What’s Hiding in the World’s Most Expensive Cup of Coffee?

By: | October 10th, 2013

A Luwak feeding on coffee berries (Image courtesy http://en.wikipedia.org/)

Did you know that the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world is absolute crap? No, seriously. It’s literally feces.

Kopi Luwak, also known as Civet Coffee, sells for as much as $50 a cup and is actually a Paradoxurus poop. Paradoxurus is an animal from the civet family that looks like a cross between a mongoose and a cat.

Kopi Luwak is originally from Sumatra, an Indonesian island where Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee and Luwak is a local name of Paradoxurus in Sumatra. To make this coffee, coffee beans are fed to civets, which are swallowed and excreted in an intact form by civets.  These beans are then cleaned, fermented, dried, roasted, grounded and brewed to produce the most exotic and expensive Kopi Luwak.

Although it sound foolish to have a coffee from the beans defecated by an animal, you will definitely change your mind after you take a sip. The magnificent effect on the beans is due to the stomach acids and enzymatic action involved in this unique fermentation process, which produces the beans for the world’s rarest coffee. This coffee is aromatic, sweet and exotic with a rich flavor and is probably the smoothest coffee known to mankind.

Kopi Luwak has no doubt won the hearts and wallets of global consumers, but it has also given way to severe farming methods. Animals are kept in horrific conditions including isolation, poor diet, small cages and are force fed the coffee beans.

If more people knew what’s really brewing in their cup of Kopi Luwak, they would probably be horrified. But right now there is a crazy demand for Kopi Luwak in America and Europe so drink up!

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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