The best thing about coffee is that there are so many different varieties that can be sourced from around the world. Each type of coffee differs slightly in taste, unique flavor, aroma, and price; it’s this diversity that transports us to a new location every time we smell and sip our favorite brew.
Just like expensive alcohol and wines, you will find varying quality and different price points of coffee based on how it has been produced and how it was processed. For most of you reading this I’m sure you typically pay around $9 to $12 for a pound of good coffee beans. So what is so special about coffee that demands a price of over $500, at the end of the day, coffee is coffee right?
What tends to drive the price of coffee are small seasonal yields, how the coffee has been processed (one type of coffee is poop), as well as dynamic flavor profiles; it’s true that the world’s most expensive coffee can offer unforgettable and unique experiences. Bank balance permitting you should give at least one of these costly coffees a try or at the very least make a new entry on your bucket list.
Worlds Most Expensive Coffee (Top 10)
For those of you who are simply curious or if you have money to burn below, you’ll find some of the most expensive coffee beans in the world (in no particular order).
1. Kopi Luwak
Kopi Luwak is one of the rarest and expensive coffees that is native to Indonesia. Its high price is due to how to coffee is uniquely processed, the Palm Civet (often called a toddy cat) sniffs out and eats the freshest and sweetest coffee cherries. Once eaten they go through the normal digestion process and after 24 hours of fermentation in the cat’s stomach, the undigested beans are then deposited in the cat’s feces (poop).
The name “Kopi Luwak” is coined from two Indonesian words, Kopi (which means coffee) and Luwak (which means Civet), hence why most of us know this coffee as “Civet Coffee” (or cat poo coffee).
When roasted, the Kopi beans become super sweet and offer up a complex tasting flavor of rose, plum, and tea like qualities.
2. El Salvador Los Planes Pacamara
A good quality coffee that originates from El Salvador. It’s the origin of this Arabica coffee that makes it so unique and sort after. The Pacamara coffee bean is a lot larger than your average bean, and it was introduced into El Salvador in the 1950’s by the Salvadoran Coffee Research Institute.
This pricey coffee has won numerous awards, but one of its better know accolades is the 93.52 points and taking second place at the “Cup of Excellence” award in 2006.
Finca Los Planes coffee is medium-bodied, acidic and loaded with intense fruity, nutty flavors, such as raisins, melon, nuts, plums, and berries (mainly blackberry and raspberry notes).
3. Ospina Coffee
A Colombian coffee that has been produced by the Ospina family for over 200 hundred years, in fact, their claim to fame is that they operate one of the oldest coffee plantations in Colombia. With over 200 years of coffee harvesting under their belt, you can probably guess that the Ospina family know a thing or two about producing great coffee.
Each of the coffee trees can take anywhere between 3 to 5 years to start producing coffee cherries, it then takes many more years to finally have a good enough variety that is ready for harvest. What makes Ospina coffee unique is that each of the coffee trees is planted inside of volcanic ash, the final resulting coffee has nutty flavors, combined with strong caramel notes with a smooth, clean finish.
4. Hawaiian Kona Coffee
If you are looking for American coffee, there is only one place that has a coffee-friendly climate and soil to produce a decent enough crop, and that is Hawaii. Kona coffee is grown and harvested on the golden Kona Coast of Hawaii (in the North and South districts) on small farms owned by the local Kama’aina families.
Kona Coffee is full-bodied, smooth, acidic, and has a silky chocolate finish. There are some unusual bold flavors of berry and caramel too.
It may not be the most expensive coffee on the list at around $35 per pound, but due to costly and complex trade regulations with exports coming out of Hawaii, this coffee has an inflated price for what is a medicare tasting coffee at best. Although the coffee is good, there are better coffees available in this price range.
5. Black Blood of the Earth
Black Blood of the Earth Coffee was created by Philip Broughton who wanted to produce a delicious tasting coffee devoid of any bitter taste. Unlike regular coffee brewing, Black Blood of the Earth is prepared using a unique cold vacuum extraction process. This siphon vacuum coffee maker processing helps to eliminate almost all of the acids found in the coffee beans and leaves behind coffee beans oil that is rich in caffeine. The result is a super strong flavored brew that’s rich in caffeine (20 to 40 times stronger than regular coffee) but lacks the acid.
The variety of coffee beans used in Black Blood of the Earth are loaded with oil and originate from the rift valleys of Ethiopia and Africa. If you’re a serious coffee addict, this is a must try.
6. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the most famous coffees found around the world; even your local supermarket should have a bag or two sitting on the shelf. However, it’s in Japan where this coffee is a big hit, with around 80% of Blue Mountain Coffee being exported there.
As the name suggests, this coffee originates from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. The high altitudes and constant rainfall help to produce a mild tasting low-acidic coffee that is perfect for the everyday brew.
7. Finca El Injerto Coffee
Cost: $500/lb. (If you’re lucky, you could find it cheaper)
El Injerto coffee is grown in the La Libertad and Huehuetenango regions of Yemen. This super rare Arabica bean is characterized by is unusual small size, in fact, they are only about one-third of the size of regular Arabica coffee beans.
In an online auction in 2012 a pound of Finca El Injerto Coffee was sold for a record price of $500.50 per pound. Finca El Injerto coffee has received the “Cup of Excellence” and is also a three-time winner of Pacamara coffee awards. The Finca El Injerto coffee comes packed with herbal notes and floral flavors such as jasmine and rose.
8. Carmen Patino and Lucas Pinchao
Both of these coffees came in at position 1 and 2 at the 2014 Cup of Excellence series, with only a 0.5 point difference separating the two. Both of these coffee beans combine savory flavors with sweet notes with a notable complexity through the whole drinking process; as the coffee begins to cool you start to notice more caramel notes.
Both the Colombia Carmen Patino as well as the Lucas Pinchao beans are regarded as two of the best coffees in the world.
9. St. Helena Coffee
St. Helena Coffee was a favorite with Napoleon Bonaparte, so much so, that four days before his death he pleaded for one last cup. St. Helena Island where the coffee originates is approximately 1,200 miles from the west coast of Africa when located on a map this island seems to be in the middle of nowhere! This isolation and the cost of transporting the coffee to the end consumer is probably why St. Helena Coffee demands such a high price.
St. Helena Coffee is medium roasted, and the body is well-balanced with a combination of caramel and citrus notes. There is also a pepper-like spiciness that lingers on the tongue. St. Helena coffee was awarded the “Coffee Of The Year” by Spilling The Beans in 2013.
10. Starbucks Frappuccino
Beau Chevassus wanted to make headlines on his 27th birthday by ordering the most expensive coffee from Starbucks. The costly $47.30 infusion included a mocha Frappuccino, mocha drizzle, and caramel topping in addition to other ingredients, to produce the “Quadriginoctuple Frap.” Beau’s custom-made Frappuccino beat a previous $23.60 record for the most expensive Starbucks coffee.
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