There’s coffee, and there’s coffee. You might cherish your simple cup of Joe, all the while not knowing how much better it could be if you fed the coffee beans to a cat (a civet to be precise), let her poop them out, and made coffee out of that. Whether you’re a connoisseur, or a laid back coffee lover, here are 10 of the most expensive and extravagant ways to enjoy your daily pick-me-up, and perhaps make your $4 latte seem like Sanka. From shade-grown, single origin beans to handcrafted espresso machines to a Japanese coffee bar that looks like a chemistry set, we’ve got lots of ways for you to blow all those thousands burning a hole in your pocket (or at least get a peek into how the other half lives).
Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee 1 of 10You might think having been eaten, undigested, and pooped out of animal would make a foodstuff less expensive. Like maybe free. But in the case of Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee, you'd be wrong. Extraordinarily wrong. The Asian palm civet eats coffee beans and while it can't digest them, it does remove their bitterness, leaving a wonderfully tasting coffee bean in its poop. Want to try some animal poop coffee? It's $30 a cup.
DeLonghi Primadonna Coffee Maker 2 of 10
The Most Expensive Cup of Starbucks Coffee 3 of 10Apparently I am the last person on earth to learn that Starbucks wants to buy you a free cup of birthday coffee. And, it turns out that ordering the most expensive birthday drink possible is a thing too. One guy was able to order a single birthday drink that should have cost a whopping $23.60. According to CNET, the drink contained one Java Chip Frappuccino in a Trenta cup, 16 shots of espresso, a shot of soy milk, caramel flavoring, banana puree, strawberry puree, vanilla beans, Matcha powder, protein powder, and was topped off with a drizzle of caramel and mocha.
Starbucks secret menu: 4 drinks for those in the know
Jura IMPRESSA J9 4 of 10
Ospina Estate Columbian Coffee 5 of 10According to their site, Ospina Coffees are made from Arabica Typica beans. The shade-grown beans are produced in the rich, volcanic mountain slopes of the Andes. The coffee cherries are then handpicked, skillfully fermented, sun dried and, finally "roasted to perfection." With whole bean prices per pound ranging from $75 to over $165 per pound, let's hope these beans make for a darn fine cup of coffee.
Get Ospina Coffees
Image: Ospina Coffee
Clover Coffee Machine 6 of 10The Clover machine brews a single cup of perfect coffee at a time. This high tech contraption allows the barista to control water temperature to precisely match the individual bean. According to The New York Times, the are only 200 or so Clover machines in use around the world. If you're not ready to shell out $11,000 for one, you can pick up a cup of expertly brewed coffee at Cafe Grumpy in New York, Intelligentsia in Chicago, Stumptown in Portland, OR, or possibly at a Starbucks near you.
15 distinctive gifts for drink lovers
Nespresso Siemens by Porsche Design 7 of 10Homemade espresso is notoriously bad, but don't let that stop you from shelling out nearly $1500 for this Siemens Nespresso machine designed by Porsche. Yes, it looks more or less like other Nespresso machines, but the display is in 8 different languages. That's gotta be worth something, right? And if you're paying $4 a cup for espresso at you local cafe, this baby will pay for itself after 372 espressos (assuming you get the beans free).â€¨
Japanese Siphon Bar 8 of 10We don't think you're going to run out and install a $20,000 siphon bar, but hey, maybe you've got the really big bucks. Japanese siphon coffee bars are pretty complicated and involve halogen heating elements that boil water in a glass globe which in turn forces hot water into another globe where the coffee must then be hand-stirred with a bamboo paddle that creates a whirlpool and can't touch the sides. And you have to do all of this in less than 90 seconds. So in addition to a $20,000 piece of equipment, the training time is lengthy. But the coffee's supposed to be really, really good. If you want to take a Japanese siphon bar for a test drive, head out to a Blue Bottle Coffee in the San Francisco Bay Area or New York City.
More on the Japanese siphon bar here
Coffee Spa at the Yunessun Spa Resort 9 of 10This one falls into the extravagant category--after all, it's not every day you take a bath in coffee. According to their website, the Yunessun Spa Resort's coffee bath is based on the premise that "It has been said that coffee is an effective treatment from the recovery of fatigue." That's true, but most people get that effect by drinking it. While you're soaking in coffee, make sure to stick around long enough to witness "regular performances of pouring real coffee into the spa." Aside for the trip to Japan, a day at the Yunessun Spa will only run you about $35 dollars.
Image: Yunessun Spa Resort
Victoria Arduino Venus Century Espresso Machine 10 of 10The Victoria Arduino is the iconic Italian espresso machine, so for the 100th anniversary of the machine, they made a limited edition of 100 handcrafted versions. Does the coffee taste better? Nope! But the pope has one (it was a gift), so for $20,000 you'll be in rare company.
Starbucks secret menu: 4 drinks for those in the know
Image: Espresso Techs
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