The world’s most expensive coffee is called Kopi Luwak. More commonly known as civet coffee it originates from the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. Retail prices of this unique coffee can reach a staggering $600 per lb or $50 per cup. So, what makes it so special? Well, civet coffee is extracted from the excrement of the Paradoxurus, or the Asian Palm Civet, native to Indonesia.
Kopi is Indonesian for coffee, and Luwak Indonesian for Civet, the weasel like creature that produces this “superior” blend of coffee.
It resembles a cross between a cat and a mongoose. The civet supposedly eats the coffee cherry then partly digests it’s soft outer layer. However, the inner beans are not digested and pass directly through the animal’s system. Producers argue that the process improves the coffee in two ways; by selection and digestion. Firstly, the civet will naturally select the juiciest coffee cherries containing better quality beans with the digestive process enhancing the flavour.
Allowing the coffee cherries to be eaten, partly digested and excreted supposedly removes the bitterness and lends the coffee beans a superior smoothness in flavour…..In fact, it is dubbed the smoothest coffee known to mankind with some describing the taste as dark, smooth, rich and smokey.
Finally, not only is it extremely expensive but, it is also very rare (like Panda Poo Tea) with Kopi Luwak coffee production threatening the wild civet population in Asia. Thus, if the coffee connoisseurs amongst you fancy a cup, then expect to have to make an appointment in advance, in one of the very few establishments that sell this exotic blend.
I don’t know about you but, I think I’ll stick to my regular cup of coffee.