I know about Kopi Luwak. I had heard about this coffee before, of course, but learned a little more about the actual process during a jungle trek here in Malaysia.
I like coffee but I am no connoisseur. You could give me a cup o’ Sanka and I would be totally fine with it. As long as there is cream and sugar.
Kopi Luwak is mostly produced on Bali, Sumatra and Java. I was in Bali this past weekend. Our driver for the day pulled into an area for a cup of coffee. Of course, I am thinking, “Sure, it sounds like a nice idea but the reality is I will have to find a restroom within an hour.”
But I am the easygoing sort. So I follow. It is a little place cut into the jungle with benches and awesome views of rice ledges.
There is a cage and I see a civet. That is the name of the cat that produces Kopi Luwak.
This nocturnal creature eats coffee berries, digests only the husk and excretes the coffee bean. And people spend thousands of dollars on the coffee made from said beans. You’ve heard of the goose that laid the golden egg. Similar story.
My first question. Who was the first person that came upon a pile of dung, spied a bean and thought it might be a good idea to have a little taste? And would they ever admit it? Maybe a Balinese frat boy joke?
Second question. Who was the marketing genius that came up with the idea to sell the coffee? And can the next Democrat running for president use him in a few years?
Third. Does it really taste that good?
I only have an answer to the third question. My personal opinion is that it doesn’t taste all that great. I’ve tried it. Again, I am no connoisseur but still don’t think it’s all that great.
I sort of have a problem with animals being captured, locked up in cages and being forced to eat loads of berries just so they can defecate and make someone tons of money. I also think there’s a lot of coffee being sold under the guise of Kopi Luwak when in fact they are just knock offs. C’mon, it’s Asia. The land of the knock offs. I am currently sporting a pair of Louis Vuitton sunglasses that I probably paid five dollars for in Chinatown.
And like how would you know the difference? I can just hear someone saying, “Nope, this is the real thing. It tastes like crap.”
I feel badly for the civet. He’s probably thinking, “Geez, all I did was go to the bathroom outside. It’s what I do. Where’s the crime in that? And can’t you all just go buy mink coats?” Maybe he continues this line of thinking with, “And who doesn’t have to go to the bathroom after a cup of coffee? Should we be punished for it?”
Hopefully, this trend will fade away and the civets will be free to eat their berries, repopulate and sleep all day. I suppose they have to sleep all day because of the coffee ingested at night. I just hope they will one day be able to sleep peacefully. Without fear of capture.
And no, we didn’t purchase any Kopi Luwak. Although I did buy some ginseng coffee. I can only pray that no ginseng was harmed, held captive, forced to defecate after eating berries or killed during the coffee-making process. I just wouldn’t be able to sleep.