1. WHAT IS KOPI LUWAK? (N.B: THERE IS A HARD COPY OF THIS "WHAT IS KOPI LUWAK? - PAMPHLET", EXPLAINING IN DEPTH, WHAT KOPI LUWAK IS, WHERE IT ORIGINATED FROM, HOW IT IS MADE AND OTHER FACTS ABOUT IT ETC. IT IS OBTAINABLE FROM MR DEAN FALLON OWNER/MANAGER OF DAF'S COFFEE CONNOISSEURS - IF YOU WANT A COPY - JUST CONTACT DEAN AND ASK FOR ONE TO BE POSTED OR EMAILED OUT TO YOU!?...
i) What is Kopi Luwak and how is it made?
The words "Kopi Luwak" Originated in Bali! “Kopi" the Balinese word for ‘Coffee’ and “Luwak” Indonesian for ‘Cat’ - (really referring to the "INDONESIAN PALM CIVET” - that is NOT REALLY a CAT; - RATHER IT IS A RELATIVELY SMALL MAMMAL!! Kopi Luwak is made by the Palm Civets eating coffee “cherries” (coffee beans which are still growing on the coffee plant/tree with their outer layers of; 'Pulpy-Flesh' and 'Skins' still growing on/over them) whole and the Palm Civets then digest, dissolve and break down the coffee cherries outer pulp and skin layers off the coffee beans then the Palm Civets process the beans inside their stomachs and intestines and the inner coffee beans begin to become partially ‘Fermented’ and 'Broken Down' by the Civet’s ‘Pro-tease Enzymes’ (Proteolytic Enzymes), that seep into the beans, making shorter ‘Pep-tides’ and more free ‘Amino Acids’. This digestive/fermenting process to the coffee cherries/beans by the Indonesian Palm Civet after eating the cherries/beans also creates a FAR SWEETER, BOLDER, DARKER, THICKER, SWEETER AROMATIC, BETTER CREMA, DEEPER TASTE AND ALL ROUND FAR BETTER COFFEE BREW, ALSO WITH A FAR LOWER BACTERIAL COUNT FOR THE KOPI LUWAK COMPARED TO NORMAL COFFEE! THIS IN OTHER WORDS MEANS: IT IS EASIER TO BECOME SICK FROM NORMAL COFFEE RATHER THAN KOPI LUWAK - in-fact Kopi Luwak is scientifically proven the most beneficial and healthiest coffee drinks/brews out of ALL WORLD VARIETY/STRAINS OF COFFEE!!
Coffee 'cherries' - coffee beans still growing on the original coffee plant (left). Indonesian Palm Civet’s excreted feces, fresh, ready to be collected, washed - sun dried and roasted to make - KOPI LUWAK - BOTH PICTURES; (to the right).
Once the cherries have passed through the digestive tract (intestines) of the Indonesian Palm Civet and are partially fermented and digested, the coffee beans still whole, are then, excreted or defecated, with other ‘Fecal Matter’ by the Indonesian Palm Civet in their feces which is then collected by farm/plantation workers, that hike around the plantations, then the beans are cleaned/washed, sun dried, then roasted, packaged and sold as Kopi Luwak.
Kopi Luwak can be made from any variety or strain of coffee beans, Liberica, Excelsa, but most, in fact nearly all, Kopi Luwak is made from Arabica and Robusta coffee beans – the very best Kopi Luwak in the world is generally made from Arabica beans.
ii) What is a Civet (in particular a “Palm Civet”) & what role do they play in making Kopi Luwak?
“Kopi" Balinese for ‘Coffee’ and “Luwak” Indonesian for ‘Cat’ - (really referring to the "INDONESIAN PALM CIVET” - that is NOT REALLY a cat), - rather it's a relatively small Mammal - which, in Australia, we would probably agree, it looks like a cross between a “Brush Tail Possum”, a Large - Long/Pointy Nosed “Australian Pygmy Possum” and a type of “Domestic Cat”. Some people believe a Civet looks like a cross between a Domestic Cat and a Mongoose and I personally believe a Civet looks very similar to a ‘Larger – more pointy/longer nosed’ - Meerkat – JUST WITH a much cuter face, body, legs, paws and bushier tail.
Even though Indonesians refer to the Civet as a “Cat” (‘Luwak’ Indonesian for “Cat”), or the Philippine o's refer to the Civets as "Toddy Cats", Civets are not actually cats, they are mammals. A Civet is more closely related to a Hyena than a domestic cat in revolutionary terms and due to the difficulty in classifying the Civets true family origin, Evolutionary Biologists put the Civets into their own family, the; "Viverridae Family," which are still in the order of felines. The scientific name for the “Indonesian Palm Civet” is: "Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus".
A Civet grows to approximately 22 inches long, with a “Long Bushy Tail” the same size again (another 22 inches) meaning they are quite a large animal! The Civet can live over 22 human years upwards of approximately 30 to 32 human years old if healthy, UN-harmed and left to grow in the right living conditions! The Indonesian Palm Civet has non-retractable claws that allow it to climb and balance INCREDIBLY WELL through the trees and plantations they live on - the claws also allow very good hunting and defensive mechanisms, too!! Civets eat all types of fruits, small mammals and insects native to their country of origin, other animals eggs and of course, the best quality and sweetest coffee cherries they can possibly get to and find!!
Civets are “Nocturnal Mammals” and hunt and eat MAINLY AT NIGHT, then retreat and sleep through the day in their nests/homes or in some cases nesting boxes provided by the coffee plantation farmers that are deliberately supplying housing/nesting boxes Civets - to help and increase yields of the Kopi Luwak production!
I have a VERY INTERESTING FACT about the Palm Civet, this is: In the past, E.g. late 1800's to mid 1900's, a secretion from glands inside the Civets Bottom, Anus and Rectum areas, was collected by scraping and drawing out the secreting liquid from the glands and this secreted liquid/fluid - was PERFECT in making the "Base Chemical(s)" for a lot of the worlds "BEST 'EVER' IN HISTORY", Women's perfumes, cosmetics and fragrances! This continued to be implemented over this time period and was carried out as a common, mundane process for many BIG PERFUME/COSMETIC COMPANIES - creating beautiful fragrances and scents! It has only been in the very late 1900's that it became illegal to collect this liquid from "Civets Bottom Glands", due to the pain, harm and usually crewel and rough collecting processes by the people carrying out the operation on the Civets!
There are many species of Civets throughout the world, but the world’s most prestigious, number one (1st) award winning and most prized “Coffee Producing Civet” is the “Indonesian Palm Civet”, found in South and South East Asia, from India in the East to the Philippines In the West and South from China to Java with the majority of the "Indonesian Palm Civet" coffee made in Sumatra, Indonesia and Mount Matutum (the Island of Mindanao) in the Philippines.
The Civet’s eat the sweetest, ripest coffee cherries off the coffee plants, whole, and then inside their digestive tract, intestines and stomach, they begin to break down or digest the outer few layers of the cherries, for the pulp these layers produce, using their 'Proteolytic Enzymes' in their stomachs. It generally takes a day and a half to digest the cherries, before the beans are excreted.
Due to only digesting the outer layers of the cherries, Civets can excrete whole un-digested coffee beans with a couple of skin layers still on the bean, they then can be gathered, washed, sun dried and roasted to make Kopi Luwak.
iii) Which country did Kopi Luwak originate from and are there any other names for Civet coffees produced in other countries?
Kopi Luwak originated from Indonesia and also to a lesser extent the Philippines, as the name “Kopi Luwak” is only used for Indonesian Palm Civet coffee which is produced in Indonesia (and also the Philippines), Kopi Luwak IS NOT USED to name any other Civet coffees, E.g. from elsewhere in the world like Vietnam, India, Thailand or South-East China.
Nearly all of Indonesian Kopi Luwak is made on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi (Toraja Highland) in the Indonesian Archipelago.
There are quite a few other names for Civet coffee’s around the world, some are: “Coffee (Kape) Alamid”,“Kape Motit Coffee”, "Kape Melo Coffee" and "Kape Musang Coffee" in the Philippines, "Kafe-Laku Coffee" in East Timor and “Weasel Coffee” and “Ca Phe Chon” from Vietnam.
iv) Are the Civets used for the production of this Kopi Luwak free Range Civets or farmed? Hence, where are the coffee plantations which these Civets graze on coffee cherries and have their excreted beans collected to make Kopi Luwak?
All of the Kopi Luwak sold by the DAF's Coffee Connoisseurs business, as product pouches, is made from free range Civets, who are allowed to roam, play, climb, eat, nest, procreate and ‘all round’ LIVE ANYWHERE they like in the plantations/farm lands OWNED AND RUN by ‘The Indonesian and Philippine, Kopi Luwak Coffee Farmer’s/Wholesalers’, supplying - in Partnership, to/with us - DAF’s Coffee Connoisseurs - keeping our Kopi Luwak Orders and Stock Levels up and Continues!' On these plantations owned by DAF’s Coffee Connoisseurs Wholesaler/Exporter Farmers/Wholesalers - the workers hike around the coffee farms and plantations collecting the excreted Kopi Luwak beans – then begin preparing them for sale.
The Indonesian Kopi Luwak plantations are mostly on the islands of ‘Sumatra’, the ‘Gayo Highland Middle Ache’ and Lintongnihuta – nearby Danau Toba, Sumatra’, in Indonesia. The Philippine originated Kopi Luwak we currently sell; called “Typica” Arabica Kopi Luwak, comes from the ’Highlands of Mt. Matutum’, that is at VERY high altitude, with the perfect coffee growing sandy, mineral rich, loamy, well drained and fertile soils – in the Philippines!
I am very adamant in NOT EVER SELLING FARMED OR CAGED CIVET COFFEES, THROUGH MY BUSINESS, ONLY EVER FROM FREE RANGE CIVET COFFEE FARMERS/WHOLESALERS – I will NOT involve/associate my business with TOTALLY in-humane, un-healthy, harmful lifestyle, poor quality and un-safe cage farming of Civets - and quite frankly DAF's Coffee Connoisseurs believe caged farming of Civets should be illegal and not condoned in any way shape or form!!...
v) How did native people of Indonesia and The Philippines know to drink Kopi Luwak?
In the early 18th century the Dutch colonised the “Dutch East Indies” Islands of Java and Sumatra. Between 1830 to 1870 they introduced cash crops of ARABICA coffee plants to the islands, from Yemen, during the era of Cultuurstelsel. The Dutch prohibited the natives from drinking the cash crops produce and of course the natives wanted to try the produce they were forced to cultivate. So when they noticed that in a Luwak’s feces there were whole coffee beans left behind, they thought they would try washing, sun drying, roasting, grinding and then drinking the half-digested beans.
Pretty soon the natives had found that the Kopi Luwak was a far superior blend than normal coffee bean blends and as word spread throughout the native Indonesians and Philippines that Kopi Luwak was a far superior blend and brew than normal coffee, it wasn’t long until the Dutch began drinking the Kopi Luwak too, making Kopi Luwak the most expensive, sought after, tastiest, sweetest, potentially most irresistible and all round HIGHEST QUALITY AND MOST LUXURIOUS best coffee in the world, due to its rarity and detailed harvesting.
vi) Why drink Kopi Luwak instead of other, normal coffees? What does Kopi Luwak taste like?
Kopi Luwak’s un-beatable, most renowned and prestigious reputation as being the world’s greatest, finest, most naturally sweet tasting and smelling, most expensive and enticing and rarest coffee got its reputation and still to this day holds the reputation for a very good reason.
The reputation was gathered by the world’s best coffee critics and connoisseurs, taste testing the world’s best normal coffees and comparing them to what Civet coffee producers have cultivated around the Asian countries, determining which one is better. All of the critics came to the same conclusion: - “KOPI LUWAK” was the finest blend ever to have been cultivated – WORLD-WIDE!! This means if you want to drink the best blend of coffee you ever could, you must try Kopi Luwak.
The aroma is extraordinary! You find the Kopi Luwak has a much “deeper” taste, sweetness and coffee bean smell and a “light” coffee bean ‘aroma’, some people believe it has a slight cinnamon, caramel or chocolate aroma and taste to it and is more a slightly “darker” caramel colour than normal coffees. This isn’t hard to believe as Kopi Luwak is SO naturally sweet and can be roasted with certain additives to make tastes varied.
The “texture” of a Kopi Luwak brew on the tongue is a lot smoother, deeper density, BUT lighter viscosity, finer taste, sweeter and cleaner than normal coffee brews. The “density” of Kopi Luwak brews is far heavier, thicker; with a sweet, Arabica bean coffee taste and with milk and sugar the brew would be nearly double as dense as a normal coffee.
The taste of Kopi Luwak is far sweeter, with no “Burnt and Bitter” aroma and aftertaste, compared to the normal coffee blends. The roasted Arabica beans flavor STILL comes through strongly in the Kopi Luwak brew and even continues to leave a long aftertaste of the Arabica beans in your mouth for many seconds after swallowing. But it DOESN’T LEAVE any bitter aftertaste, only a very sweet aftertaste and no watery, sometimes potent “burnt” aroma, taste and dark, sometimes burnt, color that normal coffee has.
The color of Kopi Luwak is a caramel color and is darker, deeper, richer in color than normal coffee, and less “burnt” looking than normal coffees too. The color can vary depending on strength, strain of bean, roasting levels and additives used in brew.
You will find that if you have sugars in your normal cup of coffee, with Kopi Luwak you can get away with up to 2 teaspoons LESS or in other words Half (1/2) to Three quarters (3/4) less sugar than the normal coffee brews, due to the EXTREME naturally sweet complexity of Kopi Luwak.
vii) How expensive is Kopi Luwak generally; World-Wwide?
Kopi Luwak or Civet coffees, vary in price, country to country, worldwide. Generally a pound is between $300.00 US to $1,100.00 US for most cases, but some wholesalers/retailers, generally from Vietnam sell pounds for $1100.00 US up to $1700.00 US.
Most wholesalers worldwide sell in pounds and some, pounds alone, but retailers worldwide generally sell in smaller sized quantities, like 50 gram, 70 gram, 100 gram and 250 gram sizes!
The average prices for these sizes are:
50 gram = $57.00 US up to $100.00 US 70 gram = $77.00 US up to $123.00 US 100 gram = $90.00 US up to $160.00 US 250 gram = $215.00 US up to $290.00 US 1.0 pound = $300.00 US up to $1,100.00 US 1.0 Kilogram = $875.00 US up to $3,200.00 US
*** CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE ***IN INDONESIAN AND THE PHILIPPINES A SINGLE, STANDARD CUP OF THIS KOPI LUWAK COSTS UPWARDS OF BETWEEN = $20.00 US UP TO $80.00 US!! BUT ALSO: DAF'S COFFEE CONNOISSEURS CUPS ARE BETWEEN - TWO AND A HALF (2.5) TO FIVE (5) TIMES (X) THE SIZE AND STRENGTH OF THE STANDARD INDONESIAN AND PHILIPPINE CUPS!! *** CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE ***