Though I cannot say I would drink another cup of kopi luwak, I was glad I at least tried it.
Kopi luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, selling at over $220 per pound. It all started in Indonesia then spread to other Southeast Asian countries. Coffee beans are fed to a weasel-like animal called a civet. Enzyme and chemical reaction inside these animals would break up proteins inside the coffee beans, more than tripling their taste and therefore value. So how do we get the said coffee beans out of the animal? We wait. Until the civets get rid of them through their droppings. Appetizing, isn’t it?
When I walked into the coffee shop, I saw what seemed to be a thick, brown paste holding coffee beans together in sticks of about one inch. What I realized later was that the “paste” was actually the civet’s feces. Second-guessing my decision to drink another species’ droppings, I sat down and stared at the cup of coffee in front of me. I was being started wait, the barista was waiting for me to make the first move. I picked up the delicate cup and had to admit that it was indeed more aromatic than the Starbucks latte. Deciding that I would probably never have another chance to do this again, I took a quick sip. It was earthy and unique. Setting aside the fact that the coffee beans came out of an animal, it was a pretty good cup of coffee.
Though I cannot say I would drink another cup of kopi luwak, I was glad I at least tried it. I felt I had settled into too much of a routine during the rest of the year. While it is comfortable, this is what summers are about. I encourage everyone to go out there and try new things. Yes, even if it involves drinking civet droppings.
Article written by Panarat Anamwathana.