San Francisco is home to a new ultra-luxury coffee company, Sāe Coffee Studio. Luis “Luchi” Pincay and Christina Minju, former techies and best friends, describe their business as “the Dom Perignon of coffee,” importing, roasting, and selling only the finest coffees from around the world via delivery service or through intimate events. They sell rarefied roasts that sometimes go for thousands a gram through auctions such as the Cup of Excellence, and their coffees are much like uber-fancy spirits in that they are rare, seasonal coffees that are only available to super rich, nerdy friends group-buying on Reddit threads.
Sāe Coffee Studio offers high-end coffees that can be delivered to customers’ homes, with all the coffees being 88 points or above according to the Specialty Coffee Association’s rating system. They present these coffees in pourover and cocktail form at pop-up events, such as an August 2023 team-up with Deluxe Queer, and have aspirations for coffee-paired sound baths. They compare their coffees and coffee experiences to similar offerings in the high-end whiskey and wine worlds, trying to let people rediscover coffee and create conversations and communities around it.
The two entrepreneurs first met in 2016 while cooking at a mutual friend’s house party pop-up. They became certified Q Graders in January 2022, the coffee world’s equivalent of a sommelier certification, and started digging into the research end of things. They work with Willem Boot, the same coffee journeyman and arcanist who served as Obi-Wan to the Tenderloin’s Luke Skywalker, Mokhtar Alkhanshali. They would love to open a permanent location someday, a coffee shop or a tasting room, but experiences at pop-ups like Deluxe Queer are perfect for them for now.
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