Kopi Luwak – The most expensive coffee in the world


What is Kopi Luwak?

If you are a huge fan of coffee, then you definitely have your coffee bucket list that you would like to try. There are many famous coffees around that everyone wants to try, such as Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee or Saint Helena Coffee. Still, the most well-known among them is Kopi Luwak, which is also known as the most expensive coffee on the planet.

What is Kopi Luwak coffee?

Kopi Luwak was first discovered in Indonesia in the 18th century during the Dutch colony. In Indonesian, Kopi means “coffee,” and Luwak is the local name of a Civet cat. Therefore it is also called Civet coffee. In the Philippines, this coffee is called Kopi Alamid, and in Viet Nam, it is called Vietnamese weasel coffee.

Luwak Cat

What makes Kopi Luwak special is not the type of coffee beans or the origin, the place the coffee tree is grown, but it is the process of producing it.

The whole process starts while the Civet cat looks for food and end up eating the cherry on the coffee tree grown wildly or in the coffee plantation. After consuming, the cherry will go through Civet’s digestion process. During the process, the pulp will be removed and digested, but the bean will remain the same, and fermentation occurs.

After the digestion process, the coffee bean is defecated intact as it was not digested. The farmer then collects these feces, wash it, dry it, and get the bean ready for roasting.

Why is Kopi Luwak coffee so expensive?

There are many factors that make Kopi Luwak become the most expensive coffee in the world. However, there are two mains factors, which are the flavor profile and limited production.

Special Flavor Profile

  • Civet cat is an intelligent mammal animal; it only picks and eats the best cherry on the tree. Therefore, the coffee beans are always at the best quality.
  • The digestion process of the Civet also enhances the flavor profile of the bean. According to many studies, the digestive enzyme of the Civet reduces the acidity in the bean and helps to produce smoother drink and less bitter flavor.

Limited production

  • Civet cat is a small animal that only lives in South East Asia. The population is also relatively low. Therefore, the production of Kopi Luwak is not even 1% of the coffee production in the world.
  • Because of that rarity, Kopi Luwak is considered a luxury commodity and sold at a very high price.

How much does a cup of Kopi Luwak cost?

  • Today Kopi Luwak or Civet coffee is mainly produced in 3 Southeast Asian countries: Indonesia, Philippine, and Viet Nam. Sumatra in Indonesia is still the largest producer of this unique coffee.
  • The price of this coffee varies widely from $100 to $600 per pound.
  • Because of the increase in popularity, there are some specialty coffee shops opened in famous tourist destinations in Southeast Asia to sell this coffee. You can buy a cup of Civet coffee in Bali, Indonesia, or in Da Lat, Viet Nam, for a price from $20 to $60 a cup.

Is it safe to consume?

Since the coffee bean is collected from the feces of the Luwak cat, thus many people usually question its hygiene, and are it safe to drink?

Many studies and research about these issues show that all the bacteria are killed and eliminated throughout the washing, drying, and roasting process. So basically, it is hygienic and safe to drink.

Besides civet cat poop coffee, is there any other animal poop coffee available?

The answer to this question is yes.

In Thailand, people feed elephants Arabica coffee cherry mixed with their regular food to collect the bean from their feces. This coffee is called elephant dung coffee or Black Ivory Coffee.

Bird poop coffee is also getting popular these days in Brazil. Similar to cat poop coffee and elephant dung coffee, but in this case, people collected the beans from the feces of Jacu bird.

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