How Much Will You Pay For a Cup of Joe? Starbucks Introduces $7 Drink

You'd think Starbucks isn't aware that our economy has tanked. The Seattle-based company has introduced a $7 cup of coffee - you know, just in case you have nothing to spend your money on, like say, oh, I don't know... Your mortgage maybe? How about Christmas presents?

The 16-ounce "grande" is Starbucks most expensive beverage to date. Made from Geisha, a "tough to grow bean," according to the Bucks, Costa Rica Finca Palmiera coffee sells for $40 a half pound. At that price CRFP better don a kimono and live up to the namesake of the bean it's derived from. Happy ending, anyone?

CRFP is only available at 46 locations in the Northwestern US, due to the high-end Clover brewing equipment required to produce the beverage. Expect more 'high-end' (translation: price gouging) coffee drinks in the near future. Apparently, we're clamoring for it. Says a Starbucks spokesperson, ""We are now offering more reserve coffees than ever before because of customer demand."

I don't begrudge affluent people the right to spend $7 on a cup of coffee, per se. I do however have two bones to pick. One, during one of the worst economic hardships in our nation's history, why not come up with a $2 coffee? Wouldn't that be nice? That way those of us who can't afford our daily dose of Starbucks anymore can indulge a couple of times a week without skipping dinner.

The other, and this might open a whole other can of worms, such as higher tax rates for the rich, is the fact that people are spending $7 on a cup of coffee when there are more people than ever on food stamps. If you have $7 to spend on a coffee, why not spend $5 and donate the other two bucks to a soup kitchen? People who have really disposable incomes should give back to the community to help our country get back on its feet.

Of course, that isn't likely to happen. People with money will continue getting their mani-pedis, $400 haircuts, and drinking $7 coffee.

If you haven't yet achieved #ballerstatus, perhaps you can afford the 12 ounce "tall" at the bargain price of $6. Then again, maybe paying your electricity bill is more important.

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