The Ultra-Fancy Coffee Machine Only Some Starbucks Stores Have

Let's face it: The coffee community on social media runs deep. Perhaps you've seen it on Instagram — set in a Starbucks Reserve, freshly ground coffee beans go into what looks like a coffee robot, and voilà, a happy customer's morning has begun. If you find yourself in a Starbucks Reserve location, you may see "Clover brewed" on the menu. The company's journey with the Clover has been a ride, to say the least.

While Starbucks has become a viral sensation with TikTok influencers crowding our FYPs (For You Page) with videos of themselves in their cars, sipping the latest "secret" drink, the company has also had an image issue. It seems as if Starbucks has been trying to woo coffee connoisseurs who have looked down on the company's coffee beans and drinks, according to this Consumer Reports confessional from a real Starbucks barista.

In order to combat the perception that Starbucks sacrifices coffee quality for profit, in 2008, then-CEO Howard Schultz announced Starbucks' acquisition of the Coffee Equipment Company of Seattle, according to The New York Times. What was so special about this coffee company? The Clover coffee machine.

Starbucks bets on Clover coffee luck

Wired illustrated how the Clover machine works in 2008, touting the price tag at that time was $11,000. The machine brews individual cups of coffee, each according to the beans that are used. The barista chooses the setting, places freshly ground beans into a chamber, and uses a flat whisk to stir before a piston presses the coffee out into a cup, not unlike a French press.

In 2019, much to the dismay of coffee lovers, Starbucks considered doing away with its Reserve stores and with it, the Clover. Starbucks wondered if the effort for a single cup of coffee was truly worth the time, money, and effort — all to court the hard-to-catch coffee expert. Clover lovers came out of the woodwork, declaring their love for Starbucks Reserve. Some stores actually did away with the Clover, which upset many customers, as outlined by Total Retail.

And so, it was early in 2022 that Starbucks unveiled a brand new Clover to be rolled out in more Starbucks Reserves — to the delight of coffee connoisseurs worldwide, according to The Street. So if you find yourself at a Reserve in the near future, chasing your TikTok influencer dreams, don't forget to check the menu for Clover roasted coffee.