$80 a pound for coffee? Starbucks really wants to be Intelligentsia
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SEATTLE — Starbucks is staking out some ground in the world of high-end grounds.
The Seattle Times reports that at the company’s new Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, it’s selling some of the planet’s top-rated coffee beans for $80 a pound, or brewed for about $7.50 a cup.
Starbucks coffee buyer Ann Traumann bought the beans at an international coffee auction in Brazil, part of a series of events known as the Cup of Excellence. She paid $23.80 per pound for the 2,000-pound lot.
That surprised others in the field. Starbucks, which last year paid an average of $1.72 per pound, has historically avoided the auctions because they don’t offer the massive quantities of reasonably priced coffee it needs.
But Starbucks is trying to boost its Reserve brand to compete with companies like Portland, Oregon-based Stumptown and Chicago’s Intelligentsia Coffee for pickier customers.