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The World's Most Expensive Coffee: Kopi Luwak

Updated on July 15, 2010

The world's best coffee?

Are you a coffee lover? What about a gourmet coffee lover? If so, you might have tried some premium brands of coffee like Green Mountain These coffees are small change compared to the world’s most expensive coffee. This coffee doesn’t come from the steep mountain slopes in Mexico or from Tanzania like Green Mountain coffee does. This coffee doesn’t even come from Colombia, as do many other premium coffees and gourmet coffees. This very unusual gourmet coffee, kopi luwak, originates in Indonesia.

Okay, there’s nothing strange about coffee beans growing in Indonesia. But these coffee beans are ultimately the product of civet cats, or more precisely, the palm civet. This animal, a small Asian mammal, prefers to eat the sweetest, ripest berries. It chews the outside covering from the beans and then swallows the remaining berry whole. As the berries travel through the civet’s digestive system, they acquire a unique taste.

The cats eliminate the beans whole. Proteolytic enzymes from the animal’s stomach alter the amino acids in the beans, giving them a very mild flavor. After about 36 hours, the beans are defecated by the civet cats, usually in clumps. The beans are then gathered, washed thoroughly, and dried in the sun. Once dry, the beans are lightly roasted, and they become kopi luwak coffee.

What does kopi luwak taste like?

There are several different species of beans that are eaten and harvested from palm civets, including Arabica, Liberica, and Robusto, so the taste varies. For the most part, however, kopi luwak has an amazingly smooth taste, with no trace of bitterness. Even so, the coffee is very rich and full bodied. Some coffee drinkers describe kopi luwak as having chocolate, orange, floral, and/or butter undertones.

How much does kopi luwak cost?

As I’ve already mentioned, kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the entire world. In 2009, kopi luwak coffee demanded about $1,400 a pound. It’s cheaper in the Philippines and can be found there for the bargain basement price of just $300 a pound. How much does that equal in cost per cup??

Below, you can buy smaller amounts of kopi luwak coffee, along with kopi luwak blends, for much more reasonable prices! Give it a try!

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    • Jai Warren profile image

      Jai Warren 6 years ago from Dallas, Deep Ellum, Texas

      I've heard of this coffee before. If I remember correctly there was a segment on Bizarre Foods (Travel channel) where Andrew Zimmern had some in Vietnam. Very interesting, habee. Thanks, Ciao!

    • nifty@50 profile image

      nifty@50 6 years ago

      I like Columbian coffee, I really haven't had much of anything else! It would be interesting to try some other counties coffee! Good hub!

    • ReuVera profile image

      ReuVera 6 years ago from USA

      I've heard about this coffee that comes from cat's excrement, but I din't know its name. Then I watched an amazing movie, The Bucket List, about two terminally ill men (one of them, Carter, is a blue-collar mechanic and another, Edward, is a billionaire hospital magnate, by the way a gourmet coffee lover who drinks exclusively Kopi Luwak) who made a list of what to do before they "hit the bucket"(die). Number 3 on the list says "Laugh till I cry" and Carter crosses it after he reveals to Edward the origin of Kopi Luwak coffee. Great movie.

      Great hub.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      YIKES!! Ouch, my achin' pocketbook! Interesting hub, but I'm not that much of a coffee drinker. I'm big on strong black tea, though.

      My coffee, I usually take on weekends as an 'extra-chocolate mocha.' In other words, I like a bit of coffee flavor in my hot chocolate. LOL

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 6 years ago

      I think I'll pass on this one. Not only because of the steep price - that's outrageous! - but why in the world would someone retrieve beans from excrement and use them? I suppose extreme poverty could have been the initial reason. Just glad I'll never be that hungry for coffee.

    • myawn profile image

      myawn 6 years ago from Florida

      I don't think I could drink it after it is excreted by a cat yuck! I saw it on the bucket list music also. A very good movie.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for an interesting hub but neither could I go near it.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Jai, thanks for reading!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Nifty, I used to date a guy from Colombia, and he always served the most wonderful coffee!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Reu, I loved that movie!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Lizzy, I'm not big on hot tea, although I enjoy a cup once in a while. I'm more of a coffee drinker. Thanks!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Sheila, it's because the civet's digestive system gives the beans a unique taste. Admittedly, I would not pay $1400 a pound for kopi luwak, even if it is the world's best coffee! lol

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I agree about the film, myawn!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      HH - no kopi luwak for you?? lol

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      I'm thinking maybe I'd rather have fine wine than fine coffee! Great info though for those of us who can afford it!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 6 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Just came across a post on FaceBook about this! It linked to this article: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/breaking-news/of...

      UGH, I say again! ;-)

    • ezhuthukari profile image

      ezhuthukari 6 years ago from Kerala

      That is really costly!! Thanks for the info though..never knew about it

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Buckie, I can't afford it, either! Guess I'll stick to cheap coffee, although I have tasted Kopi Luwak.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Lizzy, thanks for the heads up!

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      EZ, thanks so much for stopping by!

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      I've heard about this as well, It was marked of the list, the bucket list, for laugh till I cry, remember that? Great review of The Worlds Most Expensive Coffee Kopi Luwak. I think you should add an alternative purchase, Chocked full of nuts... did you see the movie?

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, I loved that part of the movie! I've tasted kopi luwak and didn't really care for it - maybe I just don't have "cultured" taste buds. lol

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      lol I like Folgers :)

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      I like Folger's, too!

    • profile image

      indoluwak 6 years ago

      Luwak coffee is delicious ..

      The sensation is different from regular coffee.

      Happy Luwak..

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kopi luwak definitely has a unique flavor!

    • nancy_30 profile image

      nancy_30 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for a very interesting hub. I've never heard of this coffee before.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      It has a unique taste, Nancy! lol

    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 6 years ago

      Isn't this the coffee from the movie "Bucket List"?

      I was a coffee addict long before there was ever a Starbucks and I've tried every kind of coffee imaginable. I think I'll pass this one up.

    • habee profile image
      Author

      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Yep, Fay - that's the one!

    • profile image

      Francis 6 years ago

      Hi, Any body interested in KOPI LUWAK are welcome to contact me, francishor@gmail.com, I have a very consistence source of supply.

    • profile image

      clark 5 years ago

      need help where to sell my luwak beans. ive been collecting for half a year now and i have a couple of kilos

    • Ivona Poyntz profile image

      Ivona Poyntz 5 years ago from UK

      I tried this last weekend: apart from a slightly tangy, acidic taste, I can't say I found it so very differnt or better than my normal brand, but that could be because I'm addicted to my own brand

    • profile image

      Ulin Nuha 5 years ago

      Enjoy drink coffee

    • profile image

      kopiluwak-careuh 4 years ago

      Cool teste Kopi Luwak Coffee - Careuh Coffee

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