The Most Expensive Coffee in the World
What is the most expensive coffee in the world? The answer is Kopi Luwak (Indonesia) or Kopi Musang (Malaysia) or civet coffee. The coffee actually refers to the seeds of coffee berries once they have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). This coffee is well known throughout the world even in Hollywood. The movie ” The Bucket List ” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman end of 2007, Kopi Luwak is one of item in the list both of them must try.
The origin of kopi luwak is closely connected with the history of coffee production in Indonesia. It was started early 18th century the Dutch established the cash-crop coffee plantations in their colony in the Dutch East Indies islands of Java and Sumatra, including Arabica coffee introduced from Yemen. During the era of Cultuurstelsel (1830—1870), the Dutch prohibited the local farmers and plantation workers from picking coffee fruits for their own use.
The local farmer still wanted to have a taste of the famed coffee beverage and soon, the local people learned that certain species of civet consumed the coffee fruits, yet they left the coffee seeds undigested in their droppings. The local people then collected these coffee seed droppings, then cleaned, roasted and ground them to make their own coffee beverage. The fame of aromatic civet coffee spread from locals to Dutch plantation owners and soon became their favorite, yet because of its rarity and unusual process, the civet coffee was expensive even during the colonial era.
Early process of coffee production involved a biological process which through two mechanisms. First is selection, only Asian Palm Civet or Luwak Pandan is very good in choosing coffee berries containing better beans for their diet. The other mechanism is digestion, the civet eats the berries for the beans’ fleshy pulp, and then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. The civet’s Protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated with other fecal matter and collected.
According to Mr Azam the manager in Kopi Luwak Cikole, the outer layer containing feces and toxins then collected and cleaned by workers. In Kopi Luwak Cikole production area, civet droppings are washed with Islamic rules and this method has received recognition from the government of Indonesia. That is why Cikole Luwak Coffee now has received Halal certification for all of its coffee production.
He also added that traditionally wild civet’s feces were collected in the forest and this task was very difficult. In the modern days they are practicing an intensive farming that keep the civets in the cage and well care by the veterinarian. This is to prevent horrific conditions of civet including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.
According to the owner of Kopi Luwak Cikole, Drh. Sugeng Pujiono, All the civets are well care in all aspect. The coffee berry is not their main diet, daily it was feed with other fruits like bananas and only 500 gram of high quality coffee berry were given to them every 4 or 5 days. Currently this production house not intent to run for massive production because they want to give the civet special treat by paying attention to their animal welfare. These civets were thoroughly observed from their habitation, habits, diets, estrus cycle, matting behavior, to disease and its precautionary efforts. Other than that they also carried out research which including cell mechanism study in civets’s digestive system which can break down several chemical elements in coffee fruit so that it can produce a ‘special’ coffee bean.
Beside it have a good taste, Kopi Luwak also have its own health benefit such as
- Body Metabolism – it can stimulate adrenaline and vascular system that will make body feel more refresh.
- Preventing Nerve Disease – the antioxidants in coffee can prevent cell damage associated with Parkinson while caffeine will inhibit inflammation in brain associated with Alzheimer.
- Protecting Teeth – it has a capability as an antibacterial agent to prevent bacteria eroding tooth enamel and prevent risk of oral cancer.
- Lower breast cancer chance – it can produce phytoestrogen and flavonoid which can resist tumor growth.
- Preventing gallstones – it contains xanthine substances that may reduce mucus in the gallbladder to prevent the growth of tumors.
- Protecting skin – with low caffeine can stimulate to eradicate cancer cells and prevent growth of tumor.
- Preventing diabetes – chlorogenic acid in coffee can prevent the appearance of insulin resistance as source of diabetes.
- Safe for ulcer disease patient – low acid content in coffee safe for ulcer patient
- This coffee can overcome stress, reduce endometrial cancer risk and enhance skin beauty.
Our tour members really enjoy from this short trip, they have the opportunity to learn new thing from about Kopi Luwak. They are also have the chance to taste the Luwak coffee and unforgettable experience to hold the live civet. We would like to thank to Drh. Sugeng and Mr Azam for giving us educative information.
Kopi Luwak Cikole
Jl. Nyalindung no. 9, Kp. Babakan, Desa Cikole, Kec. Lembang
Bandung Barat – Indonesia 40391
Tel 022 8278063; 082116826449; 087825079571