There is no skimping at the newly reopened Eleven Madison Park. When the world’s No. 1 restaurant shutdown to renovate this summer, chef Daniel Humm and restaurateur Will Guidara wanted to craft everything to their specifications, all the way down to custom-made china and flatware designed by their architect.
That no-compromise approach to the new EMP extends all the way to the very end of the meal—to the coffee service—which will set a couple back $48 for one 10-oz pour-over coffee divided into two 5-oz cups. Of course, that’s in addition to the $295 per person tasting menu.
The coffee is brewed with a coveted bean variety called Wush Wush, which is named for the town located in southern Ethiopia where it originated. The particular Wush Wush Eleven Madison Park uses is imported and roasted by Devoción in Brooklyn, which sources the beans from a single farm in Colombia.
For that price, a paper cup filled with hot java isn’t just dropped at the table; there’s a bit of theater to the presentation. The three-Michelin-star restaurant’s coffee director Maya Albert comes to your table with a Silverton Dripper to prepare a pour-over coffee that takes 10 minutes to brew properly.
First, she must pour a small amount of water over the grounds in what is called the bloom. Really fresh coffee will release CO2 when first saturated with water and if you don’t allow that gas to escape before pouring all of the water over, it will cause the water to extract flavor from the grounds unevenly. After the bloom, she’ll slowly pour the water evenly over the soaked beans, and the coffee will collect in a glass pot below.
How does it taste? “It’s blueberry pie,” Albert told the Wall Street Journal. “It’s got this creamy texture that reminds me of dough or yogurt.”