The Most Expensive Coffees In The World (Hint: It’s not Kopi Luwak)
Trying coffee from far away places is like smelling and seeing the diversity of flavors found around the world.
Similar to wine or high end alcohols, coffee too can produce a variety of quality and price points based on environment and processing.
Average cost for a pound of coffee beans is $9-$12.
So what makes a price soar to $600?
With small seasonal yields, manual processing, and dynamic flavor profiles; expensive coffee can offer unique and unforgettable beverage experiences.
Let’s take a look at the most unaffordable coffee beans in the world
The 11 Most Expensive Coffees in the World
Make sure you put the following 11 coffee beans in your bean bucket list, however be warned: they’ll require a little extra pocket money
1. Kopi Luwak ($160-$600/lb.)
Kopi Luwak, or more appropriately “Toddy Cat poop coffee,” is from Indonesia and known all around the world because of the unique and natural way in which way the coffee is processed.
The Palm Civet (1), also called the toddy cat, eats only the sweetest and freshest of the coffee cherries.
Through the digestion process, the coffee beans go through a slight fermentation and are deposited through the feline’s feces. When roasted, the beans garner a super sweet and complex tasting flavor of plum, tea, and rose.
IMPORTANT: We don’t support 95% of Kopi Luwak Production for animal cruelty and fraudulent related reasons and neither should you.
You can now find Kopi Luwak on sites such as Alibaba.com for as little as $6/bag (thanks Blake). Why? It’s hard to say exactly, but large scale (in-humane) production, combined with super diluted luwak ‘blends’ have likely driven up the supply, and hence, reduced the price. Don’t be fooled though – if it’s too good to be true, it is.
The only Authentic Kopi Luwak that I can find online at the time of writing is HERE via Volcanica Coffee (note the price – its not cheap, but its real)
If you are interested in learning more about poop coffee (because there are more varieties than civet’s), check this complete article.
2. Ospina ($120/lb.)
Coffee trees take 3 to 5 years to begin producing coffee cherries so it can take years to know if a variety will be good or not.
Grown in volcanic ash, this coffee has strong warm caramel and nut flavors with a smooth and clean finish.
3. Esmeralda Gesha ($50-150/lb.)
The Esmeralda “especial” is a varietal of coffee produced in Boquete, Panama grown at an average altitude over 1500 meters above sea level.
The flavors of this coffee are amazing and reminiscent of rose, juniper berry, and lavender.
This is one of the most accessible of the expensive coffees and many prominent and large coffee roasters carry this coffee during its season between July and September.
4. Fazenda Santa Ines ($50/lb.)
A Brazilian coffee known for its consistency throughout the years, this is one the most enjoyable coffees on the market.
This coffee is grown using natural mineral water springs in a mountainous area that help develop pronounced and clean flavor profiles (3).
Think sweet smooth caramel and deep rich fruit flavors. Definitely a coffee on this list you should drink at room temperature for the best experience.
5. El Injerto Peaberry ($60/lb.)
This coffee is a varietal grown in Gautemala and is processed manually by separating only small uniform beans known as “peaberry” for roasting.
This coffee contains a huge amount of fruit and floral flavors lending it to being one of the most highly coveted coffees available.
Again, expect more of those subtle floral notes with strong citrus fruit flavors and wine like texture as it cools.
6. Hawaiian Kona Coffee ($33-55/lb.)
Due to the conditions required for Kona to grow, combined with the complex trade regulations with exports from Hawaii; Kona has an inflated price (4).
You either LOVE Kona, or hate it. The flavour is unique, and its worth trying at least once in your life.
7. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee ($49/lb.)
Blue Mountain Coffee is one of the most popular high end coffees in Japan with 80% of Blue Mountain Coffee exported there. And the Japanese know their coffee…are they onto something here with their love of Blue Mountain?
High Altitudes and heavy rainfall produces a coffee with an extremely mild flavor profile that makes it great for a daily coffee. Read more about it here.
Click here to see where to buy authentic blue mountain (because like Kona….the industry if fraught with scammy ‘blends’)
8. Los Planes ($40/lb.)
A coffee hailing from El Salvador, this coffee won a 95.3 rating (5) from the international coffee rating Cup of Excellence series in 2006 and maintains high scores ever since.
With subtle notes of fruit, particularly blackberry and raspberry, this coffee is absolutely pleasant in any part of the world.
What is unique about this coffee is that due to its origins, the coffee bean is rather large as compared to average coffee beans.
9. Carmen Patino and Lucas Pinchao ($26/lb.)
The #1 and #2 coffee (only seperated by .5 of a point) in the 2014 Cup of Excellence series, the Colombia Carmen Patino and Lucas Pinchao are considered two of the most lovedes in the world (6).
With a combination of super sweet and savory flavors, these two coffees maintain a complexity through the whole drinking process.
As the coffee cools you gain strong caramel notes that become more prevalent at room temperature.
10. Biftu Gudina ($26/lb.)
The Biftu Gudina coffee is from a fairly new Coffee Cooperative in Ethiopia.
Established in 2012, this coffee has been farmed to produce an amazing flavor profile loved by coffee enthusiasts.
Jasmine, tangerine citrus, and a wine like texture; this is an absolutely pleasant cup of coffee to enjoy. The intense clarity makes this a perfect coffee enjoyed best around room temperature.
11. Starbucks Rwandan Blue Bourbon ($24/lb.)
This may not be the most expensive coffee on the list but it definitely is a great option to try a higher end coffee at a competitive price.
The Rwandan Blue Bourbon (Bur-bone) is an Arabica coffee.
Arabica coffees are sensitive to all types of growing environments and as such they absorb more of the flavors of their environment. This coffee gives hints of lemon, black cherry, and spiced nuts.
Learn more about Rwandan coffee here.
As you can see, high end quality coffee comes from all over the world and produces a surprisingly large diversity in flavor. Not only that, you can also see that high end coffee doesn’t always have to break the bank.
But for a truly unique coffee experience, you will definitely be throwing down a lot of money. Here’s a better option: shop based on quality, not price, with a list of the best coffee beans in the world (based on taste, not price)
- Asian palm civet – Wikipedia Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asian_palm_civet
- Ospina Coffee – Rich in History, Rich in flavor™ Retrieved from https://www.ospinacoffee.com/products/
- Farm Profile: Fazenda Santa Inês – Collaborative Coffee Source Retrieved from https://www.collaborativecoffeesource.com/the-collaborative-blog/2013/03/01/farm-profile-fazenda-santa-ines
- Kona Coffee Economics Retrieved from https://www.bluehorsekona.com/KonaCoffeeEconomics.html
- El Salvador Los Planes Pacamara | Roastmasters.com Retrieved From https://www.roastmasters.com/losplanes.html
- Alliance For Coffee Excellence and Cup of Excellence Retrieved From https://allianceforcoffeeexcellence.org/