For many of us, coffee is a way of life. With the winter months upon us, we enjoy reaching for the comfort of a warm cup of joe as we settle into our daily routine. Some of us use high tech brewing gizmos that can do just about everything except our taxes. If you’re like me, a cheap, run of the mill percolator does the job fine. No matter what device we use to satisfy our jones for java, what we put into our coffee makers is just as important as what we use to make it.
With this in mind, maybe you’re looking for a break from your normal Maxwell House fix. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and have a few extra dollars lying around, perhaps you’d like to sample some of the more exclusive coffees that the world has to offer. Here we take a look at five of the most expensive coffees in the world.Credit: casabrazilcoffees.com
#5 Fazenda Santa Ines
Price: $50 per lb.
Cultivated in the mountains of South Minas Gerais, Fazenda Santa Ines coffee is grown using traditional methods dating back over 100 years. There is no automation in the harvesting process as coffee cherries are hand-picked to maintain quality. The flavor is described as “sweet, juicy with complex acidity, lemon and red fruit tones.” At $50 a pound, Fazenda offers a taste of Brazil from the comfort of your own kitchen.Credit: ibtimes.com
#4 El Injerto
Price: $50 per lb.
This 2013 Guatemala Cup of Excellence winner is a named after the injerto fruit that thrives in the area in which the coffee is grown. The Injerto farm has been managed by the third and fourth generation of the Aguirre family since 1956. The Arabica Pacamara variety, a hybrid Bourbon version, is said to have mild citrus and tropical fruit flavors. If you are looking for an exclusive, multi-award winning coffee, it’s a tough cup to beat.Credit: John Fenzel
#3 Island St. Helena Coffee Company
Price: $79 per lb.
Origin: St. Helena (U.K. Territory)
This pleasant and fruity example of coffee excellence is known as much for its taste as its history. St. Helena Island is owned by the U.K. and lies in the South Atlantic Ocean, approximately 1200 miles off the west coast of Africa. The 50 square mile island is where during his exile Napoleon Bonaparte commented, “The only good thing about St. Helena is the coffee.” Today, a mere $79 will buy you a pound of this exquisite blend which was first introduced to the island from Yemen around 1732. It boasts a complex body with a unique combination of spices, fruit, and chocolate.Credit: haciendaesmeralda.com
#2 Hacienda La Esmeralda
Price: $104 per lb.
What can you expect from a coffee whose price tag breaks the triple digits? For starters, it’s grown in the volcanic soil of Boquete at arguably the most famous coffee farm on Earth. The farm was purchased by former Bank of America president Rudolph Peterson and is owned and operated by his family. This Gesha variety ripens in the shade of old guava trees and when brewed carries notes of jasmine and mandarin. Back in 2006, after trying a cup, an atheist tasting judge remarked that he saw God.Credit: timeinc.net
#1 Kopi Luwak
Price: $160 per lb.
If you think the price of this $160 a pound coffee is surprising, just wait until you hear how it is made. The coffee berries are fed to an animal resembling a mongoose called an Asian palm civet. Farmers then wait for the civet to excrete the bean after which it is collected and prepared. Apparently, after eating the fleshy outside of the berry, the civet’s digestive tract alters its properties in such a way as to produce a high quality bean. Critics are skeptical as to whether or not this process improves the taste of the coffee. Coffee made from wild civets is valued higher than that made from farm civets. Whether it’s due to novelty or taste, Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) has remained in high demand for several years.
So if you’re in the mood for something different and are willing to do a little looking around, perhaps you might find one of these high-end brews to be a welcome change of pace. Even if you aren’t willing to plunk down that much hard earned cash on coffee, you could always add it to your wish list or put it down as a possible birthday gift item. For many of these and other expensive brands, you may have to register for an online coffee auction or look for seasonal deals. Happy hunting!
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(price as of Jul 23, 2016)