with the general sentiment here. Starbucks, despite its overroasted coffee and poorly trained baristas, is trying to do good by the world through a lot of their social justice programs. On principle of taste of coffee alone: I would agree with the indie shop. In principle of what they’re (trying) to do for the world? They’re nuts.

  15. bohemian says:

    Not buying new Clover machines, that I can understand. But dumping expensive equipment because of some Starbucks hate is stupid. Starbucks just got you to dump two $11,000 pieces of equipment and incur the cost of buying replacements. That sounds like a substantial amount of money for a small business. Even if they sold the Clovers used and bought new replacements they are still going to be down money.

    I get really annoyed with the indie snobbery. We have a couple of good indie shops in town. We also have a couple that make coffee that tastes like rat droppings. Indie doesn’t automatically equate to any sort of decent product.

  16. MonkeyMonk says:

    Indie spirit or not this just seems like a bad business move. I’d be pretty annoyed as a customer if my local coffee shop suddenly stopped offering a product I had gotten hooked on over the past two years.

    And considering the rumors about Starbucks putting Clover machines in their stores, this guy would be practically driving his customers over to the competitor.

  17. sixninezero says:

    All the coffee made for centuries before this Clover machine was worthless and it is impossible to make decent coffee without it?

    How about this. Let the business owner run the business how they see fit, dealing with those companies they chose to deal with and you as the consumer patronize those businesses that mirror your principles. Stop shopping where the label on your cup is going to get you the most external validation and buy what YOU like.

  18. Falconfire says:

    @morganlh85: If they now have to buy replacement parts from their competitor it WOULD benefit Starbucks.

  19. Whitey Fisk says:

    What do they do for an encore, shoot themselves in the foot?

  20. ediebeale says:

    @sourc3: Uh, social justice programs? Selling “eco friendly” bottled water is still wasting plastic, having “post recycled” cups doesn’t mitigate the fact that they are made to be tossed into the garbage, and “fair trade” coffee still screws over growers in South America, Asia, and Africa–just a little less than before. I used to work for the ‘bucks, so I have good reason not to buy that particular brand of PR. The only place that Starbucks is making the world better for is Starbucks.

  21. @sixninezero: Not impossible. It just takes 10 minutes to manhandle the french press. The Clover instigated a small revolution in the industry.

    @K-Bo: If anything, Clovers and their parts will get cheaper.

    These are Clover executives here, putting each machine together by hand. Starbucks will tool up a factory and bring economies of scale to the picture.

  22. MrEvil says:

    When you’re in business, especially a particularly cut-throat business like selling coffee. You’d be a damned fool for doing anything that benefits the guys that are trying to put you out of business.

    This isn’t a case of a small coffeehouse owner being a douche. He just doesn’t want to be at the mercy of Starbucks when it comes time to service his coffee makers. Clover is not the only overpriced coffee making machine out there. There’s a few Italian machines that store owners import.

  23. LJKelley says:

    I think some of you don’t get it… as others have stated I’m sure their are custom filters and parts that now need to be bought from their major competitor Starbucks.

    Lastly, I don’t think they mentioned smashing it up. I’m sure the could sell it used and not loose to much money.

  24. Beerad says:

    If Chrysler suddenly bought a company that built automotive factory equipment, and Ford had been using equipment made and serviced by that company, would anybody be surprised when Ford announced that they were changing suppliers?

  25. revmatty says:

    This nicely encapsulates what I’ve experienced at a lot (not all) of indie places. Be it a clothing store, music store, coffee shop, etc etc. A lot of times they have a ‘indier-than-thou’ attitude not only towards their competitors but also towards any customer who isn’t a long time regular.

    It’s kept me from becoming a regular at plenty of places. There are indie places where I have become a long time regular, largely because they don’t act superior towards new customers.

  26. @Falconfire: Buying from a competitor is nothing new. Any vertically-integrated conglomeration has the predicament where some product lines undercut others.

    For example, consider the PowerPC processor manufactured by IBM. Once, Apple was both IBM’s largest customer of PowerPC chips and a significant competitor to their line of Intel-based PCs.

    Or, more relevantly “We Proudly Brew Starbucks”. Unfortunately for them, they can’t even give away their burnt, undated beans to most independent cafes.

  27. consumersaur says:

    I find it funny that all of a sudden these “indie” coffee shops are going to stop using their 11k coffee makers just because of some corporate ownership.

  28. Juggernaut says:

    In related story, “indie owner cuts off nose”

  29. Jetts says:

    @Machete_Bear: Looking at a lot of contract law, this makes perfect sense to me. If my competitor buys one of my suppliers, I probably don’t want to be giving them money anymore. It’s pretty common for contracts (as an example, since there was no ‘contract’ mentioned) to have a clause allowing the buyer to opt out in the case of a change of ownership of the supplier.

  30. unklegwar says:

    Too mad so many responders on here don’t understand a simple concept: Principles.

    Sometimes standing up for what you think is right isn’t convenient or cost efficient. That just makes it all the more admirable.

  31. Kasey620 says:

    If anyone is from Portland or familiar with Portland, you will also be familiar with Stumptown Coffee, which is who this article references.

    Stumptown, in addition to winning just about every national and international award available for coffee, also sets an immensely high standard for sustainable business practices. The engage in direct trade with much of their supplies, have set record high prices with their growers, and their insanely knowledgeable baristas are some of the highest paid in the business.

    Because of the way they chose to do business, they obviously place a high priority on things other than just the taste of their coffee. They have made a choice to disassociate themselves from Starbucks, who has a very different corporate policy. By discontinuing use of the Clover, they are letting their belief system dictate the way the way the way they do business, and, I imagine, ceasing any inadvertent promotion of a machine that will mostly be found in Starbucks.

    They may lose a few customers who will want to keep their Clover coffee, but they will keep their core customer base who believe that a business can do more than just make money…they can influence and improve the world.

    -An ex-Portlander who misses her Stumptown coffee badly

  32. Hawk07 says:

    Dumb move on the indie’s part.

    I would make an argument that Starbucks was the gateway drug that reintroduced coffee to the world. Sales were in a slump and drink-er-ship was down until starbucks made it cool to drink coffee again. Now, the whole industry is back up and kicking.

    So, while they can be aficionado snobs, Starbucks has likely helped them with profits in the last 10 years.

  33. johnva says:

    So I’m guessing this guy doesn’t invest in ANY company he doesn’t like in the stock market, for example?

  34. backbroken says:

    The only thing I hate more than the Starbucks image is the pretentious, self-righteous indie coffee shop image.

  35. ClayS says:

    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Indie could easily make the case that Starbucks is trying to emulate them; because their coffee is the gold standard.

  36. K-Bo says:

    It’s not even the principles of not buying from Starbucks. There is a decent chance Starbucks will up prices on all filters/parts ect, in an attempt to keep the indie shops from being competitive. Starbucks isn’t exactly known for supporting competition in the marketplace.

  37. raleel says:

    @Kasey620: I live down the road a couple hours, but I try to hit stumptown to pick up a pound everytime I make it into town. It’s simply the best coffee I can get close :)

    While I agree it doesn’t make a lot of business sense in the normal world, this is Portland we’re talking about, and they’ve managed to make a lot of things that supposedly don’t work in the real world work alright.

    I expect that Stumptown will live on just fine. Indeed, it may be keeping it’s clientele by getting rid of the Clover… Portland is a place where 9 year olds call Starbucks a cancer and their new stores get firebombed (well, at least once). They are extremely proud of their indie heritage there, and they have enough people who will support it just for that.

  38. smitty1123 says:

    If you are big enough to have a “Director of Operations”, you ain’t freaking indie.

  39. MeOhMy says:

    @johnva:

    So I’m guessing this guy doesn’t invest in ANY company he doesn’t like in the stock market, for example?

    “Doesn’t like” and “Directly competing with” are two entirely different things.

  40. Fusioned says:

    Alright, I was gonna leave my two-cents out but I can’t take this.

    Fuck your indie coffee shop. Seriously! Not only does your watered down coffee taste like ass and your barista is beyond pretentious and is blasting some shit CD I don’t want to hear, but you also come nowhere close to Starbucks on the following levels:

    -Employee Benefits: Hate Starbucks all you want. Let’s see your dinky indie shop give over 15 part-time workers health insurance. No seriously, go ahead. I’ll wait. They have plenty of other social programs too like the Ethos water. Complain all you want but I don’t see the CVS down the block donating money from Poland Spring bottles, do you? Right, so quit complaining and go back to listening to Rites of Spring or whatever.

    -Convenience: Even when I didn’t live in NYC, it was still easy to find a Starbucks. I drink my coffee black but I’m a pretty big fan of Starbucks’ coffee, their brewing methods and their other drinks. Now in NYC, I can find one anywhere and it’s great when I’m low on time and don’t have the time to keep my indie “cred” up.

    -Amenities: With this new AT&T WiFi deal, having free or dirt-cheap internet will be a plus for Starbucks. Even with their previous provider, T-Mobile, you still got to use the same account for access at over thousands of Starbucks locations! The Starbucks I go to also has comfy couches, copies of NYT to read for free, and most importantly, a ton of hot chicks. The latter of course being something that indie shops usually lack.

    Truth.

  41. Claystil says:

    way to take it to the system, guys.

  42. @Hawk07: There is good evidence to support the assertion that Starbucks has vastly expanded the market. Indie shops are thriving and multiplying, especially when Starbucks comes to town.

  43. cmdrsass says:

    People take their coffee drinking “very seriously” it seems. It’s amazing how invested people are in their morning wake up drug.

  44. Kasey620 says:

    @Fusioned:

    Ok, I’ll do you one better: Stumptown not only offers health insurance, they have a full-time on-staff massage therapist, and has helped their employees produce an album by their various bands.

    They have free-wifi.

    Their “watered down” coffee has won just about every coffee award invented.

    So pretty much the only argument you’ve got is that you can find one where ever you go. I guess you and I differ in that I just don’t see that as much of a selling point. You can also find McDonalds wherever you go, too.

  45. KittensRCute! says:

    yeah not using $11,000 machines that you own will show starbucks (that customers will like the starbucks coffee better from now on).

  46. Trai_Dep says:

    Geez, fellahs, let a thousand flowers bloom.
    Starbucks is a model of how progressive, large companies can treat their employees.
    Independent brewers are entitled to make decisions they feel are ethical.
    You can support both without getting yourself tied up into ethical knots.

  47. KittensRCute! says:

    @Fusioned: extremely well said!!!

  48. Ahh, now I understand: it’s a publicity stunt. Good move, Stumptown Coffee.

  49. katylostherart says:

    cutting off your nose to spite your face ALWAYS works. if it made your coffee taste even better (cuz it’s not like it doesn’t already taste a helluva lot better than starbucks) you should keep up your own quality standards.

    and you bought the machine before it was owned by BIG EVIL CORPORATION. so you’re now paying for maintenance and coffee filters? big whoop. they won’t notice.

  50. nequam says:

    In a related story, Matt Lounsbury sliced off his nose and was heard to remark: “That will show you, you damn face!”

  51. nequam says:

    @katylostherart: Great minds think alike …

  52. winter_in_asia says:

    @Machete_Bear:

    Stumptown is known here in Portland as one of the ultra-Indy coffee shops. They have a reputation to uphold, esp. when people specifically go there because they hate Starbucks. This guy’s making a smart business move. He wants to keep his market segment happy.

  53. backbroken says:

    When I was young (way back in the 70’s and 80’s) coffee was something your grandfather drank to keep awake at his desk job.

    Add a little (lot) of sugar, whip cream, flavored syrups, and some atmosphere and suddenly coffee is the new hip drug of choice. It seems as if coffee has filled the void left by the decline of cigarettes. I don’t ever remember anyone at my college drinking coffee. Now I imagine you’d have a hard time finding a college or even high school student who hasn’t had coffee in the past week. These indie coffee shops owe a great debt to Starbucks.

  54. Chols says:

    $0.90 coffee at the local gas station.

    Am I the only one that prefers that??

  55. That70sHeidi says:

    Sometimes you guys are so frantic to get in your “lolllll sbux haterz r stupid” that you don’t even make sense. It really doesn’t look like many of you even stopped to think about the post before tapping away your responses.

    Why would an competitor shop pay money to Starbucks for parts or service or additional machines!? That’s counter-productive to their existence. They’re helping their competitor build profit. The business owners are put in a position to harm their own business by helping build a competitor, through a third party. Fairly crafty of Starbucks, but also very obvious outcome.

    I think this is a pretty good idea, personally, and no, I don’t drink coffee and have no vested interest either way. The indie shops can sell off the currently owned Clovers to recoup some of their costs, avoid paying Starbucks for any parts or service, and make a statement that they reject the yoke of their corporate adversaries. Their patrons will probably applaud such an effort, because that’s why they went indie in the first place, and end up marginally increasing the indie shop’s profits for doing so. It’s win-win-win for the small business owners.

    So, what I want to know is if Starbucks stores get a discount now that they own the company that makes machines they may be using? Is it $11,000 “regular” price but only $8,000 for Starbucks locations? Do they get discounts on parts and service? Will they eventually be making and selling machines ONLY for themselves, at MSRP, because indie stores have all sloughed off the product?

  56. Kenneth says:

    @Machete_Bear: self-righteous douche indeed

  57. ChuckECheese says:

    @AaronC: I sorta agree with you. You know that blog that Sbx has now, soliciting opinions? The northwesterners (as in NW U.S.) seem a bit outta control with their demands for Demeter-certified biodynamic soy and other coffee-aspie minutae. It is a strange and unbalanced obsession full of misplaced ardor.

    @backbroken: I suspect we are approximately the same age and from the same part of the world (W Pa). I started drinking coffee in the 70’s, and I knew some other people who did too, although within a few years, Coca-Cola became the morning drink of choice for many. There were no other stimulant drinks, save tea, but that was only for my southern relatives. Are you aware that some kaffeehauser are serving up tobacco-laced drinks now? [www.laweekly.com]

  58. Claystil says:

    Some people are missing the point, here. This little no name coffee shop that could is taking it to the man. The time is right for revolution!!!

  59. oakie says:

    @Machete_Bear:

    That’s pretty lame. So the store will stop making the coffee that they’ve made for over 2 years, because the owner has indie pride.

    What a self-righteous douche. “

    agreed. i also laugh at people who think they’re “sticking it to the man” by shopping for organics at Whole Foods.

  60. flconsumer2 says:

    I do not blame them. It isn’t smart business to trust one of your competitors to also be one of your critical suppliers.

  61. 0x12is18 says:

    Apparently, I am the only one who noticed that in the link it reads “Oragonian.” However, as the State is spelled OrEgon, the paper is also the OrEgonian.

  62. @nwogoldberg99: Oragonian is the phonetic spelling for the rest of us.

  63. @Claystil: They’re not a little “no-name” shop. Only two of their six locations had Clovers; the other four were still on french presses. Their clients will probably say, “right on, I hate Starbucks” (see winter_in_asia and smitty1123 above).

    Check out the “News” section on their site: [stumptowncoffee.com] . (I’d link directly, but it is flash and lame.) Their name has gotten around.

  64. SuperJdynamite says:

    @unklegwar: “Too mad so many responders on here don’t understand a simple concept: Principles.”

    Yes, because hating Starbucks cures so many ills of society.

    I will say one thing about Starbucks: I’m loosely affiliated with a grassroots environmental organization and Starbucks funded us with grant money when the local government couldn’t/wouldn’t.

    Does Stumptown do anything to further responsible environment stewardship or any other social cause? They seem like they have a lot of money to burn.

  65. bbagdan says:

    Tata just bought Jaguar. I don’t like Tata. Should I therefore get rid of my 10-year-old Jag?

    Preposterous and petty!

  66. bdgbill says:

    Every single “Indie” coffee shop in the US that has opened in the last 15 years should get down on their knees and kiss Starbucks big sweaty corporate ass.

    It was Starbucks that taught ignorant Americans that the 32oz styrofoam buckets of milky dishwater they had been drinking for the last 50 years was not real coffee.

    Starbucks single handedly created the industry the indy shops are “me tooing” their way into. I have been to many Indy coffee shops and with a few exceptions they have pretty crappy coffee.

    Starbucks is an oaisi of peace and quiet (if there are no kids) in the city. Starbucks is the only thing that keeps me sane when stuck in airports.

  67. S-the-K says:

    Their “anybody but Starbucks indie coffeeshop” manual must say:

    1. Point gun at foot.
    2. Pull trigger.
    3. Pump fist in air and bellow “Take THAT Starbucks!”

    So, instead of replacing the coffeemaker when it breaks down, they are just going to stop using it? Are they stupid or something? Do they think that every time they pull the handle, Starbucks gets a nickel? If the Clover coffeemaker is so good ($11,000 and it makes ONLY ONE CUP OF COFFEE?!), why do that for your customers?

    What are they going to do now? Go to Walmart and get a $30 Mr. Coffee (that makes 12 cups, BTW)?

  68. Tonguetied says:

    So why don’t they just use them until they break down?

  69. backbroken says:

    @ChuckECheese: Tobacco drinks? Now THAT deserves a Nobel Prize of some sort!!!

  70. snoop-blog says:

    it’s an obvious conflict of interest to do any biz with starbucks, not to mention the fear of having your machine tampered with on your next service. plus if all the clover users did this, it may successfully cost starbucks a lot more money in the long run.

  71. backbroken says:

    Opening today’s paper:

    Dozens killed as cease fire ends in Iraq
    Economy ground to halt in 4thQtr ’07
    Thousands lose jobs as mortgage crisis deepens
    .
    .
    .
    Local coffee shop stops using $11,000 machine
    OH NOES!!!!!!1!

  72. backbroken says:

    @bbagdan: You don’t like Tatas?

  73. nequam says:

    @bdgbill: You’re absolutely right!

  74. revmatty says:

    @backbroken: ++

  75. Jay L. says:

    I get coffee about 3 times a week from the Clover machine at Kaldi’s in St. Louis. The machine is amazing, but basically just a workhorse/high-speed french press. Starbucks coffee are all blends and they are overroasted, so it’s really just going to be polishing a turd. I was talking the GM at Kaldi’s about the move, and he was saying that the problem is that no one goes to Starbucks for black coffee. They go for their venti honey decaf skim milk latte or whatever.

  76. TuxRug says:

    @ClayS: PC LOAD BEAN? WTF does that mean?

  77. synergy says:

    @ediebeale:

    Uh, social justice programs? Selling “eco friendly” bottled water is still wasting plastic, having “post recycled” cups doesn’t mitigate the fact that they are made to be tossed into the garbage, and “fair trade” coffee still screws over growers in South America, Asia, and Africa–just a little less than before. I used to work for the ‘bucks, so I have good reason not to buy that particular brand of PR. The only place that Starbucks is making the world better for is Starbucks.

    Well said!

  78. ktone says:

    It seem what most of you indie bashers are forgetting to consider is that the Clover doesn’t necessarily make the best coffee. It, at least until this point, makes it more easily. A good traditional machine in the hands of a competent barrista can make coffee that set the standard that the Clovers had to meet. This is no different than driving a stick shift compared to an automatic. Additionally the stick shift allows for tweeking and subtle adjustments due to coffee variations should you have the skill. (sbux obviously doesn’t want to have to rely on barrista competency)

    These indies, if they are good, could fall back on a good Italian machine and not miss a beat. After all it is the beans, the roasting and most importantly the pallet that really determines the quality of the brew – NOT THE MACHINE. Who knows, for that matter the indies may actually raise the bar and force SBUX to shut down for training again and buy a consulting firm to train their barristas to drive a stick.

    No machine can fix a $4.00 cup of burnt coffee and no Gaggenau grill is going to fix a $35 steak cooked well done. Drink coffee brewed by real barristas, steaks cooked by chefs and wine brewed by people who spit it out.

  79. mcjake says:

    Snobs.

  80. 00447447 says:

    Clover’s machines can, and have been, serviced by independent techs. This the case with a majority of the equipment you seen in an average cafe. Even Starbucks uses independent service techs in a lot of their markets.
    Stumptown has a reputation in the industry for having decent coffee and horrible attitudes. Their product hasn’t ever been able to back up their talk. Take it from me, I’ve been in the industry for a LONG time. Cafe Lago and Intelligentsia will still use the Clover, and I’m sure they will benefit from the Starbuck’s deal. Now there will be more techs and more parts available at a lower cost. That’s the way it works.

    On a side note; Starbuck’s doesn’t “burn” their coffee. It’s called a Deep Roast Profile, and was pioneered by Alfred Peet (Peet’s Coffee & Tea) to make a richer more european roast, A lot of people like this roast profile, and some don’t. It’s really a matter of preference. I think it is great with certain beans, and not so great with others. But it certainly isn’t burning anything. I’m not sure where that got started, but it’s just stupid.

    The reason Starbuck’s coffee isn’t so great anymore is just a matter of freshness. Their coffee doesn’t get into the stores until usually a few weeks post-roast.

  81. Claystil says:

    @Michael Belisle: i see. the’ve taken their system crippling ways to the press!

  82. firesign says:

    @Chols: sure. i also like to get my water from storm drains. yum.

  83. firesign says:

    @backbroken: only if they’re bodacious.

  84. nick_r says:

    Team Portland! Hey, if I were a successful indie filmmaker and Brett Ratner bought out Panavision, I’d stop using their cameras.

  85. snowygal18 says:

    Oragonian? Try Oregonian.

  86. Claystil says:

    organonian

  87. Xkeeper says:

    Wow, just when I think the Consumerist commenters can’t get any more ignorant, the idiot tribe comes right along to prove me completely wrong.

    This is an excellent business decision by a well-known (in their hometown, at least) coffee place.

    To give the rest of you idiots an analogy:

    You are company Z, competing against company Y. You’re both supplied by a third party, S.

    Now, your competetor, Y, buys your supplier. Are you going to continue using it, or are you going to find a new one ASAP?

    Anybody who does not say “yes” to this is an utter idiot, and that’s the exact same thing that’s happening here. The only difference is that the names of the companies are different.

  88. ManPurse says:

    @Xkeeper: Well yes. But in this case I will say a much bigger factor here is truly “indie-pride.” I live in Portland. I go to Stumptown sometimes. The coffee is some of the best. But I don’t prefer to go there because the of the snobiness. You could choke on it it’s so thick.

    So, while your point is certainly part of the decision, knowing what I know about this place, I have to agree with previous posters who have said it’s done out of douchie spite.

  89. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    I also agree that its ridiculous to discontinue using $22,000 worth of equipment for such a reason, i would really like to know exactly what type of Maintenance costs are involved because if it costs them 1000$ a month per machine to change filters etc then that is a diffirent story, Fact is you already own the machines, you didnt give starbucks your $22,000 you gave Clover your $22,000 Period. You have been using these machines with success for a long time and you are now replacing them with alternatives only because Starbucks is your competitor. Starbucks is giant, i highly doubt that your costs for maintenance on the machines provide enough profit to starbucks to even make .0001% of a difference.

    The wal-mart starbucks comparison is insane, starbucks treats their employees much better than wal-mart does and opening a diffirent coffee shop next door to a starbucks many times results in many more customers not wanting to deal with the line etc at Starbucks. So they arent closing down mom and pop coffee shops left and right.

    Im sorry i usually am with the OP and have even been flamed on this site myself by similar if not the same commenters, but i have to say, replacing the machines is just stupid and i truly beleive “indie-pride” is a big part of it. Starbucks didnt manufacture the machines in your shop, clover did. Starbucks purchasing clover shouldnt change your opinion on a machine that was made before the merger especially a machine that you liked so much you spent $22,000 on !

  90. datapants says:

    Not that it matters much, but Stumptown actually has more than just two Clover machines. I recently counted four late-model Clovers at their Ace Hotel location downtown, so company-wide they’ve got at least five by my count. I guess this means that they’ll be going back to the old-school rack of Melitta cones at their Belmont St. annex (aka the Stumptown next door to the Stumptown).

    Drama aside, the Stumptown is full of good people, and most importantly, a few true master roasters. I’ll happily continue to buy my beans from them, and as a rare indulgence, the occasional espresso beverage too.

    Since I travel so much, I’m still curious about how many Starbucks locations around the country will eventually be equipped with a Clover machine. Sure they over-roast, but at least the coffee will be made fresh by the cup. My standards for coffee drop considerably when I leave the PNW – if they didn’t I’d probably be dead by now.

  91. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Okay, Wow, So anyone saying indie pride has nothing to do with it SHOULD READ THE ACTUAL ARTICLE “Clover is another casualty, they said, of local indies poured into the corporate white-and-green cup.”

  92. ivealwaysgotmail10 says:

    Another quote from another owner of a shop using the machines

    For that reason, Layman said, she’s sticking with her brewer.

    “Just because Starbucks owns it doesn’t mean that the concept isn’t great,” Layman said. “Besides that, you have to have put great coffee in it to get a good product.”

  93. aquanetta says:

    Indie coffee shops need to learn to make better coffee and give better customer service, and stop being whiny little bitches.

  94. sibertater says:

    @Machete_Bear: Agreed, and I’m quitting my luxurious SBUX job tomorrow.

  95. swagv says:

    Clovers are nice, albeit overengineered and overpriced, machines. There’s nothing wrong with them. And Stumptown is a top-notch coffee roaster and chain of cafés.

    Is that enough to justify the Portland Clover Party, where Clovers are unceremoniously dumped overboard to protest any potential for financial contributions to the world’s greatest quality coffee black hole?

    Starbucks will kill ideas and technologies that support excellence and quality every time, it’s true. Look what they did to the Torrefazione Italia chain, for example. If this was the Sopranos, Torrefazione Italia is now resting at the bottom of the Lower New York Bay, in the trunk of a Ford Taurus beneath the Verazzano Narrows Bridge with 17 bullet holes in it.

    The Clover will likely not be far behind. There’s no reason to accelerate what the Starbucks machine is already so finely tuned to do on its own.

  96. mmejanvier says:

    Clovers are not a plug in appliance. They are (were) an ever-evolving system that required a crap-ton of mantainence icluding software/firmware upgrades. It’s unlikely that strbx will provide the same level of support and service as the previous owners of CeCo.

    Beyond that, I have always been anti-clover. Automation does not a perfect cuppa make. How can the same industry that redicules super-auto espresso machines cream their pants over something so. . . sterile. Give me French press or Turkish pour any day.