Kopi luwak, aka civet coffee, is an elite beverage that is widely consumed in Gulf nations and Europe. It is 20 to 60 times more expensive than your average coffee and is sold for Rs.20,000-25,000 per kg in other countries.
If you call yourself a coffeeholic, then wait until you read this piece. Would you mind sipping on something that a cat chewed first and excreted after a while? Well, do not feel disgusted as there are special coffee beans that are produced from the poop of the Asian palm civet. This cute animal resembles felines a lot and is mostly found in Indonesia. Kopi luwak, aka civet coffee, also has an Indonesian origin. But do you know, India is also producing this one of its kind coffee beans on a small scale in the Coorg district of Karnataka?
Partially processed in the digestive tract of the palm civet, the taste of this coffee varies. There are a variety of beans the civet eats, such as the arabica coffee plant, the robusta, or any other coffee plant. The uncommon method of producing these coffee beans involves the palm civet eating coffee cherries and then passing the coffee beans through its body undigested.
The process in the civet’s gut is also very similar to fermentation. Due to the presence of the enzymes in the civet’s digestive tract, proteins inherent in the bean are broken down. These natural enzymes also make the beans less acidic causing them to be less bitter. Later, the coffee beans are cleaned, roasted, and grounded. And, after a long process of 24- 36 hours, the world’s most expensive coffee, aka kopi luwak, is brewed.
The brewtiful flavours!
Though the flavour depends on what kind of cherries did the civet eat, tree variety, or soil type, but most commonly, it tastes earthy and musty with hints of caramel and chocolate. Since civet cats are very picky when it comes to their cherry business, they end up eating the most ripened cherries, and the ones that have the best quality. So, the overall outcome is great!
Well, coffee freaks, if you are still hesitating to try this coffee, then know that it is a safe deal. The beans are indeed collected from the excreta of the civet, but the processed beans have no contamination. The germs and bacteria are eliminated during the washing and roasting process.
It’s being produced in india too!
Karnataka, the country’s largest coffee producer, has started roasting these expensive and exotic beans! Coorg Consolidated Commodities (CCC), a start-up firm is making this coffee on a small scale. It is even planning to open a cafe by the name Coorg Luwark Coffee soon. Currently, the coffee is being sold by the name Ainmane and has only one outlet at Club Mahindra Madikeri Resort.
The company claims to source the coffee poop from plantations near the forest, where civet cats usually appear to chew the flesh of the coffee cherries. CCC sells these beans at Rs.8,000 per kg in Coorg. For overseas customers, it is available at Rs.20,000-25,000 per kg.