There was one thing I knew I wanted to bring home from my trip to Java: coffee. Not just any coffee. The most expensive coffee in the world. Kopi Luwak.
You may be asking yourself, what’s so special about Kopi Luwak? Well, it’s harvested from the poop of a civet. What is a civet? The term ‘civet’ describes a dozen different mammal species mostly found in southeast Asia. They generally look like cats with the heads of a mongoose. Not that I’ve ever seen one outside of the Cincinnati Zoo.
The civets in Indonesia eat coffee berries which then travel through their digestive tracts without being digested. During this process, the coffee berries are enhanced with enzymes before they’re pooped out, harvested, and roasted to create the world’s most expensive coffee. Which leads one to wonder why someone ever did this in the first place, and why I can’t get my cats to do the same thing at home. I could be a millionaire!
Instead, I found bags of Kopi Luwak in a tourist centre. (Of course.) None of the locals I asked had ever tried it, but they all knew of it and laughed when I said I wanted to buy some. I’m not surprised they hadn’t imbibed. It is way out of their average price range — and they probably have more sense than I do.
So I bought a bag of coffee for $18.00. It made about one pot. My husband and I were hesitant to drink it because it seemed like we needed a REALLY special occasion (not because we worried about drinking coffee that civets had pooped out). But we never could decide what kind of occasion would call for poopy coffee. Instead, on a typical Saturday like any other, our Kopi Luwak Day finally came.
We examined the coffee like true connoisseurs. The beans looked like regular coffee beans. We brewed a pot. It smelled like regular coffee. It looked like regular coffee. We took a sip. It tasted….smooth. Mild. Like regular coffee without any of the bitterness. If you usually add cream and sugar to hide that bitterness, you wouldn’t need to with Kopi Luwak. It was very, very smooth.
Which made me realize — it was kinda wasted on us. We are such coffee-aholics that we’ll drink coffee thick as tar from a gas station. We’ll drink coffee any way we can get it. Dare I say we might even drink coffee harvested from our own cats’ litterbox?
No. No, we wouldn’t. But we’re not above harvesting it and selling it to tourists. Just let me know if you’re ever in Cincinnati. 😉
How does a nice cup of Kopi Luwak sound to you?