Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

$7 for a Starbucks coffee: Would you pay it?

SUZANNE PLUNKETT/REUTERS

Because you weren't already paying enough for coffee, Starbucks has gone and added a $7 (U.S.) drink to its menu in select locations.

And just to be clear, this is simple, black coffee. Not a caramel latte contraption. And there isn't a dollop of whipped cream involved either.

It's really all about the beans. The new drink, called Costa Rica Finca Palmilera, is made from the " rare Geisha varietal ," a coffee bean that is sourced from a small Costa Rican farm but named after the Ethiopian village where it was discovered. Currently the drink is being served at over 40 stores, mostly in Washington and Oregon states, but there are reports that Starbucks intends to roll it out across the United States next year.

Story continues below advertisement

Seven dollars (U.S., since the drink is not offered in Canada) will buy you a grande (a large for those of you who don't speak pretentious) and for a whopping $40 (U.S.) you can purchase a half-pound bag of the beans.

The rationale behind the price is seemingly all based on the fact that this is one exclusive bean.

"[The] price is based on rarity, demand, and green coffee prices," a Starbucks spokesperson told Yahoo! Shine . "This coffee is not widely available, so, like an opportunity to try a wine where there is limited production, demand is high."

Right. Less of something deemed special generally makes it more expensive. But how can this Geisha bean be so rare if there are plans to offer it across America in more than 13,000 Starbucks stores?

Anyway, there is a certain (perhaps sizeable?) segment of the population (like wine snobs but for the black stuff) who will payfor this luxury. So what can they expect? Well, the Starbucks description of it reads: "Rose petal aromas with ripe banana and subtle red current notes and silky mouth feel."

And " green coffee specialist " Leslie Wolford described it thusly after a tasting event in Seattle: "Lush, tropical, hints of white, not yellow, peach. A little bit of pineapple. Herbal complexity. Super-clean. Vibrant. Sparklingness."

So there you have it. If you're in Seattle and wanted to spend $7 on something you'll pee out an hour later, you can have a cup of sparklingness. Or you can just eat some glitter for much less.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Madeleine White is an online editor and reporter for The Globe and Mail. More

Comments

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at privacy@globeandmail.com.