‘Luwak’ is local Indonesian name for civets. Luwak eat mostly ripe fruit and seeds, but also small vertebrates and insects.
Luwak/civets are arboreal animals, living in trees and raising its young in tree cavities.
This indicate that they would require forested areas near the coffee farms where they forage. However, any bunch of trees will generally do, as these animals are quite adaptable to human activities and will live towns and villages.
Human hands don’t harvest the coffee luwak beans that make this rare brew. The beans are plucked by the sharp claws and fangs of wild civets, these catlike beasts with bug eyes and weaselly noses that love their coffee fresh.
Wild luwak have a wide range of habitat throughout Indonesia and South East Asia.
Luwaks move at night, creeping along the limbs of robusta and arabica trees, sniffing out sweet red coffee cherries and selecting only the tastiest.
After chewing off the fruity exterior, they swallow the hard innards.
In the luwak’s stomachs, enzymes in the gastric juices massage the beans, smoothing off the harsh edges that make coffee bitter and produce caffeine jitters.
Humans then separate the greenish-brown beans from the rest of the dung, and once a thin outer layer is removed, they are ready for roasting. The result is a delicacy with a markup so steep, unusual for a coffee genus.
So, the availability of original luwak beans are very limited; our own annual production only hovers around 1,000 pounds (about 500 kilos) exclusively.
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