These coffees, from Jamaican Blue Mountain to Kona to Tanzanian Peaberry, command a premium price.
But the rarity, unique flavors and interesting background of Indonesian Kopi Luwak are unlikely to be matched by an other.
Its price is unmatched as well: Kopi Luwak wholesales for about $300 per pound, unroasted.
‘Kopi’ is the Indonesian word for ‘coffee’. Kopi Luwak comes from the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), which are part of the Indonesian Archipelago’s 13,000+ islands.
But it’s not strictly the exotic location that makes these beans worth their weight in silver. It’s how the kopi luwak Indonesia are ‘processed.’
On these Indonesian islands, there’s a small marsupial called the Asian Palm Civet (paradoxurus), a tree-dwelling animal that is a family of civet.
These catlike animals were long regarded as pests because they would climb in the coffee trees and, instinctively, eat only the ripest, reddest coffee cherries.
What these animals eat, they also digest and eventually excrete.
Some brazen or desperate locals gathered the beans, which come through the digestion process fairly intact, still wrapped in layers of the coffee cherry mucilage.
Apparently the enzymes in the stomach of the animal add something unique to the coffee’s flavor through fermentation which makes the coffee itself one of the most rarest in the world.