Kopi Luwak Coffee

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Kopi luwak or civet coffee is a coffee that is made with partially digested coffee cherries, which have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Yup, you read right – its cat poo coffee!

The palm civet is a cat-like mammal with an extended muzzle similar to that of a mongoose, and can be found in Asia, Southern Europe and Africa . It cleverly selects the most ripe and flawless coffee cherries, and this careful selection influences the digestive process. The civets digest the flesh of the coffee cherries for their own nutritional benefit, but pass the pits or beans, where stomach enzymes begin to cause the beans to ferment, reducing their bitterness. Traditionally, the excreted coffee beans are collected directly in plantations and forests, then washed to remove the outer shell and dried in the  sun. They are then washed a second time to ensure all outer shells are removed, and dried again.  The beans are roasted at 220 degrees Celsius at which temperature no bacteria can survive.

Many believe that kopi luwak carries a more flavourful profile than coffee from the regular beans of cherries that have fallen to the ground. Sources have described the profile of Kopi Luwak to be ‘smooth, chocolatey and devoid of bitter aftertaste,” and “earthy, musty, syrupy, smooth, and rich with both jungle and chocolate undertones.”

Sounds delicious!


Kopi luwak production, as one can imagine, involves a great deal of labour, which directly affects the price of the coffee. A cup of kopi luwak coffee is the most expensive cup of coffee you’ll ever have.

The high price drives the search for a way to produce kopi luwak in large quantities.  This demand has led to civet farms, where the civets are caged, and fed a diet composed almost exclusively of such cherries, causing them to become severely malnourished. Growing numbers of intensive civet “farms” have been established and are operated in Southeast Asia, confining tens of thousands of animals to live in battery cages and be force-fed.

If you ever have the privilege of enjoying a cup of kopi luwak, make 100% sure that it comes from a reliable cruelty-free source, with the following certification.