The Open Secret of Indonesian Kopi Luwak

29 November 2019

Since it was broadcasted for the first time on Oprah Winfrey in 2007, kopi luwak or well-known as civet coffee has been gaining more and more popularity. It has been written in the headline of local and international news. Originating in Indonesian, kopi means coffee and Luwak means palm civet cats. Kopi luwak is costed $40 to $100 in a small cup and served in luxurious restaurants in some countries.

A couple of years ago, a best friend from France told me that he visited Bali for three days during spring festival only to buy kopi luwak. He said that his family asked him to bring it home in summer vacation. At first he scheduled to find civet coffee and go for surfing, however since finding the original kopi luwak is a quite great challenge. He spent all three days went around Bali only to find the one he wanted.

“I found it in Ubud so I bought tons of coffee”, he was very pleased with that. Then he added, “Do you know it cost you a fortune to taste a small cup of Indonesian kopi luwak in France?”.

It made me curious and looked for it. What really amazed me was the process of producing kopi luwak. It is made from the coffee cherries those are partially digested and pooped out by the civets.  Some sources mentioned that civet is small cat found only in some Africa and Southeast Asian countries.

Production process mostly takes 24 hours, firstly civets eat the best ripest coffee cherries. “During the digestion process, the flesh of the coffee cherries is removed. The coffee seeds or beans inside the cherries are not digested by the civet cats. It is believed that this digestive oversight is responsible for giving civet coffee its’ special and unique flavor. But how does the digestion of coffee beans affect their quality? Scientists have undertaken research about kopi luwak. What they found is natural enzymes in the civet’s intestines make the beans less acidic and therefore less bitter. Furthermore, the enzymes also remove some caffeine; civet beans are also lower in total protein. This adds to the high aroma, the smooth taste and the low bitterness of kopi luwak (  After that, it is defecated, and it is the time for farmers to collect the defecated feces. Then, select the best beans, wash and dry them before roasting process. Every step was carefully measured to guarantee the best quality. It is believed that there are two main reasons why this coffee is so special. Firstly, civet is a special kind of cat that can choose the best ripest cherries coffee. Secondly, it’s rich flavor and unique aroma come from naturally production process in the civet’s belly during the digestion. However, although it brings to huge world business, the kopi luwak farmers have to consider that keeping them in cages is completely barren.

Don’t worry, it has been scientifically studied that kopi luwak is free from contamination of bacteria. Are you interested? Come, visit wonderful Indonesia!

References: (2019 November 14th)  (2019 November 14th) (2019 November 15th ) November 15th ) (2019 November 15th )

photos: (2019 November 15th ) (2019 November 15th )

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