Kopi Luwak (Cat Poop Coffee)

Did I get your attention? Or, perhaps, repulse you enough that you’re ready to click away?

You may want to hold off with that and even keep reading because today, we’re going to cover one of the world’s costliest luxury items that’s also one of the strangest things you’ll ever hear.

To gross you out even more (for lack of a better term,) we’re going to talk about a beverage in relation to cat poop. And I promise you that whatever you’re imagining, this one will be ten times worse – but also better.

It’s called “kopi luwak” and it’s one of the most expensive coffees across the entire globe.

This Indonesian delicacy has also spread worldwide, as you can find it at luxury coffee shops in London, Paris, New York, and Switzerland, among many others. I’ve never had it (and would have serious reservations about trying it for reasons other than just the price tag!), but it’s supposed to be so good it’s awe-inspiring and you won’t ever want another coffee.

So, what’s the big deal about kopi luwak?

This coffee comes from special Indonesian coffee beans from a flowering evergreen tree called Coffea that is native to parts of tropical Asia and Africa, and was imported to Latin American in the 17 th century.

But that’s only the start of it.

Grown wild in nature, these coffee beans then either fall to the jungle floor where they are eaten by a common creature, the civet cat.

Story over, right? Nope.

The Civet Cat eats the coffee beans, digests them, carries them around in their stomach for anywhere from 2 hours to 2 days, and then…expels them as waste.

The Civet Cat poops out the coffee beans.

It’s in the digestion process inside the Civet that the “magic” happens to eventually produce the best coffee in the world.

During the digestion, the pulp and cherries from the coffee beans are stripped from the bean, but the remainder is not broken down. Instead, the remaining bean core undergoes a special (I would say VERY special!) fermentation that adds to the unique flavor of kopi luwak.

The beans sit and ferment in the cat’s intestines for about 24 hours, when they defecate them out. The droppings are then collected by farmers, who can identify the partially-undigested Coffea tree coffee beans, and process them.

The beans are picked out, washed (I hope that’s a significant part of the process), dried in the sun, crushed and pounded, and then roasted as coffee.

The result is so tasty that it’s almost sacrilegious to drink your kopi luwak with milk, sugar, or any other additions.

Like anything when enough money is involved, people get scandalous very quickly, There’s actually a thriving counterfeit kopi luwak market around the world, with about 70% of what you’ll see sold everywhere – from coffee shops to markets to the Internet- is NOT pure kopi luwak.

There are also some cruel kopi luwak mass production farms where the civet cats are locked up and caged and not treated well.

Therefore, when drinking cat poop coffee, always look for products that are from wild civets – not farmed – and from the most reputable Indonesian brands.

So, what’s the price tag on this special treat?

A single cop of kopi luwak will cost you anywhere from $35 to $100, and a small 1-pound bag will run you $100 to $600!

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Norm Schriever is a blogger, Amazon best-sellling author, cultural mad scientist, and enemy of the comfort zone. His work appears in the Huffington Post,, Good Morning America, The Anderson Cooper Show on CNN, NBC, MSN, Yahoo,, and media all around the world.
Norm grew up in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he was never accused of overstudying. After expatriating to Costa Rica in 2011, he started traveling the world and documenting what he saw. He now lives in Southeast Asia, writing his heart out and working with local charities.

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