How much would you pay for a cup of joe? What if I told you that the world’s most expensive coffee comes from cat droppings.
Yes the cat poop coffee also known as civet coffee or kopi luwak is considered the ‘caviar of coffee’ and costs a whopping $600 a pound!
What is Kopi Luwak?
Kopi means coffee and Luwak means the civet cat. So kopi luwak simply translates to coffee from the civet cat. But most prefer the exotic name kopi luwak as opposed to cat poop coffee and you can see why!
Civet cat, a relative of the weasel that happens to look a bit like a cat, would eat ripe berries and excrete the seeds. The asian palm civet cats spend their nights in the coffee plantations eating the berries. They are known to be picky eaters and select only the ripest, sweetest and most perfect berries.
When the berries reach the digestive tract of the civets, fermentation occurs. The digestive enzymes improve the flavor profile of the beans.
Now it can’t digest the stones – or coffee beans of the cherries. So it poops the beans out along with the rest of its droppings.
Individuals looking to get in on the $100-600/lb. kopi luwak action comb the forest floors for bean-rich droppings. They are then cleaned, washed and then roasted to produce the kopi luwak brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste.
Being wild, hard to collect, variable in age and quality, and very rare, kopi luwak is not a commercially viable crop and that is what justifies its hefty price tag and makes it the most expensive coffee in the world.
Whoever thought of using cat poop for coffee?
How many of you ever thought of cleaning out your cat’s litter box and use that to brew your morning cup of java? Well turns out that back in the 18th century when Indonesia was occupied by the Dutch, they established coffee plantations in the islands of Java and Sumatra. They prohibited the local farmers from using the coffee beans for their own use. The local farmers wanted a taste of this coffee and they found an alternative for using these beans. Yes! That’s how the civet coffee (aka kopi luwak) was discovered. It became so popular that the dutch plantation owners wanted a taste of it too, and make it the most expensive coffee even during the 18th century.
What is all the hype surrounding civet coffee?
The kopi luwak rose to popularity after Oprah mentioned it in her show. Jack Nicholson also consumes it in his movie ‘Bucket List’ and it has since made it several people’s bucket list.
Is it on your bucket list? If so, are you ready to shell out $75 to try the most expensive, unique and highly coveted cat shit coffee ?