The following excerpts are taken from a column written by James Joyner which appeared in Outside the Beltway.
The machine in question, the Clover, isn’t aimed at consumers but rather coffee shops. And it sounds pretty spiffy:
It brews coffee like a French press, but it’s more dramatic to watch and much more precise. Unlike lesser methods of making coffee, which are no more reliable than their users and can’t be counted on to produce the same cup twice, the Clover is equipped with a “PID algorithm” for regulating temperature and “programmable workflow modes” to help micromanage the brewing process. Latourell enumerates six variables that contribute to the taste of brewed coffee—choice of bean, grind, “dose” of coffee, brewing time, temperature, and amount of water. The first three, for better or worse, are in the hands of the barista (“Call me when you get a better grinder!” Latourell half-teases the Grumpy staff)—but the Clover can precisely regulate the last three.
The result, apparently, is some pretty good coffee. More importantly, it’s a different idea of coffee.
Starbucks uses these in select stores as do many smaller coffee houses around the country.
You can read the low down on this high tech brewer here.