Sydney-based coffee roaster Single O has launched a $20 cup of coffee in celebration of International Coffee Day.

The record-breaking beans placed second in the inaugural Ethiopian Cup of Excellence earlier this year, before the roaster snapped them up at auction.

There are only 3000 cups of Rumudamo Ethiopia and 396 numbered bags up for grabs, with baristas at Single O’s Surry Hills and CBD locations as well as 19 of the roaster’s partner cafes slinging the brew from Thursday 1 October. Participating venues include Cutler & Co in Melbourne, The Spot Specialty Coffee in Brisbane, Bread and Butter in Tasmania, and Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, Rosebery and Byron Bay.

“We are pinching ourselves that we are able to participate in this historic Ethiopia auction and bring Winning Lot #2, out of 1,459 total entries, to coffee fans in Australia,” says Wendy De Jong. “This coffee was awarded an incredible 90 points by the International Jury, and blew us all away at our staff cupping with its incredibly sweet and dynamic fruit flavours, and was our unanimous favourite.

“Beyond an incredible taste experience, what the Cup of Excellence program has proven over its 20 year history is that there is always quality to be discovered, even in countries you think you know well. Single O is proud to be a small part of this important moment.”

While $20 might seem steep for consumers used to spending sub $5 on their daily brew, the Single O team hopes to send a clear message — commoditisation has historically made it hard for producers to get a fair price for their labour, but the roaster wants them to know their work is valued and there are consumers willing to pay more for it.

Those who make the splurge will get more than your average cup of joe; they’ll receive the opportunity to learn more about the coffee full barista-guided experience at the Surry Hill’s café brew bar. Select Single O
partner cafes across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania will also be offering a synchronised first taste of the history-making drop.

It’s fitting new records for both the number of entrants and price were set at this year’s Cup of Excellence: in it’s 20th year the “Oscars of coffee” headed to Ethiopia — the birthplace of coffee and, in many eyes, the world’s leading producer — for the first time.

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