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The Kopi Luak - Cat Poop coffee topic

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I came across this by accident at this site= http://ww2.mcgill.ca/chempublic/right_chem...m/indexprnt.htm

I found the following article which is REALLY BIZZARO!=

If you are going to spend a couple of hundred dollars for a pound of coffee, you expect something special. What is so special about Kopi Luak coffee?

Answer: The coffee beans have been put through a special machine. A living machine, called the Javan civet cat. The luak is a species of civet cat found only on the island of Java in Indonesia. Like all civet cats it possesses anal scent glands which secrete a fluid with a characteristic odor. In a concentrated form it smells terrible but when diluted it has a pleasant musky odor and can be used in perfume manufacture. The luak apparently loves coffee. But it is very particular in its taste. It only eats the choicest beans. The luak's digestive system, however, cannot handle the coffee beans very well and most of them are secreted a few hours after being eaten in a partially digested form. Somehow the contact with the animal's digestive juices changes the chemistry of the beans. When these beans are roasted, the coffee they produce is extremely tasty and full-bodied. Hopefully the enhanced flavor is due to partial digestion and not to contamination from the anal secretions of the civet cat. Plantation workers routinely search the grounds for the special beans which are then brewed into coffee in Indonesia's most select hotels, probably with the visitors not being informed about the origins of the great taste.

Please tell me what you think, especially if you have tasted this coffee. :shock:

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I've yet to taste it, I've spoken to the good people at sweet marias about it (they used to carry it) they say its reasonably good coffee, and very overpriced. I think I'd try it if I could buy it unroasted, but I'm not willing to seek it out.

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Call me somewhat cynical (I have been in Emergency medicine for 9 years now) but, I think you could probably make a reasonable facsimile with some coffee cherries and a 3 year old (or a pig if digging through Huggies doesn't seem like your thing) Also, corn seems to sometimes foil a horse's digestive system.

Anyone for Seabiscuit coffee? :wacko::blink:

EDIT: eschew antidisobfuscation

Edited by jsolomon (log)

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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most three year olds and horses don't have anal scent glands. they do have digestive systems, but i don't think that's the claim.

supposedly in vietnam you can get coffee which has gone through a weasel. then again, according to this article, it's done synthetically now too, so maybe digestion is the important part.

Edited by mb7o (log)
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It's worth noting that most of the coffee sold as Kopi Luwak is not the real thing, just as much of the so-called Jamaican Blue Mountain is not. The price is based solely on its status as an "'exotica" coffee - I'll pass.

Also of interest is that the same animal (the civet) was once raised in captivity in order to scrape some substance from its sex glands - the material obtained was used by major fragrance manufacturers such as Chanel - it served to bind or somehow bring out the subtleties of other fragrances. Thanks to the efforts of animal rights folks it has been replaced by a synthetic.

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  • 7 months later...

If civets are unavailable, too expensive or uncooperative in your area, a reasonable fascimile of Kopi Luak coffee can be obtained by feeding the coffee cherries to your local cat. A slotted scoop works well for retrieving the beans from the litterbox. :wacko:


Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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This made me think of an old Andy Rooney column where he met a guy that was going to sell black cigarettes, market them as upscale, and charge more for them. No difference other than the color. I'm sure this coffee is expensive, and if available here, people will probably be lining up to eat what is basically cat shit.

"yes i'm all lit up again"

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK maybe I can add a bit of fact to the fiction. I am an expat living here in Indonesia and I have

1/. purchased green coffee Luwak and roasted it... ans

2/. Own my very own Luwak (Masked Civet cat with very sharp teeth and a nasty temper to match) and experimented with feeding him ripe coffee cherries.

On 1/. I buy a lot of green from throughout Indonesia. Last year, while scouting for a new plantation in the Barisan Mountains, I meet a small hold owner who claimed to have Luwak beans. Being a little sceptical, I was more than happy when she gave me 300gm of the bean as a gift. On my return to Jakarta I left the beans in storage until I happened to meet online Proff Massimo Marcone. The Proff is the world expert in identifying whether Kopi Luwak IS Kopi Luwak.... rather than a imitation. He is based in Canada and kindly tested the beans for me. The news came bask that the beans were real.

On roasting- I had some problems with the amount of oil secreted by the beans during the roasting process. The final product was city roast....the taste? Yes, different...slightly sweet and florally.

On 2/. After much searching my wife found a Civet Cat- A Javanese Palm Civet, rather than a Masked Civet. At a later stage if their is interest I will post some photos. Anyway- we have been experimenting with feeding him ripe cherries- although at this stage they are robusta cherries as the Java Arabica crop is still some way off from being ready to pick. He is fussy, but does eat and secrete the beans. Again- I am working on a more scientific report on this and will post it at a later stage.



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  • 1 month later...

The Kopi Luwak beans are specially fermented in the digestive tracts of civets, but all coffee undergoes bacterial fermentation, partly to get rid of the stuff that surrounds the berries, and partly to transform the berries in (if possible) tasteful ways.

There's a fascinating discussion of this in these articles




(especially the second one).

Some other discussion (by me) can be found here.

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  • 4 weeks later...

This has always struck me as one of those great food shaggy dog stories which probably crops up wherever coffee is grown. You get the same story in the coffee growing areas of South India, except with monkeys rather than civets - the coffee is supposed to be called 'monkey parchment'. (Wonder if there a Brazilian version -marmosets, maybe?)

I'm not saying its not possible - Alun's pet civet proves it is - but it sounds like one of those cases where the story is more the point than the product. Its like the monkey brains story from Malaysia - you know, the one about those tables with holes in the middle where you stick a live monkey and slice off its head to spoon out its brains while the creature is still living.

Someone, Davidson, I think, points out that this probably originates in some mischievous locals telling tall tales to gullible Western travellers in the region to explain those tables with holes for barbecues. After that the story took on a momentum of its own and apparently a monkey brain feast was actually staged for a Western TV channel, and presumably could be done again anytime if someone had the money and was sick enough to want it. The story is still the point.


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This coffee really does exist - it's not quite in the "live six foot crocodile found swimming in NYC sewers" story category but there's more myth than truth. There's a fair amount of supposed Kopi Luak sold in Vietnam - coffee growers there advise that most of it is counterfeit.

The action of bacteria on the bean having an effect makes sense. Anyone who has experienced the unique flavor of Monsooned Malabar beans can attest to the fact that certain envirnmental conditions after the green bean is harvested can have a beneficial effect. Some Indonesian coffees such as Sulawesi and Sumatran are also sold in "aged" varieties although IMO those are more of an acquired taste than the Malabar.

Her's an explanation of the process that the Coelho's plantation uses. Excerpt is from the Sweet Maria's web site

In the monsooning process, arabica coffee is spread on the floor of the special monsooning warehouse in Mangalore, raked and turned around by hand to enable them to soak in moisture of the humid winds. The monsooning process takes around 12 to 16 months of duration, where in the beans swell to twice their original size and turn into pale golden colour.Then there are additional hand-sortings to remove any coffee that did not expand properly, and the coffee is prepared for export. This is an extremely earthy, musty, pungent cup with a unique combination of caramelly finish and potent flavors.

Dr. Joshua's Malabar Gold and Sweet Maria's Liquid Amber are two relatively well known espresso blends that make good use of this bean. I've taken to using it in nearly all my espresso blends and love it but have not yet tried it as a straight varietal coffee.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Suddenly, the fact that my dog used to sort through the cats' litterbox for a light snack is slightly less disgusting.


Mr. Roger Troutman, who enjoys food and beverages.



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I heard of this before on the HBO show The Mind of the Married Man. The character Doug gets back at his coffee loving wife by buying her some of this to drink. She loves it and he gets a kick out of the fact that it came out of a cat's butt.

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coffee from a-holes for a-holes.

the real craftsman farmers deserve higher prices for real quality produced. not scam artists selling mythological coffee. the coffee industry is too young for anomolies (like noble rot), especially fake misleading anomolies.

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