Starbucks Is Now Carrying the Most Exotic Coffee in the World

Updated 10/03/16

The place where you can find the most exotic coffee in the world may come as a big surprise. If you were to guess the distributor of the exclusive bean (that previously required a trip to South Africa plus a five-and-a-half-day boat ride to access), your first guess likely wouldn't be Starbucks. But this September, the Seattle-based coffeehouse chain stirred things up in the caffeine world by getting their hands on this incredibly rare bean.

Once praised by an exiled Napoleon Bonaparte as the one good thing about volcanic island St. Helena on the South Atlantic, the Green Tipped Bourbon Arabica coffee strain, originally hailing from Yemen, is one of the world's rarest and most expensive. Its remote island habitat keeps the bean genetically pure but also very difficult to get ahold of. This isn't the first time Starbucks has tried to obtain the bean, but the first time around, the crop had already sold out. Even now, Starbucks was only able to procure 220 pounds (a third of the year's crop) of the exclusive coffee, so scoring a cup may still take some effort.

The coffee, named the Saint Helena Reserve and boasting soft citrus notes and caramel flavors, is being poured in a selection of Starbucks Reserve tasting rooms, and 8.8-ounce bags of the beans sell for $80 each.

What's the most exotic coffee you've had the pleasure of trying? Share your experience with us in the comments.

Related Stories