Did you know that there are 29 types of coffee drinkers in the world? And yeah, you’re one of them. Just like everyone, you too have your own preference when it comes to getting your morning cup of joe.
There are so many different types of coffees in the world. Each differs from one another in terms of its origin, taste, aroma, flavor, and price. If you love getting caffeinated, without worrying much about the price, we’ve got options. Read on, and discover the top 10 expensive coffees in the world. Perhaps, you could throw some bucks on a couple or more of these for a special experience.
10. Black Blood of the Earth
This beverage was founded by a diabetic. He wanted to make a coffee that was rich in taste and flavor devoid of any bitter taste, and his experiment was a success.
Origin Philip Broughton, the man who invented this coffee, says most of the coffee beans come from the rift valleys of Ethiopia and Africa where the beans are loaded with oil.
Method of preparation Unlike the regular coffee, Black Blood of Earth is prepared using cold vacuum extraction. During the processing stage, most of the bean oil is extracted, and this makes the coffee abundantly rich in caffeine. The acid is lost during intense processing, so what you get in your cup is a strong flavored brew that is rich in caffeine, but lacks acid.
Caffeine content The name of this beverage suits it well because its caffeine content is about 20 to 40 times more than that of regular coffee. It’s as strong as a wine! So, it’s recommended not to have more than 3.5 Oz in a day.
Health benefits Due to the fact that it sans acidity, this coffee is good for ulcer patients and for those who suffer from heartburn. Regular drinkers can enjoy their cup without having to worry about their teeth getting stained. Diet-consciousness coffee lovers can also enjoy this beverage because it adds nothing more than zero calories to one’s diet.
Storage Under refrigerated conditions, Black Blood of the Earth can last for up to three months.
Price Black Blood of the Earth is sold in bottles. A single bottle can cost you anywhere between $40 and $50. If you’re a serious caffeine addict, this is a must-try.
09. Starbucks Frappuccino
Beau Chevassus wanted to make headlines on his birthday. The WA resident headed straight to one of the local Starbucks stores and ordered a pricey beverage, wanting to break the record for the most expensive Starbucks drink ever. The fusion, which included mocha Frappuccino, mocha drizzle, and caramel topping in addition to several other ingredients, was billed at a whacking $47.30. However, the staff gave it as a special free birthday gift to Beau Chevassus.
Origin Frappuccino is a trademark beverage of Starbucks. It is a blended coffee (frappe+cappuccino=Frappucino) where ice coffee is served with an interesting list of ingredients. However, the original Frappuccino was first introduced at The Coffee Connection, a traditional outlet located in Eastern Massachusetts. In 1994, the chain was purchased by Starbucks, and they got the rights to market and sell the product as their own.
Taste Though Starbucks claims that Frappuccino is a green tea-cum-cream beverage, consumers who have sampled it say that it’s more like a minty chocolate milkshake with a deep taste of green tea. It’s actually a blend of white mocha sauce and peppermint (mixed in equal proportions) topped with mocha drizzle, protein powder, vanilla, strawberries, caramel drizzle, Java chips, and whipped cream. Mocha stands out in terms of volume, while the flavor is dominated by peppermint. The taste and experience is something very unusual from that of regular coffee.
A word of caution though is, this monster green tea is loaded with calories, so if you’re on a diet, better order sugarless Frappuccino. On the flip side, one cup can keep you full for almost an entire day.
Blends Of course, you can order your preferred blend. Some of the popular cream blends include Vanilla Bean, Green Tea, Chai, Syrup Crème, Strawberries & Crème, and Double Chocolaty Chip.
Seasonal blends include Peppermint Mocha Blended Coffee/Peppermint Double Chocolate Chip Blended Crème, Pumpkin Spice Blended Coffee/Pumpkin Spice Blended Crème, Maple Blended Coffee/Blended Crème, Mint Mocha (Bottled), Maple White Chocolate Crème, Dulce De Leche, Gingerbread Blended Coffee/Blended Crème, and Cinnamon Dolce Blended Coffee/Blended Crème.
Price Keeping the record-breaking price aside, you can sample a cup of Starbucks Frappuccino at a far lesser price.
If you want to taste the goodness of chocolate and mint in green tea, then Frappuccino is worth giving a try.
08. Hawaiian Kona Coffee
Source There is only one state in the U.S that has coffee-friendly climate and soil, and it’s none other than Hawaii. Kona coffee is grown on the golden Kona Coast of Hawaii, in the North and South districts of the state. It’s cultivated on small farms owned by the local Kama’aina families. Coffee plantation is done in the high-altitude regions of Hualalai and Mauna Loa Mountains. The mountains, characterized by volcanic soil and dense cloud cover, form a great environment for coffee plantation and give a unique advantage for Kona coffee over other types of coffees.
Harvesting Harvesting of the crops is done during autumn.
Process Kona coffee cherries are hand-picked, washed, pulped, cleaned, sun-dried, and hulled before being roasted. The beans are sorted according to their shape and size.
Roasting The beans are sun-dried and custom-roasted. Roasting is an art which decides the flavor and taste of the coffee. Deep-roasting comes under the category of French, Espresso, and Italian. Medium-roasting is typically Vienna and Full-city. The beans are freshest when they are just roasted. Flavored Kona coffee is prepared by the addition of powdered or sprayed flavors.
Different grades of Kona coffee
Peaberry Kona Coffee It is made from a special bean called Peaberry. It’s a high quality pea-shaped bean formed by the fusion of the two sides of the flower, thereby leaving only one bean in the cherry as opposed to two in all other coffee crops. This unique characteristic gives the bean a distinct flavor and taste, which is much different from the other coffee beans. Due to its natural complexity, Peaberry is very rare. It contributes to only 5% to 10% of the total production.
Fancy Kona Coffee These are bigger coffee beans. The coffee is medium-bodied and smooth.
Extra Fancy Kona Coffee These are the largest beans of the Kona family accounting to 20% of the total Kona coffee production. They have very few defects. Full-body and strong flavor are the characteristics of this bean, which is found in most of the signature Kona coffees.
Taste Kona Coffee is full-bodied, acidic, smooth, and boasts a silky chocolate finish. There are bold flavors of caramel and berry in the cup. The aroma is dominated by floral and herbal ingredients reminding us of its native volcanic soil and climate. However, the nutty chocolate taste doesn’t fail to coat the palate.
Price The price ranges from $34 to $51 per pound. If you crave to taste an exotic high quality native U.S coffee, there can’t be a better choice than Hawaiian Kona coffee.
07. El Salvador Los Planes Pacamara
Origin Finca Los Planes coffee is made from Pacamara, a high quality Arabica bean introduced by the Salvadoran Coffee Research Institute in 1950’s. It was developed by crossing Pacas and Maragogype. Pacas, a Bourbon varietal, derived its name from Don Alberto Pacas, the person who discovered it along with Dr. William Cogwill. “Los Planes” was the name of the farm owned by JoséOnofreTicas, whose grandson later used it to grow Pacamara and Bourbon bean varieties. This is the story behind the name of the coffee, which is “Los Planes Pacamara.” The farm is located at an elevation of 5300 feet and coffee crops are grown in one-fourth area of the 170 acre land.
Harvest Specialty grades are harvested during February to May.
Processing This step involves wet processing, milling, and patio-drying.
Cup characteristics A walkway winner at some of the prestigious coffee awards doesn’t disappoint. Los planes is medium-bodied, acidic and loaded with intense fruity flavors, which includes nuts, raisins, plums, melon, and berries. It is typically complex and strongly aromatic. Blackcurrent, chocolate, and brown sugar dominate in the deep roasted coffee while the medium-roasted cup has more of nutty, cedary notes blended with the spiciness of mint. The coffee leaves a creamy mouthfeel, and stays on for long.
Awards El Salvador bagged the second place at “Cup of Excellence” award in 2006 with a score of 93.52 points. Not all coffees can attract a score of over 90 in the Presideny award.
Price Los Planes coffee is sold at $40 per pound. If you love complexity above everything else, this is the coffee for you.
06. Jamaican Blue Mountain
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most popular coffees in the world. As the name suggests, it originates from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.
Origin Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee was discovered in 1885. Over the years, this beverage has earned a great reputation among coffee connoisseurs worldwide. The beans are grown in the Blue mountain peak, which is the one of the highest spots in the Carribean.
Located 7000 feet above the sea level, and blessed with chilling climate and natural forest cover, the mountain is one of the best places for coffee plantation. Just like the way the most exotic wines come from the best of places, superior coffees also come from the best sources. Due to the larger cloud cover, plants in the Blue Mountain receive very little sunlight, so the maturation time of the crops takes a long time. Because of the long development process, the beans are enriched with a better taste and aroma nearly twice than that of regular coffee.
Taste Jamaica Blue Mountain is a full-bodied, low-acidic drink that comes with an intense aroma and unusual sweetness. The beans are roasted mildly so that the natural taste of the herbs and spices are maintained. The spicy flavor blended with sweetened floral notes is the characteristic of this drink, and that is what keeps it one step above most of the other coffees out there.
Quality check Look for Jamaica Blue Mountain that is certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica. The board conducts regular quality check which includes detailed analysis of size, color, and density of the beans.
Types There are a few authenticated manufacturers of Jamaica Blue Mountain. Of course, each one rolls out their signature varieties to outrank its competition. The most popular types include Jamaica Blue Mountain Estate Coffee, Jamaica Blue Mountain Organic Coffee, Jamaica Blue Mountain Cuvee, Jamaica Blue Mountain Reserve, and Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend.
Consumers Japan is the largest consumer of Jamaica Blue Mountain, accounting to nearly 80% of the total global production.
Price Each cup sells at $50 per pound. If you’re fond of a mild-flavored coffee blended with the richness of floral notes and spices, then Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee is worth giving a try.
05. Finca El Injerto Coffee
Basic information El Injerto is grown in the Huehuetenango and La libertad region where the average temperature ranges from 18° C to 22° C.
Coffee beans 100% Arabica
Harvesting months January to April
Origin El Injerto was introduced by Jesús Aguirre Panamá in 1874. He planted coffee seeds in his farmland, which he had earlier used to grow fruits. Today, the farm is maintained and crops are grown by his fourth generation family. The coffee seeds are cultivated in a 720 acre land, which is dominated by tropical rainforests.
Elevation The crops are grown at an altitude of 1500-1900 above sea level, and it is one of the rarest Bourbon varieties.
Process The process of cleaning, washing, and roasting are pretty much similar to that of other coffees. It is the micro climate and native origin of the seeds that actually add taste to the beans.
Taste The coffee has delicious notes of herbal and floral flavors, much of it dominated by rose and jasmine. Wow! You would probably feel like you’re having coffee in the barista. There are intense flavors of hazelnut and chocolate. All of these blend well and leaves a super positive impression on our taste buds.
There is a great alteration to its taste after brewing. Now, it’s smooth and silky, tastes much like the Dutch chocolate, which is actually sweet but leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste (that’s the taste of any original high quality chocolate). A few sips later, you’ll find bolder flavors of fruits (pear, lemon, and pulp), bringing in a good amount of acidity to the cup. The sophisticated sweetness of fruits combined with the natural floral notes lifts the aroma of the coffee. The aroma is simply unbeatable! The chocolaty cream of the coffee doesn’t fail to coat your palate with a dark texture. At the end of it, the coffee gives you a thick mouthfeel but is not muddy.
Tangerine is one of the main flavors of El Injerto. Of course, the trademark jasmine flavor of Bourbon varietals and native lemon flavor of Geisha’s are dominant in the cup. Overall, the drink is full-bodied, well-balanced, aromatic, and has a good level of acid content – tastes much different from the rest of the coffees.
Record-breaking sale In an online auction held in 2012, Finca El Injerto coffee beans were sold for a record-breaking price of $500.50 per pound. Since then, the coffee has gained a celebrity status worldwide. It is one of the rarest coffees from Yemen, characterized by small size. In fact, the beans are only about one-third of the size of regular coffee beans. In total, eight pounds of Finca El Injerto coffee beans were sold for $4004 at the auction.
Awards Finca El Injerto is a recipient of the “Cup of Excellence” and a three-time winner of Pacamara coffee awards.
Price El Injerto has been sold at a record price of $500.50 per pound. If you’re lucky, you could be able to bag it at a cheaper price.
El Injerto tastes much better than most of the coffees in the world, however, costs you much lesser than a bottle of mediocre wine.
04. St. Helena coffee
“The only good thing about St Helena is the coffee.” – These were the words of Napoleon Bonaparte. Just four days before his death, he had pleaded for a small dose of St. Helena coffee. Amidst so many extraordinary coffees, there is something in this coffee that had impressed the great man, and likewise so many connoisseurs worldwide. St. Helena coffee was recognized the “Coffee Of The Year” by Spilling The Beans in 2013.
Origin It is cultivated on the small island of St. Helena, which is just about 48 miles in diameter. The island is located in the volcanic region of South Atlantic Ocean.
Specialty One unique aspect of this coffee is that it is cultivated using Yemen, an extremely rare heirloom variety, which was imported to the island in the early eighteenth century. It is one of those rare coffee crops that is grown in volcanic soil. Coffee is prepared from special green-tipped Bourbon Arabic beans that are native only to this island. Most coffee connoisseurs believe that the taste and flavor of this coffee are pretty much similar to that of a wine. All coffee crops grown on this island are 100% organic.
Processing Flowering takes place between December to April; harvesting is usually done during October-February.The beans are washed thoroughly and allowed to go through a natural fermentation process to get rid of the mucilage. The sun-drying method of this bean is pretty unique; the beans of St. Helena are exposed to the sun for up to four months, which is completely in contrary to that of regular coffee beans that are sun-dried only for about 3-4 days. The beans are wet-processed and medium-roasted.
Taste Because they are medium-roasted, there is a good amount of acidity in the cup. The body is well-balanced with tastes of citrus and caramel that is sure to stay on the tongue for long. Also, there is a distinct pepper-like spiciness that adds more aroma and taste to the cup.
Production The annual production of St. Helena coffee is only 4500 lbs per year.
Price Each cup is sold at a price range of 75 to 80 pounds. If you haven’t tasted an island coffee, then St. Helena is the one for you.
03. Panama Geisha Esmeralda
Panama Geisha Esmeralda is an award-winning coffee sold only in private auctions.
Origin Geisha Esmeralda is grown on the fertile farmlands of Hacienda Esmeralda, which is nestled on Mount Baru in the Jamarillo region in western Panama. The Mount is located at an altitude of 1450-1800 above sea level, making it one of the best places for coffee plantation.
Processing The ripest beans are handpicked by farmers and checked for defective and broken pieces. The mucilage is removed from the selected beans using demucilageinating machines and they are sun-dried for 3-4 days. The beans are then put into a dehuller in which they are rubbed against one another to remove the hull and unwanted particles. Once this process is completed, the beans are roasted and packed for shipment.
Taste Panama Geisha Esmeralda is one of the most popular Geisha varieties. However, it comes at a much lesser price when compared to its cousins, yet has the same taste. Geisha Esmeralda is full-bodied and comes with a high level of acidity and an unusual honey-like sweetness. Each cup includes scrumptious floral and herbal notesthat blend with intense flavors of citrus and bergamot. The mouthfeel is silky and smooth in the beginning and buttery towards the end.
Varieties Esmeralda Special, Esmeralda Boquete, and Esmeralda 1,500 are some of the popular brands available in the market today.
Harvesting months December to March
Annual production 180 tons,but auctions only 6 tons.
Certification Board Rainforest Alliance
Awards and recognition There is a huge demand for Panama Geisha Esmeralda worldwide. Just take a look at this stat:
- $ 21 a pound in 2004
- $ 50.25 a pound in 2006
- $ 130 a pound in 2010
- $ 170 a pound in 2013
- $ 350.25 a pound in 2014
These were the prices at which this coffee was auctioned at “Best of Panama” under Naturals category. Geisha Esmeralda is the proud recipient of the “Best of Panama coffee” award for six years in a row.
Geisha Esmeralda has won several awards and accolades, which includes:
- Winner at “Rainforest Alliance Cupping for Quality” in 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2013
- Runner-up at “Coffee of the year” in 2008 and 2009
- Winner at “Specialty Coffee Association of America Roasters Guild Cupping Pavilion” for three consecutive years (2005-2007)
Awards don’t lie, so does the taste of this coffee.
Price Grab a cup for $35. Save it for an occasion, because it’s probably going to make your day special.
02. Black Ivory Coffee
Discovery When kopi Luwak gained global attention, Thai people wanted to do something different. It was the dream and passion of a Thai mahout that lead to the discovery of Black Ivory Coffee, after ten years of experimentation.
Source and making Elephants in the Golden Triangle region in Chiang Saen, (Northern) Thailand are fed with Arabic coffee cherries that are picked from altitudes of over 1500 meters high. The beans undergo fermentation in the elephant’s stomach along with tons of sugarcane, bananas, and a lot of other things that are a part of the vegetarian animal’s diet. The undigested beans, excreted in the elephant dung, are extracted and processed.
Processing The extracted beans are washed, cleaned, sun-dried and roasted before being packed. The word from manufacturers is that it takes roughly about 8500 to 9000 beans to make one kilogram of Black Ivory coffee. That is, 30 to 35 kilograms of coffee cherries are required to prepare one kilogram of original Black Ivory coffee beans. This makes it one of the rarest and costliest coffees in the world.
Taste Black Ivory coffee is smooth and has a fruity, earthy flavor. One good thing is, it lacks the bitterness of regular coffee.
Worldwide production Reportedly, the annual production of Black Ivory coffee beans was 70kg in 2012, and 200 kg in 2014.
Price Each cup of Black Ivory Coffee sells for $50 or more. However, beware of duplicates, originals are manufactured only in Northern Thailand.
01. Kopi Luwak
This coffee made headlines. It is one of the rarest and high-priced coffees native only to Indonesia. The term “Kopi Luwak” is coined from two Indonesian words: Kopi (meaning coffee) and Luwak (meaning Civet). It’s called Civet coffee or Cat poo coffee by the English people.?
History The story goes like this. In the mid-nineteenth century, when Indonesia was ruled by the Dutch, huge quantities of coffee crops were planted in the high-altitude regions of Sumatra and Java islands. The Dutch rulers, who were so fond of coffee, imported pure Arabica crops and planted in the mountainous regions of Indonesia. However, the local farmers were restrained from using the beans. It was for quite a while since the farmers had noticed wild civets eating and leaving the undigested beans in their dung. They took the beans and made coffee from it. Surprisingly, the coffee was much tastier than original Arabica coffee. The word spread through, and the rest is history.
Process Civets love coffee cherries. During the night, they prowl along the fields and gorge on the ripest and juiciest coffee cherries. After 24 hours of fermentation in the stomach, the undigested beans are excreted in their scat. The extracted beans are washed, cleaned, sun-dried, and roasted to make fresh kopi luwak beans.
High quality Kopi Luwak Kopi is a rare coffee bean. However, due to high demands, most retailers are selling fake kopi luwak. To avoid being scammed, purchase kopi luwak only from authorized sellers from Indonesia. Do not buy in bulk at your nearest retail store just because they are cheap. Real kopi luwak beans are expensive. It’s best suggested to buy kopi luwak in small batches, and see the taste of the coffee. If it’s real, then you can purchase more.
Look for suppliers who sell wild-collected kopi luwak. There is a lot of difference between the kopi beans that come from wild civets and farmed civets. The latter is force-fed with coffee cherries in appalling conditions and the beans excreted by them are inferior in quality. Look for superior kopi luwak from original sellers who sell wild-collected kopi luwak beans.
Production The annual worldwide production of original kopi luwak is only about 700 kgs. For obvious reasons, it is the rarest coffee in the world.
Taste Kopi Luwak is medium-roasted to preserve the essential flavors. It’s well-balanced, less acidic, strong, and has a smooth finish. The chocolaty flavor dominates the cup, but leaves no bitter aftertaste. The flavor is nutty, earthy, and strong. Overall, you’ll love kopi luwak for its subtle taste and distinct aroma.
Health benefits According to research reports, Kopi luwak offers a lot of health benefits to consumers. Due to the fact that it’s less acidic in nature, it doesn’t stain the teeth. It is good for patients who suffer from ulcer and heartburn. Furthermore, original kopi luwak also helps to prevent various skin diseases, gallstone diseases, skin diseases, and even diabetes.
Price Kopi luwak is sold at $40 to $80 per cup. Sample this drink mainly for its distinctive taste and the wide range of health benefits it brings in the cup.