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A $12 takeout coffee?
The latest sign the recession may be over: A New York City cafe is serving a to-go caffeine jolt as costly as a glass of wine
 
A $12 cup of coffee: Will anyone buy it?
A $12 cup of coffee: Will anyone buy it?
Corbis

New York's Cafe Grumpy — an immodest coffeeshop that promises "puppy watching" opportunities outside its windows — has rolled out a new cup of takeout brew for $12 a go. Is that a record?

What's so special about this particular brew?
Much fussed-over ingredients, according to Steve Holt, the vice president of Ninety Plus Coffee, which distributes the Ethiopian Nekisse beans behind the brew. These "coffee cherries," Holt told The New York Post, are "dried on a raised African drying bed," and never allowed to touch the ground.

What does it taste like?
Holt extols the coffee's complex flavor as a "cacophony of nuances....apricot, pineapple, bergamot, kiwi and lime. The deeper tones are levels of chocolate, and the finish is super clean."

So what is Cafe Grumpy bringing to the table?
Impressive equipment. The baristas brew it in Grumpy's $11,000 Clover drip brewing system, a precisely calibrated machine that Chow.com says "sounds like Exhibit A in a congressional hearing on criminally inflated military spending."

Is this the most expensive coffee ever?
No. That would be civet coffee — brewed from beans which pass through the digestive tract of a catlike Asian creature called a civet to produce an exceptionally "smooth, rich taste." Bags of civet coffee beans, often jokingly called "crap coffee," regularly cost $150-200 a pound and a single cup, The Houston Chronicle reports, "typically costs" as much as $35.

 

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