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Starbucks Buys Clover Maker Coffee Equipment Company and Begins Reward Program

Starbucks Buys Fancy-Pants Machines, Also Promises to Treat You Better

Yesterday, many wild announcements were made during Starbucks' annual shareholder meeting. It's no secret, they've been making a lot of interesting changes, but some of the announcements were quite surprising. While the launch of their own social networking website is shocking, it was actually their purchase of Coffee Equipment Company, the makers of the fancy-pants Clover coffee machines.

Clover coffee machines cost $11,000 each and are thought by many coffee snobs to be "amazing, absolutely amazing" — those are quotes from actual coffee snob friends of mine. The Clover machines will be put into select markets, and rumor has it that non-Starbucks cafés will no longer be able to purchase them.

Other changes that they announced included improved automated espresso machines that grind beans fresh for each drink, as well as a new coffee blend and a rewards program. That's right, they're finally going to give you that soy milk or vanilla splash for free. It's about time, no?

So what do you think, will these changes alter the way you think about Starbucks?

Source

guinnevere guinnevere 9 years
i have a lifelong boycott on starbucks for several reasons: -it's cheaper by far to make your own coffee drink at home -$4/day x 5 days/wk x 50 wks/yr + 3.5% interest over 10 years: FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS -they have incredibly inhumane harvesting practices (free trade coffee available UPON REQUEST??? yet most baristas dont even know what it is) -multinationals like starbucks put small businesses out of commission (shop/buy locally!)
jocelyn2 jocelyn2 9 years
I had to stop going to Starbucks in the morning, they were just taking too long! I don't know how many times I was the only person in the Starbucks and it would take forever! I actually went up to the cash register once with two baristas behind it. As soon as I started to order, they both walked away! I know they get paid minimum wage, but I worked my butt off for minimum wage back in the day, so its no excuse!
andrennabird andrennabird 9 years
This is surprising news, indeed. I think Clover machines are so neat and make really good coffee. That's not what I associate with Starbucks. I'm sad that Clover locked itself into Starbucks.
Lola34 Lola34 9 years
It sounds like Starbucks is really trying to address a lot of the common complaints. I hate their drip coffee - it's so burnt tasting so hopefully that will be fixed. But I really only go to Starbucks for a specialty coffee; I'm a student so I can't be spending extra money on something I can make at home. I pretty much only go to Starbucks when I'm planning on spending all day in the library and I want a treat on the way in. Oh and their egg salad sandwiches are so yummy. I hope they don't get rid of them!
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
Starbucks has me for life. Or at least until I ween myself off. Every Saturday & Sunday, my BF and I enjoy "Frappy Hour". We go to Starbucks and get a frap, then drive around town and talk until I'm done with it, which usually takes an hour. Then we go out to eat, and after that we go shopping. It's a ritual for us! Starbucks can do whatever they want. I just wish they'd show a little love towards their loyal customers and create an incentive program!
GrapeBubbleGum GrapeBubbleGum 9 years
Sounds good to me. I'm completely addicted to starbucks! I just order an awake tea, which is just Tazo so I can buy it elsewhere, but I actually really enjoy the starbucks atmosphere and I like the baristas at my local starbucks, so I keep going back. I like the idea of an online community too.
Baby-Girl Baby-Girl 9 years
We'll see how this changes my nonfat latte. I do have to agree with colormesticky's friend. I'm a Guinness drinker and I think the same goes for coffee too. pisswater - too funny.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
Which sounds totally rude, but I'm not directing that at anybody who doesn't like Starbucks. That's just my friend's opinion.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
*available. Nice typo. My Starbucks cheerleader/barista friend has this to say about their coffee: It's like comparing Budweiser to Guinness. If you've been drinking pisswater your whole life, you're not going to like the strong stuff.
colormesticky colormesticky 9 years
I don't like that Clover machines won't be availble to anyone but Starbucks. I DO like that they'll grind the beans fresh each time, though. Awesomeness.
ovenmitt ovenmitt 9 years
technically you should get as many pumps as your drink size allows without extra charge. as long as you're not going over your regular pump allowance (three tall, four grande, five venti [unless it's iced, then it's six]) oh those days as a barista are coming back to haunt me.
Advah Advah 9 years
I'm afraid I don't really care about any change Starbucks could make (apart from making their stuff cheaper, of course). I actually never get any coffee when I go to a Starbucks.
mlen mlen 9 years
i think their coffee sucks but i drink their espresso drinks. i'd be interested in trying the new machines though. honestly my fav drink from starbucks is their half tea half lemonade sweetened- its really good!
partysugar partysugar 9 years
opisnowpro: if you are enjoying the coffee in the store you can request a "for here cup". Then it comes out in a mug or teacup depending on your order. I do it all the time!
Just-Oh Just-Oh 9 years
This is promising news. Starbucks brought good coffee into the mainstream and they've been a victim of their own success for the last several years. There are about a half dozen coffee shops here in Seattle that I would go to before even thinking of going to Starbucks--Vita, Victrola, Stumptown, Vivace, etc.--, but that wasn't the case in my last hometown. There, Starbucks was head and shoulders above the competition. They do need to make splashy changes, like acquiring Clover and phasing out menu items that dilute their core identity, to bring quality up to customers' heightened expectations.
opisnowpro opisnowpro 9 years
I like the cold coffee at Starbucks (Frapps like Brit) but its a little ovepriced and I really dont like drink coffe in a paper cup, I like more the latinamerican and european way of drink coffee in a glass cup much much better!!
TheMissus TheMissus 9 years
I've had the coffee from the new machines... IT IS AMAZING! It tastes SO good. The only problem is that there aren't many Starbucks here in Boston that have the machines in them. The closest one to me is like a mile away. Tear!
randomname12345 randomname12345 9 years
Hopefully this brings better coffee to Starbucks.
ElizabethRae ElizabethRae 9 years
Personally I'd rather them lower prices than buy out a coffee machine company. I am excited about the change in soy price though.
CoconutPie CoconutPie 9 years
When I lived in Berlin, they had some kind of rewards program. It was something like buy eight cups, get the ninth free.
EmyAnne EmyAnne 9 years
Yay for Starbucks, they already set really high standards for their employees/stores so that's awesome they are adding even more improvements. I'm from Seattle so our Starbucks' are really good here. I've heard that the further you get from the birth place the worse they get so I don't know about everyone else, but the Starbucks coffee here is awesome and employees for the most part have friendly attitudes. When we were in Australia though, the Starbucks we went to tasted terrible!
Brandi13jrm Brandi13jrm 9 years
They can make all the changes they want, I'm still not going to go there... I hate that place... SO overpriced and honestly, their drinks aren't all that great. I would also say that just about every teenager that works at one needs an attitude adjustment.
vinnie vinnie 9 years
I wonder if the Clover machines will actually mean Starbucks will now serve good coffee. Their burned coffee sucks! (sorry Sbux lovers. don't be mad!)
knowmercy knowmercy 9 years
Yes! Soy lattes w/out paying extra for the soy milk. Now if they could change the Frapps so you can go dairy-free, we'd really be talkin.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that it will just mean that we have to apy more for our service. not only are the cost for milk etc going up which raise our out of pocket - but this is just something else to cause a price hike.
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