Tuesday, February 16, 2016

$15 coffee tasting on TV: Same snobs, different drink

Recently a San Francisco coffee shop added a $15 cup of coffee to its menu. The price actually somewhat reflects the cost of production, as the beans come from a small-crop variety (Gesha) that took eight years to produce beans in its newest planting. (Though if winery owners were to try to recoup their costs back on the first harvest from newly planted vineyards ...)

The idea of a $15 cup of coffee attracted the proletarian drink snobs we see in the wine world.

Snobbery is snobbery: to say that no cup of coffee could possibly be worth $15 is no different from saying no glass of wine could be worth $30, or conversely that there is no good wine in a box. In fact, you'll find the same people saying both: there's no way a bottle of wine could be worth $100 AND box wine is beneath them.

Check out the video of the local Fox news team doing a blind taste test of the coffee. It reminds me so much of wine haters.

Two of the three skeptical talking heads can actually pick out the expensive coffee blind -- but one is so invested in his proletarian snob stance that he immediately says he identified the $15 coffee "because I didn't like it." Yeah sure, buddy.

I don't have a position on the value of the Finca Sophia coffee because I haven't tasted it. My own palate is not that of a coffee expert: I like a darker roast, whereas aficionados prefer a lighter roast to taste nuances. So I'm not sure I'm the target audience, though I have spent 10 times the going rate to try civet coffee.

I'll bet most people who bought the coffee did so because it cost more than others, and this is true in wine as well: Cristal may be good Champagne, and Screaming Eagle may be good Cabernet, but that's not why people buy them. And that's fine. It's their money. Snobbery is snobbery, regardless of which side of the spending divide you look down on.

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Bob Henry said...

(Repurposing a comment I left at Steve Heimoff's wine blog.)

“Assume” a cup of Finca Sophia gourmet coffee is 6 fluid ounces.

It sells for $15 a cup.

That’s $2.50 per fluid ounce.

A bottle of wine is 25 ounces.

Priced like this gourmet cup of coffee, that’s $62.50 for the bottle.

How many California Cabernets can you name that cost north of $63?

(This in an era of “cult” Cabs that cost north of $250.)

Let’s assume the $15 gourmet coffee cup is a more generous 8 fluid ounce pour.

That’s $1.88 per ounce.

Multiply by 25 ounces.

That’s equal to a $46.88 bottle of wine.

How many California Pinot Noirs are priced north of $47 a bottle?

Just sayin' . . .

Bob Henry said...

If you wish to experience an exotic coffee, consider this:


Starbucks' price per pound (if you can find it)?:


(Aside: what is the Clover coffee brewing machine, you ask? Read on . . .

http://www.laweekly.com/restaurants/the-11-000-coffee-pot-2148070 )