I was tasked with identifying the most expensive beans in the world. My initial thought was I never really viewed beans as a vital commodity. I understand that because they are sold, they hold some type of value, but I never believed I would be able to apply the word “expensive” to any form of beans. That is until I begin my research. I quickly found that the top five most expensive beans all fall under one category — coffee. As a person who enjoys the daily morning brew, the idea of writing about some of the richest beans (literally) in the world is more than appealing. I was able to build a list of the top five most expensive coffee beans in the world. You will probably be surprised at the costs.
Ospina Coffee Dynasty Premier Grand Cru – $136 Per Pound
This particular coffee bean has a rich taste of both chocolate and almond — two of mind favorites. What adds to the richness of this particular coffee bean is the fact that it is mountain grown and sundried. The growers of these coffee beans suggest that in order to get the most out of the flavor the coffee must be brewed at temperatures that range between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The coffee is said to strong but smooth, having an almost wine-like taste.
Starbucks Reserve Saint Helena Coffee – $145.45 Per Pound
I will definitely be honest about this. While Starbucks is one of the most popular coffee spots in the world, I did not expect to find any of their beans on this list; and yet they take the fourth spot. This particular coffee bean is known for its caramel, citrus, and floral combination. I am not sure if I am feeling the citrus element in this combination. If ST Helena sounds familiar it is because it is the Island that the British exiled Napoleon to after his capture. As it turns out, he had such high praise for the coffee that it inspired the island to begin exporting its coffee.
Kopi Luwak – $299.55 Per Pound
This is a blend that has become known for its earthy tea-like flavor. This coffee bean is grown in southeast Asia and it is also known as civet coffee. The reason it is referred to as civet coffee is that it is the favorite food of the palm civet, a mammal that closely resembles a cat. Those who have worked with this bean complain that the preparation process can be nauseating; however, the bean has a reputation of having a very smooth taste and it does not have the bitterness often associated with coffee.
Hacienda La Esmerelda Geisha – $601 Per Pound
As if $136 per pound is not a substantial price to pay for coffee (I normally pay between 10.99 and $20 per pound), $601 per pound is bordering on ridiculous, unless you have developed a very unique palet for coffee that demands a level of quality and taste that is not found in the more common coffee beans. I would have to be honest, for me to consistently spend $601 per pound on some coffee, it would have to be something that is absolutely necessary for life. I am not into floral and citrus in my coffee, maybe my tea, but not coffee. However, those who love that combination suggests that this may the bean to produce that flavor. This is another bean that is grown well above sea level.
Black Ivory Coffee – $818.18 Per Pound
Now, this is a coffee that I think I can wrap my taste buds around. That is if it didn’t cost $818.18 per pound. For that can afford it, you will get to consume a coffee that possesses the unique taste combination of spice, chocolate, and grass. I am not sure I am feeling the grass. This is a bean that is produced as it passes through an elephant’s digestive tract. To be more specific, the elephants of rural Thailand. The fermentation that takes place during the digestive process is what gives the coffee its hit of fruit. Being that this coffee costs more than a 1998 Honda Civic, I am going to have to past, but it is definitely intriguing.