This is actualy true: The world’s most expensive coffee is a nightmare for the animals who produce it.
This coffee made headlines. It is one of the rarest and high-priced coffees native only to Indonesia.
Toddy Cat poop coffee
Kopi Luwak, or more appropriately “Toddy Cat poop coffee,” is from Indonesia and known all around the world because of the unique and natural way in which way the coffee is processed.The Palm Civet, also called the toddy cat, eats only the sweetest and freshest of the coffee cherries.
Through the digestion process, the coffee beans go through a slight fermentation and are deposited through the feline’s feces. When roasted, the beans garner a super sweet and complex tasting flavor of plum, tea, and rose.
Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee. Luwak is a local name of the Asian palm civet in Sumatra. Palm civets are primarily frugivorous, feeding on berries and pulpy fruits such as figs and palms. Civets also eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds.
Sumatra is the world’s largest regional producer of kopi luwak. Sumatran civet coffee beans are mostly an early arabica variety cultivated in the Indonesian archipelago since the 17th century. The major Sumatran kopi luwak production area is in Lampung, Bengkulu and Aceh especially the Gayo region, Takengon.
Tagalog kape alamid 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.
History of the world’s most expensive coffee
In the 19th century – when Indonesia was a Dutch colony– it was illegal to sell coffee beans to the local Indonesian population because all the coffee beans were exported to Europe.
Therefore, the locals collected the feces of wild palm civet cats because the coffee seeds inside of the droppings were left undigested.
Soon, the special flavor of this civet coffee, better known as kopi luwak coffee, became known to the Dutch farmers, who started drinking it themselves.
This was in part a lucky development for the civets. Before kopi luwak coffee became popular, civet cats were seen as a plague by the local farmers because they destroyed farmland and were usually shot on sight.
Today, they and more precisely their feces, are seen as a potential cash cow which is why shooting civets has become less popular. Still, their new reputation has some negative side effects.
For instance, capturing civets for coffee farming under cruel caged conditions is posing the greatest threat for them today.