From the beginning of the 15th century, this aromatic elixir has traveled around the world and morphed itself into the widely consumed drink that we all know today.
One factor contributing to the wide popularity of coffee throughout its history is that coffee has been available to people from all classes of society.
It has been served in its most luxurious form of kings and queens, while the most basic form is given to peasants and laborers.
Even today, we can either walk down a supermarket aisle and grab a $2 coffee or go to the city's high-end café to get the same coffee cup, sometimes even at the price of $6 or $7.
With tons of coffee chains like Starbucks on every corner, people are willing to pay more for convenience. However, step inside the world of expensive coffee.
You will find the price of a Starbucks coffee relatively cheap. In this article, we are introducing you to the 11 most expensive coffee beans in the world.
We will tell you which are the most world s most expensive coffee and what makes them so expensive, and how they are worth every sip.
So let's dive deep down into the world of liquid black magic of expensive coffees from around the globe.
What makes a coffee expensive?
Many factors can determine the cost of coffees in the world. Not many people know that the coffee they are drinking every morning starts as a cherry on a tree. The beans are the pit of these cherries.
These pits, then undergo the separation and drying process and take the coffee beans that we are more familiar with.
However, the process is not over yet.
These pits ones dried are then roasted and prepared before packaging and then sent worldwide to be grounded as the coffee powder.
So each stage of this coffee making process determines how much the coffee would cost at the end.
For example, just like wine, the area from where the beans originated affects the taste and then influences the price of the coffee.
Similarly, other factors like the process of separating the pits from the cherries are mechanical or natural, the drying is done in the oven or under the sun, and different types of roasting adopted, all can contribute to the end price of coffee.
Other processes impact the flavors and texture and thus affecting the cost of the coffee.
What is the most expensive coffee in the world?
So now we understand what makes coffee so expensive.
Now let's have a look at the 11 top most expensive coffee in the world that you should add to your bucket list if you are a true coffee connoisseur.
1. Black Ivory Coffee – More than $500/pound
Produced in northern Thailand Black Ivory Coffee Co. Ltd., the Black Ivory coffee sells anywhere from $500 to $1500 per pound.
Now the price might sound whopping high, but because the black ivory coffee beans are extracted through natural fermentation of beans by going through the stomach of elephants.
The specially bred elephants at the island coffee farm and regularly fed a diet are a mixture of arabica coffee cherries, rice, and fiber.
These animals then process the beans into their stomach. This natural process gives coffee a chocolaty, malt, and cherry flavor.
According to him, elephants are herbivorous.
Hence, the food they eat goes through a robust fermentation process that reduces the beans' protein.
As protein is the main element responsible for bitterness in coffee, black, ivory coffee has a less bitter aftertaste.
It costs much higher than a regular coffee cup in the world.
2. Finca El Injerto Coffee – $500/pound
Second on our list is the premium coffee brand Finca El Injerto. It is a family-owned farm which is producing coffee beans for generations.
With their continuous innovation, they have developed a technique to produce full-bodied, rich, and creamy beans in taste and the worlds top rated beans.
Their coffee has multiple times won 1st place in the Cup of Excellence.
This premier coffee competition ranks the best coffees in the world each year.
Unlike the animal processed coffee bean, the magic for Finca El Injerto coffee lies in its technique of harvesting cherry trees. Located in the Highlands of Huehuetenango, Guatemala, the cherries are planted between 1500 - 1920 meters above sea level.
This high altitude causes the cherry plants to develop lactic acid, making the coffee bean more creamy and even citrus in nature.
Hence, because of this unique flavor of Finca El Injerto coffee, coffee lovers are more than happy to pay up to $500 for a pound of this variety of coffee.
3. Hacienda La Esmeralda– More than $500/pound
Another family-owned and one of the world s most expensive coffee brand are Hacienda La Esmeralda.
The coffee comes from the Highlands of Boquete, located in the South-West region of the Republic of Panama.
These surroundings provide the perfect micro-climate to develop a fruity and balanced taste while keeping the acidity low.
The Panama coffee has its root in the arabica beans of Ethiopia. Still, it was now well adapted to the island thanks to the British expeditions in the past.
The Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee farm employs pickers that handpick only the ripe cherries to ensure the coffee's acidic nature remains low, thereby guaranteeing consistency in bean quality.
Note: These coffee beans go through either the wet or dry de-pulping method and then are roasted and ground in the dry mill.
The farm sells different coffee brands that consist of varying taste notes based on whether the beans have been de-pulped with water or dried naturally in the sun.
Each variety of coffee beans are sold at different prices and is among the most expensive coffee in the world.
In 2019, one of the Hacienda La Esmeralda Geisha coffee was sold at a high cost of $1029 per pound, making it one of the world's most expensive
4. Kopi Luwak – $160/pound
Better known as the cat poop coffee, Kopi Luwak is one of the most talked-about coffee globally.
It became popular in the late 1990s.
Since then, it has consistently ranked among the highest and most expensive coffee in the world.
Like the Ivory coffee, the Kopi Luwak coffee is processed through a small civet cat's stomach and fermented through the palm civets bowel's natural enzymes.
But because of its higher popularity, Kopi Luwak deserves its own section describing why Kopi Luwak is one of the world's most expensive coffee, even if it is part of the excrement of a civet cat.
Why is Kopi Luwak so expensive?
The critical factor adding to the price of Luwak is its scarcity.
Although the kopi Luwak production is now done by breeding the civets, harvesters limit production to maintain the quality.
Hence, the beans are not widely available. Another factor adding to the price of the Luwak coffee is that the Asian palm civet on Indonesia's island has a natural tendency to only go after the best coffee cherries.
Their natural selection process of palm civet yields the best civet coffee. It thus adds to the quality and the price of the end product.
5. Ospina Coffee – $120/pound
Another best in the list of coffees, Ospina coffee, is grown on Columbia's volcanic highlands. Ospina coffee farms are among the first where the coffee crop was grown on a large scale.
For over 170 years, the quality of Columbian coffee remained consistent. Even with the premium price range, the coffee is served at many top-end cafes and stores, including Mercedes-Benz of Burlington café.
The flavor of the coffee also has hints of nuts and caramel tones. This combination of rich and diverse flavors made the coffees worth its top-shelf price.
6. Saint Helena Coffee – $79/pound
With its unique flavor profile, st Helena coffee from the island of St Helena, Portugal, is another gem considered by coffee connoisseurs worldwide.
Its uniqueness lies in the fact that although it originated in Yemen, the coffee crop of st Helena has adapted well to its surroundings developing a distinct flavor.
It has a subtle fruity and acidic tastes with an aftertaste of chocolate. This aftertaste signifies that St Helena coffee originates from arabica beans.
It is among few beans depulpated only through a wet process, thereby retaining the beans' actual taste.
Hence, people are more than willing to spend up to $79 per pound for these coffee beans.
7. El Injerto Pea berry - $60/pound
As the name suggests, these coffees come from round or oval (pea) shaped coffee beans.
These small beans are very unique, and only 5% of them can be used for beans. This results in the high quality and price of the coffee.
Grown in Guatemala's farm, the beans undergo a manual separation keeping only the small shaped beans, which are then roasted uniformly to produce the best coffees.
8. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee – More than $50/pound
Often referred to as JBM, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is made with coffee cherries grown in Jamaica's particular region.
To be certified as the blue mountain coffee, the blue mountains' area and altitude have to be very precise. This elevation contributes to the beans' high price.
It gives the coffee a rich aromatic flavor and nutty taste, leaving almost zero aftertastes.
Another factor resulting in the high price of the Jamaican Blue Mountains is that the coffee is available in a limited supply.
Hence, this Jamaican blue mountain's cost, a rare coffee brand, is quite expensive, reaching up to $50 / lb.
9. Fazenda Santa Ines – $50/pound
Usually, Brazilian coffee is not known for its extraordinary characteristics. But, the Fazenda Santa Ines $50/pound coffee distinguishes itself from other Brazilian coffee in its flavor profile, aroma, and high quality.
In their practice of trying to stand out from the rest, the Pereira family, owners of the coffee plantation, adopted innovative and best in class farming techniques and processing methods.
This has led to enormous success in coffee for them. They even won a cup of excellence award in 2005 with a score of 98.5.
Among Fazenda Santa Ines's best coffee is the natural coffee beans. Here the coffee beans are of yellow bourbon variety and are naturally grown and processed.
Extra measures are taken to prevent any contamination of the coffee before processing. The topology gives beans citrusy and sweet hints of flavor and appeals to coffee lovers worldwide.
That's why even with the price of more than $50 for a pound of beans, the Fazenda Santa Ines brand of coffee remains quite popular.
10. Los Planes Coffee – $40/pound
Los Planes coffee is not as historical in its plantation as other coffee beans listed here.
The farm of Los Planes began only around 20 years ago in the mountainous region of Chalatenango, El Salvador. In the span of six-year, the coffee won the 2nd highest place in the El Salvador CoE.
The well-known flavor profile of the coffee is since they are extracted from Pea berries. It is a kind of berries that has 2 pits inside and is round in shape.
These pits are then processed through the wet population and are uniformly roasted to maintain the flavor.
To serve its customers best and uphold the high prices of the coffee Los Planes Coffee strictly adhere to 'gourmet' preparation protocols.
This includes using the natural spring water for the fermentation and cleaning and special care when milling or sun-drying the beans.
The higher standard of plantation justifies the prices for the coffee.
11. Hawaiian Kona Coffee – $34/pound
Another luxury brand of expensive coffees comes from the Kona Coast of Hawaii. The coffee is grown under many brands, among which Keala's Hawaiian Coffee, Volcanica Coffee, and Koa Coffee are well known.
According to the experts, the silky, soft, aromatic, and full-bodied coffee flavor is well worth the expensive price tag.
Kona coffee plantations follow the traditional standard to grow coffee, and many of them are over hundreds of years old.
This makes Hawaiian Kona coffee one of the oldest in the world. The Kona coffee industry benefits from its topology of the Kona belt, which provides regulated rainfalls, the balance of shades and sunlight, and nutrient-rich volcanic soil type.
This all adds up to the utmost quality of small beans, which have their special mentions among the most expensive coffees.
12. Biftu Gudina - $26/pound
Last but not least, we bring you another expensive coffee from the world where coffee is said to be originated from; Ethiopia.
This results in heavy-bodied, acidic, and clove tones in the coffee. Experts say that a cup of Biftu Gudina can also have a lemon flavor with a long finish.
Next time you brew yourself a latte, think about how complex and diverse the world of coffee is, and all the magically places the beans come from.
Are you ready to try Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee or one of the other expensive coffees from around the world? Equipped with all the knowledge, you are now ready to enjoy a fancy cup of coffee.
In case you have a specific query about the brands listed in this article or any brands that were not included, please reach out in the comments