Would you drink coffee made from poop? Yes, I said it ladies, poop. The world’s most expensive and exclusive coffee in the world is made from just that, poop. On my trip to Bali, Indonesia, I ventured to the legendary Luwak Coffee Plantation. Here I participated in a step-by-step tour of how this specialty coffee is produced and then enjoyed a coffee tasting overlooking lush jungle terrain. A bit skeptical at first, I was blown away by learning about the intense craft and precise art of poop that is required in the curation of the world’s must delicious coffee.
The Making of Luwak Coffee
Kopi luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. The main factor of it’s high price is the uncommon method of producing such a coffee. This coffee is produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or also civet cat. This is the reason kopi luwak is often called “cat poop” coffee.
Coffee beans are actually seeds found in the pit of cherry-sized fruits on the coffee plant. Removing these seeds in the preparation of coffee can be done through fermentation. Over the years humans have devised several ways to synthesize that process of fermentation. But fermentation also happens naturally in the wild through an animal’s digestive tract. Here at the Coffee Plantation, the civet cat eats the ripest berries of a coffee plant and through the process of digestion, the seed is separated from the fruit and is fermented. After about 24 hours, the cat will poop the seeds out naturally and voila… the magic in the coffee making process begins.
Following the collection of the cat’s waste, the beans are carefully washed, dried, pounded and finally, roasted over an open-fire. Some coffee connoisseurs say that the natural process of fermentation leaves the final cup of coffee tasting much smoother and less acidic than any other coffee. I wanted to try for myself, so I eagerly requested to participate in a tasting.
From Cats to the Coffee Tasting
The tour provided a step-by-step overview of the coffee making process and even allowed for the opportunity to visit with the famous “coffee cats“. They were a bit scary looking – a mix between a possum, cat and rat. But despite their strange appearance, I was impressed with how much these animals cuddled with one another – I caught one pair of cats aggressively spooning and assumed they must be husband and wife, or perhaps friends with benefits?
At the end of the tour we were guided to a beautiful table overlooking a picturesque backdrop of green tiered rice terraces and palm trees. It was absolutely beautiful. The friendly Balinese staff provided us with a generous sampling of specialty teas and coffees, including the famous Luwak coffee. I first tried the lemon grass tea and was amazed with the zesty, fresh flavor and hints of ginger. As a chocolate lover, the mocha coffee was as sweet and rich as can be.
But the Luwak coffee, the world renown poop coffee, was the smoothest cup of coffee I have ever tasted in my life. With a subtle taste of caffeine, the coffee had a very unique and relaxing aroma to it. Perhaps it was the poop effect? Regardless, I left impressed with the Luwak coffee. I now know why this cup of specialty coffee costs $50 a cup in New York City! For more information on my insider experience tasting Luwak coffee in Bali, see below for personal photographs. Be sure to put this hotspot and tour on your list when in Bali, Indonesia. You just can’t experience Bali without a taste of poop, oops I meant Luwak.