The $12 Cup Of Coffee That’s Worth Every Penny

The pandemic hit Bee Coffee Roasters hard. Its downtown location closed along with the business-travel market, and according to co-owner BJ Davis it would have gone out of business permanently if the landlord hadn’t stepped in to help.

But with its recent re-opening, Bee has something to celebrate and they’re breaking out the good stuff—a rare Panamanian Pacamara bean, which they’ll serve at $12 per cup starting next week. Bee has never sold a cup for more than $6 (although that was years ago, and Davis says that product would go for $12 today, too). While local cafes have rotated market-rate special brews onto their menus, Indy’s coffee experts can’t remember a cup of coffee going for $12 in Indianapolis before.

With a coffee this good, in the grand scheme of things $12 isn’t very much. You can afford to see what all the fuss is about.

“My green buyer roasted a sample for me, and we decided we needed it before we saw the price,” Davis says. It comes from the rainforest highlands of Boquete, Panama, a premier coffee-growing region. According to Bee’s roastery manager, the beans are fermented anaerobically to produce “juicy flavors and a buttery mouthfeel. We taste flavors like mango, rosemary, and pineapple.”

They describe it as having “vacation vibes,” which sounds like a bargain for $12. It will be brewed as a pour-over, the relatively time-consuming method that coddles the coffee to better extract its fullest and most nuanced flavors.

Bee bought 50 pounds of the Pacamera and expects, or at least hopes, that it will be gone in a couple of weeks. In addition to a 12-ounce cup sold at both cafes, it will also be sold in 8-ounce bags for $25.