There is one gourmet coffee that is hands down the most expensive gourmet coffee in the world. The dubious title of the most expensive without a shadow of a doubt goes to Kopi Luwak. It is considered the most expensive because it is said to be a coffee that is sans any bitterness, and harvesting this coffee is quite a chore. Some people may not be familiar with Kopi Luwak, but once you hear about the harvesting process of it, you can never forget it.
Kopi Luwak is made from beans of coffee berries, which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and passed through its digestive tract. In the stomach of the Asian Palm Civet, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through the Asian Palm Civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. Yes, you read that correctly, the Civet, which is a rodent type animal, eats the coffee and then defecates it out for your divine drinking pleasure. Although, it eats the beans, the beans are passed through the digestive tract whole, so they can easily be harvested from the feces. If you Google Kopi Luwak you will see it looks similar to a candy bar with a lot of nuts in it. Appetizing? No, but definitely intriguing.
The Civet eats all types of beans: Arabica, Robusta, Liberica and Excelsa. After the beans have been passed by the animal, they are washed, dried in the sun, light roasted and then brewed which apparently produce a coffee with much less bitterness and amazing taste! It is quite a process and anyone who is truly interested in trying the world’s most expensive gourmet coffee should make sure to look for 100% Kopi Luwak coffee. Many coffee companies and purveyors will offer blends that have as little as 5% Kopi Luwak, which is not a true experience with this type of coffee.
The coffee ranges in price of around $175 a pound and up to around $600 per pound. On average I have seen it sold for around $350 per pound. This is quite a hefty price to pay for a pound of coffee, considering most gourmet coffees sell for around $15 – $30 per pound. Is it worth the extra money? I cannot answer that question as I have not tried it in my lifetime; however, it is on my bucket list so hopefully I will get to try it one glorious coffee-filled day!