Core77 Design Awards
- Other Years
Starbucks acquired Clover™ brewing technology in 2008 for one reason: it made a great cup of coffee. As great as Clover™ coffee was, the brewing method took time. Until now. Meet Clover Vertica™, our proprietary on-demand brewer that freshly grinds and brews coffee by the cup and is our most sustainable and accessible brewer. The innovative full-immersion brewing method pairs vacuum-press technology with precise control over water temperature to extract the best flavor from each roast. The fine mesh metal filter eliminates the use of paper filters and produces a clean cup of coffee. An automated evolution, Clover Vertica™ offers unrivaled coffee quality at the speed to meet peak volumes of a core Starbucks store—and delivering beautifully pronounced flavors in 30 seconds. All while reducing coffee waste, increasing user accessibility, and offering customers increased variety and availability. Clover Vertica™ takes coffee to new heights for the customer, barista and planet.
What it does:
Clover Vertica™ is our new breakthrough, proprietary single cup coffee brewer that will reimagine the brewed coffee experience for both customers and Starbucks baristas:
· Grinds and brews a single cup of coffee in less than 30 seconds.
· Allows for expanded coffee variety throughout the day, with seasonal rotations.
· Precision brewing technology eliminates paper filters and reduces coffee waste.
· Modular design of single or dual towers meets the needs of both high- and low-volume stores.
· Saves time and reduces complexities for employees by eliminating batch brewing.
Why it matters:
At the heart of the Starbucks brand is a passion for coffee and a relentless drive to reimagine the coffee experience. We have been on a journey to create the perfect cup—any time, every time.
For us, Clover Vertica™ represents the pinnacle of that pursuit, combining advanced engineering and accessible, sustainable industrial design with our passion for coffee and customer service. With Clover Vertica™, we are once again elevating the craft of coffee brewing, making our customers' days better while ushering in a new era in coffeehouse culture.
For our employees, which we call partners, Clover Vertica™ is designed to inspire pride and confidence—not just in a partner's craft but also in a company that invented the modern coffee house experience and continues to raise the bar every day.
And, for our planet, Clover Vertica™ helps us reach our goal to cut water, waste and carbon by 50 percent by 2030. By moving from batch brewing large urns of coffee every 30 minutes to brewing on demand, we cut coffee waste and support our broader vision of making coffee the first sustainable agricultural crop. The metal mesh filter completely eliminates the use of paper filters; while the machine itself is constructed from durable, reliable materials that can be easily recycled and designed in a way that is easy to disassemble for easy servicing and refurbishing.
Clover Vertica™ honors our brand's heritage, modernizing the coffeehouse experience without compromising quality. As a brand committed to making our customers' days, every day, this changes everything, again.
Craft-brewing at Starbucks speed.
While coffee aficionados will tell you Clover™ technology makes an amazing cup of coffee, they'll almost always mention that the process takes time. However, most of our customers come into our stores looking for an amazing cup of coffee without the wait. For them, we found a way to revolutionize the careful, craft-brewing method of the original Clover™ into a bean-to-cup process that delivers the same delicious cup of coffee in less than 30 seconds. This on-demand approach to brewing enables us to reduce coffee waste incurred with batch brewing and ensures every cup in the customer's hands is fresh and delicious.
This experience inspired the Clover Vertica™ overall design narrative - variety, speed, and freshness. The 6 hoppers show the beans, highlighting the coffee options and fresh ingredients. The haptic feedback and simplicity of pushing the buttons and turning the dial highlights the speed and automation. Finally, the noise of the grinding, the visible steam emitted, and well-timed lighting on the finished cup provide cues to the coffee's freshness.
Clover Vertica™ is currently in pre-production, though it has been tested in 4 stores in 2020 and in 2022 launched in our flagship Roastery/Reserve stores while continuing to test in 30 stores core stores. We expect to roll out this elevated and revolutionary brewed coffee experience in US Starbucks stores the Fall of 2022.
A brewer customers and partners love.
Our baristas, who we call partners, are thrilled with Clover Vertica™ for a few key reasons. First, because now batch grinding and brewing coffees in large urns with paper filters is a thing of the past, as is the timer reminder to dump unused coffee when 30 minutes is up. The second reason? Clover Vertica™'s brewing process is fully automated—baristas simply select the beans in one of six interchangeable hoppers, choose the size of the cup and customizations (such as room for cream/milk), and press the dial to begin the grinding and brewing process, which takes less than 30 seconds. The third—and most compelling reason—is because Clover Vertica™ gives our baristas the ability to provide our customers with a fresh, delicious cup of any coffee, at any time of day, something we couldn't do when we were brewing by the batch.
Clover Vertica™ is also one of the first pieces of equipment developed at Starbucks leveraging our inclusive design tools, a proprietary process that ensures the widest possible range of partners can operate our equipment. It will be the most accessible brewer in our stores, and potentially in the industry.
And there are our customers. Before Clover Vertica™, customers wanting decaf or dark roast later in the day would have to wait for a pour-over or settle for an alternative option. With Clover Vertica™, our customers can have any coffee they want, any time, brewed fresh and delicious. Something everyone can love.
A return to our roots.
50 years ago, when Starbucks started roasting and selling beans and brewed coffee, we were looking to provide our customers with the perfect cup. Since then, Starbucks has constantly looked for innovative ways to provide our customers with the ultimate coffeehouse experience. For a long time, that meant batch brewing our finest coffees and giving our customers the finest cup of brewed coffee possible. Today, with Clover Vertica™, we're redefining the coffeehouse experience again, bringing our passion for the perfect cup of brewed coffee back to center stage. This new brew method honors our heritage, while allowing us to take the quality of our brewed coffee to new heights. For those who know coffee, you know that managing the four fundamentals of brewing—Proportion, Water, Grind, Freshness—delivers the best cup, and this is what Clover Vertica™ is designed to do. Most importantly, Clover Vertica™ allows us to do what we love to do most: give our customers exactly what they crave, every time, in a way that makes sense for our business.
Productive and planet-positive.
Clover Vertica™ was developed with our partners at the center. The brewer contributes to overall productivity in our stores by reducing task time and taking ergonomics and user experience into account. Clover Vertica™ includes haptic feedback in the hopper selection buttons and dial as well as light cues throughout the brew cycle to promote accessibility and ensure a wider group of individuals can effectively operate the brewer. The innovative brew process results in drier coffee grounds that are easier to handle and dispose of. And all the equipment's touchpoints are within arm's reach.
Clover Vertica™ also emphasizes our commitment to our sustainability goals. The brewer supports our efforts in the global coffee supply chain as we will efficiently use each coffee bean. By moving from batched to brewed on demand, we will reduce our brewed coffee waste by 70%. Clover Vertica™ also represents thoughtful, sustainable design. First, the fine metal mesh filter eliminates the need for paper filters, which across our 33,000 stores means eliminating 200M paper filters per year. In operation, the equipment uses less energy from not needing to heat the pre-batched coffee. Clover Vertica™ is also constructed from durable, reliable materials that can be easily recycled and designed in a way that is easy to disassemble for easy servicing and refurbishing. It's always been our belief that we can do what's right for our customers, while also doing right by our planet.
Clover Vertica™ has been designed to capture the essence of variety, speed and freshness, guided by our design ethos and approach to fit the modern coffeehouse aesthetic of Starbucks. The bean hoppers highlight all-day variety and quality; the bold and simple user interface is designed to be operated at speed; and the presentation of the beverage is framed by forms and finishes that capture the freshness of the cup for customers to see, reflecting the flow of coffee and resulting steam emanating from the cup. These features are all designed to meet strict NSF standards for cleanability and safety as well as operational efficiencies required by the business. This balance of form and function has created an experience that partners are proud to use every day and reinforces trust in our customers that they are getting the best possible cup of coffee on their terms.