The Rare, The Unique and the Expensive

by Nick Livermore

There is a big difference between an artisan good and something of a very finite nature. Take coffee for instance. There are an endless number of coffee farms across the globe. Many tout to be small-batch, the greenest or the best-tasting. Few can boast to truly be one-of-a-kind. Across the globe, we pick out the truly unique and rare purchases, made for the most discerning and free-spending among us.

Kopi Luwak

This is, as we touched on in the introduction, a truly one-of-a-kind coffee. A small, tree-dwelling mammal named a Civot native to the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra is fed coffee cherries. The Civot’s digestive system breaks down the outer part of the cherry and ferments the bean unlike any other method. The Civot then, unable to digest the bean itself, then excretes them much to the fortune of the locals who collect, clean and roast them. This ultra-rare and uber-delicious bean goes for upwards of $700/pound and $50 a cup!

Panda Tea

No, those cute and cuddly panda bears do not eat the tealeaves. But the tea is grown in the manure of pandas living at a nearby zoo. Chinese entrepreneur An Yanshi claims that this tea is also extremely nutrient rich, as pandas absorb a fraction of the nutrients from the natural bamboo they eat. At $3,500 per 40 grams (less than 20 cups of tea!), panda poo tea is definitely the world’s rarest and most expensive.


What list of rare, expensive and decadent would be complete without the truffle? Yeah, none. These funghi are notoriously expensive and only increase in value as they become more popular. Impossible to cultivate and grow outside of the wild, the best truffles now generally go to auction. Casino mogul Stanley Ho recently purchased a truffle that weighed in at under 3 lb. for a whopping $330,000. No, he did not use it to make truffle oil.

Amabito no Moshio

While 70% of the earth is covered in saltwater, only one sea salt reigns as the best. Amabito no Moshio, translating to ancient sea salt, comes from one specific inland ocean and infused with seaweed to give it a unique umami flavor. This mixture then undergoes a labor-intensive process and the end result is.. the most delicious salt in the world with a price tag to match.


The most expensive spice in the world, saffron refers to the dried stigmas of the Crocos Sativus plant native to much of the Middle East. It can take anywhere from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers worth of stigmas to collect one pound of saffron and cost as much as $15 per gram. While you don’t need much saffron to make a tasty rice dish, you will certainly notice them on your receipt!


This black watermelon grows only on the north Japanese island of Hokkaido. In its’ first crop of the season, only 65 watermelons today were grown. The price? $6500. The taste? As good as 2,000 regular watermelons, we assume.


There is caviar, and then there is caviar. The most rare and tasty of caviars is believe to be from the osetra sturgeon. The female osetra sturgeon does not produce her first eggs for at least ten years, which makes for a lengthy process. Time is money, as they say, and osetra sturgeon caviar prices can reach upwards of $12 per gram.


If the above weren’t sweet exquisite enough for your palate, we will round at the list with the world’s most expensive chocolate. Chocopologie, by Fritz Knipschildt, combines black truffles with 70% Valrhona cacao for a ridiculous morsel of goodness. The price? $2600 per pound

Have you ever come across the rarest or most unique food in the world, and just had to buy it? Let us know!


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