Civet Coffee // Kopi Luwak
How Kopi Luwak is Made
The process of making Kopi Luwak (or Civet Coffee) is perhaps one of the strangest in the coffee world. Here, we take a look at the steps it takes from plant to cup for you to enjoy Kopi Luwak.
The Kopi Luwak Making Process
Indonesian farmers grow arabica coffee plants.
Consumption by Civets
Wild civet cats or captive civets are responsible for the next crucial step. These animals are known to have a preference for ripe and sweet coffee cherries. They eat the cherries, and the coffee beans inside them pass through the civet’s digestive system.
Fermentation in Civet’s Gut
During the digestion process, enzymes in the civet’s stomach ferment the coffee beans. This fermentation is believed to alter the beans’ chemical composition, leading to unique flavors and less bitterness in the final coffee.
Excretion of Coffee Beans
After digestion, the coffee beans are excreted by the civet in the form of feces. The beans are typically expelled intact, as the civet’s digestive system cannot fully digest them.
Collection and Cleaning
The excreted coffee beans are collected from the feces. This is a meticulous process that involves thoroughly cleaning the beans to remove any remaining fecal matter. The beans are then washed and dried.
Roasting and Brewing
The cleaned coffee beans are roasted to various degrees depending on the desired flavor profile. After roasting, they are ground and brewed like regular coffee. The resulting kopi luwak is known for its unique and often described as smoother and less bitter taste due to the fermentation process during digestion.
It’s worth noting that the production of kopi luwak has generated significant controversy due to ethical and animal welfare concerns, as well as the potential for fraudulent practices in the coffee industry.
Many civet coffee producers have transitioned to more ethical and sustainable methods that do not involve the use of captive civets. Consumers interested in trying kopi luwak should research and choose reputable sources that prioritize ethical and humane practices.