The CBS Early Show & the $12 cup of coffee

To quote the co-anchor a little past mid-way through…”perhaps your palate isn’t sophisticated enough to appreciate it?”

This story about the Eithopian Nekisse currently being served at SCAA member coffee house Cafe Grumpy has been picked up by numerous media outlets both big and small as noted on Sprudge recently. The media interest is understandable given that $12 is a big jump from the consumer-familiar $4 latte, and an even bigger jump from the $1.95 cup of coffee found on a street corner near you. What is unknown is whether or not that same $4 latte consumer will be able to appreciate the reasons behind the price difference (both in the gustatory sense as well as the larger sustainability connection) and begin to appreciate and recognize the variations in quality. Must you be a sommelier to taste the difference between two-buck-chuck and a $100 bottle from a family owned vineyard in France? Perhaps more to the point, when you go to a nice restaurant, do you elect to purchase the cheapest wine on the menu using the rationale of “I won’t be able to taste the difference anyways.”

Although Cafe Grumpy isn’t the first to offer specialty coffee at a similar price point, they have certainly stirred the pot (or brewed the pot, rather) with regards to the media. With the spotlight shining brightly on the $12 cup-perhaps the discussion will at least be brought to a wider demographic and begin to engage and educate the consumer. And that, after all, is certainly worth 12 dollars.