First, let’s get the facts straight. Qopi is the Indonesian word for coffee, and luwak is a local name of the Asian Palm Civet, which looks more like a weasel than a cat. Civets consume the red coffee cherries, when available, containing the fruit and seed, and they tend to pick the ripest and sweetest fruit. The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but a unique combination of enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee’s flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated, still covered in some inner layers of the berry.
The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Light roasting is considered particularly desirable in coffees that do not exhibit bitterness, and the most pronounced characteristic of Kopi Luwak is a marked reduction in bitterness.
Kopi Luwak cups with a rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate. Other terms used to describe it are earthy, musty and exotic. The body is almost syrupy and it’s very smooth. Incredible.
Kopi Luwak coffee is farmed in Indonesia or the Philippines only comes around as the genuine article very rarely. So the farmed stuff is often not fresh or the result of feeding civets in cages who knows what. We have returned supplies to a company in Indonesia after complaints such as bitterness or staleness, or the opposite, weak, tasteless coffee. Our coffee comes from a nature reserve in the Phillipines where they have these civets who run through the forest and do their business. The coffee is fabulous and we sell the coffee by the quarter pound. It is wonderful. Customers rave about it and I buy it in small quantities so it is always fresh.
Companies sometimes offer "arabica" KL. It is our understanding that true KL should be "Robusta", the smaller beans that grown in the naturally occurring forests where civets live. If it is arabica, then that is what they are feeding the civets because folks think arabica means higher quality. Just my 2 beans.
Profile: Cups with a rich, heavy flavor with hints of caramel or chocolate. Other terms used to describe it are earthy, musty and exotic.