Luwak Coffee has been one of the most expensive coffee beans in the world for some reasons. Its traditional and time-consuming production process, for example, is probably the longest coffee-making process on record. And then there are the wild civet cats, the external factor that plays a vital role in the whole Luwak Coffee process. Yet this complex process is what makes Luwak Coffee so special and sought after by coffee connoisseurs around the world.
As we all know, Luwak coffee beans come from animal droppings, namely a nocturnal, Indonesian cat-like mammal called civet, or what is locally known as Luwak. These civet cats used to eat coffee fruits and left undigested seeds in their excrement. Civet cats are believed to have the ability to choose the highest quality coffee cherries. The amazing thing is the digestion of civet cats cannot destroy the layer of coffee, only the pulp and the epidermis. The beans only pass through their intestines and ferment. The presence of digestive enzymes in the civet’s digestive tract leads to the breakdown of the protein inherent in the bean. These processes are believed to add to the overall flavor profile. Undigested seeds are then harvested by farmers who patiently hunt wild civet droppings. The next step in the Luwak coffee process is to cleanse the beans.
The cleaning process itself is extremely challenging. After collecting the beans from the civet dung, farmers wash the beans to remove the outer shell and then dry them in the sunlight. After drying, they repeat the washing process up to 5 – 7 times to avoid foodborne illness caused by fecal contamination.
Once cleansed, the next phase of the Luwak coffee process is roasting. In this case, roasting is also helpful for making sure no bacteria survive. The roasting process will be at a medium roast level ranging from 210° C to 220° C to maintain the distinct flavor of Luwak coffee. Because in general, the longer a coffee bean is roasted, the more its flavor will evolve. We don’t want this for Luwak coffee. Its authentic and distinctive taste is what people are looking for in this coffee and what makes it one of the most expensive coffee beans in the world. Therefore, it is important to choose the best roast level that can keep Luwak coffee’s unique flavor.
The roasted beans are then packaged in whole beans or coffee grounds for sale. However, be very careful when looking to buy Luwak coffee, because 80% Luwak coffee brands sold on the market today are fake. In fact, you might find it hard to buy authentic Luwak coffee that comes from wild civet cats. The Luwak coffee that is produced from the excrement of caged civet cats would have a rather poor taste and quality. These low-quality Luwak coffee farmers have also often overlooked health and safety in their Luwak coffee process. While slightly cheaper in price, paying hundreds of dollars for a low-quality Luwak coffee would still be something very insensitive and unpleasant that you want to avoid. It’s always best to find authentic Luwak coffee from a trusted coffee beans supplier.