Have you ever wondered, what's the most expensive coffee in the world? Every day we here at Monkey Cult Coffee we delve into the wide world of coffee beans, coffee roasting, coffee production, and of course coffee drinking... So, we decided to find out! While we work hard to find amazing coffee beans from around the world for our own delicious flavor infused varieties, sometimes it's also fun to take a look at rare and pricey coffee beans. We don't just want to know where these beans come from, we also want to know why they are expensive or rare. Lets get right into the list of the TOP 5 MOST EXPENSIVE BEANS in the world:

  1. Kopi Luwak (Civet Coffee) $600 per lb
  2. Black Ivory Coffee $500 per lb
  3. Panamanian Geisha $250 per lb
  4. Finca El Injerto $85 per lb
  5. Saint Helena Coffee $70 per lb

These are not the highest prices paid for these varieties but what you can expect to pay for these beans roughly in bulk. Read on to learn more about each of these fancy pants beans and what makes them so very expensive.

1. Kopi Luwak: So what is Kopi Luwak Coffee? Kopi Luwak is the end product made from when a civet cats consumes coffee cherries then excretes them. These partially digested beans are then collected from the feces, thoroughly washed, and processed before roasting. The civet selectively eats only the ripest and best coffee cherries, digesting the fruit while leaving the beans intact on the other side. How are they so selective about only eating the finest beans? Instinct is the simple answer. These kitty cat connoisseurs are picky eaters drawn to these coffee beans specifically. Unfortunately, because of the demand for this "delicacy" civets are frequently bread in captivity and caged (often in poor conditions). Captive civets are forced to ingest an unhealthy amount of coffee cherries in order to maximize profits. It is possible to purchase wild Kopi Luwak as opposed to farm raised but the cost is significantly more. Despite controversy surrounding "cat poop coffee" and its production methods, Kopi Luwak boasts a uniquely smooth and velvety texture, accompanied by earthy undertones and hints of chocolate and caramel. Alternatively, you can buy our Bourbon Chocolate Chip coffee and harm ZERO civets :)

2. Black Ivory Coffee is a very rare and expensive coffee made from Arabica coffee beans that are consumed by elephants in Chiang Saen, Thailand (I think we're seeing a pattern here). The elephants naturally refine the beans, which are collected from their waste. The coffee's taste is influenced by the elephants' digestive enzymes. These enzymes break down the coffee's protein. The less protein in a coffee can lead to smoother taste but there's more at play. The outcome is a light textured smooth coffee with notes of chocolate spice, tobacco, grass, and cherry. But is it ethical? According to the Black Ivory Coffee Co. 8% of its sales goes to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation, which funds the elephants' health care. They also claim to supports initiatives that teach students about wild elephant conservation, habitat protection, and human elephant conflict. If that's accurate, we commend them. However, you're still drinking coffee taken from animal feces. At Monkey Cult Coffee we make a donation to the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation with every bag sold and there are ZERO feces involved... also a bag of our coffee is only $20!

3. Panamanian Geisha: Panamanian Geisha (or Gesha) coffee was introduced to Panama in the 1960s. It was originally found in Ethiopia and is currently grown in other African nations, but it wasn't until the early 2000s that it gained international acclaim in Panama. The reason: In the Boquete region of Panama, nestled in the lush highlands of the Chiriquí province at roughly 5000 feet above sea level, the volcanic soil and ideal climate combine to create the perfect conditions for coffee cultivation (also, isn't nice to have a coffee on the list that doesn't involve animal feces?). Where they are harvested and because of regionally specific growing factors, Gesha beans develop distinct flavors characterized by floral, jasmine-like aromas, vibrant but light acidity, and a complex tea-like body. This unique flavor profile makes Panamanian Geisha truly unique in the coffee universe. The coffee's popularity and rising high price tags stem from its rare, exceptional traits and limited supply. Geisha plants are known to produce relatively low yields, and careful harvesting and processing methods further restrict the quantity of beans available. Additionally, the intense labor involved in cultivating, harvesting, and processing Geisha beans contributes to its exclusivity and overall cost.

Panamanian Geisha has consistently garnered top scores in international coffee competitions, attracting the attention of coffee connoisseurs and enthusiasts worldwide. Its rarity and unique taste profile has made it a highly sought-after commodity, commanding premium prices in the specialty coffee market. As a result, Panamanian Geisha has become synonymous with luxury and prestige in the coffee world. Is it an amazing coffee or is it a status symbol of what allocated coffees have become? We lean toward the latter. Honestly, we would put our Toasted Coconut Rum Coffee up against most of these "gourmet" beans as it's also light and floral but without the hefty price tag. Monkey Cult Coffee uses SHA (Strictly High Altitude) beans from Honduras to make bestselling coffees, subtly infused with delicious flavors and roasted to perfection. 

4. Finca El Injerto: Finca El Injerto coffee is produced at the renowned El Injerto estate located in the highlands of Huehuetenango, Guatemala. What makes this coffee so special is the conditions at the estate. With elevations from 4900 ft to roughly 8000 ft and a mineral rich non volcanic soil this coffee is esteemed for its exceptional quality. making it a favorite among coffee aficionados worldwide.

Harvesting at Finca El Injerto is a meticulous process. The estate employs selective picking methods. The beans rigorous processing includes washing and sun-drying, to maintain their quality and distinct flavor profile. As far as flavor goes, the blend of floral citrus and chocolate notes make it a versatile and satisfying cup of Java. The history of Finca El Injerto dates back over a century to the late 1800's when the Aguirre family acquired the land and began cultivating coffee. They have been doing this for generations through dedication and continued development of coffee expertise. The estate has has an amazing reputation not only for for producing some of the best coffee in Guatemala, but also for it's commitment to sustainable farming practices and community development. In a country that produces so many great coffees, it's no secret that the Finca El Inerto estate produces some of the best.

 5. Saint Helena: Saint Helena coffee has gained popularity not just for its quality and flavor profile but also because of it's unique geographic traits and the history of the island it comes from. This coffee originates from the remote island of Saint Helena, located in the South Atlantic Ocean 1,200 miles west of the coast of southwestern Africa. The island’s volcanic soil, combined with a mild tropical climate, provides a great environment for coffee cultivation. The primary variety grown here is Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica, which was introduced to the island by the East India Company in the early 18th century. Several factors contribute to the high cost of Saint Helena coffee. Primarily with production being limited to the small island (It's only 47 square miles in size) inherently makes it a sought-after commodity. The labor-intensive harvesting and processing methods also add to the expense. In addition, the logistical challenges of exporting coffee from such a remote location further drive up costs. Tasting notes for Saint Helena coffee are often described as well-balanced, acidic, with medium body and a long mouthfeel with a note of caramel and some lingering sweetness. What makes this island most interesting to us is that Saint Helena was the final place of exile for Napoleon Bonaparte, the French Emperor, who was sent there by the British after his defeat at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He often raved about the excellent quality of the coffee on the island (which is undoubtedly very good). Does the connection to Napoleon as well as the limited production and challenges of coffee distribution from such a remote place keep this coffee in our top 5? We think so.

Thanks for taking the time to learn about the world's top five most expensive coffees! 

Monkey Cult Coffee prides itself in being a brand that provides excellent coffee using high quality beans from around the world. Also, our coffee is poo free! 

Check out our blogs to learn more coffee secrets, plus shop Monkey Cult Coffee to try our amazing boozy coffees and evolve your coffee experience. Try our Bourbon Chocolate Chip Coffee made with high altitude Brazilian beans or our Toasted Coconut Rum Coffee that is made with an amazing strictly high altitude beans from Santa Rosa, Honduras. #JoinTheCult 


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