What is Kopi Luwak / Civet Coffee? (part 2)

Kopi Luwak is also known as Civet or Kape Alamid.

What is the difference between wild-collected Kopi Luwak and farmed Kopi Luwak?

Farmed Kopi Luwak coffee comes from Kopi Luwaks that have been confined within certain boundaries. This may be within fenced coffee tree fields or the Kopi Luwaks may be kept in cages and then fed the coffee cherry.

Wild-collected Kopi Luwak coffee, in contrast, comes from coffee beans that are gathered up from Kopi Luwaks that roam wild near coffee trees.

What are some advantages to wild-collected Kopi Luwak coffee?

When Kopi Luwak coffee is gathered from uncaged Kopi Luwaks who have eaten coffee cherry on their own, they Kopi Luwaks were able to choose the coffee cherry that they eat.

The discerning Kopi Luwaks are known to eat only the ripest, red coffee cherry, thus providing a level of quality control that results in overall higher quality coffee beans than if the beans are picked by humans and then fed to the Kopi Luwaks.

Can farmed Kopi Luwak coffee yield high quality coffee beans?

Some farmed Kopi Luwak coffee is produced by setting out large numbers of coffee cherry that the Kopi Luwak may then choose from, thus preserving some of the benefits of the Kopi Luwak’s coffee cherry choosing ability to ensure high quality beans are chosen.

Other farmed Kopi Luwak coffee is created by feeding the Kopi Luwak only a limited number of coffee cherry and thus no choice is allowed.

The coffee cherry may also be mixed with banana mash or other products to encourage the Kopi Luwak to eat it, though eliminating any free choice that allows the Kopi Luwaks to discern which coffee cherry are of a better quality.

As a general rule, wild-collected Kopi Luwak coffee is considered superior to Kopi Luwak coffee from caged Kopi Luwaks. Wild-collected Kopi Luwak coffee is more likely to reveal the finer tastes and aromatic qualities of a gourmet Kopi Luwak coffee.

Where are Kopi Luwak’s found?

Kopi Luwaks are native to southern India as well as Sri Lanka and southern China.

What coffee bean varietals are used to produce Kopi Luwak coffee?

The most common type of coffee bean varietal used to produce Kopi Luwak coffee is Arabica (Coffea arabica var. arabica). Also commonly used is Robusta (Coffea canephora var. robusta) and Liberica (Coffea liberica).

One company in the Philippines uses a mix of Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa to produce their Kape Alamid (Kopi Luwak coffee).

In Sumatra, where most of the world’s Kopi Luwak coffee comes from, the most common coffee bean varietal used is Arabica. Sumatra’s Trung Nguyen company uses the Arabica Typica varietal.

Is bacterial contamination a concern when consuming Kopi Luwak coffee?

Bacteria such as the dreaded E. Coli bacteria have often been mentioned as a concern with Kopi Luwak coffee since the Kopi Luwak digestive tract may contain this bacteria.

Some research has purported to show that the enzymes in the Kopi Luwak’s stomach actually assist in eliminating harmful bacteria from the coffee beans.

In general the safety of the product does not seem to be a concern. Since the beans are washed after they are gathered, and then roasted at a high temperature, by the time the consumer receives the beans there seems to be very little chance of the beans containing any harmful bacteria.

The coffee brewing process will also help to eliminate any bacterial contamination concern.

How much does Kopi Luwak coffee cost?

Kopi Luwak coffee has sold for more than $1000 per pound and more than $50 per cup. Other sources provide Kopi Luwak coffee for a much lower price, though Kopi Luwak coffee may reasonably be referred to as the most expensive coffee in the world.

Where is most Kopi Luwak coffee sold?

Aside from being served in the coffee houses of Southeast Asia and other areas where it is sold by the cup, and large amounts are sold in the Philippines. Kopi Luwak coffee is sold primarily in the United States and Japan with Europe and Asia also buying increasing amounts.

Who drinks most Kopi Luwak coffee?

Large amounts of Kopi Luwak coffee are consumed in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia coffee houses where it is often sold by the cup. Kopi Luwak coffee exports are widely consumed in Japan and the U.S. as well as in Asia and Europe.

Also see Kopi Luwak Coffee FAQ I.

Where is Kopi Luwak Coffee found?

Kopi Luwak Coffee is produced by various countries including:

More Kopi-Luwak / Kopi Luwak Coffee Information

For a bit of levity see Adventures of a Kopi Luwak Coffee Hunter and Top Ten Reasons To Drink Animal-Processed Coffee!

Also see Simulated Kopi Luwak Coffee, and Fake Kopi Luwak Coffee.

Other Premium Coffee Beans

At such a high cost per pound (and cost per cup) you’ll want to get all the information you can to brew the perfect cup of coffee – see our section on Brewing Kopi Luwak Coffee and also our tips for Coffee Brewing in general.

To brew a truly exhilarating shot of espresso see Pulling A Perfect Espresso Shot and How to make a Latte, then try some of our wonderful Espresso Drink Recipes.

 

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