The question of which is the best coffee in the world is a recurring debate among coffee lovers. It is clear that everyone has their preferences and well-defined tastes, but from time to time, we all like to indulge ourselves, invest a little more money, and prepare a premium cup of coffee at home. There are some coffees whose nuances and flavours are not available to everyone, not only because of the economic issue but also because not all consumers have the palate trained enough to appreciate them.
As it is impossible to determine a single type of coffee or a single variety as “the best coffee beans in the world“, what we will do in today’s article is review some alternatives or some of the most frequently cited options for this special award. It is not unreasonable to say that the best coffees in the world in 2022 are among these examples.
And, by the way, if we were to list the most expensive coffees in the world, many of these brands would also appear. These two concepts usually go hand in hand.
- 1 What is the best coffee in the world 2022?
- 2 Guilis Black Blend
- 3 Black Ivory
- 4 Kopi Luwak Coffee
- 5 Malongo Blue Mountain
- 6 Saula Gran Espresso Premium
- 7 Misha Coffee, by HighLand
- 8 Geisha coffee from Hacienda la Esmeralda
- 9 La Mexicana – Nariño Supremo Tambo
- 10 St. Helena Coffee Company
- 11 Sanani Moka Coffee
What is the best coffee in the world 2022?
We start with our list and remember, first of all, that the ranking does not follow any particular order. It is simply a selection of what we consider the best coffees in the world. Which is the best for you, of all these?
Guilis Black Blend
Guilis Black Blend is a strong candidate for the best coffee beans in the world. It is not necessarily the most expensive (although its price is far above what any consumer normally pays for a packet of normal coffee). Still, its qualities place it on its own merits, and unanimously, among the most select varieties of coffee.
Guilis is a Spanish company based in Alcorcón (Madrid), specialising in premium coffees for the hotel industry and only imports raw materials from the world’s best areas. Of all the high-quality coffees that Guilis produces, the best and most exclusive is the Black Blend, which comes from a mixture of 5 specialities of origin (always of Arabica beans and 100% natural roast) and is sold in a spectacular black can. Its price is between 80 and 90 pounds each can.
If we talk about which is the best coffee, this candidate should be on all lists. It probably sounds like you’ve read about it somewhere else.
Coffee with animal excrement is commonplace, however extravagant it may sound at first. We have more than one example on this list, and the first is this Black Ivory Coffee. And the most surprising thing is that it is made from elephant dung. Yes, it may seem odd to neophytes that coffee with elephant dung is among the best coffees in the world, but that is the reality.
Black Ivory coffee is only produced in Thailand, and the company responsible is Black Ivory Coffee LTD. It is hand-picked and processed in much the same way as other coffees made from beans ‘rescued’ from animal faeces. Once it has passed through the animal’s intestine, the taste of the bean is unique.
A rarity of Black Ivory coffee beans is that most of their production is reserved for luxury hotels, most of them limited to the Southeast Asian area. Only a small percentage of the crop is “opened” from time to time to the public for anyone to access. It is not easy to take home a few grams of this exclusive product, as we can sense.
Here are some facts and figures: the total production of Black Ivory coffee for the whole of 2016 was 125 kilograms. It takes 33 kilos of coffee beans (“harvested fruit”), obtained from elephant droppings, to make one kilogram of Black Ivory coffee that is then sold. And the company donates 8% of its annual sales to an elephant care foundation in this part of Asia.
Is Black Ivory the rarest coffee in the world? Many of those we include in this list compete for that label since it also gives them publicity and increases their value in the market. But the truth is that their production is so small that prices can vary a lot from year to year and from crop to crop. It is why annual lists of the most expensive coffees globally are often drawn up (the one in this article can be considered the best coffees in the world in 2022).
Kopi Luwak Coffee
This jewel comes wrapped in a carved wooden box and comes with a certificate of authenticity in the name of the company “Kopi Luwak International“. Quite a statement of intent for this civet coffee.
In recent years, Kopi Luwak coffee has been labelled “the most expensive coffee in the world“. And this is not by chance. In Indonesia, production is low, and the harvesting process is complex.
Only coffee beans that are recovered from the excrement of the civet that lives in the wild in some regions of Indonesia (and other more isolated areas of South-East Asia) are accepted as Kopi Luwak beans. The process is similar to that of different coffees obtained from animal droppings: the civet eats the plant’s fruits but is unable to digest them. It expels them whole, and then the farmers “collect” the faeces, separate the beans, wash them, remove the outer layers, and finally process the beans as they would any other coffee (roasting, etc.).
The secret of its taste lies in the fact that the civet’s intestinal tract modifies and intensifies the aromas of Kopi Luwak coffee beans. The roasting process of Kopi Luwak beans is slightly less intense than usual to preserve as much as possible the complex network of flavours generated after the civet intervention. It has already reached values of up to 900 pounds per kilo, and not everyone dares to try it.
Malongo Blue Mountain
Blue Mountain coffee, which originates from Jamaica, is also very well known worldwide. However, few people understand that the vast majority of the world’s production is exported, no less than to Japan.
The secret of its success and uniqueness lies in the particular climatic conditions of its harvest: it is grown at an altitude of 2000 metres and a unique blend of rain, humidity, shade, and sunlight. In addition, Blue Mountain coffee beans are harvested, dried and roasted using 100% traditional methods. A common feature of all the coffees on this list is that their annual production is very small.
Jamaica Blue Mountain beans come in several varieties, as each crop is tested individually to ensure its quality standards. Blue Mountain Peaberry, Roasted Ground and Roasted Whole Bean are most appreciated.
They can be found at the hands of Malongo, a firm that only works with gourmet coffee specialities. The price of Blue Mountain coffee? From 200 pounds per kilo.
Saula Gran Espresso Premium
And our list of the best coffees in the world includes another Spanish reference, the Catalan company Saula. Saula is synonymous with quality coffee. Of all the varieties it markets, the best is the Premium Gran Espresso, made from an exclusive and carefully selected range of organically grown Arabica beans. There are three production lines for this coffee: the Saula Premium Organic Grand Espresso, the Premium Bourbon Grand Espresso (it is not 100% Bourbon, but a blend and is only ground), and the third variety of decaffeinated bean.
The Saula Gran Espresso Premium coffee is sold in two formats: a large can of coffee beans or a smaller format with the coffee already ground and vacuum-sealed. It can be purchased directly from their website, although it is possible to find it in the ground coffee format in some large stores. Saula coffee beans are more difficult to find in distributors outside the company.
Misha Coffee, by HighLand
Misha is the name given to the coati, a small animal that in Peru produces one of the most expensive coffees in the world. The Misha coffee, or coatí coffee. Yes, I’m sure you are familiar with this process if you have read the complete guide.
The animal eats the plant’s fruits but is not able to digest them, so it concentrates the coffee and adds flavours to all the foods (usually fruit or vegetables) it eats in the jungle. When it expels the whole beans, the selectors are responsible for manually separating them from the excrement and processing them for human consumption. The outer layers are removed, washed, roasted, and so on. It is similar to that followed by other coffees made with beans from animal excrement. Logically, the exhaustive processes of washing and roasting (at high temperatures) eliminate any possible trace of dirt in the beans, and the last bean is 100% suitable for human consumption.
The technical name of this product is Chanchamayo Highland Coffee, as the producer markets it: Highland Products Ltd. And apart from its unique taste and aroma (for obvious reasons), the culprit of its high price is the Coke itself: an animal only produces between 8 and 10 grams of coffee per day. And there are not many specimens in the territory. According to company officials, the annual production does not usually exceed 500 kilos of coffee.
Geisha coffee from Hacienda la Esmeralda
Another of the best coffees globally, Geisha coffee, is produced by Hacienda la Esmeralda and comes from the Boquete region in Panama, where it is grown under the shade of the ancient guava trees on an area of no more than 100 hectares. Again, the peculiarities of the soil (always at an altitude of over 1600 metres above sea level) and the region’s climatic conditions give these Geisha coffee beans a unique taste and nuance in the world.
This coffee from Hacienda la Esmeralda is aromatic, has notes of jasmine and various fruits, is very sweet, with a great balance of acidity and a quite intense body. Geisha coffee from Panama is priced at over 1000 dollars per kilogram (the price of the 2014 harvest).
NOTE: Geisha coffee is grown elsewhere globally, but they are not comparable with the taste of this Geisha from Panama produced by Hacienda la Esmeralda.
La Mexicana – Nariño Supremo Tambo
Cafés La Mexicana, since 1890. It is the slogan and logo of this Madrid-based company that has been selling some of the world’s best coffee for over a century. Among them all, the Nariño Supremo Tambo coffee stands out, with absolutely unique characteristics.
Two reasons make this Nariño Supremo Tambo coffee from La Mexicana unique: the exceptional altitude at which its beans are grown (over 2200 metres above sea level) on the highest coffee plantations in the world; and the small municipality where they are located: Dairy Farm. In this village in the Colombian Andes, small coffee growers and producers pamper every coffee bean of this Supremo Nariño Tambo. The production is very scarce: only 250 sacks of coffee each year.
Where can you buy Nariño Supremo Tambo coffee? In the online shop of La Mexicana.
St. Helena Coffee Company
St. Helena is the smallest island in Africa. In this remote enclave, another of the world’s best coffees is grown: an exceptional coffee, made from Arabica beans of the Bourbon variety, which, of course, has very high shipping costs (exports are paid for at the price of gold) and this has cost its hard-working producers more than one disappointment. Labour is scarce, the inhabitants are few, and there is not much cultivation area, so the final price of Café de Santa Helena is around 80 euros per kilo.
The Helena Coffee Company produces St. Helena coffee. It is very fine and has fruity, citrus and floral aromas. It is processed in humid environments, and its quality controls are rigorous.
Sanani Moka Coffee
And finally, we travel to faraway Yemen to discover one of the most renowned and most appreciated coffees by experts: The Sanani Moka coffee.
Sanani coffee beans are grown in the Sanan Mountains in South Yemen at high altitudes. The soil conditions are extreme, and the cultivation and growth of each coffee plant can practically be considered a miracle of nature.
It is considered the oldest cultivated coffee globally (always labels difficult to check, but good), and in the tasting, it is a very round, full-bodied coffee with slight chocolate flavours. It is quite acidic, and the aroma is amazing.
Its high price and market value are achieved because not all the mocha beans in the region are marketed as Sanani coffee. The company only selects a small part of the best crops (an estimated 2% of the total), which manage to pass its demanding quality controls, to sell them as authentic Sanani coffee, the best mocha in the world for many experts.
Where to buy Sanani coffee? Until now, you could only purchase Sanani coffee from Sanani’s website, at a price of approximately 14-16 pounds per 250-gram packet. That’s about £60 a kilo. Unfortunately, this website does not always work properly, and the product is not easily accessible. If you find it in any other shop or retailer, please make sure it is genuine Sanani mocha coffee.