How expensive is kopi luwak?
It is hard to say categorically that something is the most expensive in the world because every time a list is updated, there is an inevitable change. This applies to coffee as much as to anything else. What is categorical though is that Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The Top Five Most Expensive Coffees in the World
According to website Wealthy Gorillas, in 2021 the top three most expensive coffees and their prices are:
#1 – Black Ivory - £777 per pound
#2 – Finca El Injerto - £350 per pound
#3 - Hacienda La Esmeralda - £248 per pound
#4 – Kopi Luwak - £115 per pound
#5 – St. Helena - £56 per pound
Why Are These Coffees So Expensive?
Each has a reason for its price tag. It might be geographical as in the case of the St. Helena. Alternatively, it might be exclusivity and availability as is the case with Finca El Injerto and Hacienda La Esmeralda which are usually sold at auction only.
The other reason is the method of production. This applies to both Kopi Luwak coffee and Black Ivory coffee.
Kopi Luwak is produced in a very unusual way compared to other coffees. The cherries used have been excreted by the Asian palm civet, a small weasel-like animal. They are partly digested and require less processing to get them ready for roasting which gives them a distinctive flavour. This method of production was unique until it was recently trumped (no pun intended!) by Black Ivory coffee.
Black Ivory coffee is also made from excreted beans, this time, the creature in question is the elephant. The producers have introduced elephants to their plantation in North Thailand and deliberately feed them arabica cherries. (It's a more wild/free process for the civet coffee).
The good news about all this though is that Kopi Luwak coffee retains an air of mystique and even if it is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, it is still an affordable choice for coffee lovers.