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The 11 Most Expensive Coffees in the World

6 min read

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Coffee is a fantastic drink that has various properties for every individual and preference. Everyone is unique and has their own reasons for choosing to use these beans and reviving the history behind them. The cost of these beans is always worth it as they are an amazing blend of different worlds.

Coffee can be a huge motivator and wake you up when your mind needs a jolt. There's nothing quite like that first coffee to give you the extra boost you need to get going in the morning.

You might be doing some damage to your wallet if you opt for the most common coffees, but it's worth it to spend a little bit more in order to get the best brew possible. The unique flavors and exotic locations in some of these tasting menus can be absolutely jaw-dropping. This is an experience you won't want to miss!

Many of the most expensive coffees are grown at high elevations on mineral-rich volcanic soil to achieve perfection. However, there is also a form of high-priced coffee that uses an unconventional approach in their growth: the Kopi Luwak. This coffee is made from droppings taken care of by a civet, a small animal found only in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Kopi Luwak - $160-$600/lb

To understand what makes Kopi Luwak Coffee so expensive, it is important to first learn about the coffee bean’s origins and when it all first started.

During the early 18th century, when the Dutch still occupied the islands of Java and Sumatra as one of their colonies, the Dutch prohibited the native farmers in the said areas from picking coffee fruits for personal use. However, it didn’t take long for the native farmers to find a way to have a taste of coffee to themselves.

After noticing that the luwak, the local term for the Asian palm civet, consumed coffee fruits but would leave undigested coffee seeds in their droppings when they marked their territories, the natives began collecting the seeds for their own use. They would clean, roast, and ground these undigested “droppings” and use them to make their own version of coffee.

The result of their ingenuity was a unique, aromatic blend of coffee that even the Dutch would soon develop a taste for. Even so, because of how hard the droppings were to procedure, the coffee was considered as more of a rarity and was already quite expensive even then.

Later on, the locals would start referring to the coffee as Kopi Luwak, which literally translates to “coffee of the Asian palm civet.”

Ospina - $120/lb

The Ospina families (2) claim to fame is that they are one of the oldest coffee plantations in Colombia. As such, they have had a lot of time to cultivate and develop a truly good coffee crop.

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.

Esmeralda Geisha - $50-$150/lb

Panama is home to some the best-tasting & highest branded coffee beans, and the Esmeralda Geisha variety is one of them. The high altitude combined with rich fruit and spice notes create a taste that's unparalleled in the world.

These flavors are amazing and remind me of rose, juniper berry, and lavender. This coffee is one of the most accessible of the expensive coffees you can find in a restaurant or grocery store. Many prominent & large coffee roasters carry this coffee during its season between July & September.

El Injerto Peaberry $60/lb

Peaberry coffee beans produced in Guatemala are some of the most prized beans in the world. The coffee is hand-processed and made only with small, uniform beans that separate easily during roasting.

There are a lot of nuanced flavors and fresh fruits in this coffee. It is one of the most sought-after coffees on the market.

Expect more subtle floral flavors with strong citrus fruit and wine like textures as it cools down.

Fazenda Santa Ines- $50/lb

This Brazilian coffee is known for its consistency and flavor. In addition, the water it's grown in is full of natural minerals which help to develop the coffee's amazing bold and clean taste.

A great way to get this coffee is at room temperature. Let it cool slightly so you don't burn your tongue and enjoy the taste a little better.

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?

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 flavor is unique, and its worth trying at least once in your life.

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.

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.

This coffee is perfectly balanced with notes of berry throughout. Whether you're in the UK or the US, the taste will accentuate your day and enrich your life.

You can taste a hint of what's unique about this coffee by simply taking a sip. It has origins in regions of Brazil, Peru, and Columbia that give it an unmistakable flavor.

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 loved​​​​es 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.

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.

Starbucks Rwandan Blue Bourbon $24/lb

This may not be the most expensive coffee on the list, but it's a great option to try a high-end coffee at a low price. It's perfect for those who want to save some dollars without sacrificing quality!

The Rwandan Blue Bourbon (Bur-bone) is an Arabica coffee.

Arabica coffees love to absorb flavors from the different growing environments that they're exposed to. For example, one of the most common flavors you'll find in a high-quality Arabica coffee would be lemon, black cherry, and spiced nuts.

Final Thoughts

With the help of high end coffee, you can know a whole world of flavors and experience the kind that is hard to find. You can now enjoy coffee for an affordable price and experience its true taste.

There are few things in life more special than that first sip of the perfect cup of coffee. Investing in a special, high-quality bean collection is worth the extra cost because it means you can never ruin a good cup.