Challenge: We taste the famous Kopi Luwak.
Since I watched the movie Bucketlist, from time to time I have imagined how one of the world’s most expensive gourmet coffees would taste. The exclusivity of Kopi Luwak comes from the extreme method of procedure therefore I was more curious about this topic. After Morgan Freeman had been seized with rollicking laughter realizing that this coffee which costs an arm and a leg is made from the poop of an animal, I was pretty sure that I will taste it at one time.
What is Kopi Luwak?
The name comes from Indonesia (some says it is from Bali, some says it is from Sumatra), Luwak is the local name of a small cat-like animal, the Asian palm civet or civet cat. Kopi means coffee in Indonesian language.
The animal eats coffee cherries chosen by itself in normal circumstances. It likes the cherry’s fleshy pulp but the bean inside can not be digested by the civet cat therefore goes through its digestive system and will be defecated at the end. Then the farmers collect the beans one by one manually and after being cleaned, roasted and ground this exotical coffee is ready to consume.
The smooth, delicate flavour is achieved by the cat’s digestive mechanism. Consumption is recommended as ristretto or espresso without adding anything to it. Local people in Bali put the ground beans into boiled water without using a coffee machine and they drink it. The Luwak coffee is often called as ’Liquid Gold’ of Indonesia as it costs 35-100 USD / cup around the world.
We planned to bring at least a coffee cupped luxury to our Balinese life anyway, so on that sunny Thursday when we were on our way to Ubud and at a crossroad we were caught by a Balinese man, we happily followed him to his display plantation. Arriving there he passed the freshmen (Mathias and me) proudly on to his co-worker who showed us the whole coffee production process including the civet cat itself, coffee bushes and a display of the roasting and grinding methods. After our 5 minutes long walk the young woman offered us a seat in their tropical café and brought us 13 different types of teas and coffes for a free tasting session. Drinking ginseng and coconut coffee for the first time made our visit even more worthy. At the end of our tour we were advised to buy a cup of Kopi Luwak and we did it happily. After we enjoyed the unique and delicate taste of the coffee we had the possibility to buy any of those special drinks in their shop. If you are a coffee addict, don’t miss this activity while spending time in Ubud.
Note: “Intensive farming is also criticised by traditional farmers because the civets do not select what they eat, so the cherries which are fed to them in order to flavor the coffee are of lower quality compared to those beans collected from the wild.” – Wikipedia