I was just reading an article about how cafe grumpy is serving a $12 cup of ethiopian coffee.

The video in the post talks about coffee that "never touches the ground" and other over romanticized marketing terms, but the description of the flavor profile sounds good.  

My question is: Is there anything special about this coffee? or is it just cafe grumpy trying out some shock value marketing technique? 

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Yep something very special, It's gotten them national press and attention. It's obviously magic.

I'm sure it's very good too
I didn't see the video, but I looked over their offerings and noticed a Nekisse from Ninety-Plus. These are the guys that brought us the wonderful Aricha and Beloya Lots in years past, they've applied the same process to some different coffee and if while wandering through NYC I saw an opportunity to pay $12 for a cup, I would.
is the difference worth $9-10? i think that's the question to be posed when dealing with these things.

i can get a locally brewed wedge abbey ale for $3.50 a pint that's amazing, or i can pay $13 for a trappistes rochefort no. 10. both are really good, but i wouldn't say the rochefort is 4 times as better. i did it once for the experience, but next time i'll buy the rochefort at the store for $6.99 and drink it at home. a lot of time it tends to be hyped up.
$2.00 for 1.5 oz of espresso = perfectly sane

$12.00 for 12 oz of coffee = crazy
Honestly it depends on the quality of the coffee, the rarity of the coffee, the skill of the brewer and the uniqueness of the experience.

My only problem is that great coffee, like great wine or liquor need only be served in small amounts.
5-7 oz, @ $6-8 seems a much better way to go if you ask me. 12 oz is far too much coffee for it to be enjoyed properly. But cost wise.... it's about right.

We do our siphon ~ $6 for 7 oz cup, and rather than raise the price for something that's even more 'special, I use 5 oz cups. But honestly, when your talking about these sorts of coffees it often comes down to rarity, because flavor wise, you're just splitting hairs.

Don't think it's newsworthy. It's GOOD coffee. What's the big deal. If you want it, Pay for it! :)
I agree with John, small quantities are a good way to enjoy fine things. I know that this topic has been raised before, but it bothers me that we don't question why a great scotch or bourbon costs $12 for two ounces (or twice that), same with wines. If we believe that coffee really is a craft from origin to table, we need to charge in a way that promotes it, rather than devalues it in order to make it accessible to a public that is used to paying a dollar for a bottomless cup. If we believe that the coffee is worth it, and that our attention to detail when preparing the coffee is worth it, we need to begin to communicate that to the public. Then maybe someday our baristi won't have to live off of tips.

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