With coffee being such an important part of so many people’s lives all over the world, it’s no surprise that the skill of brewing, roasting and harvesting coffee is constantly evolving. Some processes are more affordable, while others are more expensive.
Some of the best coffees in the world are quite expensive due to the amount of care put into keeping the flavour unique and rich. These beans are farmed on a limited scale in only a few parts of the world and then processed with meticulous care and while low-cost coffee can be fairly bitter, high-quality coffee prepared from pricey coffee beans will have substantially more flavour depth.
Here are some of the most expensive coffees in the world in no particular order. From the first whiff to the first sip, these coffees are a must-try for any coffee connoisseur, regardless of price.
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
When it comes to sought after coffees, the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is often number one on any coffee connoisseur’s list. This is a high-altitude coffee known for its sweet almost floral notes, bright acidity and a lack of bitterness common to most other coffees. It is one of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world as the beans are hard, and the region is very steep. Harvesters must make repeated passes over the same stretch of coffee trees at different times in order to obtain as many beans as possible from their already restricted supply. The Jamaican Blue is sold at a price of $68 per pound.
Hawaiian Kona Coffee
Kona coffee beans are grown in mountainous areas that have rich volcanic soil full of nitrates, phosphates, iron, and manganese which promote healthy plant growth. Hand-picked coffee beans are placed in a basket before being processed via a machine that removes the berry pulp and exposes the bean. They are then washed and fermented for 12 hours, and soon after they dry, they have a rigid covering on their surface called parchment. To remove the parchment and prepare the beans for roasting, they are milled and polished. According to collectionsofwaikiki prices can raise anywhere between $45 to $60 per pound.
Hacienda La Esmeralda
The award-winning Hacienda La Esmeralda Coffee has gained a huge following due to its smooth, aromatic taste. Its beans are grown in the shade of guava trees on the slopes of Volcán Bar in Panama and are naturally ripened by the mountainous terrain and cool mists, resulting in a rich flavour profile. Hacienda La Esmeralda sells for $350 USD for about 450g. According to dailycoffeenews, the coffee had been sold at an auction for $601.00 per pound, the highest ever paid for green coffee.
Finca El Injerto
The Finca El Injerto coffee beans are small, rare, and cultivated in the Huehuetenango Highlands of Guatemala, between 1500 and 1920 metres above sea level. These rare beans are washed in a single channel and cracked twice to give coffee lovers a sweet, savoury flavour. The aroma of this coffee will remind you of tamarind, but with just one taste, your mouth and heart will be flooded with a silky smooth sensation. Micro lots of this coffee frequently sell at auction, fetching more than $500 per pound.
Ospina Dynasty Gran Café Premier Classé Grand Cru
The Ospina family pays meticulous attention to its coffee plants, which results in remarkable quality. This exceptional coffee has an aroma of orange flowers (“Azahar”), orange fruit, peach, and jasmine and is cultivated at elevations of 7700 to 7900 feet (2345 to 2410 metres) in Colombia’s Andes. It tastes like berries, chocolate, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Depending on the variety you choose, Ospina Gran Cafe could cost upwards of $600 per pound.
One of the world’s most expensive coffees is also one of the most controversial, with the manufacturing process often raising ethical concerns for animals’ rights. Kopi Luwak is prepared by feeding coffee cherries to Asian Palm Civets in Indonesia. These unique creatures ferment the coffee cherries during digestion, producing enzymes that give the beans their particular flavour. The coffee beans are then extracted from the Civets’ faeces and used to make Kopi Luwak. Kopi Luwak’s flavour can be described as earthy and musty, with notes of caramel and chocolate. According to BusinessInsider, the prices range between $35 and $100 a cup, or about $100 to $600 a pound.
Black Ivory Coffee brews coffee on their property by feeding Arabica cherries to elephants, then waiting for the elephants to consume and break down the cherries before collecting the beans from their faeces. Their digestive enzymes are responsible for the coffee’s strong flavours and creamy texture. Black Ivory Coffee has a rich and distinctive flavour with notes of chocolate, tamarind, and spices. Black Ivory coffee costs $50-$70 each cup, according to Foodtastic. A single box of full roasted Black Ivory (35g/1.3 ounces) costs $120, and a kilogramme (2.20 ounces) costs $2,200.