It appears that Cuban coffee will be the first product sold in the United States.
Swiss-based Nespresso announced Monday that it will sell long-restricted coffee throughout the U.S. starting this fall, the latest evidence of renewed ties between the United States and Cuba after five decades of estrangement.
The coffee will first be sold as a limited edition, called
Cafecitode Cuba, in stores, online and over the phone, with the eventual goal of making it a regular product.
And Le Cunff said the exotic, forbidden aspect of the coffee is a lure itself.
"Our customers expect us to bring new coffee experiences, and they expect to be surprised," he said. "We know that with our U.S. customers, there is a high level of curiosity and excitement to have this coffee. So we expect a high level of response."
So a combination of scarcity (initially intentional) and the exotic will increase demand. I have to wonder whether that demand will continue very long. The excitement of drinking previously forbidden coffee will fade quickly. If Cuban producers cannot produce in high volume, then the price in the United States will stay high, and most people simply won't drink it. That would work just fine for the other Latin American coffee producers who will now face new competition.