Kopi Luwak is like durian, some love it, others don’t, but everyone has a rough idea of what it is – kopi that’s been eaten and pooped out by cats. Here’s an introduction to Kopi Luwak and why we do not sell it.
What is Kopi Luwak?
Coffee, usually Robusta, processed and roasted from semi-digested coffee cherries that have been eaten and defecated by Asian Palm Civet. These cute creatures:
Poop aside, the partial fermentation that the coffee cherries undergo is very similar to the natural processed coffees. Although it is said that their digestive enzymes help to reduce acidity of the final coffee, general consensus seems to agree that kopi luwak tastes bad.
That said, Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Reports suggest that a cup can cost up to US$80!
Why we don’t sell kopi luwak?
Gimmicks aside, here’s 3 reasons why we don’t retail kopi luwak:
1. Exploitation of the Asian Palm Civet
Although there are farms that claim that their civet populations are wild and free-roaming, many farms tend to breed their civet populations in cages.
Space aside, these civets are kept on a diet that consists mostly coffee cherries, in order to upscale production. In the wild, the Asian Palm Civet’s diet includes insects and small reptiles on top of fruits.
In short, the breeding conditions are not ideal.
With so much suffering for a rather unsatisfying cup, we’d prefer to stick to traditional nanyang kopi, or specialty coffee.
2. Difficult to determine if the kopi luwak were wild source
If you’ve been to Indonesia, you would have been spoilt for choice on kopi luwak. Every tourist trap sells a range, but there isn’t an official certification process.
It is difficult to actually tell if the kopi luwak were sourced from the wild or harvested from captive civets.
Heck, I couldn’t even figure out if they were actually kopi luwak, or just another product branded using the same term.
3. It’s like shark fin
I think the case of kopi luwak is similar to that of shark’s fin.
With the education of the cruelty behind the harvesting of shark fins, many consumers have reduced or stop consuming related cuisine.
This drop in demand then reduces the need to harvest sharks fins.
As consumers learn about the kopi luwak industry, we can do our part to reduce the demand.
In turn, farmers who are no longer able to sell their kopi luwak would shift their attention to other products.
Truth is, Indonesia is a great country with highlands that have produced significant specialty grade coffees. A particularly memorable one was the Kamala Flores Manggarai.
Kopi Luwak is an expensive coffee product originating from Indonesia. In nature, Asian Palm Civets occasionally eat and excretes coffee cherries which are used to produce the famed kopi luwak.
However, it has since evolved into an entire industry with poor breeding conditions.
The final cup isn’t as satisfying to the tastebuds as it is to the curiosity.
We do not stand by this practice and hence, do not retail kopi luwak.