For a long time, Kopi Luwak cof­fee was the most expen­sive vari­ety in the world, which is asso­ci­at­ed with a very dif­fi­cult way to extract it — through one nat­ur­al, nat­ur­al mech­a­nism, which will be dis­cussed lat­er. The name Kopi Luwak comes from the name of a small ani­mal of the viver­rid fam­i­ly — musang, which is called “luwak” in the local Indone­sian dialect. The word “save” is con­so­nant with our “cof­fee”, so it’s easy to guess that this is how it is trans­lat­ed.

Kopi Luwak

What do cof­fee beans and a small preda­to­ry ani­mal the size of a squir­rel have in com­mon? The answer is sim­ple to the point of banal­i­ty — cof­fee berries are a favorite del­i­ca­cy of musangs, and the pecu­liar­i­ties of their diges­tive sys­tem relieve the grains they eat from bit­ter­ness.


animalMusang at work

The next log­i­cal con­clu­sion will also hit the mark — yes, this is exact­ly how one of the most expen­sive cof­fee vari­eties in the world is cre­at­ed) Ani­mals are fed with deli­cious berries, and they “endow” the bread­win­ners with “improved” cof­fee beans, though in a slight­ly dirt­i­er form than orig­i­nal­ly.

coffee production

In these pho­tographs, you can fol­low the pro­duc­tion process of Kopi Luwak cof­fee — the col­lec­tion and selec­tion of berries, the feed­ing of ani­mals in spe­cial enclo­sures. The digest­ed cof­fee berries are sep­a­rat­ed from the excre­ment, washed, dried and light­ly roast­ed, after which they go on sale. Ini­tial­ly, due to the dif­fi­cult process of “pro­duc­tion”, it was pos­si­ble to extract no more than 100 kilo­grams of Kopi Luwak grains per year, but today this pop­u­lar type of cof­fee is already pro­duced on spe­cial fur farms on an indus­tri­al scale.

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Picking berries

The car­di­nal dif­fer­ence between cof­fee pro­duced in this way is that the musangs, in the wild, regal­ing them­selves on the most deli­cious cof­fee berries, painstak­ing­ly look­ing for them on the branch­es, in cap­tiv­i­ty feed on “any­thing”. Of course, all the berries fed to the ani­mals kept in the enclo­sures are also select­ed cof­fee cher­ries, hand-picked on the plan­ta­tions of East Java, but only in the nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment, the musangs are able to select the most deli­cious fruits — as a result, the cof­fee pro­duced on such a fur farm is infe­ri­or in taste qual­i­ties of grains extract­ed from the excre­ment of free-liv­ing ani­mals.

Selection of good coffee cherriesFeedingCollection flushingSifting grains before dryingKopi Luwak

coffee cherriesDinner

Speak­ing about the fact that today Kopi Luwak is one of the most expen­sive vari­eties of cof­fee, it is worth not­ing that he lost his palm quite recent­ly — in 2012, with the advent of even more expen­sive Black Ivory, pro­duced accord­ing to the same “sys­tem”, only by means of ele­phant diges­tive tract.

Black Ivory


Kopi Luwak