Lonely Planet Writer

Starbucks buys up pricey coffee beans to sell at Seattle roastery

Starbucks coffee
Starbucks coffee Image by Marco Paköeningrat

The Cup of Excellence is the world championship of coffee tasting. Held several times a year at different locations, the Cup of Excellence brings coffee judges from around the world to taste and select the world’s best coffee beans in a blind tasting. After the beans are ranked, an auction is held, where the price of a pound of coffee can sometimes reach $50.

At a recent Cup of Excellence in Brazil, coffee mega-company Starbucks sent the coffee world atwitter with news that it bought up an entire lot of top-ranked Brazilian coffee for $23.80 a pound (the company typically purchases its coffee for under $2 per pound wholesale). Now the Brazilian coffee is being sold in Starbucks’ flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle for $80 per pound. The coffee, named ‘Sítio Baixadão’ (pronounced SEE-tee-o by-sha-DAH-o), is described as having a ‘mango-like flavor, with tropical fruit aromas and a creamy finish.’ Read more: seattletimes.com