Saturday, December 1, 2012

$7 cup of coffee at Starbucks?

And not some foo-foo drink either -- legit coffee. It's the Geisha varietal, originally from Ethiopia and lost for decades until it reappeared in Panama early last decade (or, more accurately, re-classified) and became world renowned a few years ago when it sold for an astounding $100+ at a specialty coffee auction. I detailed a cool experience I had drinking this in 2008 with George Howell at Terroir Coffee outside of Boston. My tasting notes at the time read: "Very light in color, and looked tea-like in its transparency. That comparison was apt because the smell and taste reminded me of Darjeeling tea. That was followed by a striking citrus flavor that mellowed out to a buttery richness in the finish. Beautiful." Starbucks is not going to be selling this coffee. What they are selling is a geisha from the farm of Costa Rica Finca Palmilera. They're also going to be brewing it in their Clover coffee machine, a high precision box that allows the user to control the temperature down to the tenth of a degree and seep time down to seconds. It was the darling of the third wave roasters until Starbucks bought the business and then people started pissing on them for it. But it's still a great innovation for coffee brewing. I tried to get a cup of this special coffee last week in San Francisco but the Starbucks near my office didn't have it yet; they said try next week. While I'm excited to see what this tastes like, my concern is that like most of their coffees, including their specialty brews for the clover, it will be over roasted and charred. In lieu of the geisha coffee, I got a sun dried Ethiopian, one of my favorite types of coffees. It was just ok -- acidity was lacking, and the flavors were a shadow of sun dried (ie - "natural" processed beans) that I've had at small roasters who take a much lighter touch. But still very curious to see how this Costa Rican turns out.

1 comment:

Shane Lapan said...

$7 for a cup of coffee is worth it for me, because Starbucks are best known to their coffee's and frappuccino.