Monday, May 10, 2010

Luwak Coffee(貓屎咖啡)

Do you know what is the most expensive coffee in the world?, it is the shit of civet cat. It is an Indonesian coffee, the coffee produced from the shit of civet cat. The civet cat will eat the ripe coffee berries, after going through its digestive system,the ultimate end product are the feces discharged from the cat, which contained the coffee seed, which when brew into coffee, will be called "Luwak coffee, or Kopi Luwak". The most expensive coffee in the world, and considered the best in the world, it is from Indonesia, Luwak Coffee. It is not shit matter(or nonsense), it is the true is real shit coffee.

By the way, 1-4-2010 or April Fool Day is over, it is not April Fool joke, but a real story of the shit, shit coffee.....and the best, environmental friendly coffee, animal right champion coffee(if the coffee seeds are collected from the wild).... the aroma from the cat shit is with the best coffee aroma. Sound odd? It is not shit all the way, it is coffee all the way....and it is Luwak Coffee.

This is what wikipedia said:

"Kopi luwak , or civet coffee, is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet or Paradoxurus hermaphroditus(麝香貓) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, having kept their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world".

The aroma of the Luwak Coffee depended on what types of the coffee berries the Asian Palm Civet have eaten; it may be specific type, or blends of arabica, robusta, liberica, excelsa or other beans which was cultivated and eaten by the Civet Cat. So the aroma vary.

If you want to drink the most expensive coffee in the world, remember to ask for " Kopi Luwak or Civet Cat's Coffee(麝香貓咖啡), or Animal Coffee". Coffee critic Chris Rubin has said, "The aroma is rich and strong, and the coffee is incredibly full bodied, almost syrupy. It’s thick with a hint of chocolate, and lingers on the tongue with a long, clean aftertaste."

It is US$300 per pound.....US$50 per cup....

What is so special about Luwak Coffee?

When a Kopi Luwak coffee bean, the world’s most expensive coffee, comes out the other end of a large cat after it’s been eaten by the animal – called a civet or Luwak – the micro-structural properties of the beans are altered, according to new research by a University of Guelph scientist published in Food Research International. They’re harder, more brittle and darker in colour than the same type of bean that hasn’t been eaten and digested by the Civet Cat. The changes in the beans show that during transit through the civet’s GI track, various digestive biochemicals are actually penetrating the outer coffee cherry and reaching the actual bean surface, where a chemical colour change takes place. During the night, the civet uses its eyesight and smell to seek out and eat only the ripest coffee cherries,” he said. “The coffee cherry fruit is completely digested by the Luwak, but the beans are excreted in their feces(Massimo Marcone, 2004)

Research by food scientist Massimo Marcone at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada showed that the civet's endogenous digestive secretions seep into the beans. These secretions carry proteolytic enzymes which break down the beans' proteins, yielding shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Since the flavor of coffee owes much to its proteins, there is a hypothesis that this shift in the numbers and kinds of proteins in beans after being swallowed by civets brings forth their unique flavor. The proteins are also involved in non-enzymatic Maillard browning reactions brought about later by roasting. Moreover, whilst inside a civet the beans begin to germinate by malting which also lowers their bitterness (source: wikipedia)

The internal fermentation by digestive enzymes adds a unique flavour to the beans, which Marcone said has been described as “earthy, musty, syrupy, smooth and rich with jungle and chocolate undertones.”

“The civet beans are lower in total protein, indicating that during digestion, proteins are being broken down and are also leached out of the bean,” said Marcone. “Since proteins are what make coffee bitter during the roasting process, the lower levels of proteins decrease the bitterness of Kopi Luwak coffee.”

“When coffee cherries are processed through the digestive track, they actually undergo a type of wet processing due to acidification in the stomach and fermentation due to the natural intestinal microflora. Lactic acid bacteria are preferred in wet processing systems. Lactic acid bacteria happen to be major colonizing bacteria in the civet’s digestive track.” The unique Kopi Luwak flavour could be due to the type of wet process the beans undergo in the animal’s digestive tracks

Marcone found that although civet coffee beans are significantly more contaminated than regular beans, the civet beans on the market are actually quite clean. “Civet beans are typically extensively washed under running water after collection, which dislodges bacteria


The video upload from youtube will give you some information on the coffee;

Types and distribution of Luwak Coffee

The Indonesian called it Kopi Luwak, in Indonesian language or even Malay language; the kopi is coffee, and Luwak is the name of Asian palm civet in Sumatra. Kopi luwak is produced on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, in the Philippines (where the product is called motit coffee in the Cordillera and kape alamid in Tagalog areas) and also in East Timor (where it is called kafé-laku). Sumatra is the world's largest regional producer of kopi lowak. Sumatran civet coffee beans are mostly an early arabica variety cultivated in the Indonesian archipelago since the seventeenth century. Tagalog cafe alamid (or alamid cafe) comes from civets fed on a mixture of coffee beans and is sold in the Batangas region along with gift shops near airports in the Philippines.

Is it a process or specific coffee type?

To Vietnamese and other supporters, Luwak Coffee is a process and not type of coffee. It is the natural process that make the coffee and it is not specific type of coffee. The natural process can be stimulated by artificial process. The main characteristics of the coffee are: exceptionally pleasing initial aroma, generally lighter roast (due to the low bitterness and the enzyme structural action, heavy roasting is not needed to bring out more flavor), smooth, buttery mouthfeel, a hint of chocolate overtones, and a haunting persistance not just on the pallet but on the memory. People say they can "recall the wonderful taste" for as long as a 2-3 hours after having a cup. These characteristics are generally present in all Kopi Luwak, even though the taste experience will be different due to the choice of beans and roast level, etc.

The process can be stimulated by isolated duplicate enzymes, the Luwak coffee can be produced.

The Simulated Civet Coffee or Synthetic Civet Coffee

Civet coffee is also a popular coffeehouse drink in Vietnam, where producers make simulated civet coffee. In 1996 German scientists hired by Trung Nguyen Coffee Company in Viet Nam isolated six digestive enzymes in the civet's digestive tract and a patented synthetic soak with these enzymes was developed to simulate the natural effect. Trung Nguyen's simulated product is called Legendee and is often the first kopi luwak-like coffee tasted by tourists in Southeast Asia(source: wikipedia). It is reported to be the only process using duplicate a natural enzyme soak process that would approximate the same effect.

For information, Vietnam is the world's second largest producer of coffee (second to Brazil).

Imitated Civet Coffee

But beware of the imitation, some kopi luwak simulations are not enzyme soaks but rather, roasts of high quality beans with added flavorings. So please insist on the natural Civet Coffee from the wild(may be more expensive now), or at least the genuine original Civet Coffee which is the defecation from Asian Palm Civet.

If you cannot bear the original smell or aroma of the coffee; then do not drink the coffee raw from the animal. The locals of Indonesia used to make Luwak Coffee, directly boiled, and drink it together. The blog however will provide you with different ways to brew it in a modern way as the blogger, who was the owner of a cafe, has personally tried it and found a way to retain the aroma of the coffee to suit the modern man. For more information on the coffee and its process from civet cat, please visit the website.

Note the blogger's cafe(not me)in Penang is Coffee Lane(咖啡坊), 10-B, King Street, Penang, Malaysia(Tel: 04-261 0625). If you happen to be in Penang, and wish to try the most expensive coffee in the world, and best coffee in the world, the Luwak Coffee, do visit the Coffee Lane Cafe and try it yourself..... A place where Coffee is Freshly Ground, Freshly Brewed and Freshly Served,even for Luwak Coffee.

Kopi-o, Nescaffee, Coffee bean, all types of coffee, and now......

Shit.......Luwak Coffee.....

References and related articles:

1. New research explains structure, taste of Kopi Luwak coffee(2004), by Massimo Marcone, Department of Food Science,University of Guelph, Canada.
2. Legendee: The Legend of the Weasel,
3. Common Palm Civet,
4. Kopi Luwak,
5. Coffee Lane,


  1. 这个我台湾朋友曾经带过来给我喝过,可能我不是专家,没什么两样