Civet coffee or so called “Kopi Luwak” in Indonesian, is made from the feces of an animal called Asian palm civet, a mammal native to Southeast Asia that resembles a long-nosed cat.
However, the quality of coffee directly depends on the berries containing beans which a civet selects to eat.
Better beans serve a succulent cup of coffee.
Moreover, this is not the end of the process; the berries eaten by the civet are digested and the digestive mechanisms flavor up the beans.
The civet’s Protease enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. They are further passed into the intestines and then are excreted in the form of feces.
Earlier, the farmers used traditional ways to extract coffee beans from the feces, mainly by hand. But since these beans seemed of great value, intensive farming made its way into this business.
However, using battery cages in the name of intensive farming proved quite harsh to the animals. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets due to “horrific conditions” including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.
Apparently, Kopi Luwak is a kind of processing rather than a type of coffee. As stated earlier, it has been termed as the most expensive coffee in the world; it costs up to US$700 per kilogram, close to the €850/US$1,100 price of Black Ivory coffee. The price paid to collectors in the Philippines is closer to US$20 per kilogram.
The Kopi Luwak coffee is produced principally on the islands of Java, Sumatra, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also produced or collected in the farms on the islands of Philippines.