Alain Ducasse's King's Cross cafe is selling 'perfect' coffee for £15 a cup
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By ISOBEL FRODSHAM - EVENING STANDARD

A boutique cafe is selling what it claims is the “perfect” cup of coffee — and if the caffeine doesn’t wake you up, the price certainly will.

The coffee from Le Café Alain Ducasse in King’s Cross costs £15 a cup. It is made from coffee beans which are exported in limited quantities from smallholder farmers in war-torn Yemen through military checkpoints.

The coffee, said to combine notes of bergamot orange, cocoa nibs and grape, followed by red berries and honey, is billed by the company behind it as “one of the finest in the world”.

The cafe in the Coal Drops Yard development is owned by three Michelin-starred chef Alain Ducasse.

General manager Olivier Fellous said: “We’re offering an expensive coffee for sure and we know not everyone can afford it.

“The first reason is the taste. Chef Ducasse says it’s perfect, there’s nothing wrong with this coffee, it’s just the perfect balance. 

“The second is it’s very challenging to bring here because it grows 2,300  metres above sea level. The owners only harvest 13 kilos a year.”

He added that the company, which opened the King’s Cross branch in January, was “proud” to endorse products which customers are unable to get anywhere else in the capital.

“We pay a lot for the coffee too, it’s not like we make a huge margin from it … we are ready to pay a lot of money because we encourage and promote whoever makes an amazing product,” Mr Fellous said. 

Its £15 price tag has split opinion among customers at the cafe. 

Sarah Rotheram, 45, said: “The notes of it are incredible, it was delicious.”

However, Jens Schlechter, 30, said: “It is crazy. If it’s made to a fair trade agreement then great, but I would still think twice about spending £15 on a cup of coffee.”

Faris Sheibani