The 10 Most Expensive Coffees in the World

If you just can’t get going in the morning without your daily cup of coffee, you’ll probably admit that you’d overspend if it meant not getting your java fix. For true coffee lovers, no price tag is too high for your favorite beverage. Well, maybe there are a few coffees out there that are just too pricey. Read on for details about the 10 most expensive coffees in the whole world!

1. Black Ivory Coffee

This coffee is currently the very most expensive, at $1,100 per kilogram or about $70 for 5-6 espresso cups. Black Ivory coffee is made in Thailand’s Golden Triangle. But before you get too excited about trying it, you should know how it’s made. First, the coffee beans are mixed into a fruit mash and then fed to elephants (either through their mouths or sucked up into their trunks). Then, after 1-3 days, the elephant gets rid of them (you know what I’m saying, right?), and workers pick out the beans from the dung (probably the worst job in history). Plus, it takes around 33 pounds of beans to make just 1 pound of the coffee.

Supposedly, the coffee tastes delicious because of the fermentation process that happens in the elephant’s digestive system. They say it has a less bitter taste, but I’ll have to take their word for it, because I won’t be trying it! It’s mostly sold in five-star hotels and resorts in Asia and the Middle East - and one store in Comfort, Texas called The Elephant Story.

2. Kopi Luwak

Who would ever think that multiple coffees dug out of dung would be popular? Well, kopi luwak, or civet coffee, is made through a similar process as Black Ivory coffee. The seeds of coffee berries are collected after they been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (kind of similar to a mongoose). Civets have Protease enzymes that go into the beans and create more free amino acids, resulting in a less bitter taste.

The real kopi luwak coffee usually sells for around $700 per kilogram, but a farmed (or more low-grade version) can be found in Indonesian supermarkets for about $100 per kilogram (which is about 5 times the price of a high-quality arabica coffee). There’s also a speciality Vietnamese version called weasel coffee that’s made from coffee beans eaten by wild civets; it sells for around $3,000 per kilogram! The biggest fans of kopi luwak tend to be from Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea.

3. Hacienda la Esmeralda

This coffee is grown in Boquete, Panama on the slopes of the Baru Volcano. The workers go through a strict process, only selecting the ripest, reddest seeds. The coffee is de-pulped within hours and then goes through a demucilageinating machine (whatever that is). The entire process the beans go through is very specific before it can be shipped from the farm. Because of this attention to detail, you can expect to pay around $104 a pound for the Hacienda la Esmeralda coffee.

4. St. Helena Coffee

You have Napoleon Bonaparte to thank for the St. Helena coffee. It’s grown on St. Helena Island, around 1,200 miles off the coast of Africa. Napoleon fell in love with the coffee back in the early 1800s and grew the seeds himself. Because of the Napoleon connection, the island grew popular and has been able to regularly produce this coffee ever since. However, the prices are much higher than in Napoleon’s day for this green tipped bourbon variety - you’ll pay around $79 a pound for the St. Helena coffee!

5. El Injerto

If you like coffee that’s won a ton of awards, El Injerto is one for you. They won the Cup of Excellence Grand Prize back in 2006. Because of its prizeworthy status, this coffee costs around $50 per pound. It’s grown in Huehuetenango, Guatemala, and is said to have hints of plum, orange, grapefruit, and dark chocolate. The farm that makes the El Injerto coffee is also trying to be a more sustainable business and have installed a micro hydroelectric power plant to support the entire farm (including the housing for their workers).

6. Fazenda Santa Ines

In Minas Geraiz, Brazil, you’ll find another of the world’s most expensive coffees. The Fazenda Santa Ines brand is unique because the coffee is grown with an old-school method - absolutely no automated processes are used! It goes for around $50 a pound, and is said to have tastes of berries and caramel in it. The farm also stands apart because of its more than 100-year family traditions.

7. Blue Mountain

Blue Mountain coffee comes from the Jamaican Blue Mountains (between Kingston and Port Antonio). At almost 7,500 feet, the mountains are among the tallest in the Caribbean, and the coffee is grown at these high altitudes. Although coffee has been grown in the region for more than a century, in the last several decades, the Blue Mountain coffee has become one of the most sought-after (and expensive) brands in the world. Although around 80% of the coffee is exported to coffee lovers in Japan, you can find it online at places like Amazon for $59.99 a pound.

8. Finca Los Planes

A tiny bit less expensive is the Los Planes coffee at $40 a pound. Grown in El Salvador, the farm has been in operation for a couple of decades, and consistently wins awards for excellence! They grow several varieties, including Pacamara, Red Bourbon, and Yellow Bourbon types. Even though the coffee is expensive, the farm’s managers are helping to improve the lives of their workers (like with access to medical care).  

9. Hawaiian Kona Coffee

Kona coffee has long been known as one of the best in the world. This gourmet coffee is grown on the island of Hawaii on the Kona coast. Many of these farms have been owned by the same families for generations. There are several varieties (like Peaberry, Kuahana blend, etc.), but you probably won’t be able to find many brands for less than $34 a pound.

10. Starbucks Rwanda Blue Bourbon

Some people think Starbucks coffee is kinda pricey anyway, but their Rwanda Blue Bourbon topped the list at $24 a pound (it’s no longer available online). Back in 2006, Starbucks released this brand after being impressed with the coffee farms in Rwanda. Today, the only brand they offer from Rwanda is the Rift Valley version - which is much more reasonable at $11.95 for 10 ounces.

After reading this list, you might be jonesing for some coffee - but not these super expensive kinds most likely! No problem - just head over to Cafe Britt for reasonably priced coffees that taste just as good! You can even use a coupon code at checkout to lower your costs even more! Then, you can sit back and enjoy your cup of coffee without spending as much as the people who buy these expensive ones!

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