If you are a coffee aficionado you have surely heard about the wild kopi luwak coffee, if not this article will make you learn everything about it. Kopi Luwak coffee is also known as civet coffee and this rare coffee is produced mostly in southeast Asian countries. The crazy fact is that kopi Luwak coffee is made from the poops of the Asian civet, a cat-like nocturnal animal which live mostly in tropical forests. Moreover, wild kopi luwak coffee is known as one of the most expensive coffee in the world.
What is wild kopi luwak coffee?
Indonesia is well-known for its coffee farms and the civets living in the nearby forests like to feed on the coffee cherries. When these animal digest these coffee cherries they go through the animal’s intestine where they ferment and their aromas are enhanced. These coffee cherries are then collected from the civets’ feces, they are washed roasted and grinded. Wild Kopi luwak coffee is mostly produced in the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Bali, Java, Sulawesi and East Timor. Production is also done on the island of the Philippines. The kopi luwak coffee is also known as the civet coffee.
This coffee is considered as a first class coffee due the facts that the civets pick only the most ripes and beautiful coffee cherries to eat. Besides this natural selection, when the cherries are digested by the civet, they go through the animal’s gastrointestinal tracts where they get soaked in digestive enzymes and gastric juices. This process break down storage proteins and alter the compositions of amino acids which enhance the coffee cherries’ aromas. Furthermore, the beans start to germ and this reduce the bitter taste.
The Kopi luwak coffee beans were traditionally collected from the excretions of the civets directly in plantations and forests. As collection of wild excreted coffee beans is a tedious work and the harvest is not in huge amount, ethically sourced wild kopi luwak coffee can easily cost around $1300 per kilogram.
How does wild kopi luwak coffee taste like?
Kopi luwak coffee taste may vary depending on the origin of the excreted beans, the type of coffee cherries and the way they have been processed, roasted and brewed afterwards. Moreover, another fundamental criteria is the health of the civet that excreted these beans. The stress level will make the digestive system of the civet produce abnormal level of enzymes and acids and this can impact the fermentation process and hence the coffee taste and aromas. Coffee connoisseurs have claimed that wild kopi luwak coffee is considerably less bitter and the aromas are much more intense. It has a complex flavor which is quite earthy, nutty, smooth and is often sweetened with an iota of chocolate or caramel.
Replicated versions of Kopi Luwak coffee
The high selling prices and nutritional qualities of wild kopi luwak have encouraged many coffee producers to set up commercial processes for producing this type of coffee. The attempt was to artificially replicate the digestive process of the gastrointestinal tracts of the civet.
The startup Afineur based in Brooklyn which is specialized in food biotechnology has patented a fermentation technology that can reproduce some nutritional and taste aspects of the wild kopi luwak coffee. Furthermore, researches from the University of Florida have also been granted a patent to create this kind of fermentation process.
These are some legal ways through which some interested parties are trying to industrialize the civet coffee. However, there are some greedy and unethical coffee producers using some enzyme soak and claiming that their coffee are the wild kopi luwak.
The dark side of the business
Unfortunately the wild kop luwak coffee has become a victim of its popularity and prestige. Producing authentic wild kopi luwak coffee require a lot of labor i.e collecting from dungs of civets which live freely in forests and around coffee farms. Moreover, the coffee beans are only available in small quantities which make its price very high.
Hence, some farmers have engaged in mass production of kopi luwak coffee by capturing the wild civets which are then reared in small cages and force-fed with coffee cherries. In this way they get a lot excreted coffee cherries which they can use to produce their coffee. Sometimes they even mislead their customers by labelling their coffee as wild kopi luwak coffee!
This is unethical and cruel as the civets are reared in harsh condition; in small and dirty cages and get only coffee cherries as food. Civets are wild animals which also eat insects and other fruits like mangoes and berries. When they are reared in extensive farming civets become unhealthy as they lack a lot of nutrients, are stressed and are also exposed to unhygienic environment. The increase in extensive civet farming has caused a decline its population.
Fortunately there is some hope for authentic and ethical wild kopi luwak coffee
Here at DrinkmyCoffee we are against unethical sourcing of coffee and find it aberrant to exploit animals for profit motives. This is why we heartfully advise and ask you to only buy authentic wild kopi luwak coffee which are ethically sourced and contribute to the economy of small farmers in Indonesia.
The price will be a bit higher but you will be getting a genuine product obtained ethically and benefiting all parties; specially the wild Asian palm civets! 🙂 Captive kopi luwak coffee, mean coffee beans excreted from diseased animals, so you will inevitably end up with bad quality coffee.
If you decide to buy Kopi Luwak be sure to check where it is sourced and if it certified. DrinkmyCoffee has identified The Kopi Luwak Company as a genuine Kopi Luwak coffee producer, they are certified as using 100% wild collected coffee cherries dung from civets living freely in forests surrounding their coffee farms.
Farmers supplying The Kopi Luwak company look for the civet’s traces on their organic smallholdings. Moreover, another important aspect is that the farms are inspected, their locations are precisely measured and logged by GPS. This ensure that they has all the records necessary to maintain full accountability and traceability of its wild kopi luwak coffee.
Our final thought on wild kopi luwak coffee
Wild kopi luwak coffee is definitely an authentic coffee that has the merit to be tasted by every coffee connoisseurs. However great care have to be taken when you buy it; ensure that it comes from ethical source and is genuine.
What are your thoughts about this coffee made from poop? Have you ever drink it ? Or if you get the opportunity will you drink it? We will be more than glad to hear from you!