You read that right! 48,000 Philippine Pesos! Well, technically it’s 47,783.1 Pesos based on the conversion rate of 0.48 Yen to 1 Php. Rounding that off to 48K has so much wow factor. I digress…
I’m a fan of the Worth It series from Buzzfeed (all the way back from when Keith from the Try Guys was Steven’s “bestie”) and back in episode 9 of season 3, the worth it boys tried three different coffee places in Japan at drastically different price points (sorry, couldn’t help it). Aside from introducing us to such an amazing coffee shop concept in Tokyo’s Coffee Elementary School, we were introduced to a cup of coffee priced at 100,000 Yen at a quantity that’s basically the same as an espresso shot for 48K!
What makes it so expensive? Apparently, because it takes so long to make, the owner thinks it warrants a hefty premium. Basing solely on how the owner, Kanji Tanaka, described it in the episode:
- He takes raw beans (did not specify where they were sourced) that were aged for 20 to 22 years inside barrels “that claimed to make cheap alcohol taste better”
- He roasts them dark (color grading by Buzzfeed editor aside, those beans looked black)
- He grinds it super fine and packs a Nel Drip to the brim with it
- He extracts the coffee so slowly he says it takes about 30 minutes for the first drip to drop
- He then runs the liquid through the same barrels
- And, as if that wasn’t enough, he serves it in his “personal Meissen Cup” the “only one of these in the world”.
Tanaka describes it as “a poem that you can drink”. He probably meant that, like most pieces of literature especially poems, that he can exercise poetic license and be able to sell what most may say is coffee well past its prime, at such a preposterous price.
How did he decide to make this? It was through an accident: He had iced coffee sitting inside a fridge for six months and decided to #YOLO and tries it before throwing it out. He thought it still tasted pretty good so he went to town with it. The yield, everybody keeps saying including this article, is a deep black liquid that has wine, syrup, and chocolate notes.
Is it worth it? Judging from the episode, none of them picked it as their “Worth It Winner” (in case you haven’t seen it, 3 out 4 of the hosts picked Coffee Elementary School). I think it’s more a tourist trap. The story, the process, the fact that you get a headshot of a younger Tanaka all scream that this is for entertainment. If you go here, you’re not paying 48K just to taste a coffee-wine hybrid. You’re there to see good old Tanaka and watch him do all these.
If ever you’re in Osaka, maybe you can include the Munch in your itinerary and share with us if it really is Worth It.
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Categories: thoughts with kape