I am not too, cool, hip, or classy to see a brewed coffee priced at $3.50 and not ask why I would pay that for a coffee. (Although ironically when in London I paid that for a Starbucks but this is California where I’m used to paying $2.30 for a hand-dripped Blue Bottle coffee, so I had to ask.)
The fellow at Intelligentsia in Silverlake did not blink an eye as he prepared to answer:
-Intelligensia works directly with the coffee farmers. Not a co-operative but directly with the growers.
-They pay the farmers 50% more (if I heard correctly) than the market price and well above the Fair Trade price.
-They only use the best coffee and when it’s at its greenest state. I’m not quite clear how this compares to the state of “normal” coffee beans but it sounded good.
-Their coffee machine cost $10,000.
-Each coffee is individually ground (which I’m not so sure if unique but it’s a good thing).
(Here’s a blog post they wrote about some of their costs and pricing.)
I’d run into Intelligentsia by accident. In fact when I saw a sign in front of a restaurant I remembered hearing there was a new cafe here. I started to Google it on my crackberry when I looked up and saw it 20 feet away from me. Destiny.
It’s in a lovely old Spanish style building with Moroccan looking tile floors, overall a wonderful cafe with a fabulous Americano and good people. I’ll be back, sans the obnoxiousness.
There’s something to be said when you know the story behind what you’re eating or drinking, the way I did with the orange BonBonBar that I slowly luxuriated over as breakfast…figuring if “orange” was in the name and the nougat had eggwhites, surely it must be the perfect breakfast snack.