This month, Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) celebrates five years of offering customers a truly unique coffee experience—through individual cups of the rarest and most exotic coffees brewed on its patented Clover brewing system. The fifth anniversary of Clover brewing system at Starbucks is also marked by the opening of Starbucks 500th location featuring Clover brewing, with plans to double the number of Clover locations globally by the end of 2014.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to significantly expand the availability of our rare and exotic Starbucks Reserve coffees with the introduction of the Clover brewing system in many more stores around the world next year,” said Andrew Linnemann, vice president, Global Coffee Quality for Starbucks. “By brewing one cup at a time—using freshly ground beans to deliver that handcrafted cup of coffee to order—the Clover brewing system brings theater to the brewing process and enables our baristas to have rich conversations with customers about our coffee.”
The timing is right. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA), consumer demand for individually brewed cups of coffee and exploring unique coffees from different regions of the world is on the rise.
“Over the last few years, we have seen a growing interest from consumers in looking beyond espresso for personalized coffee options, and they are finding it in unique brewed or drip coffee experiences,” said Ric Rhinehart, executive director, SCAA. “More and more consumers are engaging with coffee—single origin coffee—individually brewed just for them.”
Starbucks has offered its Starbucks Reserve coffees, a line of rare and exotic small batch single origin coffees, since 2010. Harvested at the peak of the season and then batch-roasted by Starbucks, these coffees are available by the cup on the Clover brewing system, where their flavors are fully accentuated, but also in half pound bags for customers to brew and enjoy at home. In the last three years, Starbucks has introduced more than 40 different Starbucks Reserve coffees and will continue to offer an average of 14 Starbucks Reserve coffees per year. Some Starbucks Reserve coffees, like Panama Auromar Geisha offered last April, are so limited in supply that Starbucks makes them available only online or at a handful of Starbucks Reserve stores in select markets.
“Our global coffee team tastes more than 250,000 cups of coffee every year looking for the finest coffee in the world,” added Linnemann. “We often come across rare gems during our cuppings that we can’t pass up—even if only a few hundred pounds are available (when compared to the more than 450 million pounds of coffee Starbucks purchases every year). In fact, some of the single origins we discover are earmarked for blends, but are so extraordinary we want to offer them to our customers as a single origin and therefore present them as a Starbucks Reserve® coffee.”
From three markets in 2008, the Clover® brewing system and Starbucks Reserve coffees are today available in 25 markets in the U.S. and 10 international markets, including Canada, the U.K., Japan, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Poland, Russia, Thailand, and, most recently, Singapore. Customers can locate a Starbucks Reserve store to experience the Clover brewing system through our Starbucks mobile app.