Kopi Luwak or cat poop coffee is widely known as the rarest, most expensive coffee in the world. Retail prices have reaches as high as $80 a cup. Wow. It’s also the world’s rarest coffee bean too.
Here’s some more information about these uniquely processed, yet extremely expensive coffee beans:
Cat poop coffee, aka Kopi Luwak, are the coffee berries that have once been eaten and excreted by a cat called the Asian Palm Civet. So basically, a cat called the Asian Palm Civet eats the berries from a coffee tree, then basically poops them out. From here, a farmer or coffee harvester would grab the defecated beans and begin processing them.
How the Kopi Luwak coffee beans are created
When the cats (civets) eat the coffee berries, fermentation of the coffee beans occurs in the cat’s digestive system. During this process, the cat’s proteolytic enzymes seep into the coffee beans, thus creating shorten peptide as well as an abundance of amino acids. This is what gives this coffee it’s unique flavor and aroma. So during this entire digestive process, the beans are transformed into the Kopi Luwak many coffee drinkers have grown to adore. This process is known to lower the bitterness of the coffee.
Myths regarding a better brew with cat poop coffee
Many coffee brewers and processors believe that having cats create Kopi Luwak results in a better coffee product. They believe that since the cats choose to eat the coffee berries, the cats must be choosing the best coffee berry possible. After the cat eats the coffee berries and then poop them out, their digestive mechanism is then believed to improve the taste and flavor profile of the coffee.
Where is the Cat Poop Coffee Produced?
Kopi Luwak is mainly produced in Indonesia. The Indonesian island of Sumatra is the world’s largest regional producer of the coffee. There are also a few of these coffee farms in Vietnam and the Philippines.
The History of Cat Poop Coffee
This coffee was first originally discovered by Indonesian farmers in the early 1700s when they were working on Dutch coffee plantations. Since the Indonesians natives weren’t allowed to pick the coffee berries for themselves, they decided to acquire coffee beens in a different way- by picking them out of cat droppings. They would then take those coffee beans, roast them, and brew them. As the civet coffee became more popular with the natives, the Dutch started to catch on. As a result, the coffee became very in-demand. This, however, became an issue since the demand was high, but the quantity of civet coffee beans were low (very time consuming and unnatural process). As a result, this coffee became very expensive. You can learn more about the history of this Indonesian coffee here.
Coffee that comes from cat poop can’t taste good, right?
Many people have mixed opinions regarding the taste of Kopi Luwak. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, this coffee just tastes like normal coffee beans. However, most coffee drinkers are able to distinguish a distinct taste. The coffee has low acidity and little flavor, but it is very smooth.
Another thing about the taste of this coffee is that no two cups will taste exactly the same. Since the coffee beans go through a different cat’s digestive system, the tastes will vary. Since every cat/civet is different, it’s overall diet and even personal health is also different. These factors all can change the end taste of the defecated coffee beans.
Many people believe that this coffee is only sold and drank for it’s unique story (cat eating and pooping the beans), not the overall taste and superior quality. Essentially, it’s just known as novelty coffee that people like to buy and drink because it’s so unique.
This is some very interesting coffee.
We are going to end this post with a cameo that Kopi Luwak made in the Bucket List with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.