Removed from the faeces of civets, Kopi Luwak is apparently the world’s most expensive coffee. Commonly produced in Indonesia, it has become a highly exclusive product in the last 20 years. Made from civets eating juicy coffee berries; once in their digestive tract fermentation occurs, before being defecated. Yummy. Retail prices for these beans range from $700 per kilogram.
This coffee was first originally discovered by Indonesian farmers in the early 1700s when they were working on Dutch coffee plantations. Since the Indonesians natives weren’t allowed to pick the coffee berries for themselves, they decided to acquire coffee beans in a different way- by picking them out of cat droppings. They would then take those coffee beans, roast them, and brew them. As the civet coffee became more popular with the natives, the Dutch started to catch on. As a result, the coffee became very in-demand. This, however, became an issue since the demand was high, but the quantity of civet coffee beans were low (very time consuming and unnatural process). As a result, this coffee became very expensive.
Few objective assessments of taste are available. Kopi luwak is a name for any beans collected from the excrement of civets, hence the taste may vary with the type and origin of beans ingested, processing subsequent to collection, roasting, ageing and brewing. The ability of the civet to select its berries, and other aspects of the civet’s diet and health (e.g. stress levels) may also influence the processing and hence taste.