SAN FRANCISCO, California -- The world's new record holder for the most expensive cup of coffee will soon be available at one roasting company in San Francisco.
Klatch Coffee Roasters has one location in the Bay Area and several locations in southern California. Together, they'll be splitting 10 pounds of the super exclusive Elida Geisha 803, which costs $803 a pound wholesale. After roasting, it's closer to $1,200 a pound.
Co-owner of Klatch's northern California location is Bo Thiara. His excitement in describing the exclusivity and quality of the Elida Geisha 803 is palpable.
"It's a unique coffee that comes from Panama. It's by far better than any of the coffee you hear about that comes from animals."
Thiara is describing the Kopi Luwak variety of coffee, made from cat-like mammals that are fed the beans and then pooped out, which to many is considered more of a fad than a specialty that attributes to the coffee's taste.
Thiara believes this market is ready for $75 Panamanian coffee.
"San Francisco is one of those places where people appreciate fine stuff!"
If that's the case, Klatch Coffee's latest offering is the finest of the fine, at least according to the Best of Panama competition.
"It's the Oscars for coffee! Just like wine, on a scale of up to 100, this coffee got the highest rating ever!" exclaims Thiara.
The Elida Geisha 803 was auctioned off to buyers all over the world. Out of an available 100 pounds, Klatch roasters owns the only 10 pounds in the entire United States. Do the math and that's just 80 cups across the entire country, split between San Francisco and L.A.
It's so exclusive, even the baristas, who according to Thiara train 406 hours to work at Klatch, wanted to be extra careful preparing us the Elita Geisha 803.
"I actually practiced with something completely different hoping this would go good...and it's almost done so this is actually going great," smiles one barista as she calculated water temperature and time so precisely. Her notes were written on a sheet of paper next to the cup.
Thiara provides us several tiny cups to sample. He explains the fruity notes come out and evolve as the coffee begins to cool down and change temperature. Upon trying a first sip, the fruity, blueberry-like notes and smoothness become apparent.
"This coffee is not over-roasted like what you get at other places. It's roasted how coffee used to be roasted back in the day," says Thiara.
The beans of the Geisha 803 are organic, from a single source, and direct trade, as are all of Klatch's offerings. Education and knowing exactly where the coffee comes from down to the elevation (Geisha's is harvested from 1,670-1,820 meters above sea level) are made clear to consumers.
While Thiara knows the Geisha 803 isn't for everyone - and there are coffees at different price points at Klatch ranging from $4 to $12, he points out there is a different purpose to how they present their products.
"The objective is to just introduce people to this great coffee."
That's a latte! Coffee shop brews $75 cups of Panamanian coffee