Campus Starbucks reopens with new brewing system

The Washington Ave. store closed for a week to install the Clover.

Remodeled Starbucks reopens Sunday on Washington Ave.

Remodeled Starbucks reopens Sunday on Washington Ave.

Jenna Wilcox

After a weeklong closure for remodeling, Emily Hegland spent SundayâÄôs grand reopening of the Washington Avenue Starbucks serving coffee from the new Clover brewing machine.

Starbucks claims the expensive Clover âÄî with an $11,000 asking price âÄî brews âÄúthe best cup of coffee youâÄôve ever tasted.âÄù

The company began introducing the Clover at its stores in 2008. The Washington Avenue Starbucks just installed the new machine, making it the second Starbucks in Minnesota to use the device.

The company decided to provide the Washington Avenue store with the machine, store manager Katrina Wolyniec said, because they are poised to do really great business in the area.

âÄúThe light rail is going to be opening up and itâÄôs the University of Minnesota campus so thereâÄôs always something going on,âÄù Wolyniec said.

The Galleria Starbucks in Edina was the first store in Minnesota to have the Clover, but several locations in Chicago and other major metropolitan areas have them as well Wolyniec said.

Hegland said the Clover works like a reverse French press. Coffee grounds are mixed with water and a vacuum process sucks the coffee through a special filter leaving the grounds on top.

âÄúIn [the Clover] you can really taste the flavor notes of the different types of coffee,âÄù barista Sam Weiss said.

The store closed last week for updates and a remodel, but employees are expecting business to pick up now that the Clover is running and the dining area has been made over.

During its closure, many patrons said they took their business to the next closest Starbucks location in Coffman Union.

But if business picked up at all during the week, workers at the Coffman Starbucks took no notice.

âÄúWeâÄôre busy every week,âÄù full-time employee Tyler Young said. âÄúSo we havenâÄôt noticed much of a difference because itâÄôs really busy, nonstop, all the time.âÄù

Lines for the coffee shop snake around the Cube for most of the day. ItâÄôs typically busiest between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., but starts bustling again in the afternoon around 2 p.m. According to the baristas, Wednesday is usually the busiest day of the week and Friday the slowest.

Before the Washington Avenue Starbucks reopened, Young said he wasnâÄôt worried about any increased competition because the University of Minnesota owns the Coffman Starbucks.

Since the University owns the Coffman location, their prices tend to be more expensive. But since the Clover was introduced, the Washington Avenue Starbucks hiked up their prices to accommodate for the âÄúbetter tastingâÄù coffee.

For regular coffee like Pike Place Roast and Sumatra, prices increased by about 10 cents. The reserve or limited availability coffee price hikes range from 50 cents to $1.50 more per cup.

Amanda Rydberg usually goes to the Washington Avenue location, but since its closure she followed many other students to the Coffman store. Rydberg, who normally buys a coffee or some kind of latte, said she wouldnâÄôt be willing to pay extra for the new coffee.

Because the Coffman Starbucks is so busy, Young said it would be impractical for them to have the equipment.

âÄúPersonally IâÄôm not a huge fan of the new Clover machine,âÄù Young said. âÄúWeâÄôre really busy here, and it takes about a minute per drink to make.âÄù