Food Adventure #3 Kopi Luwak

Have you ever seen the movie The Bucket List? It’s a wonderful movie about two guys who set off to check things off on the proverbial ‘list of things to do before I kick the bucket’, or what they call ‘the bucket list.’ Jack Nicholson plays this character, who is a major coffee connoisseur, and on his list is to try this very rare, very special, VERY expensive coffee called Kopi Luwak. In the course of the movie you discover why it is so rare and so expensive….
There is an animal called a Luwak (sort of looks like a cat) who eats only the ripest of coffee beans (the fruit). It is unable to digest the beat itself, and the locals collect the poop of this animal, remove the undigested coffee beans and then make coffee from it, hence Kopi (coffee in Indonesian) Luwak!!! Several funny scenes in the movie unfold and is the reason why most people remember hearing about this coffee.

Supposedly this story and ‘supply chain’ is legit, has been on the Oprah show (for what it’s worth) and is quoted to cost $50 to $100USD a cup in the states! Supposedly titled to be the most expensive coffee in the world and for those coffee lovers of the world swear that it really is superior coffee.

My personal thought process is that I’m pretty sure that anything that comes out as #2 is not suppose to be consumed again, but am intrigued on how someone ever decided to try this the first time….eww, I stepped in poo, oh those look like coffee beans, these beans still look good, let’s brew coffee from it and see! Not sure about you, but this is not part of my logical thought process.

So as you know I was in Jakarta Indonesia for a wedding this past weekend. I was at a shopping center, and I see this coffee shop called ‘Kopi Luwak’ and my friend (a local) asks me if I know about it. At first it didn’t ring a bell, but then I did remember learning about it from that movie. Well come to find out, Kopi Luwak is ‘made’ in Indonesia as that is the only habitat of the Luwak!!!

So we sit down for drinks, but no one orders the Kopi Luwak! You know me, I’m so curious by nature….and I’m just dying to have someone try this crazy drink so that I can ask what it tastes like. Curiosity get’s the better part of me and I ask how much a cup of it costs (as it is not printed in the menu). I’m expecting more than what I’m willing to pay, but the waitress informs me that it’s roughly $7USD for a cup….Sign me up, I want to try this stuff, even knowing the supply chain from which it came from. 7 bucks even if it is gross and all I can muster is a sip is worth it just for the story to tell of this once in a lifetime experience! Game on! Bring on the poop-bean coffee.

It comes in a fancy silk bag with instructions on how to brew, a picture of the luwak and description the ‘supply chain’ process, and a single serving of coffee grounds vacuum sealed, all as a keepsake of the experience. They brew it right in front of you in from the single serving in the silk bag in this very elaborate process in a very elaborate cup. I’m told to wait 2 minutes for it to steep….the longest 2 minutes of my life!

I’m the person who drinks office coffee willingly and uncomplaining; as long as it is fresh and not burnt, I’ll pretty much drink it. I realize there are many who disagree with me, but that’s how it is for me. I add a bit of sugar and lots of milk, not because of the taste, but because it is the easiest way for me to drink milk (and calcium) daily. I usually never drink it black, unless it is a caffeine emergency or we are at Charles’ Uncle and Aunts house where they torture me with hot cross buns and black espresso after dinner. Coffee delicacies are sort of lost on me as I honestly think it all tastes the same, unless it is some crazy Christmas blend with lots of cinnamon and nutmeg chunks or something. Coffee is Coffee, and if you put me up to the test of instant coffee vs. McDonald’s coffee vs. home brewed in the world, I’m honestly not sure if I could tell you the difference; I could probably tell there was a difference but couldn’t tell you which one was from which category….. Yes, and I’m the person about to try what is considered to be the most expensive cup of coffee in the world.

Charles informs me that I have to drink it black…I agree. If you are going to go big, go all the way.

The aroma, a little sweet, but smelled just like coffee. The coffee itself, with my non coffee connoisseur taste buds, tastes like… I’d say a little less bitter than normal black coffee but that is hard to say because I normally don’t drink coffee black. Even Charles who doesn’t like coffee said that it was less bitter. Overall I’m not sure it if is worth all the hype it gets, but it was nice and I’d drink it again. But now I can say that I’ve had Kopi Luwak, the most expensive coffee in the world, brewed from the beans from the feces of a Luwak, and have lived to tell the tale. I did force Charles to drink some too though, A)so he could tell the tale too B) he couldn’t crack poop jokes about me since he had consumed it too and C) he’d still kiss me! Overall, I’m very glad to have checked this one off the list, and would do it again. Would I pay $100 for it, Nope, but I sure as hell would pay $7 again for it.

I thought all of this was so interesting and so unique that I decided to buy 6 single servings of it to bring home…figured it make for a good dinner party conversation. If you buy 6, you get the fancy cup thrown in for free. Awesome, now I can make you wait the endless 2 minutes to brew too!

Categories: food, indonesia, Kopi Luwak | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Food Adventure #3 Kopi Luwak

  1. Anonymous

    How specific do I have to be? I'll guess Cambodia and if I need to be more specific, Angkor Wat. I hope I spelled that correctly!

    Miss you!


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