The Most Expensive Coffee Is Made From Poop
If you think your Starbucks addiction is bad, you're about to feel a whole lot better. Sure, spending $5 on a daily latte adds up, but that's nothing compared to the cost of a cup of the world's most expensive coffee.
The priciest coffee in the world costs about 30 times the price of a normal cup of coffee. Let's not leave out the best part: It's made from poop. Specifically, elephant or cat poop. Both create unusual blends of coffee, with elephant poop coffee priced the highest of all.
How Cat and Elephant Poop Coffee Is Made
Cat poop coffee, formally called kopi luwak, is a drinkable delicacy mainly made on the Indonesian island of Bali. Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans like any other type of coffee, but the process it undergoes before roasting is unique to say the least.
The berries of the coffee plant are fed to Asian palm civets. The small, catlike creatures digest the berries, and their beans are collected from their droppings. (And you thought your job was bad!) Then, the beans are cleaned and processed like usual.
Meanwhile, elephant poop coffee, called Black Ivory Coffee, is made by feeding Arabica coffee cherries to elephants that live on the company's plantation. Just like with cat poop coffee, the cherries are digested, and then the beans are collected from the elephant's stool.
How Much Does Elephant Poop Coffee Cost?
The price of elephant poop coffee varies, but coffee lovers can expect to spend between $50 to $100 on a single cup. Yes, you read that right.
If you want to take home a pound of Black Ivory Coffee, get ready to shell out the big bucks. Elephant poop coffee costs up to $1,000 a pound.
Why Is Black Ivory Coffee So Expensive?
The rare coffee's startling price tag isn't without reason. The production process involves the care of live animals, so it's bound to be more expensive than ordinary coffee.
In the case of cat poop coffee, the civets who help make this supposedly extraordinary cup of Joe are extremely picky eaters. They can pick out the best coffee cherries better than any human can, so kopi luwak never contains underripe, bitter beans. The civets' digestive enzymes also eliminate much of the beans' natural acidity, resulting in a smoother sip. The digestion process also removes fruit pulp from the beans, which manual processing often leaves behind.
Elephants remove bitterness the exact same way, only the coffee is harder to collect. With elephants, some of the beans are over-chewed or lost during digestion, so each pound is time-consuming and expensive to produce. That's why elephant poop is even more expensive than cat poop coffee.
How Does It Taste?
Let's get to the important part: How good is it really?
According to reviews, the biggest difference between the world's most expensive coffee and what you'd find in, say, a Dunkin' Donuts K-cup is its lack of acidity. Even when sipped sans cream and sugar, Black Ivory Coffee doesn't have the bitter aftertaste that most coffee comes with.
That said, it's still coffee. It tastes like coffee, and that's about it. Some adore it. Others are adamant that it's not worth the hype. Take it from one of the guys who reviewed it below: "Just gimme some Folgers."
Other Crazy Expensive Coffees
The price of coffee fluctuates, so the most expensive coffee can vary from year to year. If you want to sample the priciest beans your bucks can buy, the top three aside from Black Ivory Coffee are:
- Kopi Luwak, averaging $600 per pound
- Finca El Injerto, averaging $500-plus per pound
- Hacienda La Esmerelda Geisha Coffee, averaging $500-plus per pound
None of them are the price of a Rolex, but they'd match up pretty fast if you drank any of these beans on the reg.
Bottom Line: Is the World's Most Expensive Coffee Worth It?
We love coffee. This story was written by someone who owns a regular coffee pot, a French press, a Keurig and a Nespresso machine. The author is currently sipping coffee between sentences.
That author also just ordered $157.56 worth of Nespresso pods (with recycling bags, because we're all for sustainability). She consumes a truly concerning quantity of coffee, but her recent purchase is likely to last her at least a month or two. For the same price, she could buy approximately three cups of Black Ivory Coffee.
We might try a single cup for curiosity's sake, but we're going out on a limb here and closing with this: Spend your money how you will, but we're not leaving our committed relationship with ordinary coffee for some outrageously priced poo water anytime soon.