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A $7 cup of Starbucks coffee

Starbucks rolls out the most expensive cup of coffee it's ever sold. Would you part with 7 bucks for a grande?

By Karen Datko Nov 29, 2012 5:31PM

A Starbucks Corp., sign is displayed outside a coffee shop in London, U.K. / Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesStarbucks has debuted a $7 grande cup of coffee -- the most expensive joe the nation's No. 1 coffeehouse has ever served. And that's for a 16-ounce cup of plain black coffee (perhaps with a little milk).


Bloomberg explains:

"The Costa Rica Finca Palmilera coffee costs $40 for a half-pound bag and $6 for a 12-ounce 'tall' cup, Lisa Passe, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. It's made from a rare, difficult-to-grow varietal called Geisha."

Geisha is available only at 46 Starbucks in the Pacific Northwest, home of the nation's leading coffee snobs -- er, aficionados. You can find it mostly in Seattle and Portland, Ore., and at one Idaho location. says Geisha may appear in more Starbucks stores in 2013.


What's the big deal? Geisha, named for an Ethiopian village where it was found, yields "a very small number of coffee cherries," says Starbucks' online store. And the resulting beverage is described with a language most of us coffee yokels associate with wine.  


Another Geisha from Starbucks' Reserve line was offered -- briefly -- for sale at its website. The Los Angeles Times reports:

"Online, Starbucks already has sold out of a similar premium offering -- the Costa Rica Tarrazu Geisha, listed on the website as having 'rose petal aromas with ripe banana and subtle red current notes and silky mouth feel.' The 450 half-pound bags of beans available were snapped up within 24 hours after being offered Nov. 8."

The Times notes that Jimmy Kimmel conducted a fake sidewalk taste test of two regular cups of joe but told people that one was the Finca Palmilera heirloom varietal. (You can see the video at Only one person said both cups tasted the same.


Kimmel remarked about Starbucks' new high-end brew, "I feel like this is a test to find out just how stupid we are. Although, while it's ridiculous to spend $7 on a cup of coffee, it's actually not that much more ridiculous than spending $4 on a cup of coffee at Starbucks."


Would you spend that much for coffee?


If you're too frugal to pay for it on your own, perhaps with a Starbucks gift card in hand you'd be more inclined. Maybe not.


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