A Clover cup of coffee at Starbucks. ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

A Clover cup of coffee at Starbucks. ERIKA SCHULTZ / THE SEATTLE TIMES

Melissa Allison reports in the Seattle Times that with all the news of Starbucks layoffs, falling profits and breakfast pairings, it’s been hard to come by an update about the Ballard coffee equipment wonder that the giant mermaid bought last year.

The Clover is a drip coffee machine so expensive ($11,000) and highly specialized that fewer than 250 Clovers were delivered in the two years before Starbucks bought the company.

Starbucks never said how many it planned to crank out each year, but a spokeswoman assured StarbucksGossip.com last week that the project is “alive and well.” She also gave an updated count of stores with Clovers: Seattle (10 stores), Boston (33 stores), and San Francisco (9 stores).

Tyrone Beason writes in Pacific Northwest Magazine that Starbucks is launching Clover coffee machines at its cafes in Seattle and other cities this fall, in hopes of capitalizing on the desire for a more pared-down experience.

The high-tech Clover, the brainchild of mechanical engineers and designers working out of a trolley barn in Ballard, performs the seemingly underwhelming feat of producing plain old drip coffee.

Not high-octane espressos.

Not lactose-indulgent lattes.

Coffee at it purest and most refined, for people who need nothing between their taste buds and the ancient essence of grounds steeped in hot water.

The formula is so enticingly simple that it even caught the attention of Starbucks, famously the purveyor of frothy coffee-drink confections. The company bought out the Clover’s makers last year and began launching the machines at its cafes in Seattle and other cities this past fall, in hopes of capitalizing on the desire among many of its customers for a more pared-down experience.

Just don’t expect a pared-down cuppa joe.

Read the whole article at Pacific Northwest