Americans love their coffee. From the particular drink orders we’ve concocted over the years to our obsession with the latest Starbucks craze, coffee is a cultural force. But a New York coffee shop may have just reached the pinnacle of coffee-dom: They’ve concocted the most precisely made, pristinely sourced, crazy-expensive cup of coffee in the country.
Time reports that the newly opened Alpha Domache Extraction Lab has taken the title for most expensive cup of coffee with their $18 cup. It’s not laced with gold; the price is largely because of the use of steam and computer-powered vacuums that produce a type of coffee they are referring to as “Steampunk” coffee. Each Steampunk machine comes in at over $13,000, so it’s no surprise that the coffee itself carries a high price.
“The precision of our Steampunk technology ensures a perfect cup every time, and the machine’s glass crucibles not only make a striking design presence on the countertop, but they also allow guests to view the entire brew process,” CEO Thomas Perez told Daily Coffee News. “Couple this with perhaps the most extensive selection of high-end coffee and tea in the country, and a unique experience emerges.”
While making a habit of splurging $18 on your daily cup of joe will definitely have a negative impact on your wallet, could shelling out for this cup’s unparalleled beans and precise processing have an positive impact on your health?
Possibly. There is some evidence that poor-quality coffee can contain a mold that produces mycotoxins — toxins that can affect the immune system, your body’s hormone balance and can even be carcinogenic. The presence of mycotoxins is what leads Bulletproof Coffee and Bulletproof Diet devotees to strive for the best beans possible.
There’s also evidence that the method of brewing might affect coffee’s health benefits. But there is no solid proof that a vacuum system for brewing can lead to anything more than a brew with a cleaner, crisper taste.
So while it’s less about the process of the coffee in this case and more about the quality of the beans, splurging every once in a while on a prime cup of coffee might actually be good for you — but it probably doesn’t have to be $18 good.