Behind the Beans

10 strangest coffees from around the world

By Sam Webster

  1. Kopi Luwak – Indonesia
Image result for Kopi Luwak
(Picture by GeorgeofJungle – Imgur)

Kopi Luwak, Indonesian for Civet Coffee, is an extremely expensive luxury coffee. But what’s interesting is where the coffee cherries go before being roasted and made into coffee beans. Through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet, an animal similar to a weasel. 1Kg of the coffee beans cost $3000 making it one of, If not the most expensive coffee beans in the world.

  1. Bulletproof Coffee – USA
Image result for bulletproof coffee
(Picture by Bulletproof Coffee –

A strange name, but bulletproof coffee is regular black coffee with an interesting additional ingredient, a stick of butter. Most people’s concern would be whether the butter would curdle, a worst nightmare for many. But apparently, the butter’s creamy texture highlights the warm tastes within the coffee. Whilst it remains obscure today, mainly being seen as an option in specialist cafes in the US, it could be close to seeing itself served in coffee shops around the world.

  1. Egg Coffee – Vietnam
(Picture by Garrett Zleger – Flickr)

Originating in Vietnam, coffee, with egg whites beaten into it along with sugar has been an extremely popular beverage since it first appeared in Hanoi in the 1950’s. The eggs, once beaten into the drink create a kind of soufflé esque layer on top of the coffee, providing a kind of savoury on a coffee desert. The drink is beginning to see itself being enjoyed in coffee shops in Europe, with the drink becoming a common option on menus across Sweden and the Netherlands.

  1. Kaffeost – Sweden
(Picture by Mia* – From Flickr)

Yet another combination of dairy and coffee. Kaffeost is a Swedish traditional coffee which sees cheese added to an otherwise ordinary black coffee. Whilst cheese has been an accompaniment to wine for centuries, many argue that the cheese enhances the natural flavours of the coffee in the same way, exaggerating its rich dark tones whilst ultimately providing a unique drinking experience.

  1. The Tim Tam Slam – Australia
Image result for Tim tam slam
(Picture by Nook and Pantry – From Flickr)

Whilst not exactly a coffee, a Tim Tam Slam is a staple in Australia, whereby a cream filled biscuit called a Tim Tam is used as a straw to drink the black coffee served with it. This style of drinking coffee continues the bizarre trend of alternatively adding dairy to a coffee without just simply adding milk or cream. The Tin Tam Slam isn’t available anywhere else in the world and for many, that isn’t something they can foresee causing any problems in the future.

  1. Kopi Joss – Indonesia
(Picture by YogaBox – From Flickr)


Kopi Joss, another Indonesian creation sees red hot charcoal added to coffee, in what the creator claims to be a way of neutralising the acidity of the coffee. What sounds like a weird idea is just that, a really weird idea. But in the competitive world of coffee, sometimes being original and weird is what it takes to become successful and that is just what Kopi Joss is doing, becoming ever more common in Indonesian cafes all over the country.

  1. Jacu Bird Coffee – Brazil
Image result for Jacu Bird coffee
(Picture by Lauren Holmes – Modern Farmer)

Continuing upon the theme of absurdly expensive coffee, fresh from the droppings of an animal is Jacu Bird coffee. The Jacu bird, an endangered pheasant like bird native to the rainforest of Brazil eats only the ripest coffee beans at a certain point every year. Someone’s bright idea was to harvest these digested beans, clean them (by hand) roast them and then serve them for $250 a pound.

  1. Coffee with sea salt – Taiwan
Image result for Coffee with salt
(Photo by Marayusa_ESK – From Flickr)

The most popular coffee drink in Taiwan, sea salt coffee sees drinkers adding the peculiar ingredient to the coffee. It is said to open up the flavour of the drink as well as masking the poorer tastes of cheaper coffees allowing for consumers to enjoy the rich tastes of coffee on a budget without a lot of the sharp or overly bitter tastes associated with the cheaper coffee on the market.

  1. Star Wars Coffee – USA
Image result for Star wars coffee
Picture by

Star Wars is undeniably one of the world’s most recognisable and profitable brands in the world. With officially banded Star Wars products in almost every store, it was only a matter of time before Star Wars found its name on a bag of coffee. The officially licenced blend is said to have a warm dark flavour, very suitable considering that Darth Vader is the chosen face of this particular coffee.

  1. Formosan Rock Monkey Coffee – Taiwan
Image result for Formosan monkey coffee
(Picture by dtrpolo – Flickr)

Another coffee which relies on an animal before it’s served. This time, the coffee bean isn’t eaten, it’s spat out. The monkeys, native to Taiwan naturally pick the coffee cherries in the wild, eating the flesh on the outside before spitting out the bean. The beans are then harvested and roasted before being served as coffee. The saliva is said to give the beans an almost vanilla like flavour and yet again, the fact that this bean was once inside an animal seems to bring up the price with even 8 ounces of the coffee costing $27.


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