Monday, March 9, 2009

Coffee taster's tongue insured for $14M

A taste tester for Britain's Costa Coffee said the company has taken out an insurance policy on his tongue worth $14 million.

Costa Coffee taster Gennaro Pelliccia said the company took out the insurance policy with Lloyd's of London as it prepares to open a planned 100 new stores during the year, The Daily Telegraph reported Monday.

"In my profession, my taste buds and sensory skills are crucial," Pelliccia said. "My 18 years of experience enable me to distinguish between thousands of flavors. My taste buds also allow me to distinguish any defects, which enables me to protect and guarantee Costa's unique Mocha Italia blend."

While competitor Starbucks has been forced to close hundreds of locations around the world, Costa officials said their company has thus far evaded any recession-powered downturn and reported positive sales growth this year.

A spokesman for Glencairn, the Lloyd's broker handling the policy, said Pelliccia's insurance trumps the $4.8 million policy taken out for singer Bruce Springsteen's voice.

"The taste buds of a 'master of coffee' are as important as the vocal chords of a singer or the legs of a top model, and this is one of the biggest single insurance policies taken out for one person. It shows how valuable Gennaro's tongue is to the Costa brand," the spokesman said.

source upi

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