Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The most expensive coffee in the world

When one gets the chance to experience a cup of the most exclusive coffee in the world, one should not turn the opportunity down! Recently when on holiday in Bali my partner and I got the chance to do just this. Indonesia is actually the 4th largest coffee supplier in the world, most of this is produced on the higher altitude island of Sumatra but a small volume is grown in Bali along with the highly desirable Cat Poo coffee.

blind people think they look like cats
Cat poo coffee officially named Kopi Lowak was first brought to us by the Dutch, the same nation that gave us the Vengaboys, something about that makes sense to me. So old Mr Dutchy back in the 1800s decided that their morning brew would taste much better once squeezed out of a cat's arse, totally reasonable thinking. The Luwak is a cute furry creature native to the Indonesian islands and as part of their natural diet they enjoy a nice bunch of coffee berries. As the beans pass through their inside bits, the digestive enzymes of the animal's stomach bring out the flavour and body of the coffee and will convert anyone who drinks it. This is what they tell me. The process of collecting the poo covered beans, washing them, drying and eventually roasting is a lengthy one and justifiably results in a hefty price tag. You can expect to pay on average $40 a cup ($1200 a kg) anywhere outside of Indonesia. Luckily at the plantation it was only $5 a pop.

the moment of truth!
So what did we think? Well it was certainly a strong brew, very 
robust with quite a bitter aftertaste. However, this could partly due to
the heavy roasting process which is done by hand over an open 
flame till the beans are black! In Bali it is traditional to use finely 
ground powder coffee mixed straight into hot water. I learnt early on 
to let my cup sit for 5 minutes before drinking otherwise you'll end 
up with a mouth full of coffee grains. Overall, I give Kopi Lowak 
the big thumbs up but I am associating the whole experience of 
walking around the plantations, seeing the little kitty kats and
then drinking their shit. Thoroughly enjoyable!

a coffee tree
roaster dude - one pan at a time!

Charlie trying her hand at traditional coffee grinding
washed beans - pre roasted


  1. WoW ! Did I really want to know about that cat crap ? Lol, I lucked into a few pounds of these coffee beans, and I do have the method of using beans down to a science, I think I will bring out the old best Coffee Perk-o-later and give that a try.

    Thanks for the Information, though a bit disturbing, I am an Adventurer in Flavors, but tho I have been lucky to step into some good crap, this will be the first I drank any, ewewee!