Inflation has hit Brooklyn’s most expensive latte.
The price on the $7 latte that made headlines when Greenpoint’s Nordic-themed coffee shop first started brewing in mid-February has gone up to a whopping $10. The cafe’s manager said the increase was necessary because the licorice latte is made with specialty ingredients that have to be flown in from northern Europe.
“If we kept it at $7, we would be losing money,” said Crystal Pei.
The coffee beans that go into the drink are grown in Ethiopia and roasted in Norway, and the licorice powder and anise syrup are shipped from Denmark.
Pei said she is shocked by the amount of attention the latte has garnered and that she and her fellow java mongers never meant to represent the outer limit of the Brooklyn coffee bubble.
“It was not a product we designed to make a big splash,” she said. “We just tried some ingredients together and it ended up tasting great.”
For the record, the concoction is pretty tasty, but caffeine fiends we spoke to balked at even the $7 latte’s price tag back when it debuted.
Pei explained that the idea of what is expensive is all a matter of perspective.
“It’s not something we expect anyone to come in and get every day,” she said. “It is like ordering truffles in mac and cheese. It is going to be more expensive than regular mac and cheese.”
The mark-up has hit the regular coffee drinks, too.
The shop sells pour-over cups of fancy Scandinavian roasts from esteemed labels including Tim Wendelboe from Norway, Koppe from Sweden, and Drop Coffee, also from Sweden. Those used to run between $4.50 and $5, but a cup of Drop has now taken the $7 throne formerly occupied by the lakkris latte.
The costs of nearly all of the varieties have gone up since the shop opened, but a few have dropped.
Prices do not appear on the beanery’s wall menu. Instead, they show up on small, paper menus, which the proprietor said is because of the fluid valuation of its deluxe ingredients.
“We are sourcing from a lot of different countries, so our prices will be constantly changing,” said Pei.