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How to replicate a "Clover" machine at home for cheap

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For those of you who don't know, a "Clover" is a new machine that creates a very smooth coffee experience. The advantage of a real Clover are that you can control the exact water temperature of the water as well as how long the coffee is going to brew, down to the second. All this comes with a price though, roughly to the tune of $12K/pop. Quite a bit too much for most people to have at home.

So how does a Clover work? Simply put it is in an inverted french press. Meaning, the grounds are pulled away (*upwards) from the coffee instead of pushed through the coffee like a conventional french press. The problem with the normal french press is that the coffee still "brews" even when the plunger is pressed and very quickly it will over extract.
 
 
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Step 1: Where to start

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Essentially the Clover automates the process of using a french press. With a slight modification though your french press can act in a similar.

This is how the plunger part of your french press looks like.

Step 2: Remove the top part of the Plunger.

Picture of Remove the top part of the Plunger.
With the lid in place you cannot add water, which is fine, in the normal french press you push down and the grounds to the coffee, to simulate the Clover though we need to be able to pull up, so remove the lid until it looks like in this picture.

Step 3: Done

This is really all you needed to do. Now grind up some coffee, put the plunger roughly 3/4 down the caraf and pour the hot water over it. Wait your normal extraction time, then slowly pull it up, seperating the grounds from the coffee itself.

Enjoy.
IanGoodman2 years ago
I am not sure why this would be any (or much) different that using the french press normally. You have not changed the extraction process at all. I understand that seperating the brewed coffee from the grounds when the coffee is finished is good but if you are using the proper amount of grounds when you plunge the press the grounds should not be floating in water any more. The grounds should be pretty tightly packed in the bottom after you plunge the french press. If your grounds are floating around after you plunge the press you are NOT using the right amount of grounds.
loki2332 years ago
The Clover is more than just an inverted French press, another component of it is its relation to siphon-pots, which this replication may or may not replicate. I will be sure to try this soon, I'm curious as to how well this works. I suspect it is messy and it will be difficult to clean, and I would guess there is a serious risk of accidentally dumping coffee grounds into your coffee after you "reverse-plunge" them out.

Siphon filtering is the process of basically vacuuming brewed coffee through a filter, which happens when the siphon on the Clover machine starts to move upwards. A partial vacuum is formed underneath the piston head, and the only thing that can fill that vacuum is the liquid coffee on the other side of the filter, so the coffee gets sucked through the filter, leaving the grounds behind. Reversing the French press may or may not have a similar effect, I would suspect it depends on the quantity of coffee grounds you put in, you dont get a good vacuum effect unless the whole filter is covered probably.
xinnia3173 years ago
Not sure why this works but it does! Not normally a French press fan but doing it this way the coffee is better. Need to be careful at the end not to get grounds in it but it is totally doable. I didn't remove the top, just tilted it slightly and poured slow steady stream over grounds from the side. Thanks for this!
room8044 years ago
How do you pour the coffee? is it poured back through the filter andtherfore grounds could fall out the spout?
Snowrunner (author)  room8044 years ago
 It's rather simple really, once it has finished brewing you justpull the entire "plunger" up and thus remove the grounds.

Just pour like you normally would :)
Mario20076 years ago
Wow , I love coffee but for me its starbucks , the awesome 7-11 coffee or instant :)
Ima_user6 years ago
I would imagine that you could also cut a slot in the top stopper, allowing you to pour the water through the grounds, and then replacing the stopper. That should help to keep the down tube parallel to the walls of the carafe and prevent grounds from "leaking" through. Also, wouldn't reversing the press part improve the 'performance' by preventing the grounds from clogging the 'wiper spring'? Just some random thoughts. Since I adore incredibly strong cofee, it's a non-issue for me. Interesting idea, however!
Saint6 years ago
A french press does more than just steeping the coffee grounds. When you press the plunger down the coffee is forced through the fine holes and extracts extra oils and flavour from the coffee. I don't know the Clover myself, but I guess the top is closed so the plunger can force the coffee through. If you just like your coffee steeped you could use reusable teabags of something like that.
Snowrunner (author)  Saint6 years ago
The Clover is basically an inverted French Press, the water pours through the filter into a cylinder, when the brewing is done the mesh moves upwards through the cylinder while the coffee is drained through the bottom. By altering the French Press this way you receive the same result. The advantage of this is that the coffee will stop "brewing", while in a french press (because the grounds are at the bottom and still submerged in the coffee) it continues to brew.
Kiteman6 years ago
Nice idea (though I probably won't do it - I like my coffee strong).

Call me slow, but it took a moment to realise exactly what you were doing - adding a picture or two of it in action would help a lot.
Looks very easy to do and use, great job. At first I thought it was a weight thing! Nice job!
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