Is a $10 Cup of Coffee Ever Worth It?

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 Kevin Summers / Getty Images

The biggest problem with ordering a cup of coffee that costs ten dollars is the fear you're going to spill even just a little bit of it. I know it isn't exactly a Fabergé egg, but you do have to be like Al Bundy running the ball for Polk High, bobbing and weaving past careless people who might bump into you. Nobody wants to dribble out one precious drop of their morning coffee, no matter how much it costs. But as it stands, a cup of Colombia Cerro Azul at Blue Bottle does cost you ten George Washingtons, two Abe Lincolns, or a single Alexander Hamilton, or about four grande coffees at Starbucks, so you're a little extra careful with it. 

But is a cup of coffee ever worth that much money? Is it basically the coffee shop equivalent to going into a crowded bar and ordering a glass of 20-year-old Pappy not so much because you're a big bourbon fan, but because you can and you want to let people know it? Not if you really love coffee, it isn't. 


Each pound of the beans have been fetishized by the coffee world since a farmer entered the beans from a tree that "stood stark and twiggy amidst the verdant and prodigious crops of Panama" into the prestigious Best of Panama competition in 2004. At $118 a pound, they're not making a huge profit serving the stuff (especially when you factor in the cup I had was served to me at their Rockefeller Center location, possibly one of the busiest and also expensive places to open up a shop anywhere in New York City), so yes, they're trying to give people who love coffee something unique and special. 

Since coffee tends to signal the start of your day, and you normally find yourself telling people you really can't do anything at all until you've had one, I'm going to default to another great coffee lover, Agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks, who said, "Every day, once a day, give yourself a present." There's a chance that after work you're going to go out and get a glass of subpar wine or a pint of beer that's been marked up a ridiculous amount, and comes out to almost the exact price as the Columbia Cerro Azul, and by that point of the day you're totally spent. Why not drink a cup of coffee that smells like chocolate and toffee (but subtly, not in an overpowering way at all) and tastes like honey and melon? There's really no other part of the day that demands such a perfect gift to yourself.