In a mid century, the europeans raced to explore the world. They came to every corner of land and sea, seeking some resource for trading. Sometimes, it ended with colonialism.
At that time, Dutch found a really good food commodity that became our favourite until now: a coffee from Yaman. In 17th century, they tried to smuggle the coffee out of Yaman and planted it in one of their colonies, Indonesia. However, coffee can grow well in the fertile soil of Sumatra and Java.
The dutch forced locals to work on plantations with low wages. Whereas, the price of coffee was quite high. Indonesian people were forbidden to pick and try the coffee. But at the end, it made them more curious about this fruit.
One day, some farmers awared that certain species of weasel often eats coffee fruits. Nowadays, we know the animal as Luwak (or civet). After they observed, they found that coffee beans from luwak droppings are still intact! Some brave farmers tried to collect it, cleaned it, and began to make a drink from it. Finally they know Luwak Coffee was really delicious.
A hundred years later, the processing of coffee beans from Luwak is still going. Not just by the poor farmer, but by coffee industries as general. It is because Luwak Coffee has become one of the most expensive coffee in the world.
High Price for Unique Taste
Luwak Coffee has an unique taste. Perhaps it comes from 2 factors, first, because Luwak has very good instinct to pick really good coffee fruit to eat. Second, the coffee beans are fermented naturally in Luwak’s stomach, and produce a gentle, not bitter, coffee roast.
According to Liputan6.com article in 2016, Luwak Coffee is being priced at US $ 150 or Rp 2.08 million per 500 gram.
The high price made many people want to produce Luwak Coffee. Unfortunately, not everyone understand how to breed luwak. National Geographic article said that Luwak farms have spread in Southeast Asia today. Luwak is being caught, get in cage, and forced to eat coffee fruits.
Luwak (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is a nocturnal, wild mammals. Live in cage can make them stressed to death and lack of nutritional balance.
Even if it is not end with death, there is a difference quality of coffee beans from wild and farm Luwak. The wild one can pick only the good coffee fruit, while in farm, Luwak eat what breeder give.
A stressful Luwak also cannot produce enzymes and microbes in their stomach. The fermentation of coffee not happen naturally. As a result, the quality of Luwak Coffee taste will become reduced.
You need an extra effort to breed it, such as conducting an observation at night when they are awake, or call animal experts. It can be said that better let them stay in wild. Choose wisely which Luwak Coffee you would like to drink.***