What do you get for $1,500 a pound for the world’s most expensive coffee? How about $3,500 for a pound each of these 15 different coffees that are the world’s most expensive? That doesn’t include the travel necessary to get half these coffees that are only available in Japan, Korea and Thailand.
So reading this coffee is a much better deal. You can thanks us for saving you a bundle by sharing this article with your friends.
1. Black Ivory Coffee (Thailand) $1,500 / pound
That’s right, $1,500 a pound. Unlike Kopi Luwak which is from small tree-dwelling civet cats, Black Ivory coffee bean are extracted from the poop of 2-ton Elephants. Only 200kg a year are produced by the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand which sells this exclusively. The Foundation uses the funds to support their refuge and the healthcare of their 20 rescued elephants. And there’s good news: If a pound is too expensive for you, you could buy a cup for $50.
Taste Profile: Like Kopi Luwak, it is a rich arabica flavor with full body but extreme mellowness – more so than Kopi Luwak due to the longer time in contact with the, um, stomach acids in an elephant.
2. Kopi Luwak (Indonesia) $150+ / pound
Retailing for $100-$200 a pound, Kopi Luwak is the world’s 2nd most expensive coffee. Trying it is on many peoples’ bucket lists. It is also gingerly called Cat Poop coffee because it is extracted from the….how do we say this politely…. feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat of Indonesia. This coffee’s high price has attracted dishonest hucksters so ensure that you’re getting real and humane Kopi Luwak from a trustworthy source.
Taste Profile: Tastes lke a traditional Sumatran coffee (full body, mossy, jungle-rich) but much more mellow, without the harshness or ashiness sometimes present in a Sumatran coffee.
3. Hacienda La Esmeralda (Boquete, Panama) $100+/ pound
This coffee is so special it’s rationed by most roasters.
Grown in the Boquete region of Panama, on a single farm (Hacienda La Esmeralda) from just a few heirloom trees of the unique Geisha varietal, it’s probably the most awarded coffee in the world.
Taste Profile: Like a lemon tea cookie. Extremely high citrus flavor with a little acidity that gives it a trademark lemon taste. So light in flavor that it’s almost tea-like. If you like a bold cup of coffee this is definitely not it. If you’ve tasted everything in coffee and want a totally unique taste you’ve never had before, this is the one!
HR-61 Hacienda El Roble (Mesa de Los Santos, Santander, Colombia) $100+
There’s only 22kg available of this coffee a year, it’s from a unique coffee varietal that isn’t found anywhere else in the world except Hacienda El Roble, it’s only available roasted from a single Australian roaster named Proud Mary’s, and only then as a $100 cupping. Talk about exclusive! This coffee has been rated consistently in the low 90s by the world’s best coffee cuppers, a sign that it’s phenomenal. If only you could get some!
Taste Profile: Unknown, borderline secret. No one who has cupped it is telling. Colombian coffees are known for balance, a clean cup, body, and an abundance of floral nuance.
Panama Ironman Camilina Geisha from Finca La Aurora (Boquete, Panama) $100 / pound
This coffee has a list of flavors as long as its name. Exclusively from Klatch Roasting in California, Panama Ironman Camilina Geisha earned a stellar 97 out of 100 rating from Coffeereview.com with accolades for its flavor and complexity. At the Best of Panama coffee competition and auction it was purchased at $179.82 lb for green beans, so you’re actually getting a DEAL at $100 / pound roasted.
Taste Profile: According to coffeereview.com, “beautifully structured and almost impossibly intricate in flavor and aroma.”
6. St. Helena Coffee Company’s Island (St. Helena) – $80/lb
St. Helena is famous as the island where Napoleon Bonaparte was permanently exiled by the British in 1815 after losing at the Battle of Waterloo and escaping from the island of Elba. And he loved his coffee! Especially the Bourbon varietal of coffee grown here, typical of 18th century French colonization but now rare elsewhere. Raise a glass of St. Helana coffee and think of Napoleon, stuck until death on this island 800 miles off the coast of Africa.
Taste Profile: Clean & balanced with strong floral notes especially hibiscus.
Las Margaritas Colombia Geisha (Trujillo Valle, Colombia) $51/pound
Exclusively available from Barrington Coffee Company and Metropolis Coffee which describes this as “a coffee marvel” this coffee derives from the unique Geisha varietal originally from Ethiopia. This is one of those unique finds that a coffee buyer finds after extensive
9. Finca San Nicolas (El Salvador) $50/pound
This coffee commanded the 2nd highest price for any coffee during the 2013 Cup of Excellence competitions, at $90,000 per lot. The entire crop was purchased by Japan’s UCC Ueshima Coffee Co. Ltd, so you won’t see a single drop of it in the US this year.
Taste profile: Unknown. Entire crop imported to Japan.
4. Blue Mountain Coffee (Wallenford Estate, Jamaica) $45
Jamaica’s famed Blue Mountain Coffee is grown at elevations up to 7,500 feet, some of the highest mountains in the caribbean. The mountainous combination of volcanic soil, high humidity mist and consistent rainfall are ideal for growing arabica coffee beans. About 80% of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee crop is exported to Japan, driving up prices in the US. It’s very rare to find this coffee for sale in the US even among artisanal roasters. Wallenford Estate is the most famed grower from Jamaica but the coffee is graded and certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica, ensuring good quality from any exported coffee from Jamaica.
Taste Profile: Deep aroma, cherry-t0ned chocolate hints, some earthy moss, sometimes flavor hints of banana, cedar, and walnut.
5. Hawaiian Coffee from the Island of Kona $45+
Hawaii is loved by Americana and surprisingly Japanese for whom it is synonymous with quality. Kona coffee is generally the most expensive from the Hawaiian islands. It is grown primarily on small family farms rather than large plantations that you see in other growing regions like Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia. So you are supporting the farmers with other 800 farms in the Kona District with an average size of 5 acres. Kona coffee is grown on the Big Island of Hawaii mainly on the mountainous slopes of Hualaulai and Mauna Loa. It has an ideal coffee growing environment: mountains, daily rainfall, and consistently warm weather plus rich volcanic soil.
Taste Profile: Balanced (meaning slight acidity, some body and a mild but not overpowering aroma), earthy, clean (in the sense that it has no off-flavors like peanut, mildew) slight notes of chocolate and herb.
7. El Injerto (Huehuetenango, Guatemala) – $45/lb.
Finca El Injerto earned the highest price of any Cup of Excellence coffee at auction in 2013, over $103,000 paid per lot. Japanese and South Korean importers purchased about 90% of the top-10 lots in Cup of Excellence, driving prices sky high for Guatemala’s coffee in general and El Injerto’s in particular.
Taste Profile: Boldly rich with nuances of cognac, grapefruit and marmalade. Has a cult following for its flavor.
8. El Morito Pandora de Fatima (Mataquescuintla, Guatemala) $44 / pound
Finca El Morito’s coffee earned the 2nd highest price paid for Cup of Excellent competition coffee anywhere in the world in 2014. Bidders from Japan and Taiwan bought up THE ENTIRE CROP. You literally can’t even buy this coffee in the US. The nearest English speaking country brewing this coffee is New Zealand.
Taste Profile: Famed for its heavy body, baker’s chocolate, sweet vanilla, citrus notes — if you can get your hands on it.
Mamuto AA (Kenya) $37 / pound
Kenya coffee is rated by Ken Davids of CoffeeReview.com and others as generally the consistently best in the world among aficionados due to its velvety smooth body and richness. Mamuto coffee grows beneath Mt. Kenya at elevations of about 5,000 feet in a volcanic rich dark soil with high rainfall and misty humidity — ideal for coffee growing. George Howell Coffee in the US gets it through direct trade with a small 13-acre family farm in Mamuto.
Taste Profile: Rich & velvety body with stone fruit (plum, prune) and black currant flavors
La Mesa Farm, (Dota, Tarrazú, Costa Rica) $50/pound
In 2014 La Mesa Farm in Costa Rica took the 4th highest price paid for a lot of coffee in the Cup of Excellence competitions, $62,541 for a bag from this micro-mill. The entire crop was purchased by a syndicate of buyers from Asia — Maruyama Coffee (Japan), Sugi Coffee Roasting (Japan), Ponpon Coffee (Japan) and Orsir Coffee (Taiwan). La Mesa is so small it has no website and no sales representative beyond its farmer Luis Enrique Navarro. Very hard to get your hands on this coffee!
Taste Profile: Super sweet, well balanced, structured and complex, “a blow out coffee” according to Sue Spindler, founder of the Cup of Excellence.
Cafetal La Herradura (Veracruz, Mexico) $50 / pound
Cafetal scored 90.44 out of a possible 100 in the 2013 Cup of Excellence competition in Mexico — an amazing score — and its entire crop was purchased by…you guess it, UCC Ueshima Coffee Company of Japan. That translates to $30.10 per pound for green beans at auction, which we’re guessing may retail for at least $50 or possibly much more in Japan.
Taste Profile: Wish we knew!! Mexican coffees are known for their mildness, light body, and slight nuances of floral flavors.