Bali Chivet Or Luwak Coffee

Kopi is the Indonesian word for COFFEE. Luwak is a local name of the Asian palm civet in Sumatra. Kopi Luwak or civet coffee, is coffee made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract. A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Civets also eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, having kept their shape.

After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world. Kopi Luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. Kopi luwak is a name for many specific cultivars and blends of arabica, robusta, liberica, excelsa or other beans eaten by asian Palm civets (LUWAK), hence the taste can vary greatly. Nonetheless, kopi luwak coffees have a shared aroma profile and flavor characteristics, along with their lack of bitterness. Kopi luwak tastes unlike heavy roasted coffees, since roasting levels range only from cinnamon color to medium, with little or no caramelization of sugars within the beans as happens with heavy roasting. Moreover, kopi luwak which have very smooth profiles are most often given a lighter roast. Iced kopi luwak brews may bring out some flavors not found in other coffees. Kopi (Coffee) Luwak is the most expensive and rare coffee in the world and only 500 to 700 Kg. are produced per year and selling for between US$ 100 and US$ 600 per pound. It is sold by weight mainly in Japan and the United States and served in Southeast Asian coffeehouses by the cup. The beans are washed out and given only a medium/light roast so as not to destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee, is very special for coffee lovers. This Coffee is very popular, even it ever been reported in Oprah Winfrey Show TV program. In November 2006 Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms, a small cafe in the hills outside Townsville in Queensland, Australia, put kopi luwak coffee on its menu at AUD 50.00 (US $33.00) a cup, selling about seven cups a week, which gained nationwide Australian and international press. In April 2008 the brasserie at Peter Jones department store in London’s Sloane Square began selling a blend of kopi luwak and Blue Mountain called Caffe Raro for £50 (US $99.00) a cup. Richard Karno, former owner of The Novel Cafe in Santa Monica, California, got a flyer from Mountanos about Kopi Luwak and “thought it was a joke.” But Karno was intrigued, found it it was for real, and ordered a pound for a tasting. Karno sent out releases to the local press inviting them to a cupping. When no one responded, he roasted it and held a cupping for himself and his employees. Karno is very enthusiastic, a convert to Kopi Luwak. “It’s the best coffee I’ve ever tasted. It’s really good, heavy with a caramel taste, heavy body. It smells musty and jungle-like green, but it roasts up real nice. The LA Times didn’t come to our cupping, but ran a bit in their food section, which hit the AP Wire service.” And Karno and the folks at M.P. Mountanos have been inundated with calls ever since. Mountanos says, “It’s the most complex coffee I’ve ever tasted,” attributing the unusual flavors to the natural fermentation the coffee beans undergo in the paradoxurus’ digestive system. The stomach acids and enzymes are very different from fermenting beans in water. Mountanos says, “It has a little of everything pleasurable in all coffees: earthy, musty tone, the heaviest bodied I’ve ever tasted. It’s almost syrupy, and the aroma is very unique.” While it won’t be turning up in every neighborhood cafe any day soon, Mountanos reports that Starbucks bought it for cuppings within the company. In fact, most of Mountanos’ customers have bought it for special cuppings. The Coffee Critic in San Mateo, California, though, occasionally sells Kopi Luwak to the public for US$ 5 a cup. Owner Linda Nederman says she keeps the price low to allow people to experience the coffee. Nederman says that most of her people who try it are longtime customers, and they’re “game to try something different and unusual. I’ve never had anybody complain, they all seem to feel it’s worth the price.” Nederman drinks it herself every time they brew it. “I’ve never tasted anything like it. It’s an unbelieveable taste in your mouth: richness, body, earthiness, smooth.” She also carries Jamaica Blue Mountain, Burundi Superior AA and Brazil FZA “Natural Dry,” so.

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