Starbuck has been under the scrutiny of the coffee enthusiasts for the longest time due to their "different" approach to coffee. Most of their coffee are roasted very dark and coffee enthusiasts had come up with terms like "charbucks" to describe them. Also most of us coffee concious consumers are also irked by their focus on quantity rather on quality; for instance, a few years back, they replaced all their manual espresso machines and grinders(mostly La Marzocco Lineas and Mazzer grinders) with superautomatic espresso machines that can brew with just a hit of a button. I'm guessing their justification for it is that it improve consistency of espresso drink as well as speed; any depreciation in quality of espresso is not going to be noticed by the consumers because the majority of their customers drink big flavored and sugar-laced drinks. This is of-course problematic because instead of addressing the root issues, like getting better coffees and roast them better and train their barista so that they can brew better, they opted for the superautomatics.
One more thing that they did a year or so ago is buying the company that make the Clover coffee machine. As most of us coffee enthusiasts know, Clover used to be "THE" coffee machine, a super expensive single cup brewer that can deliver exact chosen temperature, at the exact dose and extract the coffee for the exact amount of time. It is basically a glorified superautomatic aeropress. It used to be that all of the serious third wave cafes would have this ultra-expensive coffee brewers so that they can showcase their super premium single origin coffee beans. The acquisition of the Clovers by Starbuck had many of us wondering what is going on? Perhaps they are buying the Clovers so that others cafes has less competitive edges or they are actually going to ultilize these Clovers in their own stores?
So the answer to these questions now seem obvious since Clovers has been popping up all over many Starbucks and this might seem like a good thing. For one thing, this will force starbucks to be more concious of their coffee buying practices; no longer would they be able to buy cheap coffees and roast them till they are burned because such thing will shown up in the cups (unless the consumers are ordering expensive Clover brewed coffee and then add ton of milk and sugar into it). Hopefully, this will mark the beginning of Starbuck finally focusing on the quality of the final coffee drinks. If they fail in their efforts, it will ofcourse still benefit us the coffee enthusiast because they would likely get rid of these Clovers for cheap just like how they did a few years ago with their Marzocco Lineas and Mazzer grinders! Afterall, I would not mind having a Clover in my home to play with!