Drinks launched into space are a favorite topic here at Neat Pour. So are phenomenally expensive cups of coffee. You can imagine our delight when we discovered that one NYC coffee house is selling a $50 cup of space coffee.
Dubbed “Astronaut Coffee,” the joe is only available at Round K coffee on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Unlike most high priced brews, the cost is not a product of some boutique bean. Rather, the price tag accounts for the fact that the beans boast a trip to the atmosphere.
Owner Ockhyeon Byeon takes one pound of Columbian-sourced beans wrapped up in lots of duct tape-sealed packaging and attaches them to a weather balloon. According to his estimates, the payload rises about 30 miles up into the mesospherere. Byeon concludes the roughly five hour process by tracking down the vessel using GPS.
“I wanted to check the effects of atmospheric pressure on coffee,” Byeon told Bloomberg. The journey partially freezes the beans and adds moisture according to reports.
The final product is available in the afore-mentioned $50 cups, prepared pour-over. Or customers can take the goods home with a 60 gram (two serving) package for $50.
If you’re feeling flush, Byeon also just unveiled a “special edition” drink comprised of Astronaut coffee based espresso, 98% cacao powder, coconut, marzipan, and coconut cream base topping. Plus, the concoction features “24k gold leaf to prevent radiation melting.”
Of course, the taste, not the cost, is the real bottom line. Bloomberg bought in coffee guru Oliver Strand for a second opinion. He was underwhelmed. “It might be worth $50 to someone else. Value is in the eye of the beholder,” Strand told the news service. “You’re paying for the idea, and it is a pretty cup of coffee.”