Coffee is a staple for many people, but at just a few bucks for a bag of grounds, it doesn’t feel like a luxury item; however, some coffees out there are so rare and have such an unparalleled depth of flavor that they are incredibly expensive. What’s the most expensive coffee in the world?
The most expensive coffee in the world is Black Ivory coffee, costing about $500 per pound, or about $80 for a single cup.
As ridiculous as the price may seem, Black Ivory coffee is in incredibly high demand and is quite scarce. The rest of this article will discuss some of the most expensive coffees in the world and how they’re made.
What Is Black Ivory Coffee?
Black Ivory coffee is made from Arabica coffee beans in Thailand. Arabica coffee is described as chocolaty, fragrant, and with a sweeter taste. But that’s not what makes Black Ivory so ludicrously expensive.
See, before the beans are roasted, they are fed to elephants to be passed through their digestive system, thus eliminating any acidity in the beans. Once the beans have passed, they are roasted and processed for consumers. Some people prefer the lack of acidity in coffee flavor, while other argue that it’s necessary to maintain the flavor.
As you can probably imagine, feeding coffee to elephants (don’t think about it too much) has resulted in significant backlash from animal rights advocates who claim that the elephants aren’t getting a suitable diet.
They are being fed coffee, after all. While it may seem strange for a coffee bean to be harvested from the feces of an animal, there are plenty of others that are produced this way as well.
Another well-known (and expensive) example is Kopi Luwak. This coffee is ingested by Asian Palm Civets, a type of jungle cat. As they’re digested, the beans are stripped of acidity. After the coffee is excreted, it’s cleaned, dried, and roasted for the best flavor.
Other claims of abuse and neglect cast a shadow over Black Ivory’s production of coffee; however, it’s quite possible that they’ve changed their tune. The Black Ivory Coffee Company sends a portion of their proceeds to the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to help the plight of wild elephants in Thailand.
The Black Ivory Coffee Company also provides work for those around the community in washing and drying the beans, creating more work in the local environment; however, it’s still unclear whether the elephants have a good quality of life.
Finca El Injerto
Selling for just under $500 a pound, Finca El Injerto is another extremely expensive brand of coffee.
Currently managed by the third and fourth generation of the Aguirre family, the plantation has the most ideal microclimate for growing perfect coffee, and El Injerto owes the success of its wonderful coffee to the perfect growing climate and hard work of the property managers. As with most expensive brands of coffee, Fincal El Injerto is made from the best Arabica beans.