Which is the most expensive coffee in the world? (Kopi Luwak)

Among all varieties of coffee, Kopi Luwak is considered to be the most delicious. It also holds the record of being the most expensive coffee in the world. Since its supply is limited, very few coffee lovers would get an opportunity to taste it. Even at an exorbitant rate of 1000 dollars per kilogram, Kopi Luwak is not easily available.

The main factor, besides taste, that makes Kopi Luwak the most expensive coffee in the world is the very uncommon method through which it is produced. Believe it or not, this coffee is produced by animal poop! Yes, you read it right. Asian palm civet is a cat-like mammal that is found in the wilds in Indonesia. This animal feeds on the coffee cherries, which are partially digested, and then pooped out. 

This cat-like animal is said to a cross between cats and raccoons and has distinctive face marks similar to that of a raccoon and a long tail like a monkey. The coffee cherries eaten by these civets are not fully digested. Their digestion performs the function of removing the fruit pulp, which in turn leaves the coffee beans undigested. These undigested coffee beans are what these civets poop out. 

The farmers in Indonesia then collect these defecated beans are hand them over for processing, wherein they are washed, dried, pounded for removing the outer skin, and then roasted. Experts claim that Kopi Luwak tastes the best if these undigested beans are collected within 24 hours of being defecated by the civets. 

This most sought-after coffee beans in the world were discovered by the Dutch when they were visiting the island of Bali. The Indonesian farmers considered civets as pests and did not let them near their crops before Kopi Luwak became one of the prime exports of Indonesia. 

However, it boggles the mind to think why Kopi Luwak would be considered so delectable and unmatched in taste. The reason, as stated by the experts, lies in the fact that the civets only go after the best coffee fruit. They are picky eaters and consume the best plants and beans. Secondly, the natural fermentation of the coffee beans by the digestive process of civets cannot match any synthetic human-made process. 

An opportunity to experience the taste and aroma of Kopi Luwak may certainly not be easily availed as its natural production throughout the world is hardly 250-500 kilograms as compared to 900 Mio tons kilograms per annum production of other types of regular coffee. This is one of the biggest reasons that present a problem with kopi luwak lovers. Numerous big players in the coffee industry resort to not so natural means of producing Kopi Luwak – catching civets from the wild, caging them, and force-feeding them with coffee cherries. Civets, by nature, handpick the best coffee cherries, which is why they produce the best-tasting coffee in the whole wide world. 

Moreover, the cost mentioned earlier is 1,000 US dollars per kilogram, out of which 125 cups of coffee can be prepared. However, a single cup of Kopi Luwak is available for 51 Australian dollars (35 American dollars) in Australia and 250 pounds (315 American dollars) at a coffee parlor in Peter Jones Departmental store in the UK (as of the year 2020, when this article is written).

More reading:

Kopi Luwak (Wikipedia)

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