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Coffee

Created by: The Asian Palm Civet
Location: Southeast Asia
Price: $600 a pound

Today’s coffee drinker has more options than ever before. The most demanding caffeine connoisseur can find the exact one-pound blend of espresso-roasted, half-French, quarter-Colombian, quarter-Ethiopian beans his or her heart desires, simply by handing the Starbucks barista two dollars for a cup. However, only the true sophisticate knows about civet coffee, the rarest variety on earth, which can sell for as much as $600 a pound.

Civet coffee’s outrageous price tag is due to its rarity and its unorthodox harvesting method. It comes from a coffee cherry that only grows in Southeast Asia, and the tree is inhabited by a weasel known as the Asian Palm Civet. The animal eats the cherries, digests them and then excretes the hard centers. Harvesting the undigested portion, though highly unappetizing, yields a final product that can sell for as much as $50 a cup.

Coffee: Romeo Gacad | AFP | Getty ImagesInset: Sunny Tumbelaka | AFP | Getty Images