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Sweatpants & Sanity | Fantasy Break: The World’s Priciest Pounds of Coffee

By Emily Parker

If you saw the movie “The Bucket List”, you know all about Kopi Luwak coffee, which is so expensive because the coffee berries are eaten by a type of civet cat, then extracted from the droppings and processed into coffee. You know what’s crazy, though? Cat poo coffee isn’t even the most expensive! Don’t get us wrong, it’s #2, but as we’d rather not partake of that particular delicacy (it’s $160 per pound, by the way), here are the other five that round out the top six. Enjoy, and vote for the one you’d most like to try in our poll!

1. Jablum Blue Mountain (Jamaica) – $49 per pound

From their website: “Flavoured by the ultimate combination of the ideal altitude, mineral-rich soil, gentle cloud cover, mountain shade and ample sunlight, the berry grown in the Blue Mountains takes longer than others to mature but as its legion of fans will testify, it certainly is time well spent. Today, Jablum coffee maintains its rank as one of the world’s most sought after coffees…

Vibrant, bright and smooth as silk, Jablum is often described as the ‘best coffee in the world’ thanks to its complex, well-balanced taste, floral and nut overtones and a hint of chocolate in a rich creamy finish. No wonder then that Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is so much in demand from the coffee connoisseurs across the globe. They all agree on one thing: Jablum Coffee taste is wonderfully exotic- a balanced medley of fleeting richness, sweetness and tempered acidity. But it is the lingering experience- that signature taste- that still defies description.”

2. Fazenda Santa Ines (Brazil) – $50 per pound

The bean variety is Yellow Bourbon at Fazenda Santa Ines and processing is pulped natural, which means the skin is removed and the coffee, encased in its mucillage is fully dried on beds before milling. Some of their varieties will only set you back $6-7 per pound, about what any pound of coffee might cost! The company is highly committed to environmental conservation, witnessed by the fact that it has preserved a large area of native forest on the property and protects all the mountain springs and creeks as well as the vegetation along their banks.

The farm also takes care of their workers! 13 homes for workers and their families have been built on the property, and are occupied by 35 employees on payroll and their families, for a total of 80 people. In addition to their wages, all the families receive milk, coffee, medicines, and other assistance, and they have access to sports fields for play.

So, how’s it taste? According to Roastmasters: Fazenda Santa Ines is a very sweet, bright coffee with hints of lemon and clove. Its citrusy character is very striking. It possesses a delicate texture and a layered, complex taste. Very aromatic, it has chocolaty body and creamy mouthfeel with a long, sweet finish. A truly outstanding cup.

3. Molokai Coffee (Hawaii), $51 per pound

The Hawaiian island of Molokai used to be most famous for being home to a leper colony, but no more! Hawaii is the only state in the US with a climate and soil conditions ideal for growing coffee, so it’s no surprise that they have a variety of world-renowned choices. One of them is the Molokai coffee produced by Coffees of Hawaii on a plantation located in Kualapu’u, Maui County.

Molokai is an organic coffee that boasts a floral aroma, berry and caramel taste with an herbal kick. It is also full-bodied, mildly acidic and has a long-lasting chocolaty finish. The unique combination makes the Molokai coffee quite expensive and hard to find, though online ordering is available.

4. St. Helena Coffee (St. Helena) – $79 per pound

The origin of St. Helena Coffee Company’s Island can be traced back to Napoleon Bonaparte, who was enamored with the taste of this coffee and even began tending to crops on the island himself. Since the time of Napoleon, coffee on St. Helena Island has continued to flourish. The island itself is located approximately 1,200 miles from the west coast of Africa, and on a map appears to be close to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Surely the isolation and need to transport the coffee great distances contributes to the high price tag of the bean, but it isn’t really what people are paying for when they buy a pound at $79. The high-quality and unmatched floral flavor with hints of citrus is truly one of a kind and worth the cost.

5. Hacienda La Esmeralda (Panama) – $350 per pound

This bean has won ALL the awards! Grown in the shade of guava trees on the slopes of Mount Barú in Panama, this bean is highly sought after and only cultivated in small quantities. From their website: “Esmeralda coffees are grown in perfect microclimates, tended and harvested with utmost care, and processed with precision to arrive in your cup bursting with the signature aroma of Esmeralda.” They are the world’s largest producer of Geisha coffee, which recently set the record price per pound at auction, hence the hefty price tag above. A taster remarked “Seizing the glass, I agitated the dry powder and sniffed. Whoosh! There was a gale of citrus like a Terry’s chocolate orange. […] also detected notes of passionfruit. Adding boiling water, I parted the floating grounds with a spoon, sniffed the chocolaty aroma and noisily slurped a spoonful. It was sweet, fruity and floral, more like jasmine tea.”

Source: Finances Online.

Emily Parker is a musician, writer, and avid reader who started Bucket List Book Reviews, the ‘1,001 Books to Read Before You Die’ project. For Sweatpants & Coffee, Emily hopes to inspire the reading of the classics by a whole new audience by only reviewing the really good stuff.

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