How much would you pay for a really good cup of coffee? And no, we're not talking your average pumpkin spice latte, people.
One cafe in Rancho Cucamonga, California, hopes that answer is ... a lot. That’s because it will soon be serving up $55 cups to customers who want to experience a flavorful brew made from an extremely rare crop of beans.
Known as Esmeralda Geisha Cañas Verdes Natural, these beans were originally found growing on a single estate in the hills of Panama. One hundred pounds were put up for international auction and sold for a record-breaking $601 per pound (the previous title holder of most expensive coffee went to a crop of beans that sold for $350 a pound.)
Klatch Coffee in SoCal is the proud owner of 11 pounds of those beans — and it’s the only cafe in the U.S. to have any. According to Los Angeles magazine, Klatch’s owner Mike Perry first tasted coffee made from the beans at a preview in May.
“The moment I tried Esmeralda Geisha 601, I knew it was something I wanted to share with coffee lovers in the U.S.A,” he wrote in Klatch’s announcement. “A taste of this varietal provides a coffee experience unlike any other — its notes of peach, blackberry, jasmine and other fruit flavors are so bold, so flavorful, even an untrained a palate will find it remarkable.”
Perry, who has a degree in chemical engineering, uses his science skills to perfect the roasting of each individual cup to its unique peak flavor profile, explains the company. It seems to be working since the cafe has won awards such as "Micro Roaster of the Year" (Roast magazine, 2009), "Best Espresso in the World" at the World Barista Championships (Tokyo, 2007) and the "#1 Coffee of the Year" (Coffee Review, 2014).
With all those titles, it’s reassuring to know Klatch will be the one roasting this rare crop — after all, 11 pounds only makes up about 250 eight-ounce cups of coffee!
Want to experience this special cup of joe for yourself? Individual pours will be available via ticketed experiences at the company’s private tasting room. Stay tuned to Klatch Coffee’s Facebook page for booking information.
And if you’re on the East Coast, you can settle for the second most expensive cup of coffee in the U.S. — Eleven Madison Park is serving up a $24 cup of coffee and an $18 pour is available from Extraction Lab by Alpha Dominche in Brooklyn, New York.
Still want to get your buzz on but need to stretch your beans a little further? Check out our favorite home coffee makers and brewers.