From the archives

Bags for Starbucks

8 May, 2019: Carlos has 3 customers. George Howell. A former employee of George Howell. And Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t blend coffee from Montecarlos. It’s part of a program they have to bring super premium “black apron” coffees to some of their cafes around the world. (Recently it was sold in Tokyo Starbucks for about $30/ lbs. It’s sold out.) Pretty… Read More

From the archives

Coffee Nursery

7 May, 2019: You’re looking at over 100,000 coffee plants. They will all go in the ground in 2019 at Montecarlos. We stopped by this outdoor plant nursery late in the afternoon. You can see the sun getting ready to set behind the trees in the background. I couldn’t believe the scale of this. Can you imagine? 100,000 plants? Each… Read More

From the archives

Not all coffee farm jobs are picking

6 May, 2019: This gentleman was manning the weight station. Trucks are used to transport coffee berries from the mountain to the processing facility. When the trucks arrive they drive up to a full truck scale that is weighted. This weight is used to confirm the amount of berries that are being brought to the processing plant. Read More

From the archives

Wacky bumper sticker

5 November, 2008: Driving to Nuestra I was passed by a car with this bumper sticker. I checked out the website, looks like wacky new age stuff. But it’s interesting to see the message (what we eat has a huge impact on the planet) show up in new places. Read More

From the archives

George Howell explains: “trifecta”

6 May, 2019: That’s George Howell’s hand with the seeds of one coffee berry. Coffee typically has 2 seeds in each berry. There is a genetic defect called “peaberry” where a single bean grows instead of 2 seeds. You can notice these in a coffee bag because they look more “round” and don’t have a flat size. Sometimes roasters have… Read More

From the archives

Most coffee ripens red, but some coffee ripens orange!

4 May, 2019: Most of the pictures you see of coffee show a red berry. Or green. Green is unripe. Red is ripe. But occasionally a coffee plant has orange berries. These are also ripe. And they are far less common than the red. They grow side by side. And the berries do seem to taste a bit different (not… Read More

From the archives

How does Carlos Batres take his coffee? (Hint: it involves 12 cups/ day)

3 May, 2019: The first day in El Salvador I asked Carlos Batres, the owner of Montecarlos, about his coffee drinking habits. I’m always curious to learn about how people eat and drink. He told me he fills an insulated pot every morning and then takes 2 hours to drink 6 cups. 6 cups!! His wife confirmed. And she said… Read More

From the archives

What do we mean when we say coffee volcano?

2 May, 2019: Chris and I toyed with the idea of bringing a drone to El Salvador. But in the end we opted not to. I didn’t want to attract too much attention. Wasn’t sure it was a good idea. So the closest thing I have to an aerial shot is this picture of a poster Carlos had in his… Read More

From the archives

MORE OF LESS OF

5 August, 2008: This is the second part of the homework assignment Brian gave me. Here are a bunch of magazine ads. I’ve grouped them in two categories: “More of” – the ads that have something to contribute to the process of developing the Clover identity “Less of” – ads with elements we must avoid Read More

From the archives

Coffee is the seed of a (ridiculously sweet) berry

1 May, 2019: That picture is an action shot. I just squeezed a coffee bean out of the berry. Coffee is the seed of a berry. Did you know that? It was sort of a revelation for me. That berry is really really sweet. And it has this wonderful exotic flavor. Sort of like a kiwi. I couldn’t stop popping… Read More

From the archives

Vinyl and paint. New murals

1 May, 2019: I love posters. When I was a student at MIT we were living in this buzzing new digital world. Early text. Early email. Early everything digital. But the way I learned about new events/ lectures/ or just strange and cool things that were happening around campus was strictly analog: posters hanging in the infinite corridor. When I… Read More

From the archives

Telefono numero 1

29 April, 2019: I snapped this picture when visiting Montecarlos, the coffee farm on a volcano in El Salvador. If you’ve had coffee at Clover in the past few years chances are you tasted Montecarlos. George Howell (roaster) invited Christopher Anderson (head of food at Clover) and me to join him on a trip down there. I’m going to share… Read More

From the archives

Adjectives that describe taste

13 April, 2019: I loved this. A group of advanced ESL students came to Food Dev the other week. They were studying adjectives, and their teacher is a big fan of Clover. Here’s hoping they tasted smokey, sour, infused, herbal, creamy, and savory – but not rubbery or burnt or plain! Read More

From the archives

Winter update

17 February, 2009: The icicles are starting to drip. We’re almost through the winter. So we have an exciting few months ahead. Along with flowers and sunshine you can look start thinking about Clover food. Some of you have already started. I’ve been getting your emails and comments. And we’re getting ready to come back better than ever. This is… Read More

From the archives

Tearing up the chickpea platter

12 April, 2019: Back in the truck days there were boats. A boat was for someone who didn’t want the bread with their chickpea fritter. You took a fry boat, swiped it with hummus, and added all the ingredients in a chickpea fritter. Sometimes when we ran out of bread, all items would become boats. Boats became platters when we… Read More