California cafe touts its $75 coffee as the world's priciest

Klatch Coffee owner Bo Thiara holds a cup of Elida Natural Geisha coffee at his shop in San Francisco, Wednesday, May 15, 2019. The California cafe is brewing up what it calls the world's most expensive coffee - at $75 a cup. Klatch Coffee Roasters is serving the exclusive brew, the Elida Natural Geisha 803, at its branches in Southern California and San Francisco. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

SAN FRANCISCO — A California cafe is brewing up what it calls the world's most expensive coffee — at $75 a cup.

Klatch Coffee Roasters is serving the exclusive brew, the Elida Natural Geisha 803, at its branches in Southern California and San Francisco.

The 803 in the coffee's name refers to the record-breaking price per pound paid for the organic beans at a specialty coffee auction in Panama, where the limited supply set off a bidding war that determined their astronomical price, said Bo Thiara, co-owner of the Klatch cafe in San Francisco.

Only 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of the beans were available for purchase, and most went to Japan, China and Taiwan, according to the Klatch website that says it secured 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) and is the only chain in North America to have it.

It describes the coffee as a rare variety of Arabica from Panama that has a floral, tea-like flavor with hints of jasmine and berries.

The 10 pounds of beans will produce about 80 cups of coffee, Thiara said.

A few lucky coffee lovers got to try free samples Wednesday at the San Francisco branch, where promotional signs are on display advertising, "World's Most Expensive Coffee."

One of them was San Francisco resident Lauren Svensson, who said it was "very different" from any coffee she'd ever tasted.

"My mind was a little blown about the fact that a$75 cup of coffee even exists," she said, "but it was shockingly good."

Her friend, Charlie Sinhaseni, also gave his free sample a positive review.

"When I first looked at it, I thought it would be hyper pretentious, and I would think of all the different notes for the coffee, but I was too busy enjoying it," he said.

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