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 expensive coffee beans in the world
The 11 Most Expensive Coffee’s 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, 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 the production of Kopi Luwak for animal cruelty issues, and neither should you. Please read this information to find out why.
UPDATE - November 2017 - You can now find Kopi Luwak on sites such as Alibaba.com for as little as $6/bag (thanks Blake). What happened? 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 - it its too good to be true, it is.
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.
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.)
Hawaiian Kona Coffee is expensive, but ask yourself if you're being ripped off - are you buying PURE Kona, or just a shitty BLEND? Click here to find out how to buy true Kona Coffee.
Due to the conditions required for Kona to grow, combined with the complex trade regulations with exports from Hawaii; Kona has an inflated price.
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.
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 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 best coffees in the world.
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.
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.
Is it worth it to pay for and drink or eat coffee made from feces? How much are you willing to pay for great coffee?
Let us know in the comments below.
All this coffee beans talk got me thinking about where do they come from... if you're interested as well, check this article.