I’m sitting here slurping my first cup of morning coffee, normally a most enjoyable experience.
But not this morning.
My enthusiasm has been – shall we say, watered down? – since I learned I’d missed the opportunity to pay $75 for a cup of coffee, “the world’s most expensive,” says a recent issue of Time magazine (right) and other media.
Instead of rushing out to Klatch Coffee in San Francisco to drink in this opportunity, I just sat here, ignorantly sipping my already-ground-coffee-that-comes-in-a-12-ounce-can and costs about 20 cents a cup.
Since I couldn’t sample the $75-a-cup brew myself, I consoled myself with reading about it.
Last month Klatch Coffee secured 10 pounds of Elida Natural Geisha 803 coffee beans:
And what’s that?
The “803” part is easy – at auction the coffee beans went for $803 a pound, a new world record.
The “Elida Natural Geisha” is a bit more complicated. According to the Klatch website, “Elida” is an estate in Panama where the coffee is grown.
“Natural” refers to the coffee bean processing.
“Geisha” has nothing to do with geishas, as in Japan. It’s is a variety that originated in Gesha, Ethiopia, was planted in Costa Rica, and later in Panama which, at the moment, is the best growing place. Today it’s marketed as Geisha or Gesha.
And at $75 a cup, Klatch sold out to about 80 people. Here’s one of them:
“It tastes like fruit”?
If I want something that tastes like fruit, I’ll eat an apple.
Not a cup of coffee for $75.
A bit more research, and I learned that Elida Natural Geisha 803 isn’t the only expensive coffee around.
You can get a one-kilogram (about two pounds) bag of Indonesia’s Kaya Kopi Luwak for $449, marked down from $649 on their website.
Their process includes using partially digested coffee cherries, eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet:
Whose idea was this? I’m imagining the conversation:
“Damn, we’re out of coffee!”
“Hey! Let’s follow that civet around until it poops, and use that!”
Not to be outdone, a kilogram of Thailand’s Black Ivory Coffee is going for $2,000 on their website.
It’s made from undigested coffee beans consumed by elephants and collected from their droppings:
“Honey, can you make some coffee?”
“We’re out – go find an elephant!”
While Kaya Kopi Luwak and Black Ivory don’t – perhaps, understandably – include “natural” in their names, all three coffee brands do have something in common besides being expensive:
Their extravagant descriptions:
Elida Geisha: Known for its floral, tea-like and stone fruit (peach or apricot) flavors with jasmine, bergamot, and sugar cane being common flavor notes… and mixed fruit notes like strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry.
Kaya Kopi Luwak: Has a complex flavor profile that is smooth, earthy and sweet. You may taste and smell hints of citrus, jasmine, honey and/or chocolate depending on your batch and the current harvest season.
Black Ivory: With notes of floral, chocolate, malt, spice, and a hint of grass and without the burnt or bitter taste of regular coffee…smooth like chocolate with hints of cherry, and a bit earthy.
I look at my plain, ordinary 20-cents-a-cup cup of coffee. No stone fruit. Not a hint of citrus. Nothing remotely resembling grass.
Even a pound of Starbucks French Roast Coffee (“our darkest, most decadent roast”) costs $17 on Amazon, more than twice the cost of my brew. And I’d have to grind that myself!
And speaking of Starbucks, did you see this one?
Awhile back there was a rumor that Starbucks was going to start offering elephant poop – I mean Black Ivory – coffee, and in Puyallup, WA this coffee aficionado in the white SUV decided to jump ahead in line before Starbucks ran out:
The driver allegedly said, “I’ve tried that civet crap coffee, but the elephant poop’s notes of floral, chocolate, malt, spice, and a hint of grass are way better.”
Clearly – a true coffee aficionado.
Well, since the Elida Natural Geisha 803 was sold out…
And I’m iffy about getting in line at Starbucks…
And I’m really iffy about the civet/elephant poop thing…
Maybe I’ll just stick with my 20-cents-a-cup stuff.