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What Is The Most Expensive Coffee In The World?

  • by Alfonso Colasuonno

The most expensive coffee in the world is Black Ivory coffee from Thailand, which is priced at approximately $550 per pound.

Right behind Black Ivory coffee is Guatemala’s Finca El Injerto coffee, selling for around $500 per pound. Panama’s Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee at $350 per pound is another option for gourmet coffee lovers. Rounding out the list of the most expensive coffees in the world are Kopi Luwak coffee from Indonesia at about $160 per pound and Saint Helena coffee from the UK’s remote South Atlantic territory, which sells for the comparatively inexpensive price of $79 per pound.

The American Coffee Landscape

According to the National Coffee Association, 62% of Americans drink coffee on a daily basis. But what types of coffee are they drinking? Mass-produced coffee packed into little cups? Tasteless coffee bought from food trucks when rushing to work? How about serviceable, though unspectacular, coffee from national and international chains?

All of the above are good guesses for what the majority of American coffee drinkers regularly consume.

But do you know which types of coffee are unlikely to be part of the vast majority’s morning commutes? The most expensive coffees in the world…

Is Expensive Coffee Worth It?

Whether expensive coffee is worth its hefty price tag is entirely up to you. Some people delight in the incredible flavors and unique experiences that come with drinking expensive coffee. Others who are more budget-conscious, have less openness to new experiences, or simply have an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality may be less inclined to see the value in high-end coffees. However, even for this latter group, we believe everyone should at least consider trying some of the world’s most upmarket (and flavorful!) coffees.

What is the most expensive coffee grown in the world?

List of the World’s Most Expensive Coffees

#5 - Saint Helena Coffee

Plant Species: Coffea arabica / Bourbon: Green Tipped Bourbon

Are you a history buff? If so, you may want to try this magnificent coffee that Napoleon described as “the only good thing about Saint Helena” during his exile to the tiny island after the Battle of Waterloo.

Even if history is not exactly your thing, you’ll be delighted by the balanced acidity, smooth and rich flavors, mild body, and black cherry notes in this wet-processed Bourbon varietal.

#4 - Kopi Luwak Coffee

Plant Species: Coffea arabica

Alright, let’s get this fact front and center for the squeamish among us: This Indonesian coffee is produced out of partially-digested coffee beans excreted in the dung of the Asian palm civet, a mammal native to the region.

Still here? Good. Because this “cat poop coffee” is high quality. Asian palm civets eat the finest cherries. And the chemical and biological processes in their digestive systems alter the taste significantly, leaving this coffee nearly devoid of any bitterness. Some even say its flavor is reminiscent of black tea. If you’re adventurous, go on and give it a try!

#3 - Hacienda La Esmeralda Coffee

Plant Species: Coffea arabica / Ethiopian Types: Gesha

This coffee is one of the finest that we’ve ever tasted. It has a rich flavor, one that’s floral and bold with hints of honeysuckle, tangerine, and jasmine. Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee is also known for its crisp acidity.

How did this coffee get to be so spectacular? Hacienda La Esmeralda coffee is farmed on the side of Panama’s Mount Baru under the land’s guava trees. Because of this, some believe that the soil has a “just right” pH that lends itself to creating the perfect cuppa joe.

#2 - Finca El Injerto Coffee

Plant Species: Coffea arabica / Typica: Pacamara (Pacas x Maragogype)

Quality over quantity is the name of the game when it comes to Finca El Injerto coffee. The process by which it is made is entirely sustainable, with every aspect of the production done in-house. And another reason you’ll love this one is because the coffee is only sold through direct trade, rather than more environmentally and socially irresponsible methods.

But what about the taste? Well, it’s sweet and earthy, but packs a chocolatey bite. Finca El Injerto’s texture is unique, with a buttery or milky feel. There’s a reason this coffee is protected by armed guards—it’s just that good!


#1 - Black Ivory Coffee

Plant Species: Coffea arabica / Bourbon: Caturra (and others)

Are you looking for something off the beaten path to add to your bucket list? How about savoring a cup of Black Ivory, the world’s most expensive coffee? Oh, and it just so happens that this coffee is harvested from Arabica beans excreted in elephants’ dung. The challenge is finding this one outside of Thailand, specifically in that nation’s five-star hotels. But if you do come across it, we think you’ll understand why it’s worth its price.

Black Ivory coffee has a unique taste all its own. The flavors in this coffee blend together perfectly in a mixture of caramel, butter, grass, and spice without any bitterness. The chocolatey aroma adds to the richness of the experience. There are valid reasons why many coffee lovers swear that this is the best coffee in the world.

Satisfy Your Coffee Fix

No doubt about it, we at Goldleaf are coffee obsessives. And that’s why our renowned design team created the Coffee Cultivar Family Tree Infographic. Click here to learn more about this stunning art print that features over 80 coffee cultivars.

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