Interesting Facts About Civet Coffee
An interesting fact: one of the most expensive and most refined types of coffee is produced in the Philippines. What’s more, the process of how this coffee is made is rather shocking.
That is the name of the socalled civet coffee derived from Indonesian: kopi means coffee, while luwak is a word for civets.
What makes civet coffee so special?
Let’s get right to the point: this type of coffee is made from civet excrements, namely from Asian palm civet’s. These animals can be found in Asia, Africa, or even southern Europe.
Although civets are carnivores, they also like to treat themselves with sweet coffee beans. The civet eats the bean, and it then goes through its digestive system almost untouched. Upon reaching the stomach, it is subjected to fermentation, and it is indeed fermentation that gives the final product the unique taste so appreciated by experts around the world.
An invaluable secret
No wonder the people of Philippines are so wary about sharing this truth with the world. Some even say this is the best-kept secret of the Philippines, which is probably due to the unbelievable price of the civet coffee, which we are going to talk about below.
What does it taste like?
Due to the fact that the coffee beans are processed within the civet’s body, after being roasted the beans are more oily and have a more refined and stronger taste: that is very surprising for something that has just gone through a digestive system of a small carnivore.
Some say civet coffee tastes like dark chocolate, others claim it tastes like caramel without coffee’s typical bitterness. Some even claim it reminds them of plums: one can conclude we will have to try it ourselves to find out the truth.
How is it collected?
To be a collector is not an easy job, as civet excrements are mostly to be found in dense mountain bushes, which is the natural environment for civets. Finding such a „treasure“ is, however, no coincidence: an experienced collector can track his or her civet down. The collected excrements are then washed in mountain streams, after which they are dried and roasted: just as your usual morning coffee.
How much does it cost?
Civet coffee Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive types of coffee in the world. One of the reasons is its exclusivity: Philippines’ annual production of this type of coffee is only half a ton! If you want to purchase civet coffee yourself, you can do so too right in your country!
The prices vary, however rest assured you simply won’t be able to get a kilogram of Kopi Luwak for less than 320 GBP. However, it is said this type of coffee is so tasty and unique that investing in it is a nobrainer.
Mass farms civet abuse
Humans are naturally inclined to profit and due to the large profits to be reaped from civet farms, these animals have been forced to live in horrific conditions to play their part in a business model. They only get to eat coffee and don’t too much more than digest coffee beans. That is why you should make sure that your civet coffee is certified by some trustworthy authority. Certification than should means the civets are not mistreated or abused, the coffee is not mixed with cheaper types, and that the beans are handpicked by local farmers.
Preparing civet coffee
In order to prepare a good cup of civet coffee, french press, moka pot or even the alternative Vacuum pot can be used. Civet coffee can even be prepared using a filter paper like an ordinary filtered coffee. Generally, it is enough to follow these simple guidelines (almost identical to your ordinary coffee):
- Buy a high quality, certified coffee.
- Do not store civet coffee in the fridge (before or after grinding it).
- Beans are to be ground according to the method you have chosen to follow during the entire preparation (bigger beans for french press, fine for moka pot, and the finest for an espresso)
- Right water temperature (an ideal temperature is 95° C). This point is crucial when preparing a good cup of civet coffee.
- Right watercoffee ratio – it is recommended you apply the standard ratio of 9 grams to approximately 170 mililitres of water.
Civet coffee is not something everyone would get, however, the people of Philippines are counting on coffee gourmets to reach deeper into their pockets to taste a truly extraordinary type of coffee. What about you? Would you take a sip of civet coffee?