Kopi Luwak comes from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, an area well-known for its excellent coffee. Also native to the area is a small civet-like animal called a Paradoxurus. That’s the scientific name, but the locals called them Luwaks. These little mammals live in the trees and one of their favorite foods is the red, ripe coffee cherry. They eat the cherries, beans and all. While the beans are in the Luwak’s stomach, they undergo chemical treatments and fermentations. The beans finish the journey through the digestive system, and exit. The still-intact beans are collected from the forest floor, and are cleaned, then medium-roasted and ground just like any other coffee.
The resulting coffee is said to be like no other. It has a rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel and chocolate. Other terms used to describe it are earthy, aromatic, sweet and exotic. The body is almost syrupy and it is probably the smoothest coffee known to mankind.
One must wonder about the circumstances that brought about the first cup of Kopi Luwak coffee. Who would think to (or even want to) collect and roast beans out of animal feces? Perhaps a native figured it was easier to collect the beans from the ground this way, rather than having to work harder and pick them from the trees? We will likely never know. But because of the strange method of collecting, there is not much Kopi Luwak produced in the world. The average total annual production is only around 100-pounds of beans.
Because of the rarity of this coffee, the price is quite outrageous. The current cost for a pound of Kopi Luwak is around $1,000.00 USD or more. Some other adventurous coffee houses are selling it for $ 120.00+ by the cup. The coffee is so spectacular that it’s truly worth that amount of money. After all, you are paying for the experience of enjoying such an unusual and rare delicacy.