Kopi luwak coffee is a luxurious, decadent coffee that will likely set you back more than a few bucks per pound. However, most folks who give kopi luwak coffee a try find that it is worth the the shekels to enjoy this unique coffee experience. So what is the appeal of this specialty coffee? Is this flavourful mystery really worth exploring? Keep reading to find out why kopi luwak coffee should be next on your list of new things to try.
What Is Kopi Luwak Coffee?
Kopi Luwak coffee is a type of coffee that is processed in a very unique way – by a wild animal. In Indonesia, a small carnivorous mammal known as a palm civet or luwak, enjoys eating the sweet coffee cherries, both the fruit’s flesh and the coffee bean within. The luwak, or palm civet, uses its keen sense of smell to pick out the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries and then it devours them. This is the humble first step for the production of kopi luwak coffee.
After the civet digests the cherry it excretes the coffee beans. The coffee bean’s hard outer shell protects it from being digested in the palm civet’s digestive tract, so it passes right through the animal and comes out whole.
Farmers then gather the partially digested coffee cherries that are left behind on the forest floor. This is a taxing job because there are typically only three or four beans per pile of excrement. After harvesting, farmers thoroughly clean the beans so they can be roasted and turned into a delicious coffee drink.
So Why Try Kopi Luwak Coffee?
There are many reasons to try kopi luwak coffee beyond simply satisfying your curiosity. Here are a few reasons for sampling this specialized brew.
Kopi Luwak is renowned for its unique flavour.
Flavour is the number one reason people buy this specialty coffee again and again. No other coffee tastes quite like it and this flavour profile comes thanks to the unique process the coffee bean goes through. In the first step of this process, civets use their keen sense of smell to choose the very best coffee cherries to eat. Civets prefer the ripest, juiciest coffee cherries. Thanks to its superior detection abilities, the civet knows how to select coffee cherries at just the right time to get just the right flavor, which means the beans are harvested when they are the most flavorful.
As the civet digests the coffee cherry, the beans go through a kind of fermentation process in the civet’s belly. This fermentation process, during which the beans are bathed in the civet’s digestive juices, changes the flavor of the beans, giving them a richer quality. After cleaning and roasting, the kopi luwak beans yield a coffee with rich, smooth flavours featuring hints of caramel, chocolate, and earthy tones.
It has a unique history.
Kopi luwak coffee certainly has a rich history, and sampling it brings you closer to an intriguing story of rebellion. Way back in the 1800’s, Dutch settlers produced coffee from Arabica coffee plantations. The native workers were forbidden to harvest any coffee cherries and beans from the trees for their own personal use, but they were permitted to collect the ones that had fallen to the ground. Eventually, the native workers figured out that the luwaks ingested the fruit and left the seeds or beans behind in their excrement and this made an even better cup of coffee.
The native peoples gathered these undigested beans, and then cleaned and roasted them, making an even more delicious coffee. Because these beans took more time to process, they were very costly and this coffee became very popular with tourists and even the coffee traders.
It might benefit your health.
Because of the fermentation process that the beans go through before roasting, kopi luwak coffee has a lower level of acidity than most other types of coffee. This is great news for people who suffer from acid-related issues such as heart burn or mouth sores.
Of course, coffee, including kopi luwak coffee. It’s full of antioxidants, can boost your metabolism and may help to prevent dementia.
It’s a fun story to tell.
Coffee makes a great conversation starter, and the kopi luwak story is a great one to tell. Serve it at dinner parties or meetings so you can tell the story and strike up some very interesting conversations! You can talk about the history of the Dutch settlers, the rebellion of the native workers, and of course, the adorable luwak.
Just like a beer connoisseur enjoys sampling novel craft brews, coffee enthusiasts love sampling a good new cup of coffee. Kopi luwak coffee is worthy trying just for the novelty of the brew. Not everyone can say they have tasted ‘cat poop coffee,’ as it is jokingly called. This coffee is as unique and rare as it gets in the coffee world.
So if you like great coffee with a unique flavor, love a great background story, are a fan of culinary history, or are intrigued by the idea of a cute mammal pre-selecting your beans with their sharp senses, kupi luwak coffee might just be the perfect brew for you!