A company not known to shy away from expensive coffees, Australian-born Proud Mary Coffee is launching its most expensive coffee ever.
In fact, the coffee may be the world’s most expensive microlot to date. The winner of last year’s prestigious Best of Panama coffee competition, the 100-pound “Black Jaguar Geisha” green coffee lot from renowned producer the Hartmann Estate earned just over $2,000 per pound at a global auction.
[Editor’s note: DCN typically refers to the coffee variety as Gesha, but defers to the preferred name given by producers if the variety is part of a proper name.]
Proud Mary was among a consortium of buyers from throughout the world to purchase the winning lot, and now the Australian company is bringing it to the United States market in roasted and brewed form.
The cost to taste this winning coffee is $150 per cup.
While such prices are likely to raise eyebrows among casual consumers, Proud Mary Owner and Director Nolan Hirte told DCN that they are part of a broader mission to celebrate the efforts of coffee producers.
“This is us being curious about where the ceiling is,” Hirte said. “To us, it signals and encourages producers that the coffee isn’t stuck in the same place price-wise — where it’s been far too long. We had two WhatsApp messages and a video call from producers in the last 24 hours, excited about the buzz but also curious what it would take to do more together.”
Starting Monday, Feb. 6, a total of 22 cups will be available in the United States at the Proud Mary cafe in Portland, Oregon, and in its newest cafe in Austin, Texas.
Throughout the month of February, both those cafes will also be hosting a “Hartmann Family takeover,” offering five other high-scoring coffees grown at the family’s farms in the Santa Clara region of Panama. Three of the coffees will be served as espressos while two natural-process Gesha coffees will be served as “deluxe pours.” Proud Mary is also selling Hartmann-produced coffees online throughout the U.S.
“From the consumer side, it’s no surprise we want to change the way people think about coffee and what gets paid for it,” Hirte told DCN. “We have been doing $12-$15 a cup deluxe pours at [the] consumer level in cafes for years, and we are now at a point where highest-end stuff outsells the basics.”
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Nick Brown is the editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine.