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What is Kopi Luwak coffee, anyway?

Kopi Luwak is one Indonesian coffee that has been digested by an animal called an asian palm civet. The civet is a cat-like creature that roams the woodlands of Bali at night, eat ripe coffee cherries and also excreting the coffee beans. The beans room then gathered, cleaned, and roasted. The result? Kopi Luwak, likewise called civet cat coffee or cat poop coffee.

The background of Kopi Luwak coffee starts means back in the 1700s when the Dutch an initial set increase coffee plantations in Sumatra and Java. Follow to legend, the locals noticed the wild animals were eat the ripe coffee cherries and leaving the beans behind. They to be prohibited from harvesting coffee beans because that themselves, for this reason they started imminent coffee from these discarded beans.

More recently, this specialty coffee started arriving on the gourmet coffee step in America in the 1990s. This was thanks to Anthony Wild, writer of the well known coffee book, Coffee: A Dark History. These specialty beans soon showed up on the Oprah Winfrey Show and also in the Jack Nicholson movie, The Bucket List.

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Caged civet | image credit: surtr, Flickr, CC 2.0

What’s the Kopi Luwak price?

Kopi Luwak was all the heat then and has continued to it is in pretty popular ever since. And also it’s renowned for something various other than its distinctive processing: its price. A cup the Kopi Luwak coffee frequently costs in between $35 and also $100, and also the per-pound price can variety from $100 to $600. That’s 20 come 60 times much more expensive than average coffee!

Why would you desire to eat drink poop coffee?

Cat shit coffee walk sound gross, but there’s a great reason that Kopi Luwak is so sought-after. The idea is that unlike human being coffee pickers, wild animals will just eat the best, ripest cherries, so friend don’t end up through inferior, unripe beans. Plus, the enzyme in the civet’s digestive system alter the coffee beans, creating a smoother cup of animal coffee.

How carry out they carry out that? when passing v a civet’s stomach, the cherries get completely stripped of your fruity exterior. It’s essentially a an extremely thorough washing process that prepares the beans for drying and roasting. Without any fruit left ~ above the bean, mold no grow, causing a better cup of coffee.

ANIMAL COFFEE funny FACT: There’s another kind of pet poop coffee. Despite it’s often called monkey poop coffee or monkey shit coffee, the coffee produced by rhesus monkeys and macaques in Taiwan and also Indian is actually chewed and also spit out.

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So those the problem with civet coffee?

The problem with Kopi Luwak coffee is the it’s seldom actually wild. Together you can imagine, recognize free-range Kopi Luwak is a labor-intensive task, miscellaneous not an extremely friendly come a business’ bottom line.

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Image credit: Shankar S., Flickr, CC 2.0As a result, the most common procedure involves removed civets indigenous the wild and also keeping them in small cages top top coffee plantations. Follow to researchers, these coffee plantations universally fail come meet animal welfare criter in locations like hygiene, shelter, and mobility. Civets space nocturnal, awkward animals, and many coffee plantations permit tourists to watch them in their cages. Lock may likewise be force-fed the cherries or retained on uncomfortable cable surfaces. And the civets’ limit coffee-only diet have the right to lead to malnutrition and also other health and wellness issues.

Another concern is that countless coffees marketed as Kopi Luwak aren’t authentic. V prices because that this specialty coffee for this reason high, it’s no surprising the coffee sellers would desire to cash in – whether or not they have accessibility to civets.

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Civet in a cage | picture credit: Stefan Magdalinski, Flickr, CC 2.0

The Bottom Line

So that cup the expensive, smooth coffee? It’s make using processes that quantity to animal abuse. Include the fact that numerous coffee experts claim Kopi Luwak has inferior flavor and acidity, and also you might be reconsidering your purchase.

Centuries ago, utilizing wild civet cat to process coffee may have resulted in far better coffee. But these days, coffee picking and processing have actually improved so lot that you deserve to probably get much better results native more modern-day methods.

However, if you carry out want to try civet coffee, some providers offer an ext ethical Kopi Luwak coffee. Us recommend the you take it a nearby look at the company’s moral processes and also look because that certificates that authenticity. Friend don’t want to invest a king ransom ~ above a run-of-the-mill bag that beans.

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Our recommendation? Volcanica Coffee’s Kopi Luwak, i beg your pardon is 100% wild-gathered and also comes with a certificate of authenticity.