Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Two Sugars. Extra Cream. Hold the...Kopi Luwak?

We do a lot of tasting in culinary school. Be it wine, aperitifs, after dinner drinks, coffee, tea, herbs, olive oil, cookies, chocolate, bread...I could go on all day. Maybe that is why so many people think they want to cook, so they can sit around and "try" this or "try" that. Anyways, one day during lecture in the basement of Saint Andrews Cafe, my class and I happened to be tasting an array of teas and coffee when the professor pulled a gem out of her bag. My previous professor had mentioned this rarity, stating it as the most expensive coffee in the world--and I was going to get to try it. Right. Now.

What on earth is it?  Kopi Luwak Coffee from Indonesia. Next question, what is a Kopi Luwak? The Kopi Luwak is a fuzzy creature that looks a bit like a badger bred with a fox and went on to eat coffee cherries. Coffee cherries the berries that encase the coffee bean. Animals have been eating this berries since biblical times, and it is said that coffee was first discovered by a sheep herder who noticed that after grazing on these red berries his sheep were moving at twice the speed. Only the soft red flesh of the coffee cherry is digestible to the kopi luwak, causing the coffee bean to be excreted whole. Do you know where I am going with this? Workers at these farms then harvest the feces, clean, roast, grind and sell the coffee. The coffee beans that pass through the kopi luwak are said to be slightly nuttier than regular coffee beans, a prized trait by coffee connoisseurs, because the digestive juices gently ferment the beans.

A Kopi Luwak Eating Coffee Cherries. Photo from

The grind on this particular Kopi Luwak Coffee was so fine that a filter was not necessary. All it needed was a bit of hot water and a few minutes to infuse. Honestly, I was grossed out by the idea of drinking coffee made from poop, but I still tried a sip. It was nuttier, more mellow even, with nods to nutmeg and vanilla. The texture is actually what ruined the sip for me; the texture was gritty, almost chalky. Next time I would opt for a larger grind so I could possibly put it in a french press. Next time--hah! Did I mention this coffee goes for about $168 a pound, next time will not be anytime soon. For now I will stick to my beloved Dunkin Donuts Coffee. 

Would you ever try this coffee? What is the weirdest thing you've tried? Tell me in the comments below!


  1. I would definately try this coffee, minus the gritty texture. What a great Christmas gift for your favorite mother.

    1. Thats because youre all into that Fear Factor stuff! As for Christmas, I think I can afford to get you enough to make one cup lol!