Luwak is a small catlike animal (also known as Civet), which gorges after dark on the most ripe, the best of our coffee fruit. It digests the fruit and expels the beans, which luwak coffee farm people collect, wash, and roast, and make it to most expensive coffee beans. Something about the natural fermentation that occurs in the luwak’s stomach seems to make the difference. For the record, as suggested by few friends, we tried this most expensive coffee. BTW, it wasn’t expensive compared to Starbucks in HYD. We paid INR 250 for one cup of Luwak coffee, shared by 3 of us. Pics from our Luwak coffee Plantation tour are here. Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also widely gathered in the forest or produced in the farms in the islands of the Philippines
Kopi luwak or civet coffee, refers to the coffee that includes part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet. Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms, selection and digestion. Selection occurs if the civets choose to eat cherries. Digestive mechanisms may improve the flavor profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the cherries for the fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet’s protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids.
Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the most expensive coffees in the world with retail prices reaching €550 / US$700 per kilogram. The price of farmed kopi luwak in large Indonesian supermarkets is from US$100 per kilogram. (Source: Wiki)