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What does "Kopi Luwak" mean?

The term “Kopi Luwak” comes from Indonesia! Kopi means coffee and Luwak is the Indonesian word for an animal called the Asian Palm Civet, sometimes referred to as a “coffee cat.”

How is Kopi Luwak made?

Well, this is the reason we’ve named our business “Cat’s Ass Coffee” isn’t it?

Kopi Luwak is made from the cleaned, roasted coffee beans that were found in the shit of Asian Palm Civets. Asian palm civets look like a mix between a cat and a raccoon and they absolutely love eating red, ripe coffee cherries! The beans come out of the eating process whole—in logs of Luwak shit, after having been fermented in the Luwak’s digestive tract. 

Two of the reasons Kopi Luwak is soooo good are:

  1. Luwak’s use their keen sense of smell to select the best cherries, just like you or I would were we approaching a cherry tree. Therefore every bean has been screened and pre-selected for quality using senses that are vastly superior to any human’s.
  2. The fermentation process reduces the bite or acidity of the beans, creating a far smoother flavor profile that allows a coffee’s subtle character to be more easily perceived and appreciated.

What is hilarious, obviously, is that the best-tasting coffee in the world literally comes from this shit out of a Cat’s Ass. A truly delicious irony 🙂

Why buy only 100% Wild Kopi Luwak, like we have here on ?

In many countries, Kopi Luwak is made using the unethical practice of caging Luwaks and force-feeding them. Caged Luwaks have to eat the coffee cherries they are given or starve. They don’t get the chance to select the best cherries, and it is clearly inhumane to cage these animals for life.

Procuring Kopi Luwak from an ethical source can be difficult. A Kopi Luwak seller would have to visit the farm and see the wild Luwaks and verify there are no cages themselves to be 100% sure.

Fortunately, as we’ve chronicled in the Cats’s Ass Coffee origin story, our founder, Jake, made a pilgrammage to Lake Toba and was able to verify that the farmer collective he’d approached were indeed collecting wild Luwak droppings off the floor of their jungle coffee plantations.

We can’t stress the importance of buying ethically-sourced Kopi Luwak enough. No animal should be made to suffer just so someone can enjoy a cup of coffee. And, for the consumer, it would be a waste of money as you wouldn’t be getting the benefit of a Luwak selecting the coffee beans for you.

Why is Kopi Luwak the most expensive coffee in the World?

Kopi Luwak will forever be expensive. There’s simply no way to make it cheap. It’s a matter of basic scarcity. There simply aren’t that many Luwak droppings to go around!

What’s more, coffee farmers have to wash the beans much more thoroughly and do the extra work of collecting/handling the droppings. Not everyone fancies working with cat shit all day. This extra labor and overall scarcity mean that Kopi Luwak will basically always be expensive… and worth every penny!

What's the ideal roasting profile for Kopi Luwak?

To get the most out of each and every bean, the ideal roast would be a medium roast. Why?

While toasting is essential for bringing out the flavors, too much roasting can kill some of a bean’s more complex and delicate aromas. A medium roast ensures a balanced palate where the more delicate flavors are more easily perceptible.

Learn more: How to Brew Kopi Luwak

Is Kopi Luwak made of Robusta or Arabica beans?

Actually, this depends entirely on the farmer and the kind of coffee they are growing. 

Wild Luwaks appreciate all of coffee’s wonderful varietals, and no matter what they find their process remains the same. Find the very best cherries and eat them!

The farmer collective that supplies us here at Cat’s Ass Coffee harvest the Arabica variety of beans.

How long does a bag of Cat's Ass Coffee keep?

When stored properly in a cool, dry place, a bag of coffee can keep for up to a year. 

Of course, the best time to consume the coffee is as soon as possible, but if you drink it within a couple months you’re good. After a couple months the flavor will slowly begin to subtly change.

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Kope Luwak is fascinating. Read more about it!

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