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What's the most expensive beans you've ever bought and were they worth it?


cold war kid
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As above. I'll get the ball rolling, although my recollection is somewhat sketchy, even though it was probably only about 18 months ago

There was a roaster ( can't remember which one ) posted on a Facebook group that I follow, that he had been given some Panama anaerobic fermentation coffee as a gift from a roaster in Belgium. However instead of sending him a 250g bag , they sent a case, so he had some to sell. 

I love to try none UK based roasters, so bought a bag for £17. I'm grateful to them for the experience and the actual coffee was nice, but no nicer than the usual coffee I get in my dogandhat sub, so a bit of a miss really for me.

I've often thought of buying some Kona or JBM just for the experience, but I think deep down I'd much prefer a decent Kenyan. I remember a looong time ago getting a Panama coffee from Hasbean that was probably a Giesha before the days when Giesha meant £20 and upwards. That was amazing and not particularly expensive.

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I've had a few subs where the cost ended up around £18/250g, generally very happy with the coffee, a few disappointing bags, but that's going to happen from time to time. Price was a little higher than normal due to coming from Scandinavia.

The most expensive coffee I bought was £10/100g. Was it the most knockout coffee I have ever had? Not really. But then, was it supposed to be? Quite often very expensive coffees are expensive due to their clean & delicate nature. As you say, unless you're specifically looking for their unique traits, you're probably better off with a decent Kenyan.

The Kona & JBM I have had hasn't been any better than 'nice commodity coffee'.

Edited by MWJB
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7 hours ago, cold war kid said:

As above. I'll get the ball rolling, although my recollection is somewhat sketchy, even though it was probably only about 18 months ago

There was a roaster ( can't remember which one ) posted on a Facebook group that I follow, that he had been given some Panama anaerobic fermentation coffee as a gift from a roaster in Belgium. However instead of sending him a 250g bag , they sent a case, so he had some to sell. 

I love to try none UK based roasters, so bought a bag for £17. I'm grateful to them for the experience and the actual coffee was nice, but no nicer than the usual coffee I get in my dogandhat sub, so a bit of a miss really for me.

I've often thought of buying some Kona or JBM just for the experience, but I think deep down I'd much prefer a decent Kenyan. I remember a looong time ago getting a Panama coffee from Hasbean that was probably a Giesha before the days when Giesha meant £20 and upwards. That was amazing and not particularly expensive.

Geshas are very variable on price. You can still easily find many at £10-15 per bag but they are not the most desirable ones.

 

Personally most expensive was a pacamara natural from El Salvador (from Fjord Coffee here in Berlin), think it was like €18. It was really excellent and I'd buy it again if I could. I haven't yet tried to go above that, I'm not really financially in a position to try outrageously expensive coffee just for the fun of it right now but maybe later this year or next year I'll give one a go.

I am consistently impressed by Gardelli's offerings in the high teens, that come out to nearly €20 a bag with delivery sometimes. I'm probably gonna place another order with them once the Mzungu is back in stock.

 

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In terms of green coffee, the most expensive was a kilo of Costa Rican geisha for £30.

It was really good. I think it was an 86 point score so not super high quality but more rarity value. It had really intense sugary tangerine/lemon fruit. Probably no more so than a good Kenyan.

I've not been tempted by highly priced rare geishas. As @MWJB points out they seem to be about delicacy and refinement rather than exceptional flavour.

I've roasted some other coffees from HasBean that were retailing around £12-14. A natural Yemen that had clear as a bell watermelon was exceptional. I'm reluctant to go beyond that type of price.

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Purchased myself:

  • JBM (Wallenford estate), no they wern't worth it. Australian Skybury is just as good
  • Cape Verde Coffee (Save your money)
  • Kona (what's all the fuss about)

Given as a present:

  • Civet Cat coffee (Kopi Luwak)...totally underwhelmed.
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Sticks and Stones, sours…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until roasted, pick em out and flick them in the bin. Life is too short for bad coffee

 

 

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Bella barista sent me an email the other day advertising bird poop coffee... Wonder if anyone has been gullible/curious enough.
Yeah, i saw that, was in no way tempted.

I did, however, get the Brazilian Camocim which is the most expensive coffee I never paid for - £11.50 for 250g, but I paid £1 as an introductory offer to their roastery. Apparently it scored 93 or something like that. Marko was very excited about it when I visited the shop. It was right up there with the best espresso I've had (for my tastes) - chocolate and cherry with a lovely balance between bitter, acidic and sweet.

Someone once gifted me JMB but it was pre-ground and over a month old when I received it [emoji37][emoji87]
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Jamaican Blue Mountain fresh roasted. Not a strong coffee and I wouldn't mind drinking it often. Can give an idea what well balanced means.

Same but not fresh roasted

https://www.bettys.co.uk/jamaica-blue-mountain

Some one bought it for me in a smaller lot, 250g. The only none fresh roasted I have problems with. The control was how much water went through it not really grinder setting. Very plain taste so NVG for what it is supposed to be. ;) Ok though but no match for the real thing.

Coffee bean advent calender. Think they are about £40 or so. Son bought it. Number of different beans in them. Some taught me not to put flavoured beans through a grinder. Civet distinctive but don't like it. I tried several of them later fresh roasted. In some respects that taught me that the estate beans come from can make a difference. Had that happen with others. Not a good idea in some ways as not many beans in each pack. Had to split them 3 ways and found that my scales weren't too good for that so bought some more. Also had to pick a middling grind and rely on the BE's volumetrics to control the shot. Worked out pretty well really. ;) I wont be tempted to buy civet to see how that reads across.

John

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1 hour ago, filthynines said:

After all this I see Hasbean is offering a Yemeni coffee for £15 for 125g and I am tempted...

Wow that is really pricey!

I notice that these are not available as greens so it must be a very small amount that they have. Presumably the ongoing war in Yemen is making it even more difficult for coffee growers hence the price. The lot I had last year was an 89 cup score selling at £14 for 250g roasted.

I notice that they say that this is going to be the start of a series of rare coffees. It will be interesting to see if there is enough market for these at those prices. A few months back they were struggling to sell some Bolivian geisha and a couple of others at around £20 for 250g and were issuing discounts for regular customers to sell them.

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Slightly off-topic as the title was "beans" as opposed to Coffee.....
but it got me thinking:

Just buying a cup of coffee in a shop is pretty expensive (I know they have equipment, staff, rent etc as overheads).... but some truly exceptional coffees that spring to mind:

Chewton Glen: I think a cup of their coffee worked out at about £9 a cup.... and it was execrable - truly disgusting. Genuinely an insult to coffee growers & roasters worldwide!. The only saving grace was the "Home made" Shortbread that. came with it......
Even worse was the (French press) sh!t served up at breakfast but that was free/included with the £30 odd "Full English".....

We have also stayed at a few "posh" hotels in European cities....  even in Scandi-Land and pretty well without exception - the coffee is extortionate and awful.  

   

Edited by Drewster
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Best coffee I've ever had?

Cubita. Seriously. Forgiving, consistent, thick, syrupy and very very tasty.

"Bought" for 10CUC/kg (Tourist peso) from the lady in our hotel's coffee shop - which was a tenner, wrapped in a black bag and sidled over the counter to me when her supervisor wasn't looking!

They couldn't make an espresso for toffee outside that coffee shop at the other bars but when I got it home I did the whole of in about 3 weeks all to myself.

It's not imported (legally) to the UK due to trade embargo I think and I refuse to pay the ridiculous price for a bag when I can find it.

The other Cuban stuff I've had from proper roasters was meh by comparison.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

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It's interesting that a lot of the  beans mentioned so far are expensive because they are of limited supply rather than the absolute best. Yemen, JBM and Kona are quite rare coffees, the former because of the war and the latter because they are geographically small areas with limited output and high demand. That's just how economics works I suppose. 

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Gotta be the Panama gesha that another forum member and I bought over Christmas... 2 different processes, so we split both between the two of us. £36 for 150g I think ?

It tasted great (I'd bloody hope so for that price) and I'd totally drink it every day if I was Jeff Bezos, but it definitely wasn't worth THAT much extra compared to a normal bag.

Surprisingly, they weren't that clean /delicate. One of them tasted really fruity, like a natural but it wasn't... Great stuff ?

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59 minutes ago, jaffro said:

Gotta be the Panama gesha that another forum member and I bought over Christmas... 2 different processes, so we split both between the two of us. £36 for 150g I think ?

It tasted great (I'd bloody hope so for that price) and I'd totally drink it every day if I was Jeff Bezos, but it definitely wasn't worth THAT much extra compared to a normal bag.

Surprisingly, they weren't that clean /delicate. One of them tasted really fruity, like a natural but it wasn't... Great stuff ?

Christ! I'd blow £12 just dialing it in!

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