Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is continuing with his prankster antics (hey, he’s found his niche). Instead of taking aim at the naivete of children or Apple fans this time, he’s targeting coffee drinkers.
The reason why Kimmel took a special interest in Starbucks on his show last night was the popular coffee shop’s release of a Geisha coffee called Costa Rica Finca Palmilera. It’s so exclusive it costs $7 for a grande cup.
As Kimmel pointed out, the jump from being willing to pay $4 for a cup of coffee to $7 isn’t that far. But he’s still curious to see if people think they’ll really be able to tell the difference of such an expensive roast. His team took to the street to conduct a taste test.
Naturally, Kimmel puts a twist to it. We wont ruin it for you though until after you watch.
Here’s the taste test:
As you saw in the video, Kimmel’s team gave people the same variety of regular roast in both cups and didn’t include the Geisha roast at all.
Those who tricked themselves into thinking the coffee tasted different described the one they thought was the premium coffee as having a “richer taste.” One woman described it as having a “beanie” taste.
“It kind of tastes like a bean. It has, like, this roasty grind feeling,” she said.
We don’t know how many people took the test, but out of those Kimmel showed in the clip, only one bravely stated that the two cups tasted the same to him. This guy (see below).
Anyway, in case you’re wondering what’s so special about the Geisha coffee, Starbucks fan blogger “Starbucks Melody” explains more about it:
Any coffee which is labeled as a Geisha coffee is considered an “heirloom varietal.” This means that their seed stock is very pure, and has not been hybridized or altered. In fact, the original source of this coffee varietal traces back to the city of Gesha, in southwestern Ethiopia. “Geisha” with an “i” is an alternate spelling for this coffee, and the one that has been adopted by Latin American farms growing Geisha varietal coffee trees. As I understand it, farmers in Costa Rica imported the seeds in the 1950s. Farmers in Panama bought the seed stock in the 1960s, having heard that the Geisha coffee trees were more resistant to fungal infestation than other varietals of coffee. However, this varietal only grows at high elevations (about 3,000 feet or higher), and is very low-yielding. This means that a Geisha varietal produces far fewer coffee cherries than a typical coffee tree. Each cherry has a lot more flavor than the usual coffee cherry. The trees’ low yield allows for more of the soil’s nutrients to reach each cherry, intensifying the coffee’s vibrant flavors.
Melody went on to write that Starbucks values the coffee so much that instead roasting the beans at its main plant, it did so in small batches at its headquarters.
The Seattle Post Intelligencer reported that the brew will not be available nationwide — at least not yet. For now, the only stores offering it are those in the Pacific Northwest with Clover brewing machines.
The question now remains: would you be curious enough to take the $7 hit to see what the hype is all about? Let us know in the comments.