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Coffees From Around The World, kopi_luwak - Written by Miles Spencer

How is Kopi Luwak made?

There is always a reason when something gains the epithet of "one of the most expensive in the world" and that is certainly the case with kopi luwak. Not the most expensive, but certainly up there with the very best, this speciality coffee was mostly known by coffee gourmets and aficionados. That was until it was revealed that British actor Stephen Fry presented Prince Charles some kopi luwak coffee as a wedding present. This piqued the public interest. So …

Where Does Kopi Luwak Coffee Come From?

This coffee mainly comes from Indonesia. It is produced on the islands of Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali. It’s also produced in East Timor and in The Philippines where it has a different name according to the language of the region. Another producer is Vietnam, and it is a loose translation of the Vietnamese name for kopi luwak (cà phê Chồn) that gives the colloquial name of civet or weasel coffee. More recently, Thailand and Ethiopia have added their names to the list of producers of kopi luwak.

What is Kopi Luwak Coffee?

A form of arabica coffee, kopi luwak is unique. It is sometimes referred to as ‘weasel poo’ coffee because how it’s produced. Arguably, you may not want to know this, but the beans that are collected have been defecated by a weasel like creature called the Asian palm civet.

The civet eats the coffee cherries, which are then partially digested and semi-fermented as they pass through the animal’s intestinal tract. This gives the coffee its unique taste. It’s also thought that the distinct quality of the taste may be as a result of the civet choosing only the ripest and most flawless cherries to eat - almost like a built in quality assurance test.

Unlike other coffees which may go through various washing or other processes before being roasted, the excreted beans for kopi luwak already have skin and pulp removed. That means they get to the roasting stage much quicker.

Kopi luwak coffee is an excellent drink and is suitable for various brewing methods including filter, cafetiere and espresso machine.

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