Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee, refers to the coffee that is made from the beans of coffee berries that are eaten, semi-digested and then excreted by Asian palm civet cats . Basically, coffee from the poo of this particular type of wild civet cat.
The taste and flavour are determined by the type of berries that cat eats, how the beans from the cat poo is processed, and of course the final brewing is done. The original civet coffee is from Sumatra island in Indonesia. However, these days this type of coffee is produced in Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines.
Coffee berries are eaten by a civet for their fruit pulp. After spending about a day and a half in the civet’s digestive tract the beans are then defecated in clumps, having kept their shape and still covered with some of the fleshy berry’s inner layers. These clumps are cleaned, individual beans separated, then sun dried and processed further.
There are two types of Kopi Luwak: wild and farmed. Wild Civet coffee is considered to be the better out of the two but even so, both are equally amazing when you compare them to your supermarket brands. In fact, after a single taste, you probably won’t be able to go back. To the palate, Kopi Luwak tastes “thin” and “less acidic” than normal coffee.
Some coffee critics are highly cynical about Kopi Luwak. They claim that it is simply bad coffee, which is famous for novelty and weirdness rather than taste / flavour. Scientific chemical tests on the Kopi Luwak beans could not find anything unique about their properties that could make them superior for the purposes of brewing coffee.
Interesting Facts about Kopi Luwak
Did you know that Civet coffee, or “cat poo coffee” gained most of its attention from the movie “The Bucket List”?
The annual production of wild Civet coffee is under a 1000 kilogram (worldwide). This alone makes it one of the rarest coffee in the entire world. However, tonnes of mass produced civet coffee flood the market every year from South East Asian nations.
Kopi luwak is the second most expensive coffees in the world (the most expensive is the Black Ivory Coffee – or, coffee made from elephant dung in Thailand), selling for between US$100 and $600 per pound in 2010. Some specialty coffee shops sell cups of brewed kopi luwak for US$35–$80.
The world’s biggest drinker of Civet coffee is Japan, with US following quickly behind. Importers in the US purchase over 20% of the world’s Civet coffee.
So as you can see, Kopi Luwak is interesting to say the least and it is a prestigious drink that a lot of people can’t help but enjoy. It may come with a steep price tag but at the end of the day, it is well worth it and this is something that a lot of coffee drinkers quickly realise.