Civet Coffee     Kopi Luwak
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Kopi Luwak Five

Kopi Luwak Five

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Civet coffee?

What is a Civet?

Where do Civet’s live?

Where are the main places Civet coffee is produced?

Is Civet coffee prepared in any other ways than traditional hot, brewed coffee?

Which country produces the most Civet coffee?

Is Civet coffee the most expensive coffee in the world?

Where is most Civet coffee sold?

Is Civet coffee sold by the cup outside of Southeast Asia?

Is the Civet an endangered species?

What do the Civet coffee beans look like after they have been defecated?

Why do Civets eat coffee fruit?

How long are the coffee beans inside the Civet’s digestive tract?

What do the Civet coffee beans look like when they are defecated?

Does all Civet coffee taste the same?

What are the most common types of coffee plants used for Civet coffee in Sumatra?

What are the most common types of coffee plants used for Civet coffee in Sumatra?

What does Civet coffee taste like?

Fake Civet Coffee - Buyer Beware 

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What is Civet coffee?

Coffee brewed from beans that have passed through the digestive tract of an animal called the Civet.

What is a Civet?

A Civet is a relatively small, furry, nocturnal animal with a long tail.

Where do Civet’s live?

Civets are found in Southeast Asia, southern India, southern China, and Sri Lanka.

Where are the main places Civet coffee is produced?

Sumatra, Sulawesi, Bali, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

Is Civet coffee prepared in any other ways than traditional hot, brewed coffee?

Yes. Civet coffee, and in particular the Kopi Luwak of Indonesia, is often prepared as an iced coffee. This iced beverage is said to bring out some of the unique tastes of Civet coffee that are found nowhere else?

Which country produces the most Civet coffee?

Sumatra is the biggest producer in the world.

Is Civet coffee the most expensive coffee in the world?

Garnering up to $600 per pound, Civet coffee can definitely make a claim as being the world’s most expensive coffee. However, some top premium gourmet coffees have sold for very high prices and some Civet coffees have sold for lower prices ($100 per pound and less).

Where is most Civet coffee sold?

Aside from being served in the coffee houses of Southeast Asia and other areas where it is sold by the cup, and large amounts are sold in the Philippines. Civet coffee is sold primarily in the United States and Japan with Europe and Asia also buying increasing amounts. 

Is Civet coffee sold by the cup outside of Southeast Asia?

In recent years some coffee houses have sold Civet coffee by the cup, often as part of a charity or promotion. At Sloane Square in London the Peter Jones Department Store sold a Blue Mountain and Kopi Luwak blend for $99 per cup. An Australian cafe put Kopi Luwak on its menu for $33 per cup and sold about one cup per day.

Is the Civet an endangered species?

In the Philippines the Civet (Paradoxorus Philippinensis) is considered an endangered species by the Philippine government. For this reason the government in the Philippines works with private foundations to develop and support initiatives to preserve the Civet species as well as the Liberica coffee plant species.

What do the Civet coffee beans look like after they have been defecated?

The coffee beans that have been defecated by the Civet are typically a bit darkened in color and slightly brittle.

Why do Civets eat coffee fruit?

Civets eat coffee fruit for the fleshy pulp contained between the outer skin and the inner seed, which is the coffee bean.

How long are the coffee beans inside the Civet’s digestive tract?

Typically a coffee fruit (cherry) will remain in the Civet’s digestive tract for about 1.5 days.

What do the Civet coffee beans look like when they are defecated?

Typically the coffee beans are defecated in small clumps of beans that are still at least partially covered by the inner layers of the fleshy coffee fruit. The Civet coffee beans are darkened a bit in color and slightly brittle.

Does all Civet coffee taste the same?

No. The taste of Civet coffee can vary from region to region, and even varies within particular areas where different types of coffee plants are used to feed the Civets. These coffee plant varietals include Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica. Though the specific flavors may vary, all Civet coffees do share some taste and aroma characteristics as well as a distinct lack of bitterness.

What are the most common types of coffee plants used for Civet coffee in Sumatra?

Arabica coffee plants (Coffea arabica), a coffee plant varietal that has been grown in Indonesia since the 1600s.

What are the most common types of coffee plants used for Civet coffee in Sumatra?

Arabica coffee plants (Coffea arabica) are the most common type of coffee plant varietal used in Sumatra, which is the world’s largest producer of Civet coffee. These Arabica coffee plant varietals have been grown in Indonesia since the 1600s.

What does Civet coffee taste like?

Generally quite full-bodied (full in the cup) sometimes almost to the point of being syrupy, sometimes earthy or even musty, and often with a caramel flavor and hints of chocolate. Civet Coffee is also known for its high aroma that is often described as rich and strong. 

Perhaps the most distinctive quality of Civet Coffee is the very low acidity and almost complete lack of bitterness even though the coffee is typically only lightly roasted. Overall Civet Coffee has a complex and pleasant, sweet taste, with an aftertaste is described as clean, lingering on the palate.

Regional varieties of Civet Coffee have different nuances in their flavors and aromas. For example, the Robusta beans shade-grown in the Philippine highlands and marketed as Bantai Civet Coffee exhibits hints of fruit, almond, and spice flavors.

The Civet Coffee produced by Arengga in the Philippines is marketed as Liberica Gold and comes from almond-shaped Liberica coffee beans. Liberica Gold displays a full and slightly earthy taste while the distinctive aroma exhibits fruity and floral notes. Other regional varieties of Civet Coffee exhibit different flavor nuances and characteristic tastes.

In contrast to the typically full-bodied Civet Coffees, the Kopi Luwak produced by the Trung Nguyen company in the Lampung province of Sumatra comes from Arabica Typica varietal coffee beans and is light-bodied and bright with an enduring aftertaste.

Fake Civet Coffee - Buyer Beware

Given the potential profits involved in selling Civet Coffee it is no surprise that there are unscrupulous farmers and dealers who will try to pass off regular coffee beans as Civet Coffee. That’s half of the issue.

The other half of the issue is what constitutes real Civet Coffee in that caged Civets are fed coffee beans and thus what many feel is a major component of high quality Civet Coffee. The ability for Civets to choose the coffee cherry (fruit) they eat is eliminated from the equation. 

When wild Civets are allowed to choose the coffee cherry they eat they tend to pick only the ripest reddest coffee cherry which are consequently at the perfect stage for harvesting the coffee beans. Many people feel that feeding the Civets with human-picked coffee cherry severely diminishes the quality of the brewed Civet Coffee including the coffee’s fine flavors and aromas.

Others claim that the main reason Civet Coffee is so highly valued is not because of the Asian Palm Civet’s coffee picking ability but instead the unique qualities of Civet Coffee are due to the journey that the coffee beans take through the Civet’s digestive tract, and the chemical processes and changes that take place along the way.

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