Back in 2017, we covered the “world’s most expensive cup of coffee,” which clocked in at $55. Six years later, you can now grab a cup of joe for just about three times that.
Proud Mary Coffee Roasters, an Australia-based company with locations in Portland, Ore. and Austin, Texas, will be selling a cup of coffee for $150 starting on February 6. And there’s a reason you’re paying more than 30 times more than what Starbucks would charge you.
The cup features Black Jaguar Geisha coffee from Panama’s Hartmann Estate, which won the 2022 Best of Panama competition. The Geisha varietal, originally discovered in Ethiopia, has a nuanced flavor profile beloved by baristas. Hartmann Estate grows its version in the Santa Clara region of Panama, differentiating it from the Boquette producers that are more well known for Geisha coffees.
To acquire the Black Jaguar Geisha coffee, Proud Mary paid $2,000 for just one pound of the beans. Given that relatively small quantity, only 22 cups of the good stuff will be available between the company’s Portland and Austin locations. If you’re not able to acquire one, Proud Mary will be serving five additional Hartmann coffees throughout February—three available as espressos and two natural Geisha coffees as deluxe pours. The beans themselves will also be for sale via the roaster’s website.
The $150 price tag on this particular cup of coffee might seem steep, even to coffee connoisseurs. But those in the industry have been trying to get consumers to think of coffee more like wine, which many are happy to pay a premium for. Eater Portland, in its article about Proud Mary’s limited-edition cup, noted how we pay pretty low prices for our coffee, given the amount of labor that goes into harvesting, roasting and processing beans. If more people understood the labor-intensive nature of coffee, they might be willing to pay a bit more for their everyday cup (maybe not $150 more, though).
Todd Goldsworthy, the former coffee guru at the LA-based Klatch Coffee, said the same thing back in 2017, when his company was selling that $55 cup. “Sometimes those are those really really special wines, where the terroir is just right for a grape, and I want them sourced from a single vineyard,” he told Robb Report. “For that I’m willing to pay much more, and that’s what we’re going for with this coffee. That really high-end experience.”
Now Proud Mary has come out with an even more luxe option. And as with many great things, there’s a very limited supply.