Taste Test: Starbucks' Most Expensive Coffee

The heirloom, Costa Rican coffee costs up to $7 for one cup

And you thought your $5, pourover, hipster cup of coffee was expensive. Starbucks recently unveiled its newest brewed coffee that rivals the Intelligentsia and Stumptown prices, but brings on the taste.

The Costa Rica Finca Palmilera brew costs up to $7 for a cup for some customers, reports the Seattle Pi, and about $40 for a half-pound. It's the coffee's origins that make it pricey; the coffee comes from an heirloom, hard-to-grow coffee varietal called "Geisha." That varietal means something to coffee snobs — even Stumptown has called it the "champion of coffee varietals." It's being sold only in 48 Starbucks stores with Clover brewing machines in the Pacific Northwest, but it's likely it will move on to other Clover-holding stores. And one online store that sold the Starbucks brew sold out in less than 24 hours. 


So what does this coffee varietal taste like? Starbucks held a tasting in its Seattle East Olive Way location, and bloggers seem to be impressed. Wrote the blogger behind Starbucks Melody, "It’s a soft juicy coffee... The coffee had a little sparkle to it, and had soft, sweeter tropical notes as the primary flavor, and then a complex, lush herbal flavor as the coffee cooled." (And a tip: Melody notes that the pourover brew brought out the tropical flavors, including notes of pineapple, more than the Clover brew.) Would you pay $7 for a tropical cup of coffee?