Kopi Luwak – The World’s Most Expensive Coffee

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Coffee might is a basic necessity of urban life, but the Indonesian Kopi Luwak Coffe is not really something you can call basic. It is after all, one of the world’s most expensive and rarest type of coffee, which could cost you around 10, 000 Indian rupees for 100 grams. The reason for its sky high prices and rarity is because of the very interesting and controversial process of creating it.

Weird and Wonderful

Kopi Luwak might be the world’s most exclusive brew ever, but its making does have a kind of repulsive charm attached to it. Exclusive to Sumatra in Indonesia, these coffee beans are processed in the weirdest way which gives it a slang – cat poo coffee. 

Civet cats, which are raccoon like wild cats play a very important role in the production, final taste and aroma of this coffee. These cats feed on the sweetest and best coffee cherries from plantations, but are unable to process the beans which then come out along with the excreta. These beans are then collected, cleaned, roasted and processed to give you a coffee that costs around 10, 000 Indian rupees for 100 grams.

The process

This process of picking coffee beans might seem gross but it is what gives it its brilliant flavour, musky aroma and also takes away much of the acidity that coffee is associated with. The reason for the fabulous taste of this coffee is because the cats pick out the best coffee cherries. Also, when these beans pass through the digestive tract of the civets they blend with enzymes that add to its characteristic taste and smell. The painstaking and rare method results in very small quantities of final processed coffee - just about 500 kilograms a year; the rarity is what puts this coffee on the list of most expensive ingredients across the globe.

Get Cruelty Free Kopi

The impeccable taste and high prices of the Kopi Luwak coffee, comes with its share of cons. The popularity and profitability of producing these coffee beans resulted in industrialization of the process and poaching and caging of the wild civets. This cruel treatment of civets faced much flak from animal rights activists and coffee loyalists alike. Not just is the breeding horrible for the wild cats, it also alters the taste of the coffee because the cats are often fed only the coffee cherries.

So if you ever get a chance to have a cup of Kopi Luwak make sure it is guaranteed wild and cruelty free. Also beware of the fakes as there are plenty in the market. 

What’s the most expensive food you have  tried ?


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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.