George Howell – Godfather of Specialty Coffee


(George Howell with Carlos Batres, owner/producer of the Montecarlos Estate and Ayr Muir, founder/CEO of Clover)

If you’ve glanced at our coffee list at any point in the last couple of years, you probably at least vaguely recognize the name George Howell. His coffee roasting company, based in Acton, MA, has been providing us with freshly roasted beans for many years now, and for the past 14 months or so, all our coffee-selling locations have had the George Howell Monte Carlos coffee (with a roast profile created exclusively for Clover) every single day.

George himself is a very important person in the history of coffee. In 1975 he opened the first Coffee Connection store in Harvard Square, eventually growing it into a 24-store retail chain before selling the company to Starbucks in the 90s. In this time frame, he launched the Frappuccino (!), the concept of which was also subsequently sold to Starbucks. He’s been pushing the boundaries of coffee ever since – a lot of our current perceptions of good coffee and good coffee values (single-origin, establishing relationships directly with coffee farms, lighter roasted coffee…) come from practices that he established back in the day!

We’ve had the honor of working directly with George and his team for nearly 10 years now and are delighted to share with you some of his favorite Clover menu items. All of his favorites pair well with a hot cup of George Howell Montecarlos coffee (pourover or express brewed)!

You can learn more about George, his history with coffee, and his coffee on the George Howell Coffee website or by searching his name in the Clover blog post archives! Ayr and George also recently visited the Montecarlos coffee farm together – read Ayr’s blogs about the trip starting here.