"My first cup of Kopi Luwak coffee, sometimes better known as “cat poo coffee” or the rarest beverage in the world, was a memorable introduction into the highly envious world of extreme luxury, though this tasting occurred far outside the confines of the dining room of a fine-dining restaurant in Hong Kong or New York where cups of Kopi Luwak can run upwards of $50 (or $600 if you wanted to purchase a pound of these coveted beans)."
Kopi luwak or civet coffee
refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. The name is also used for marketing brewed coffee made from the beans. The rarity of this coffee has pushed up prices such that it is also known as the world’s most expensive coffee. Depending on where you are, a cup can cost up to US30-100 dollars.
Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms, selection and digestion. Selection occurs if the civets choose to eat coffee berries containing better beans. Digestive mechanisms may improve the
flavour profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the berries for the beans' fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet's Protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated with other fecal matter and collected.
The traditional method of collecting faeces from wild civets has given way to
intensive farming methods in which civets in battery cage systems are force fed
the coffee beans. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about
the treatment of civets due to "horrific conditions" including isolation, poor
diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.
A BBC investigation in 2013 of intensive civet farming in Sumatra found conditions of animal cruelty. Intensive farming is also criticised by traditional farmers because the civets do not select what they eat, so the beans are of poor quality compared to beans collected from the wild. According to an officer from the TRAFFIC conservation programme, the trade in civets to make kopi luwak may constitute a significant threat to wild civet populations.
Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the most expensive coffees in the world with retail prices reaching €550 / US$700 per kilogram, close to the €850 / US$1,100 price of Black Ivory coffee. The price paid to collectors in the Philippines is closer to US$20 per kilogram. The price of farmed (considered low-grade by connoisseurs) kopi luwak in large Indonesian supermarkets is from US$100 per kilogram (five times the price of a high quality local arabica coffee). Genuine kopi luwak from wild civets is difficult to purchase in Indonesia and proving it is not fake is very difficult - there is little enforcement regarding use of the name "kopi luwak", and there's even a local cheap coffee brand named "Luwak", which costs under US$3 per kilogram but is occasionally sold online under the guise of real kopi luwak.
Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali
and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago.
Has your interest been piqued, and are you looking forward to trying this coffee for yourself???
Check out the Kopi Bali House in Sanur, which, of course, is famous for its Kopi. It is a three levels high Cafe, serving Western and Indonesian dishes, as well as tea time treats to go along with your coffee. Guests can learn all about coffee at this cultured gem of a cafe. They even have an art gallery of coffee inspired pieces.
Kopi Bali House
Mon – Sun: 8:00 am – 11:30 pm
Pertokoan Graha Niaga Sanur No. 4
Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai 405E