The Latest Status Symbol: the $107 Cup of Coffee

How much would you pay for a really good cup of coffee? I mean REALLY good, you know? Better even than the ones you get at Macca’s.

If you answered, “I would pay up to one hundred and seven dollars”, then you are exactly the target market for the Elida Natural Geisha 803, a premium latte that recently won the Best of Panama competition which, as you might have guessed, is the competition that judges what the best of Panama is. The best coffee of Panama, that is – other notable Panamanian achievements go unrewarded.

The Elida Natural Geisha 803 is organic, single-source and fair trade certified – and only 100 pounds of it were made, which partly explains why it went for $803 per pound at the Best of Panama auctions. Apparently the coffee has “floral, tea like and stone fruit flavours” with jasmine, bergamot, sugar cane, peach or apricot “flavour notes”, and if you’re thinking there is no way a cup of coffee can genuinely possess such complexity of flavour, it surely at least commands a premium for being able to say that it does.

As yet, Elida Natural Geisha 803 is unavailable in Australia, but if you happen to have the spare cash to fly to San Francisco, you can grab a cup from Klatch Coffee Roasters – which may or may not be named after the exotic desert land in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels. Of course, you’d also need a bit of extra spare cash left over after you paid for the flight, to afford the $US75 ($107 AUD) price tag for a nice cup of the good stuff.

Whether the coffee itself is worth that much is open to debate, but in the end, you’re not paying for the coffee: you’re paying for the chance to tell people how much you just paid for coffee.