Coffee of the World

What is the Most Expensive Coffee in the World?

black ivory packed coffee

Coffee is loved by millions of people around the world, whether it’s instant or rare and expensive coffees, but what is the most expensive coffee in the world? You’re probably thinking that the answer is the Kopi Luwak (Cat Poop coffee) but you would be wrong, there is actually more than one other coffee top above that!

What actually makes coffee become so expensive or luxury is down to the production process and how long it takes to complete it, another factor is the rarity of the coffee plant itself. Coffee that has a small production rate and only grows in one location would be more expensive than other general coffees. 

Make sure you check out this article on the world’s strongest coffee.

Most Expensive Coffees in the World

1Black Ivory Coffee (Thailand)$500+ Per Pound
2La Esmeralda Coffee (Panama)$500+ Per Pound
3Finca El Injerto Coffee (Guatemala)$500+ Per Pound
4Kopi Luwak Coffee (Indonesia)$160 Per Pound
5St.Helena Coffee (St. Helena)$75 Per Pound
6Molokai (Hawaii)$50 Per Pound
7Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee (Brazil)$50 Per Pound
8Blue Mountain Coffee (Jamaica)$50 Per Pound
9Los Planes Coffee (El Salvador)$40 Per Pound
10Kona Coffee (Hawaii)$40 Per Pound

What is The World’s Most Expensive Coffee?

The world’s most expensive coffee in 2021 is the Black Ivory Coffee from Thailand. Coffee beans are fed to elephants that then excrete the beans to be roasted. Per pound, you can expect to pay anywhere over $500. 

There are of course many other options to choose from when it comes to the world’s most expensive coffees, most of the top contenders all involve being eaten by animals and excreted first though. If that puts you off, you might want to stick to the K-Cup pods, but just remember the coffee beans are cleaned thoroughly first!

Before we get to the list, take a look at this budget option of the high-end scale:

Huehuetenango Coffee (Guatemala) – Under $25 

The Huehuetenango Coffee is grown in the high altitudes of over 5000 feet in Guatemala. This is the reason why it has a robust and unique flavor. It produces a mild but complex profile with a fruity flavor, light body, and most of the time a mild buttery, sweet floral aftertaste.

The Guatemalan Huehuetenango Coffee is Organic and Fair Trade certified because of the coffee bean’s high quality.

10. Kona Coffee (Hawaii) – $40 Per Pound

Hawaiian Kona Coffee produces a milk chocolate taste with hints of honey and a bright fruity flavor. It offers a crisp and clean cup with a smooth and syrupy body.

What makes the Kona coffee one of the most expensive coffees in the world is the amount of work that it goes through to grow the beans. Kona coffee is handpicked by farmers and only the best quality of red cherry is harvested. The beans are then separated to be graded, the bigger the beans are the better the quality is.

The coffee is sold at around $40 per pound and has great taste. Although it is on the list for the most expensive coffees in the world, it is still relatively cheap for being a rare coffee. 

9. Los Planes Coffee (El Salvador) – $40 Per Pound

Los Planes Coffee is grown on the farms of El Salvador and is priced at $40 per pound. In 2011, the Los Planes Coffee won sixth place in the 2011 Cup of Excellence, the most prestigious coffee competition in the world. 

The most notable flavor of Los Planes is a brown sugar flavor and tangerine notes and caramel. It has a very unique flavor profile and while it may be expensive, it is worth the taste.

8. Blue Mountain Coffee (Jamaica) – $50 Per Pound

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is an Arabica bean that produces an excellent full body and a well-balanced mild taste with a mild sweet flavor. The coffee has a complex taste with slight hints of chocolate.

One of the reasons why Blue Mountain coffee is expensive is the minimal supply of beans and the high demand for it. The only place that the coffee can be grown, is the eastern part of the Jamaican island on the Blue Mountain ranges. 

Aside from the rarity of the beans, the Blue Mountain coffee beans are also in high demand due to their unique smooth flavor and clean profile. The coffee beans are grown in high altitudes and harvesting blue mountain coffee beans is very difficult.

7. Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee (Brazil) – $50 Per Pound

Fazenda Santa Ines coffee is grown in Minas Gerais, Brazil. This coffee bean produces notes of milk chocolate with moderate acidity and a very rich, creamy body. The beans undergo a “honey” method, which removes the skin of the coffee fruit immediately after harvesting it. The beans are dried with the sweet pulp or fruit flesh still secured to it.

The price range of the Fazenda Santa Ines coffee bean at $50 per pound.

6. Molokai Coffee (Hawaii) – $50 Per Pound

Molokai coffee is a coffee that is grown on the island of Molokai in Hawaii. This is the second coffee from Hawaii on the most expensive coffee in the world list, that’s because coffee is the second most-produced crop in the state. 

Molokai coffee was first harvested in 1993 and has since grown to be a rare and popular coffee. You will find more options available from roasters and coffee suppliers that provide smooth and rich flavors with natural acidity.

5. St. Helena Coffee (St. Helena) – $79 Per Pound

As the name suggests, St. Helena coffee is grown and produced on the island of St. Helena, which is a small island in the South Atlantic Ocean. As the island is so small, coffee production would be lower than in larger countries, which also adds to the rarity and high prices. 

This coffee is wet processed and goes through intense quality control to ensure the best coffee is harvested. With this coffee, you will find black cherry notes with a fruity acidity that leaves a smooth chocolatey aftertaste. 

4. Kopi Luwak Coffee (Indonesia) – $160 Per Pound

If we asked you, what is the world’s most expensive coffee? The most popular answer would be the Kopi Luwak coffee. However, as you can see by this list, the Kopi Luwak is only 4th on the list, there are rarer and more expensive coffees than this one.

The Kopi Luwak is priced at $160 per pound and can go up in price. It is grown in Indonesia and made from partially digested coffee beans from Asian palm civets. This may sound bad, but it’s definitely not. The reason for this is that civets only eat the highest quality of coffee cherries, and the beans undergo an extensive process before it’s sold to the market.

There is a reaction that takes place in the civet’s stomach that breaks down the cherries, leaving the beans to come out after. It produces a unique taste and is what makes the Kopi Luwak coffee so special. It is also nicknamed the “Cat Poop Coffee” for obvious reasons. 

3. Finca El Injerto Coffee (Guatemala) – $500 Per Pound

El Injerto coffee is native to Guatemala, and the farm is named after a native fruit to that area. This coffee is so special that it has been in production since the 1900s. The coffee is grown at different altitudes in the Highlands of Huehuetenango where they have different varieties of coffee from rare to extremely delicate and rare coffee plants. 

Everything from the soil to the plants is rare, and coffee is only produced in small batches. As stated by the farm, “We sacrifice quantity for quality” as they would rather produce an excellent tasting cup than masses of coffee beans with a poor taste. They also roast the coffee on the farm, everything is produced within its own eco-system, and it allows the workers to taste the coffee to ensure everything is done to perfection.

As for the taste, there are different varieties available that would produce different profiles. You can take a look at the options here. As for the price, you can purchase select varieties for as little as $25 a bag, but these are not the rare microlots, those are only sold via exclusive auctions which you can find here.

2. Hacienda La Esmeralda Coffee (Panama) – Over $500 Per Pound 

Hacienda La Esmeralda Coffee is grown on Mount Baru in microlots in Panama and it is priced at $160 per pound. The region has been producing coffee since the early 1890s, so you can be sure they know a thing or two about coffee. They have invested in research of different coffee varieties and growing locations to produce one of the most expensive coffees in the world.

This coffee is also sold in separate bags, and then the more exclusive coffees are sold by auction. There is a vast history behind it, with very precise processes being followed from harvesting all the way to your cup. The coffee bean produces an excellent taste with a very rich flavor. It has a floral, fruity and produces a very bold cup.

The most expensive lot sold was the Noria Carnaval Natural which went for $27,200 for 136/lb. These are generally purchased by specialty coffee shop owners and roasting companies, but you can expect to see the prices reflect when you purchase a cup of coffee. 

1. Black Ivory Coffee (Thailand) – $500 – $1000+ Per Pound

The most expensive coffee in the world is the Black Ivory Coffee from Thailand. The coffee cherries are fed to elephants that digest them, then excrete the coffee beans for processing. Similar to the Luwak coffee, this produces a unique and distinct flavor unlike any other.

Black Ivory Coffee is an Arabica bean that is grown and processed in Thailand. It is labeled as the world’s rarest and most expensive coffee. It is generally produced for 5-star hotels to serve in Thailand, but they also sell small portions to consumers. The coffee has a unique process and is produced in small quantities, which is one of the reasons for its high price and rarity.

The coffee produces notes of chocolate, spice, and malt with a hint of grass. One of the most unique points about the flavor profile is that it doesn’t have the bitterness or burnt taste of regular coffee. So if you don’t like the taste of regular coffee, you should definitely give the most expensive coffee in the world a try.

Every purchase made helps support The Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation and those families who take care of the elephants. You can check out the website for various coffee selections and merchandise.

Key Take-Away

The price of coffee can be influenced by rarity, production amount, and location grew. In some aspects, also depending on which animal eats the coffee and excretes it. So what is the world’s most expensive coffee in 2021? The Thailand Black Ivory Coffee, that is excreted by elephants and sold to 5-star hotels and Michelin star restaurants.

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