“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The offerings at the Extraction Lab in Brooklyn are a bit different – and a bit pricier – than your watery $1.50 bodega cup of coffee.
In fact, it is said that the Extraction Lab has the most expensive cup of coffee at any retail shop in the United States. This java will set you back most of a Jackson.
“One coffee, specific coffee – I think that’s the one you refer to – which is $18,” said Thomas Perez, who runs the Extraction Lab. Perez is also the chief executive officer of Alpha Dominche, a very special kind of coffee maker.
“We’ve been trying to develop a commercial coffee machine that can replicate all kinds of manual brew methods and can look stunning to watch at the same time,” Perez said.
The machine is called the Steampunk. It’s not meant for your kitchen — unless you want a $7,000 coffee machine in your kitchen.
When Mike Sugerman visited the Extraction Lab, barista Ford Bray was at the controls of the decidedly 21st-century coffee maker meant for retail cafés. He can put any kind of coffee in it.
And at the showroom, they have a $3 cup. But Sugerman came to taste to the Jose Alfredo Lot 203 Panama Gesha – the one that goes for $18 per cup.
The pros love it.
“I’ve been in coffee for over 20 years and I can really appreciate it,” Perez said as he savored a sip.
Bray described the special coffee’s bouquet, as wine tasters might describe a vintage.
“There’s like a slight cherry sort of gummy flavor to it. And it has a very, yeah, I think, yeah, cola; phosphoric,” he discerned.
Sugerman said, “I’ve got to tell you — $18 seems like a lot for this.”
But Perez was ready – he’s heard it before.
“It’s more money than normal coffee, but this is very special type of coffee,” he said.
Selective beans, limited harvest – if you like expensive wine, you might just like the Panama Gesha. Sugerman himself is sticking with his bodega cup.