What Is Kopi Luwak? Let’s Find Out!

There are many kinds of coffee beans in the world, but one stands out: Kopi Luwak. Think of it like an expensive cottage cheese, and you’ll get the picture. Kopi Luwak coffee is made by feeding the beans to civets-a wild cat species from Southeast Asia-who then excrete them in a process that can take up to a whole week.

In this article, we’ll explain what Kopi Luwak coffee is, where it comes from and the steps involved in producing it. We’ll also explain why it costs so much money and why it’s worth it.

What Is Kopi Luwak?

what is kopi luwak

Kopi Luwak is a bean that has been eaten, then excreted by the Asian palm civet’s digestive tract. After the beans pass through the civet’s digestive system, they are discarded and then collected and painstakingly cleaned. The Roasted beans remain intact so even shattering them won’t destroy their fragile flavor.

What is the Asian Palm Civet?

asian palm civet

The Asian Palm Civet is a cat-like animal that inhabits forests in the tropical region of southeastern Asia. The Asian Palm Civet is the only known mammal that consumes coffee cherries for food.

Kopi Luwak Coffee's History

The practice of harvesting wild animal-cultivated coffee dates back to the 17th century, when Dutch traders began building plantations in Indonesia. The coffee cherries were collected from the forest and then fed to caged civets. The beans were then retrieved from the animal’s feces, which were then cleaned and grinded into a unique cup for its distinct flavor.

How It Is Made

how kopi luwak is made

Before the Kopi Luwak coffee beans are sold to consumers, they have to be taken through a long and careful process.

1. Coffee cherries are collected from the forest and fed to civets in specially-built cages, where the cat is then free to eat all it wants. The civet ingests the fruit and begins its digestion process.

2. After the beans have been passed through the civet’s digestive tract, they become feces, which are then collected by the farmers.

3. The beans are then put through a cleaning process that removes the civet’s fecal matter completely.

4. Finally, the beans are roasted, and then sold to the consumer.

The Taste

Kopi Luwak coffee has a unique taste. It has an earthy and nutty flavor with some sweetness to it. Because of the extended means of digestion, the coffee is light and gentle on your taste buds.

Although some people claim that the flavor can be highly bitter or even a little bit sour depending on its origin, they are wrong because only the beans’ natural flavors remain intact while in the civet’s digestive tract as mentioned earlier.

Kopi Luwak Price

Kopi Luwak Price

This exotic coffee is sold for anywhere between $300 to $600 dollars per pound. Its price is determined by the rarity of the beans as well as the difficulty in production.

Is It Worth It?

The price of Kopi Luwak coffee makes people wonder if it is worth it. After all, \$50 for a cup of coffee seems incredibly steep. There is a reason for the price: rarity and quality. It takes a whole week to process Kopi Luwak beans; this means that it is rare and that the quality is high.

What does this mean for you? If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some good quality Kopi Luwak coffee, drink it and enjoy it.

Why is it illegal in some countries?

In some countries, Kopi Luwak is illegal. Many of these countries have laws prohibiting the exportation of coffee beans.

There may be legitimate reasons for this, such as:

Environmental reasons: some Kopi Luwak producers use caged civets; caged animals often do not eat a balanced diet and their coffee is of low quality. In addition, free range Kopi Luwak production is more expensive due to costs associated with monitoring wild populations of civets .

Economic reasons: If a ban on Kopi Luwak were made, especially a total ban, it would have the effect of protecting domestic coffee industries from foreign competition, and by extension protecting the jobs created in that industry.

Animal protection concerns: Civet cats are often kept in small cages with little room to move. They are sometimes declawed and/or have their teeth removed; both of which compromises the civets’ ability to kill prey, thus making them dependent on humans for food.

Is Cat Poop Coffee Safe?

Cat poop coffee is safe because it has been washed thoroughly after the beans have passed through the digestive tract of the animal. The process of cleaning involves careful inspection from area to area and even by hand since some beans can be broken down as they pass through the civets.

Does Starbucks use Kopi Luwak?

No, Starbucks doesn’t use Kopi Luwak, because the coffee is produced in limited quantities.

Do People Drink Kopi Luwak?

Yes, people do drink Kopi Luwak coffee these days. It is not that popular but there are few people who are fond of drinking this coffee.

Does Kopi Luwak Coffee Expire?

Yes, Kopi Luwak coffee expires (after one year). It must be kept in a dry and cool place away from moisture. The coffee loses its flavor and aroma if it is exposed to moisture or high temperatures for long periods of time.

What is so special about Kopi Luwak coffee?

The reason why Kopi Luwak is so special is its unique taste. The thing about Kopi Luwak is that it tastes very smooth, which means no bitterness at all. 

It is because of this “quality” that many people think that Kopi Luwak beans are processed through some special ways before they are made into your cup of coffee. Well, there’s more to what you think!

What makes Kopi Luwak beans special is the way in which they are collected. Unlike other kinds of coffee, this variety comes from animal droppings. It may sound gross to you, but it’s something that has made Kopi Luwak coffee so exotic.

Why is Kopi Luwak coffee so expensive?

kopi luwak roasting

Kopi Luwak coffee is one of the most expensive coffees in the world and that’s because it is widely considered to be one of the rarest.

Kopi Luwak coffee beans are made from coffee that has been digested by Asian palm civets, then passed through their digestive tracts and collected from their droppings. 

Some experts say that this process gives it a smoother taste than other coffees. Then, there’s the price: $180 for 1 pound of beans. The animals eat only the ripest and sweetest red and white cherry-sized coffee fruits which contain two or three seeds (coffee beans). 

The world’s most expensive cup of Kopi Luwak was recently brewed at WIP Coffee Bar in London for £50 ($80). It used 100% pure Kape Barako (Hacienda La Esmeralda), a rare, rich and complex espresso prepared from beans grown on mountain-farmed Arabicas at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level on the island of Mindanao, The Philippines.

Kopi Luwak is a labor-intensive coffee to produce and therefore very expensive. The cost of labor goes into every cup because it takes about two days to pick the coffee seeds from the animal’s poop. And since this type of coffee isn’t available year round, there are only a few periods during which you can buy it.

So you understand why it’s so expensive!

Last Thoughts

Kopi Luwak coffee is not for everyone, and those who get to try it should handle it with care. It isn’t for the occasional coffee drinker, and it certainly doesn’t have the taste of normal coffee either.

But when you’re looking for something different, there’s nothing like Kopi Luwak. If you do choose to drink it every so often, make sure you keep it in a cool and dry place (preferably out of direct sunlight) to protect the beans’ taste.

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