Above: Fonte Coffee Roaster in Seattle sells the drink made
from Ethiopian Nekisse beans for $2.69 a cup. The same cup
drink goes for $12 a cup at the Chelsea spot of Cafe Grumpy.
By Tadias Staff
Updated: Sunday, June 6, 2010
“Trabant Coffee & Chai will soon carry one of the hottest tickets in coffee, a Nekisse micro-lot selection from Ethiopia, which recently sold for $12 a cup in New York and has appeared for considerably less — $2.69 a cup — at Seattle’s Fonte Coffee Roaster,” Allison points out. “Trabant’s roaster, 49th Parallel Coffee in Vancouver, is giving all the proceeds from its Nekisse sales to a non-profit called imagine1day to build classrooms in Ethiopia, said 49th Parallel owner Vince Piccolo.”
But New Yorkers have mixed opinions about Café Grumpy’s price. “There are flavors you would expect in a really nice glass of wine — it’s a cacophony of nuances,” Steve Holt, vice president of Ninety Plus Coffee, the company distributing the beans, told The NY Post. “You detect flavors of apricot, pineapple, bergamot, kiwi and lime. The deeper tones are levels of chocolate, and the finish is super clean.”
And why is it so pricey?
“It is a higher-end coffee, and you have to take a lot of time developing and processing it,” said Holt. “Once the coffee is harvested, it is dried on a raised African drying bed — the actual coffee cherries never sit on the ground.”
“People have had bad reactions to the prices,” Colleen Duhamel, a coffee buyer and barista at the cafe, told The New York Post. “They will think, ‘This place isn’t for me,’ and storm out.” “I’ve spent $12 on a cocktail, but I’d be reticent to pay that much for a cup of coffee,” said Whitney Reuling, 25, after tasting samples provided by the newspaper. “It’s good — but I can’t taste the difference. My palate is not at an advanced level for coffee — a $2.50 cup is fine.”