If you’re complaining about your $5 morning coffee, wait until you hear this.
In San Francisco, the city that’s home to million-dollar micro apartments and $4 toast, Marin County–based chain Equator Coffee has released a $15 cup of joe, a Finca Sophia blend, according to SFGate. The blend was released to the public in liquid form in shops and bean form online on February 1. Equator’s Union Square location sold out of the coffee on the 10th after only offering about 20 cups of the stuff.
The Finca Sophia beans come from a Panama farm co-owned by Equator’s owners, Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell, according to their website. The company became well known for selling wholesale beans to local shops. And they’re not cheap: Equator sells 50 blends that range from $13.25 to $31 per 12 ounces of beans.
San Francisco’s current minimum wage is $12.25, meaning an hour’s work at that rate couldn’t buy you a cup of the $15 coffee, nor allow you to tip the barista. You could argue that the cost of growing coffee and paying fair-trade wages, plus the costs of shipping the beans and treating employees in the Bay Area respectfully, would add up to a $15 cup, but Equator doesn’t seem to be saying that, and customers don’t seem to care. The $15 was played up and the customers paid up, in a city where you’re probably more likely to be living on outrageous stock-option money than minimum wage. Call it a sign of the times.