A $12 Cup of Coffee—the Latest Sign of Recovery?

If you thought the $4 cup of coffee was an outrage, wait until you get a load of this: One New York coffee chain is charging $12 for a cup of coffee!

Café Grumpy mug and coffee combo
Source: cafegrumpy.com
Café Grumpy mug and coffee combo

At $12, which is more than a pound of coffee beans, what could be so great about this cup of coffee?

(And no, it doesn’t involve a wild cat’s digestive system!)

Apparently, it’s made from hand-picked Ethiopian beans, which never touch the ground.

And, the bouquet of flavors has been likened to that of a glass of wine: "tropical fruit notes of pineapple, kiwi and key lime. Floral notes of jasmine, lemongrass and rosemary," the chain, Café Grumpy, says on its website. Some reviewers also note undertones of chocolate — and an exceptionally clean finish.

My sense is that it also has notes of jest and sucker!

It’s called Ethiopian Nekisse, and is available at Café Grumpy, which has three locations – in Greenpoint and Park Slope (both in Brooklyn) and in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan – but only for a limited time.

Café Grumpy t-shirt
Source: cafegrumpy.com
Café Grumpy t-shirt

The real kicker is that the coffee is apparently best enjoyed black – so it’s not even like you’re getting hand-steamed milk, the way you would with those $4 cups of coffee.

Seems like a good sign that the recovery is well underway – that a small business had enough confidence in consumer spending that it would offer such an expensive cup.

Though, we here at CNBC are always on the lookout for a contrarian view, so you could always say it wasn’t confidence in consumer spending, but a strategy for free publicity!

Hey, did they say anything about financing options?!

What do you think--a sign of recovery or just free publicity? Email ponyblog@cnbc.com or drop a line in the comment box below.

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