Kopi Luwak: The most expensive coffee in the world made from cat excrement

One of the best and also most expensive coffees in the world can be found in cat excrements! You have to pay approximately 800 to 1200 Euro for this extraordinary and as a delicacy traded coffee! How is it produced and what justifies this high price though? What makes Kopi Luwak coffee so special in taste? Read in the following article about the world’s most expensive coffee and where you can get it!


Coffee and Asian culture

What does Kopi Luwak actually mean? „Kopi“ means coffee in Indonesian. „Luwak“ stands for the Asian palm civet which belongs to the family of the night-active cats. The Asian palm civet can be found in South and Southeast Asia or, more specifically, on the Indonesian islands Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Sulawesi. Hence, these are also the places where the Kopi Luwak coffee originally comes from.  

Nowadays, the Asian continent is one of the most important places when it comes to coffee production. Countries like India, Brazil, China, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Vietnam, and Indonesia are especially important for the coffee business. In the Asian culture, drinking coffee has become more and more common, especially in Indonesia and Vietnam.

coffee cherry

How is Kopi Luwak produced?

The coffee is made from the feces of the Asian palm civet. This sounds very strange at first but it gives the coffee its special aroma. The Indonesian coffee beans which are part of the Asian civet’s diet are half-digested by their stomach enzymes. During this process, the pulp is digested and the bean’s bitter substances are broken down. The half-digested coffee bean is then excreted as excrement. Subsequently, the excreted coffee beans are collected by workers, thoroughly cleaned, and dried in the sun for several weeks. Finally, the beans are roasted and processed into coffee. This makes the preparation process much more complex compared to conventional coffee. Due to this complex process, Kopi Luwak is considered the most expensive coffee in the world.

What do you need to look out for when buying?

Because of the tempting business with the excrement of the Asian palm civet, the animals are often caught, kept in extremely small cages in mass husbandries, and force-fed with coffee beans. This raises the moral question whether drinking of Kopi Luwak is actually ethically justifiable at all. If one would like to enjoy this extraordinary coffee nevertheless, one should pay close attention if the beans are derived from free-range Asian palm civets. If the brand of your choice produces Kopi Luwak coffee based on ethical standards, can be researched online. One such example would be the Kopi Luwak coffee made by Wild Gayo Luwak.

Otherwise one should make sure that the coffee actually contains original Kopi Luwak. Due to the enormously high price, there is a certain risk to buy fake coffee. Therefore, if the price is particularly low, you should make sure that it is not fake Kopi Luwak coffee. Normally, one kilo of a good quality Kopi Luwak costs between 800 and 1200 euros. However, you can also find some „cheaper“ Kopi Luwak which will still cost around 300 euros per kilo. If you do not want to commit to a whole kilogram at once, you can also buy a single cup in certain coffee houses. You should expect to pay up to 40 Euros for one cup of Kopi Luwak.

coffee roasting

In a nutshell

Kopi Luwak coffee is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Due to the exploitation of the Asian palm civet, one should make sure that the coffee comes from a production with sustainable and ethical values. For the sake of the animals, one should only buy Kopi Luwak coffee that originates from free-range Asian palm civets. Moreover, one should make sure that it is an original and not a fake product. Ultimately, if you fancy the flavor of the cat excrements and if it is worth the price, you will have to decide for yourself. Yet, the Kopi Luwak coffee remains a special, unique, and extraordinary delicacy for coffee-lovers.