Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Crappy Cup of Coffee

After Jogja, Martha and I headed to beautiful Bali for some chillaxing.  On the way to our hotel, our driver, Pak Made (same friendly fellow who shuttled me and the ladies around last year), asked us if we had tried kopi luwak yet... we hadn't, so we stopped at a local producer's shop for a taste.

For those of you who don't know, kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world.  It also comes from poop.  Cat poop.

OK, more specifically, kopi luwak comes from the feces of the Asian palm civet "cat" (it's not really a cat... probably more akin to a raccoon or possum, I think.)... the civets eat the ripest of the coffee berries and then poop out the coffee beans whole after their digestive systems do something to the beans that make them less acidic, ultimately producing a smoother cup of coffee.  Photo of a napping civet above.

Here's the coffee in its various processing stages:

Here is the hand-roasting method used on Bali for all coffee (civet poop or not):

And here's their grinding process... no fancy burr grinders here!  Just some serious elbow work:

And here's Martha taste-testing the kopi luwak... our host gleefully told us that he likes to refer to it as a "cat-poo-ccino."  Snort...  he told the joke with such joy, you would think he didn't tell it 75 a day:

We tasted a whole bunch of other teas and coffees produced at this farm, including mangosteen tea, ginger and coconut coffee, and jamu (traditional Indonesian herbal drink/remedy), among others:

One final shot of the crappy cup of coffee, with a cinnamon stick for the true Balinese preparation:


  1. This is a mystery to me: how does the civet fall asleep if it spends so much time eating coffee beans? I hope that you gave Made our regards.

    1. Ha, I know, right? I think it may be because they only eat the outside "berry" part of the coffee... the bean comes out whole. Maybe there is less or no caffeine in the berry part?


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