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The $7 latte reviewed

The $7 latte reviewed
Black gold: Budin’s $7 licorice latte is served with not one but two pieces of licorice.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The $7 latte has arrived in Greenpoint — and we put it to the taste test.

A Scandinavian coffeehouse called Budin made a splash when it opened last Friday thanks to a $7 licorice latte that apparently breaks through the brown ceiling and sets a borough record for most expensive coffee drink. But is it worth it?

The drink is scrumptious if you like the black chewy stuff. The espresso has a light taste that works well with the strong licorice syrup. And in case the candy flavor leaves you craving the real thing, the concoction comes with two pieces of licorice on a spoon.

We partook for journalism’s sake. But what about everyday Brooklyn java hounds? Would they pay $7 for the ballyhooed beverage?

“I might buy one occasionally as a treat,” said Glenda Cortez, stopping into Budin on opening day.

Another customer was less eager.

“Honestly, probably not,” said Joe Levinson, slurping a less expensive cup of joe.

The Nordic-themed cafe on Greenpoint Avenue, between Franklin Street and Manhattan Avenue, offers cups of regular old drip coffee for the utilitarian caffeine-seeker. But fancy northern European roasts from names renowned among the coffee cognoscenti — including Tim Wendelboe from Norway, Koppe from Sweden, and Drop Coffee, also from Sweden — range from $4.50 to $5 per cup.

More money gets customers a more lavish presentation. The higher-priced varieties are made with a filter inside a porcelain cone that the barista pours hot water over. And, to complete the royal treatment, the finished product comes in a tiny carafe on a silver platter.

The coffee is supposedly better, too.

“Their roast is lighter and the flavor profile is different,” said co-owner Crystal Pei, of the northern European roasts.

Norwegian java guru Wendelboe will make the trip to the shop from Oslo, Norway in April to greet and treat local bean buffs.

Seven bucks is the highest price we have ever seen for a Brooklyn latte (for comparison, a peppermint latte at Starbucks runs $5.39), but the $7 latte’s appearance on the scene made us wonder if there are any coffee drinks more expensive out there. We asked Budin’s competition around the borough for their costliest concoctions.

Here is what we found.

Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint — Iced mocha, $5.25

Little Skips in Buswhick — Iced buckeye (coffee with a shot of espresso), $4.50

Propeller Coffee in Greenpoint — Iced mocha, $5

Toby’s Estate Coffee in Williamsburg — Chai latte with a shot of espresso, $5.25

Kave in Bushwick — Mocha, $4.50

Pudge Knuckles in Williasmburg — The appropriately named “F— sleep,” which consists of a large cup of cold-brewed coffee concentrate with two shots of espresso, $5.25

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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