Some Of the Rarest Coffee Beans I've Found While Traveling

Whenever I travel to a new country or city, one of the first things I do is check out the local cafes and search for new, strange coffee beans. I’ve discovered some of the most delicious and smooth coffees through my traveling adventures, but I’ve also encountered a fair share of strange and downright disgusting coffee beans too. Here are some of the rarest beans I’ve found while traveling:

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is one of the rarest – and most expensive – coffee in the world. In Indonesian, “Kopi” means coffee, and “Luwak” is a type of native animal that feeds on the raw coffee berry. Can you see where I’m going with this? The Luwak can’t digest the bean inside of the berry, so it secretes the whole bean – and farmers collect them. I have to admit; I was too chicken to try this coffee when I had the chance. And to be honest, I’m not sure I could even afford it. Just 500 grams of this coffee can cost anywhere between $110 and $600, depending on where you are. Considering where the beans have been, I don’t regret my decision. But hey, people love Kopi Luwak coffee.

Black Ivory Coffee

Black Ivory Coffee is relatively new, but it’s just as rare as and even more expensive than Kopi Luwak coffee. In fact, Blake Dinkin, the man who invented this coffee, took a tip from the legendary Kopi Luwak coffee – except he brought it to a much larger scale. Black Ivory Coffee is made by pressing the beans through the stomachs of elephants – and picking the beans from its excrement.
Who knew I’d be talking so much about excrement on a coffee site? But it’s true – the rarest and most expensive coffee beans in the world are harvested this way. Black Ivory Coffee will cost you about $70 a cup (equal to about 5 or 6 espresso cups). And you’ll only be able to sample it at select destinations, mostly in Thailand, Maldives, Malaysia and a few other five star hotels. I haven’t had the chance to sample this coffee, but people were buzzing about it at Bangkok’s Grand Hyatt Erawan.

Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee

Now, Fazenda Santa Ines Coffee is one bean I’ve had the pleasure of trying. It’s expensive (500 grams will set you back $50), but it’s sweet and smooth. These beans come from the Fazenda Santa Ines farm in Minas Gerais, Brazil (who doesn’t love Brazilian coffee?). And they’re prepared in a traditional way. In fact, no automated processes are used – at all. Fazenda Santa Ines is sweet with just a hint of lemon or clove. Some say they taste a bit of chocolate or cherry, but I didn’t quite get those flavors. It’s creamy and rich – perfect for an afternoon cuppa, or serving guests.

Blue Mountain Coffee

I’ve also had the pleasure of trying Blue Mountain Coffee on a trip to Jamaica a few years back. As you may have guessed, these beans are produced on the Blue Mountains of Jamaica – the East of the mountains side to be precise. Of all the rare beans on this list, Blue Mountain is the most affordable, but at $45 per 500 grams, it’s still pricey. Still, this coffee is mild and not even slightly bitter.

The Best Kind of Coffee I've Ever Had Is....

A visitor recently asked me what the best kind of coffee I ever had was. Well, this is a very difficult question to answer because of two factors: one I forget some of the names and two, some of the cafes I have visited I loved, but I never asked what coffee was served. So, I am going to tell you a few brands that you may never have heard of before, but they are on my top coffee lists. Of course, don't forget that having the best coffee maker on hand will help brew a top notch taste!

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee

A high-end brand that is considered grade#1 and is 100% certified in Jamaica. This coffee has an intense bold aroma that fills the air like no other. When you take a sip of Jamaica Blue, you’ll be surprised by the unusual sweetness of the beans. One of the smoothest cups of coffee you’ll ever have, this is the same coffee served in the exotic Montego Bay.

Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse sounds like an odd name for coffee, but that is why I gave this brand a try. After all, I love trying any coffee I can get my hands on. I was surprised by how good the Kicking Horse brand really is – and affordable too. Certified organic and fair trade certified, this coffee comes from Canada. While Canada isn’t known for being a coffee capital, Kicking Horse provides a bold, smooth taste that is Rocky-Mountain roasted. Known for a full-bodied flavor, this coffee is made from premium Arabica Beans, which says it all. Arabica Beans are some of the best in the world. This is a dark roast coffee, so it’s not a taste everyone will love. This isn’t as exotic of a choice as my first pick, but it is a very smooth flavor that is worth every penny.

Allegro Organic Continental Blend

Why Allegro? If you shop at Whole Foods, you may have seen the Allegro brand of coffee before. I tried this coffee after reading a news report where over 30 brands were tested by blindfolded participants to find the best flavor. The winner – Allegro Organic Continental Blend. This is a coffee that will take you by surprise. A complex taste, this coffee has hints of chocolate and a smoky flavor that is very different than most coffees I’ve ever had. The perfect desert coffee, Allegro is affordable and exotic. One thing to note is that all Allegro brand coffees are USDA Organic and come with a whole trade guarantee.

Lavazza

Lavazza is an Italian brand that is widely used in Italy. Found in the cabinets of many Italians, I prefer Lavazza for espresso. There are a variety of different flavors offered, but the one I like the most is: Lavazza Qualita Rossa. This ground espresso blend has a velvety taste and is full bodied. You’ll taste hints of dark chocolate and smoky wood with each sip. Don’t be fooled. You can use a Moka pot to brew delicious coffee with Lavazza as well as an espresso machine. Be warned – it’s strong, but delicious.

I'm Thinking About Opening a New Coffee Shop Called Brown's Coffee

Brown’s Coffee sounds like the perfect coffee shop name. I have been thinking of opening my very own coffee shop for years, but I have never taken it seriously. After all, there is a fairly large expense and time commitment to such a venture, but it is one of my dreams. My love for coffee is never-ending, and a coffee shop would be a life goal checked off of my bucket list. What would I do differently? A lot!

All Freshly Ground Coffee

Did you know that a lot of coffee shops – many you’ve been to – use pre-ground coffee. Is there anything wrong with this? Not for the average person, but to a coffee aficionado, this is a major concern. Coffee tastes its best when coffee is ground right before the brewing process. Every last drop of coffee would come from freshly ground coffee. My selection would be massive with coffees from Brazil, Italy, America and all over the world. How many coffees have you not tried in your life? Hundreds – maybe thousands. Exotic coffee beans would be imported from all over the world and served on demand. I would even have a coffee tasting night for people that want to pay a small cover charge to taste different freshly ground coffee from the world over – it’s a fantastic idea.

Rustic Italian Atmosphere

Have you ever been to Italy? If so, you’ll know that coffee is truly a part of life. There is something special about drinking an espresso in Italy, and it all has to do with the atmosphere of the country and your respective café. First, coffee would not be the only thing on the list – every croissant would come with a coffee – it’s mandatory. Tables both inside and outside would be beautiful and inviting. Fireplaces would be lit and the atmosphere would be that of a fine dining restaurant instead of a café. Relaxation takes prominence in Italy, and my coffee shop would ooze relaxation. Coffee shops are meant to be a place where people can come and relax in Italy. I would bring this same vibe to my shop. I would even consider the alcohol espressos if I could obtain the right licensing to serve alcohol. I would hire only the best baristas in town and ensure that they come with the utmost in training. Soothing music would fill the air, and the crowds would consider Brown’s Coffee a true coffee café – you know not the huge coffee shop where you go through the drive-thru.

There’s a lot of charm in a coffee shop, and who better to run one than yours truly? In many countries, coffee is not meant to be drank on-the-go, and most people would gaff at the idea of driving up to the window and not enjoying the atmosphere. Coffee shops in many countries are open to midnight or later, so friends can go grab a drink of coffee and talk about their day after work. That’s my idea of the perfect coffee shop!

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