Kopi luwak, widely known as “cat poop coffee” among tourists, has earned the title of most expensive coffee in the world. The price depends on which coffee shop in Bali you visit, but generally falls between $35 and $100 for a single cup. It’s become so popular that you can find a bag of kopi luwak coffee grounds at specialty stores right here in Pampa, TX. But first, read on to learn if the most expensive coffee is really worth the hype.
How to make kopi luwak
Though commonly referred to as cat poop coffee, the traditional Balinese brew is not in fact produced by cats. Farmers harvest digested coffee beans from the fecal matter of Asian palm civets, which vaguely resemble a cat and a raccoon. Don’t get too hung up on the fact that kopi luwak comes from poop—the coffee beans are thoroughly washed and, unlike traditional brewing methods, don’t contain mold or remnants of fruit pulp that taint the flavor.
Kopi luwak is considered the most expensive coffee in the world because harvesting the beans is a very tedious process. Civets eat coffee cherries of the highest quality and nothing less. Coffee farmers then have to allow the digestive system to run its course. And that’s only the beginning. The coffee beans are disinfected and funneled through the rest of the brewing process before they become kopi luwak.
Animal cruelty in the coffee industry
Unfortunately, civet coffee farms collectively make up the dark underbelly of the coffee industry. When kopi luwak was first invented, modest Balinese farmers harvested dung from wild civets. But now, production has expanded to neighboring countries and is mass produced with grim consequences.
Bali still has a few family-owned, ethically-sourced coffee farms. However, most farms hold civets in captivity where they suffer from mental and physical health problems. Civets are solitary creatures forced to live in cages next to one another, which creates high amounts of stress. They’re fed nothing but coffee cherries, and the lack of a balanced diet has often resulted in premature death. Next time you think about picking up a bag of kopi luwak in Pampa, TX, do some research on which farm it came from before you buy it.
Kopi luwak tastes like normal coffee
On top of it being the most expensive coffee in the world, Balinese coffee farmers claim that kopi luwak has the best taste. The enzymes in a civet’s digestive tract break down the proteins in coffee beans to produce a smoother texture than your typical cup of coffee. While this is true, some people have argued that the smoothness of kopi luwak is overrated and not worth the price tag. You can likely get a cup of joe that’s just as tasty at your local Pampa, TX coffee shop.
Between the animal cruelty and possibly overrated flavor, kopi luwak is best consumed solely for bragging rights. If you’re in the mood for a standard cup of bean juice, forget the cat poop coffee and grab one of the popular blends from Armstrong Coffee Service. We stash local businesses with hot beverages that have the delicious flavors you crave at an affordable price.