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Ninety Plus Sells World’s Most Expensive Coffee for $4,535 Per Pound

Cups of Ninety Plus “prototype coffee” at a recent event at Espresso Lab in Dubai. Ninety Plus Facebook photo.

Panama-based coffee company Ninety Plus says it has broken its own world record for most expensive coffee ever sold, sending green coffee to Espresso Lab in Dubai (UAE) for $10,000 per kilogram ($4,535 per pound). It practically doubles the $2,273 price record for green coffee, which came from a 2017 Ninety Plus auction.

Ninety Plus has not shared the sales volume, and there are no official or publicly available records to verify private coffee sales.

The astonishingly high number in the self-reported sale is especially brazen given the current price crisis that is threatening the coffee-based livelihood of farmers all over the world.

Ninety Plus, which was founded by Wisconsin native Joseph Brodsky, maintains farming operations in Panama and Ethiopia. With a name that references the industry standard 100-point scale for coffee grading, the company has been refining its methods with an express focus on quality.

Ninety Plus has not publicly shared the coffee variety or processing method for the $10,000-per-kilo coffee. The company has called the microlot part of its “prototype coffee” series.

“Each year, Mr. Brodsky advances coffee science by manually producing limited experimental batches that incorporate proprietary processing innovations and these coffees have been used to win world quality competitions but have not yet been available for sale,” the company said in an announcement of the deal with Espresso Lab.

Ninety Plus’s “best of the best” mentality recently attracted the attention of Panamanian entrepreneur Guillermo de Saint Malo Eleta, CEO of Grupo Eleta, a Panama-based investment fund. The latter company — which has existing holdings in the coffee sector through existing brands Cafe Eleta and Unido Coffee Roasters —  has made an undisclosed investment in Ninety Plus. 

Brodsky and Eleta recently traveled to Dubai to share coffees with the Espresso Lab team, with cups priced at $250.

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