Kopi Luwak ( Luwak Coffee / Civet Coffee )
Excerpts taken from a special article in Cafe Olé Magazine
by Chris Rubin
Some coffee varieties have earned a special reputation, often based on a combination of rarity, unusual circumstances and particularly good flavor. These coffees, from Jamaican Blue Mountain to Kona to Tanzanian Peaberry, command a premium price.
But the rarity, unique flavors and interesting background of Kopi Luwak are unlikely to be matched by an other. Its price is unmatched as well: Kopi Luwak wholesales for about $110 per pound, unroasted.
Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee. Kopi Luwak comes from the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), which are part of the Indonesian Archipelago's 13,677 islands. (Only 6,000 of these islands are inhabited.)
But it's not strictly the exotic location that makes these beans worth their weight in silver. It's how they're "processed."
On these Indonesian islands, there's a small marsupial called the paradoxurus, a tree-dwelling animal that is a kind of civet. These catlike animals were long regarded as pests because they would climb in the coffee trees and eat only the ripest, reddest coffee cherries.
What these animals eat, they also digest and eventually excrete. Some brazen or desperate locals gathered the beans, which come through the digestion process fairly intact, still wrapped in layers of the coffee cherry mucilage. Apparently the enzymes in the stomach of the animal add something unique to the coffee's flavor through fermentation.
This "harvesting" practice has grown to the point that the beans are now available for sale, and they are now the world's priciest specialty coffee. Japan buys the bulk of Kopi Luwak, but M.P. Mountanos Inc., the first importer in the United States to bring in this rare bean, just imported 70 kilos after a seven-year search for a reliable and stable supplier.
``It's the rarest beverage in the world", according to M.P. Mountanos President Mark Mountanos.
Richard Karno, owner of The Novel Café in Santa Monica, California, got a flyer from Mountanos' about Kopi Luwak and "thought it was a joke." But Richard was intrigued, found it was for real, and ordered a pound for a tasting.
He sent out releases to the local press and invited them to a cupping. When no one responded, he roasted it and held a cupping for himself and his employees.
Richard is a very enthusiastic convert to Kopi Luwak. " It's the best coffee I've ever tasted. It's really good, heavy with
a caramel taste, heavy body. It smells musty and junglelike green, but it roasts up real nice. The Los Angeles Times didn't come to our cupping, but they ran a bit in their food section, which hit the AP wire service." Richard and the folks at M.P. Mountanos have been inundated with calls ever since.
Mark Mountanos calls Kopi Luwak "the most complex coffee I've ever tasted," attributing this complexity to the natural fermentation it undergoes in the paradoxurus' digestive system. The stomach acids and enzymes the beans ferment in have a very different affect than fermenting beans in water.
Mark says, "It has a little of everything pleasurable in all coffees: earthy, musty tone, the heaviest bodied I've ever tasted. It's almost syrupy, and the aroma is very unique." While it won't be turning up in every neighborhood café any day soon, Mark reports that Starbucks bought some for cuppings within the company.
In fact, most of Mountanos' customers have bought it for special cuppings.
Owner of The Coffee Critic, Linda Nederman carries Kopi Luwak in her Ukiah, California, store. Linda says that most of the people who try it are longtime customers of The Critic, and they're "game to try something different and unusual. I've never had anybody complain; they all seem to feel it's worth the price."
Linda also carries Jamaica Blue Mountain, Burundi Superior AA and Brazil FVA Natural Dry, so her customers are used to fine and exotic coffees. Still, she reports, many are afraid to try Kopi Luwak.
Intrigued by the hype, I drove out to the Los Angeles warehouse of M.P. Mountanos to cup some Kopi with company broker Andrew Vournas.
The green beans, which range in size from tiny to elephant, have a faint smell that hints of a zoo or stables. He lightly roasted about 21 grams, enough for three cups, in a jabez Burns two-barrel sample roaster, a rare and beautiful machine dating from the 1930s.
Andrew gave the beans a light roast* — just after the second popping — to accentuate the specific flavors of this rare coffee; a darker roast would obliterate the subtler flavors and replace this coffee, like most Indonesians, has lots of moisture and roasts nicely.
Andrew mixed 7 grams of the coarsely ground beans with 4 ounces of water in each of three cups.
The aroma was rich and strong, and the coffee was incredibly full bodied, almost syrupy. It was thick, with a hint of chocolate, and lingered on the tongue with a long, clean aftertaste.
It was definitely one of the best cups I've every had; but at these prices, I'll invest in precious metals before I start buying by the pound.
Coffee! highly caffeinated beverage ecstasy ranked second this world, one level below the white water in terms of consumption. No fewer than two million people every day drinker, coffee became the third largest primary commodity below, oil and gas.
Because of its popularity, it's no surprise that there are tens, even hundreds of new varieties found intentionally or not appear. Starting from the known to the Arabica coffee, Yamen Mocha, Java, Oxaca, etc.. All types of seed varieties, the race - a race to supply the coffee, meet the high demand from various countries around the world.
Brazil, known as the largest coffee producing country in the world. The country is supplying two thirds, or about 67.77% in terms of exporting coffee. Next is the country of Kenya. Country located in eastern Africa relies on coffee as its main commodity.
While Indonesia, according to FAO statistics, at number three, as a supplier of world coffee. Incidentally, there were three types of superior varieties of this country are very famous and desired by the kafeinisme world, the nickname given to people - people drink coffee fans.
Into three types of coffee are known as the coffee of Sumatra (Mandheling Lintong), Sulawesi, and Civet.
Sumatra coffee is of superior varieties from Indonesia. At planting in the uplands, making it a sharp aroma, strong and slightly acidic. Sumatra coffee is what is the type of material in the manufacture of goods or any Espresso Doppio (double espresso) that has a strong aroma of black, eliminating drowsiness.
As for the fans of Star Bucks. World famous coffee shops, which have no less 100 outlets spread across every country, certainly not foreign to the taste of coffee Sulawesi. Yup ..! Sulawesi coffee, better known abroad Village Coffee called by Star Buck is used as a raw material mix their drinks range. Starting from Latte Macchiato, Viennese roast, Hazelnut chereme, etc..
Because of high demand from Japan, Star Buck was even willing to spend them for the sake of patenting this Sulawesi coffee.
While the latter is Luwak Coffee.
Some of us may still feel unfamiliar with the name of this coffee, some may only know as the label coffee sold in supermarkets. Actually, such as whether this coffee? Perhaps, Luwak Coffee is the most peculiar types of coffee in Indonesia, even in the world.
Because the process of picking Luwak coffee beans is very different from coffee - another coffee.
Coffee is generally harvested first and then seeds harvested when ripe. Meanwhile, the plucking process Luwak coffee, in a way is a bit disgusting. Whereby when the beans are ripe, the farmers took off Civet (a type of civet or civet) to eat the seed - seed that fell. After that they are waiting for the Luwang remove dirt. Well! coffee beans that come out along with the dirt that's Civet taken for further processing.
Many people who doubted this crate for fermentation. However, researchers in Canada's research proves, that the protein content in the Luwak's stomach, making the beans ferment and mature more perfect. Thus, the resulting taste much better and solid than coffee - coffee the other.
There was once a researcher from the UK dating far - far down over the java just to prove the truth of myth Luwak coffee. However, up to one month old she went around Java, no one who can show the existence of such Luwak coffee. So he says that myth Luwak coffee is just a lie "it's a big Scam."
However, as the saying goes. Dogs barking khafilah passed, Luwak Coffee has entered into a list of the most enjoyable coffee and the most wanted. The price in the world market soared. 635 U.S. dollars must be spent to get one kg of coffee Luwak. In America alone, for Luwak coffee tasting, we had to spend 50 U.S. dollars, when in the rupiah exchange rate, prices range from approximately 400-500 thousand rupiah. ONLY FOR ONE CUP! is equivalent to the price of two ribs Toni Romas, who sepiringnya worth 200 thousand. Figures are fantastic just to sip a cup of coffee.
This phenomenal coffee had even become hot topic in America, and went on Oprah Winfrey Show. Events Realiti Americans who guided Oprah show was watched by no fewer than four million people every day.
It seemed, when talking about Luwak coffee, people are no longer talking about myth. Myth or not, Luwak coffee from Indonesia is already a go-international, and holds a degree as the most expensive coffee and weirdest in the world.
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