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Most Expensive Coffee in the World: 7 Wallet-Busting Coffee Beans

most expensive coffee in the world

Ever wondered what the most expensive coffee in the world is? If you’re thinking the answer is kopi luwak (cat poop coffee), you’re on the right track! That is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, but it doesn’t take the top spot. To find out what the world’s most expensive coffee variety is, scroll down.

A Quick Note
Keep in mind that expensive coffee isn’t necessarily good coffee. You don’t need to take out a loan to drink a delicious cup of coffee — we promise!

Check out our list of the best budget coffee brands to find something a little more affordable.

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At a Glance (Updated in 2020):

ImageProductDetails
Winner
Ospina Dynasty Ospina Dynasty
  • $1,540 per pound
  • One of Colombia's oldest coffee companies
  • Notes of peach, coconut, and macadamia
  • Second place
    Black Ivory Black Ivory
  • $1,081 per pound
  • "Naturally refined" by elephants
  • Delicate, distinctive flavor
  • Third place
    Volcanica Kopi Luwak Volcanica Kopi Luwak
  • $400 per pound
  • Processed by Indonesian civet cats
  • Smooth and never bitter
  • Hacienda Esmeralda Geisha Hacienda Esmeralda Geisha
  • $120 per pound
  • Ethiopian beans rediscovered in Panama
  • Unusual, floral flavor
  • Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain
  • $100 per pound
  • Grown in Jamaica's Blue Mountains
  • Herbal, floral, and nutty
  • The 7 Most Expensive Coffees in the World:

    1. Ospina Dynasty ($1,540/pound)

    Ospina Coffee

    Ospina is an old-school — and pricey — Colombian coffee company. Its history dates back to 1835, and the founder, Don Mariano Ospina Rodriguez, is credited with making Colombian one of the world’s biggest coffee capitals.

    Though you can buy cheaper varieties for around $220/pound, Ospina’s most expensive coffee, the Dynasty Gran Café Grand Cru Classé Premier Grand Cru (try saying that name quickly), sells for $770 for an 8.8-ounce package. That’s $1,540 per pound!


    2. Black Ivory Coffee ($1,081/pound)

    Black Ivory Coffee

    Black Ivory’s Coffee is “naturally refined” by elephants, which is a bit of a euphemism. The company feeds Arabica coffee beans to its elephants. The beans pass through their digestive systems and come out the other side — as elephant poop. Then they’re handpicked, washed, dried, and roasted. The result? Incredibly expensive Thai coffee that is said to be delicate and distinctive.

    Black Ivory charges $250 for 3.7 ounces of elephant poop coffee. That’s $1,081 per pound!


    3. Kopi Luwak ($400/pound)

    Kopi Luwak civet coffee

    Probably the most famous and expensive coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak is another variety made using animals. To make this pricey Indonesian coffee, companies feed Arabica coffee beans to civet cats. Just like Black Ivory Coffee, the beans pass through the cats’ digestive systems, becoming smoother and less bitter — or so the story goes.

    There’s a lot of debate around this coffee because of the mistreatment of the civet cats. They’re often kept in small cages and only allowed to eat coffee beans, which causes nutritional and behavioral issues. We can’t really recommend drinking it, but if you insist, there are a few brands that may be more ethical. Volcanica’s Kopi Luwak comes in at a cool $400 per pound.

    Want to know more? Read all about Kopi Luwak — and why you shouldn’t drink it!


    4. Hacienda Esmeralda Geisha ($120/pound)

    Hacienda Esmeralda Geisha coffee

    Hacienda Esmeralda is a Panamanian coffee estate that produces a specialty bean called Geisha. The record for a pound of Geisha coffee beans at auction is an amazing $1,029 — though that was from another Panamanian farm, Lamastus Family Estates.

    Hacienda Esmeralda discovered Geisha coffee by accident. The family bought unknown seeds at a market, having heard that they produced disease-resistant coffee plants. In a “Jack and the Beanstalk” twist, the seeds, which came from Ethiopia, produced unusual, floral coffee.

    Dying to try Hacienda Esmeralda’s famous beans? Get ready to spend $120 per pound for a micro-lot assortment of Geisha coffee.


    5. Jamaican Blue Mountain ($100/pound)

    Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

    As their name suggests, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee beans are grown in a special mountain area on the island of Jamaica. This gourmet coffee has been famous since the 18th century. It’s very sought-after and has its own certification.

    A cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee, which will cost you about $100 a pound, has a smooth, slightly acidic flavor with herbal, floral, and nutty notes.

    SEE ALSO: The Best Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Beans Available in 2020


    6. Koa Coffee Kona ($52/pound)

    Koa Coffee Kona Natural

    Kona coffee is famous for its complex, smooth flavor — and its high price. The Kona beans from Koa Coffee are grown on Hawaii’s Mauna Loa volcano. They’re hand-picked, naturally-processed, and deeply aromatic and fruity.

    The cost for all that flavor? $52/pound, just edging out our last type of expensive coffee.

    WORTH READING: The Best Kona Coffee


    7. El Injerto Geisha ($50/pound)

    El Injerto Geisha coffee

    If you want to try Geisha beans at a more reasonable price, the El Injerto coffee farm in Guatemala may be a good option. These fruity, floral coffee beans are still some of the most expensive in the world, coming in at $50 a pound, but that’s a fraction of what Hacienda Esmeralda is charging!

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    Conclusion

    There you have it, the 7 most expensive coffees in the world. Whether you’re shopping for an extra-special bean or just want to see what the other half spends, we hope you’ve enjoyed reading about these unusual and costly coffee varieties. Want to buy the world’s most expensive coffee? Try Ospina Dynasty. Prefer pricey coffee that’s been eaten by animals? Buy elephant-processed Black Ivory or civet cat-processed Kopi Luwak.

    Any of the coffees on this list will require a big budget. While you’re burning money, why not pick out a high-end espresso machine?

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    Featured image credit: Andy Shell, Shutterstock

    Kate MacDonnell

    Kate is a lifelong coffee enthusiast and homebrewer who enjoys writing for coffee websites and sampling every kind of coffee known to man. She’s tried unusual coffees from all over the world and owns an unhealthy amount of coffee gear.

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