$20 000 cup of coffee

Would you pay $20 000 for a cup of coffee?

07 Feb 2008
coffee cup

Made in Japan and called a Siphon Bar, the brass-trimmed halogen powered coffee maker will definitely impress any caffeine enthusiast. While the machine is not for sale you can buy a cup of coffee from it for $20 000.

The Blue Bottle Café imported the only halogen-powered model in the US from the Jay Egami of the Ueshima Coffee Company and will be serving this expensive brew in the future.

How does Siphon Bar work?
Water is heated by a brass halogen lamp, and vapour pressure sends water up into the top glass globe where the coffee grounds are collected. As water comes into contact with the grounds, the barista stirs the grounds with a bamboo paddle to create a whirlpool. The glass globe is taken off the heat, and the coffee siphons back into the lower chamber.

The goal is to create a deep whirlpool in no more than four turns without touching the glass. Posture is important. So is timing, the Siphon Bar has a brewing cycle of 45 to 90 seconds.

"The whirlpool messes with your mind," said Mr. Freeman, the owner of the Blue Bottle. "There's no way to rush it."

The secret to the success of this $20 000 cup of coffee is in how it's stirred... but could you ever afford to taste it?


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