Kopi Luwak: world’s most expensive coffee
April 9, 2008
After hearing about Kopi Luwak from several different sources (NPR, Oprah, CSI – Las Vegas, Jack Nicholson in The Bucket List), I have to say, my interest was piqued. Dubbed the world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak sells for about $200 a pound, and is valued for its rich smooth flavor. Only about 500-1000 pounds of this Indonesian coffee are harvested annually, so what makes this coffee so rare?
Kopi Luwak is coffee made from coffee cherries eaten, digested and excreted from a civet, a cat-like animal indigenous to Indonesia. The enzymes in the civet’s digestive tract somehow transform the flavor of the coffee bean into something completely unique. The beans are then washed, lightly roasted and available to coffee lovers and connoisseurs willing to foot the $50 a cup price tag. The question on everyone’s mind is who was the first person to try this and was he related to the first person to try lobster?
I obtained a few tablespoons of Kopi Luwak through a friend who recently traveled to Indonesia and had my sister-in-law and mother-in-law over for a cup of coffee. I wasn’t quite sure how to prepare it, so I used my Moka pot. I measured 2 teaspoons for every 6 ounces of water, which turned out to be perfect.
The ground coffee had a strong but pleasant odor, nothing cat-like at all. We all decided to try it black at first to experience the authentic flavor of the coffee unmodified by cream or sugar even though we all like our coffee sweet and creamy.
The first thing I noticed was the smoothness of the coffee, devoid of bitterness or acidity. There were chocolaty undertones that mixed with a sweet earthiness. After a few blissful sips of the unadulterated brew, we broke out the sugar and cream. Heaven opened and angels wept. The addition of those elements transformed the coffee into an indescribable sweet smoothness that lingered on the tongue. Without a doubt, the best cup of coffee ever.
Oh. My. God.