Starbucks just introduced its most expensive coffee ever, Costa Rica Finca Palmilera, at $7 a cup in 48 of its U.S. stores. Half of these stores are selling the illusive coffee Starbuck's coroprate home city, Seattle.
Costa Rica Finca Palmilera Available at Limitred Locations for a Limited Time
This Geisha heirloom varietal is a rare treat that will only be available at Reserve stores in the Pacific Northwest for a very limited time
Costa Rica Finca Palmilera
Costa Rica Finca Palmilera is made from a rare coffee variety called Geisha, which is found in Central America and is famously difficult to cultivate. In addition to the $7 cups, Starbucks offers eight-ounce bags for $40. Made with Clover brewing machines, the stuff is only available in stores (sorry, drive-through customers).
Costa Rica Tarrazu Geisha Led the Way for Expensive Coffee Offerrings from Starbucks
Online, Starbucks has already sold out of a similar 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 of being offered Nov. 8.
Rare Coffee Beans are from Ethiopia
Geisha heirloom varietals beans are named for the village in Ethiopia where they were first discovered before making their way to Central America in the 1950s.
Costa Rica Finca Palmilera Part of Starbuck "Speciality Reserve Line"
The coffee, which is part of Starbucks' limited-edition, specialty "Reserve" line, is already proving popular. An online offering on Starbucks' website, although slightly different from the product sold in stores, sold out in 24 hours.
Speciality Geisha Beans have a Unique Taste
Starbucks is working through 3,800 pounds of Finca Palmilera beans, which feature notes of white peach and pineapple, Starbucks spokeswoman Alisa Martinez said.
“It leaves a tingly, kind of light feeling,” she said. “It’s a very exquisite coffee.”
Leslie Wolford, a green coffee specialist for Starbucks, talked up the Costa Rica Finca Palmilera at a tasting event at a Seattle location. Wolford also described the taste as having the following attributes: "A little bit of pineapple. Herbal complexity. Super-clean. Vibrant. Sparklingness. ... Lush, tropical, hints of white, not yellow, peach."
Is the $7 Starbucks Cup of Coffee a Joke?
The high price cup of Joe induced a serious case of sticker shock in comedian Jimmy Kimmel, who decided to prank people with a "taste test" on his late night show. Random passersby were asked to try two cups of coffee and guess which was the $7 one. The catch: both were regular coffee.
Predictably, people actually fell for it. "I feel like this is a test to find out just how stupid we are," Kimmel said of the $7 brew.
Starbucks Justify High Price
Starbucks justifies the high price by explaining that Geisha beans are rare. The Geisha plants don’t produce many cherries, making the beans extremely rare and also full of concentrated flavor. This Starbuck’s first go-round with Geisha beans.