Top Secret Facts About Kopi Luwak - One of The World's Most Expensive Coffees

By : Winnie
January 4, 2021

Are you bored of the same old coffee that you always have every morning? While there’s nothing wrong with sticking with your all-time favourite cup of joe, it is a good idea to once in a while be more adventurous and add more excitement to your life. So, for all of you coffee nerds out there, what has been the most adventurous coffee you have ever taken a sip of? How about drinking some coffee made from animal’s poop? How does that sound?

“Wait, does that even exist? Is the animal’s waste drinkable?” you might ask. Yes, it really does exist, and it is called Kopi Luwak. Before you come to the conclusion that poop coffee is disgusting. Let us take you on the discovery of this coffee--Kopi Luwak, which, in fact, is one of the world’s most expensive coffees! Crazy right? Check out other World's Most Expensive Coffees For Coffee Lovers for more understanding.

Top Secret Facts About Kopi Luwak Introduction

1. History of Kopi Luwak

No, it is not the typical boring history class that you always failed in when you were in school. This is the history of Kopi Luwak; the kind of history that I am sure you’d spend hours and hours searching for.

1. History of Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak is native to Indonesian, and was introduced to the Indonesians through colonial power-the Dutch. Back then, the climate and land conditions of Indonesia were extremely favorable to growing coffee trees, which results in tons and tons of coffee cherries being produced every year. However, like most colonial powers, the Dutch were not kind to the Indonesian local farmers; the Dutch people actually forbade them from harvesting the coffee beans for their own use. 

A brilliant idea then came to the mind of the farmers. They noticed that the civet cats did not actually completely digest the coffee cherries. The coffee beans found in their feces could still be used, if properly cleaned and roasted. And, that is how Kopi Luwak came into the coffee trends.

2. The Meaning Behind the Name - Kopi Luwak

Unlike other coffee which usually get their names from the variety of coffee beans they are made out of, Kopi Luwak derives its name from the process of how it is produced, which is from the civet cats’ waste. Kopi Luwak is actually an Indonesian name. Kopi is the Indonesian equivalent of ‘coffee’ in English language, and Luwak is the Indonesian name for civet, which is a kind of animal that looks almost like a cross between cats and raccoons. Together, the word Kopi Luwak literally translates into civet coffee in English. 

Okay, so now that we got the translation out of the way, let’s dig in deeper to know more about the reason why this gourmet coffee is called as such. As you might have probably guessed by now, the name ‘civet coffee’ does not come from a name of any coffee bean in particular. In fact, this name-Kopi Luwak-is derived from the fact that it is produced from the waste of a civet.

3. How Kopi Luwak is Produced

3. How Kopi Luwak is Produced

The main actor in the whole process of producing Kopi Luwak is the nocturnal mammal species of cat, called civet. It all starts with the civets feeding on the reddish-colored coffee cherries that contain coffee beans on the inside. Getting past the civet cats’ mouths, and into the digestion stage, the cherries and the pulp are removed, but the coffee beans themselves remain intact, not at all digested. 

Within 24 hours, these remaining coffee beans will be excreted by the palm civets or luwaks, as Indonesians call it. They are then to be collected by farmers who will proceed to the next few stages, including washing, drying, removing the skin, sorting, and finally roasting the beans. They are now ready to be packaged and transported to the coffee local retailers.

4. The Unique Flavor Profile of Kopi Luwak

Of course, the process determines results. So, no doubt, the unique process of going through the internal bodily system of civet cats gives Kopi Lowak the distinctive flavor that no other coffee has. 

Kopi Lowak tastes different from other types of coffee due to its additional fermented taste, as a result of the fermentation process done by the civets’ digestive enzymes. This fermentation adds a hint of uniqueness to Kopi Lowak, making it taste “earthy, musty, syrupy, smooth, and rich with jungle and chocolate undertones”. 

Another unique characteristic about Kopi Luwak flavor is the comparatively less bitterness. We all know that the one iconic taste of any coffee is bitterness, which is due to the high concentration of proteins in the coffee beans during the roasting process. However, because luwaks’ digestion breaks down most of the coffee proteins before excretion, the civet coffee is much less bitter than regular coffee.

5. So, Why is Kopi Luwak so Expensive?

5. So, Why is Kopi Luwak so Expensive?

The irony about Kopi Luwak is that although it is made from something as unpleasant as animals’ poop, it actually is one of the world' most expensive coffees. So, what is it that makes this civet coffee earn its lofty price tag?

Even though you might think that the process of harvesting Kopi Luwak coffee beans is as simple and primitive as waiting for the civets to poop, it is in fact not at all that straightforward. It is actually quite difficult to obtain the desired coffee beans from the droppings of the civets. Because luwaks are omnivores that eat a wide variety of foods, from insects to plants, the farmers have to wait for days to gather extremely large amounts of their feces, only to reap just a modest quantity of the highly sought-after Kopi Luwak coffee beans. 

Moreover, the Asian palm civet cats are extremely fussy about what coffee cherries they feed on; they only eat those that are the ripest and of best quality. This means that only good coffee beans are produced from their digestion, thus making Kopi Luwak deserve the name of the world’s gourmet coffee.

6. Where can you find Kopi Luwak?

Because civets or luwaks are cat-like animals that native to only Southeast Asian region, Kopi Luwak is mostly available in countries located in this particular area. You can find Kopi Luwak in coffee shops that are in various islands in Indonesia, such as Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and East Timor. Another Southeast Asian country where you can also make a purchase of the expensive cat poop coffee of Vietnam. 

However, If you are not residing in any of the mentioned areas, don't worry, you can always shop online at Amazon, a site where tons and tons of products can be ordered and shipped. So, with this kind of site, Kopi Luwak is just a few clicks away from you!

7. How to store it properly in order not to make the taste go bad?

No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a bag of coffee beans that will turn bad in a period as short as a week. So, you might wonder what are some of the tips and tricks that can help you to make good use of your money by prolonging the life of your civet coffee beans.

Like many other types of coffee,  If you want to keep your precious Kopi Luwak stay with you a little longer, you need to know how to store them properly. So, the key is keep it away from its enemies, which include light, moisture, and air. You can protect them storing in an extremely airtight and dark container at room temperature. This is to make sure that the coffee does not get exposed to light or moisture in the outside atmosphere. 

8. How to make the best coffee from this expensive Kopi Luwak?

Because of its sky-high price, you want to make sure that every cup of Kopi Luwak is always at its best taste. So, how can we make the best out of this expensive Kopi Luwak?

Some of the key points that will help deliver you a perfect cup of Kopi Luwak are water temperature, the amount of Kopi Luwak, and the time of the brewing.

So first thing’s first, the temperature; the standard temperature of the water used for making a good cup of civet coffee is around 200 degrees. If your water is not heated as high as this standard temperature, then the water might not be as good in terms of its ability to extract the flavorful essence of civet coffee. On the other hand, if you boil your water to a temperature that is higher than 200 degrees, then your coffee will turn out too bitter because the extreme heat from the water will extract more bitterness from the coffee.

For the amount of time required for the brewing process, it really depends on how strong you want your coffee to be. If you want a stronger flavor of Kopi Luwak, then you can keep it longer, but if you are not a fan of powerful coffee taste, then less time is enough for you. This is because the longer the coffee grounds are kept with water, the more flavor extraction occurs. Also the time depends on how fine the coffee grounds are; if the grounds are quite coarse eight minutes are required; if it is not as coarse, only 4 to 6 minutes would do. 

9. Health Benefits of Kopi Luwak

9. Health Benefits of Kopi Luwak

If you are a bit of a health-nut, then you really need to consider buying a jar of Kopi Luwak. So, to save up, and order some Kopi Luwak!

Kopi Luwak is great at reducing the risk of skin and breast cancer. Also, due to the antibacterial property, it also helps you to improve your teeth and prevent such dental issues as cavities. Most importantly, it is rich in antioxidants, which are highly known for their ability to combat Parkinson’s disease. Moreover, the Asian palm civet coffee does not have much acidity like other coffee, and this makes it good for people who are prone to stomach issues. Other health benefits of Kopi Luwak include boosting energy and lowering the risks for diabetes.

And, that is not all. Apart from physical health benefits, Kopi Luwak is also beneficial for your mental health. Kopi Lowak coffee can help to put you in a better mood and boost your energy, getting you ready to conquer another nine to five day at your stressful workplace. Indeed, a cup of Kopi Luwak a day keeps bad moods away! 

Conclusion

Kopi Luwak definitely deserves the recognition as one of the world’s most expensive coffees for all kinds of reasons. Unique would be the best adjective to describe Kopi Luwak. There is no other coffee that can beat Kopi Luwak. It is unique in everything, its farming process, and its flavor. In addition to the uniqueness that makes it special, it also has a number of health benefits for drinkers. What more can you ask for? We hope that all the information that wrote about Kopi Luwak is enough to get you to save up and try out this wildly adventurous coffee that is literally made from animal poop.

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