L u w a k, the Best Coffee Maker in The World.

Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).Picture: RidwanAZ.com
Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).Picture: RidwanAZ.com

There is a story among coffee lovers about special coffee in term of its very expensive price. It's so expensive that the Guinness Book of World's Records acknowledged this as the most expensive coffee in the world.

Would you spend US$ 50 for a cup of coffee ?, that's probably the price you have to pay if you want to sip this coffee but I guess some people will think twice before they order it. Do you know what makes it so highly priced ?. We, especially those lucky coffee farmers, have to thank our fellow creature which make all this possible : The Asia Palm Civet or Luwak (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)

Civet droppings which contain coffee beans. Pictur: RidwanAZ.com
Civet droppings which contain coffee beans. Pictur: RidwanAZ.com

What Has the Civet Done ?

Asian Palm Civet has some local names in my country. It's generally known as Musang, but people in West Java name it Careuh, and in Central and East Java  known as Luwak. In this hub I call it Luwak to refer to those provinces (Central and East Java) where civet coffee comes from.

As a predator, besides prying other creatures like chicken, mice, insects and moluscs, Luwak also eats coffee since coffee is one of its favorite foods. To make it special, Luwak has natural ability in selecting ripe, quality coffee cherries for its consumption.

Coffee cherries eaten by a Luwak  besides being digested so that lose their flesh, the beans will get fermentation process in its digestion for around 12 hours before they're excreted during defecattion. Coffee farmers in Indonesia will give additional processes  before those coffee beans  are ready to be brewed. Those processes include cleaning and washing, drying, frying, etc.

Here we can see two important roles which are contributed by civet :

1. The selection of ripe, civet-quality coffee beans, and eat them.

2. Fermentation process which  take place inside civet digestive system. This process is indispensable and entirely belongs to Luwak's specialty.

Look at the picture of luwak droppings. You can see those coffee beans aren't crumbled like what happens when food is digested but still take their original shapes of coffee instead.

What makes it different ?

As it has been mentioned before that the role of Java Civet or Luwak in producing this high grade coffee is indispensable.

The fermentation process in Luwak's gastrointestinal tract for around 12 hours has changed the coffee cherries into harder, darker and more brittle coffee beans. Some experts also believe the process in Luwak digestions also gives another advantage in lowering the coffee's caffeine. Thanks to the enzymes produced in civet's digestive system which make civet coffee is very profitable . The enzymes have given characteristic taste preferable to coffee lovers as well as controlling the bitterness in the coffee.

Responding to increasing demand of civet coffee, there are researches conducted in some countries in their efforts to discover substances similar to civet enzymes.

Regardless the difference in taste that may be resulted due to the use of engineered enzymes in 'civet coffee' making, we should appreciate those efforts for some important reasons. First, this man-made civet enzymes will enable them to produce 'civet coffee' in industrial scale which can possibly meet the big demand of civet coffee in the world. Second, the ability in creating man-made civet enzymes in the labs have reduced civet hunting in nature which definitely endanger Java Civets existence.

Well done civets ! We love your precious droppings !

Civet coffee in luxurious package. Picture: The most- expensive.net
Civet coffee in luxurious package. Picture: The most- expensive.net

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Comments 12 comments

Gorgeously profile image

Gorgeously 6 years ago from United States

sounds disgusting but great information though.. keep it up!

agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

Thank you for your kind visit, Gorgeously.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Think that I will pass on paying $50 for a cup of coffee, but this hub was surely interesting! I had no idea that Civit droppings were utilized as such.

prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

Although I heard about Luwak coffee many times, But until now I never know the taste of this coffee. But I'll try someday. Good information, my friend. Vote this up!


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Peggy W: Thank you Peggy W. Yes, in this case the civet skill selecting coffee beans is better than us.

@Prasetio30: Thank you Pras. I hope you'll have the chance to try it some day.

Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

I know some people feel fine about having this coffee, but, in my mind I really not able to seperated the coffee with poop. Yuck!

Great job to bring a uniqueness!

But still, YUCK!

Harald Dauner 6 years ago

You forgot to mention the coffee bean is still covered in the silverskin when collected, the coffee bean never touches poop.

I tried it and I think its a tast out of this world.

After 2 hours I still had a strange coffee aroma in my mouth.

Morehigh 6 years ago

Got a free 100 grammes Kopi Luwak from my friend from Bali Indonesia. I taste it and it was really awesome. My stomach & mind feel good as the acidic level may be bery2 low. I drank at 1 am and stay awake with freshness until 10am :)

agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia Author

@Freya Cesare: I love coffee and according to Harald Dauner here that the coffee beans never touch the poop since they still have their shell when collected. Thank you very much for your nice visit Freya.

@ Harald Dauner: Thank you very much for your visit and additional information. Yes, I should add that to this hub to make it more informative.

@Morehigh: I love coffee for keeping me always fresh and alert too although I can't afford Kopi Luwak. Thank you very much for your visit.

LetitiaFT profile image

LetitiaFT 4 years ago from Paris via California

Fascinating! Aren't animals amazing? They even make great coffee.

Nettlemere profile image

Nettlemere 4 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

That's pretty intriguing - I'm not a coffee drinker but the civet picture and the coffee title made me think - surely there's no link between those two, but I read on and was proved wrong! Thanks for educating me.

sholland10 profile image

sholland10 4 years ago from Southwest Missouri

This is very interesting. I may have to try this coffee. :-)

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