Have you ever paid £25 for a cup of coffee? Probably not. But you can do, and possible even more than that. There’s a rise of popularity for coffee that’s been made from coffee beans passed through the digestive tract of a luwak cat, sometimes referred to as a civet cat. Sounds gross eh? Well it might not be all that it seems.
Whilst we were planning our trip to Bali, a friend told us to look out for luwak coffee. It’s made from beans which are eaten by the luwak cat and then excreted. The reason why it’s supposed to be superior is that the cat selected the best beans and then because it can’t digest them, they are excreted intact. The beans are cleaned up, roasted and made into coffee.
Here in the UK, cups of luwak coffee, or cat poo coffee are being sold for between £12 and £25 a cup. I for one won’t be buying any of this coffee, one because I don’t actually like coffee and two because this seems a crazy price for a hot beverage.
On investigation further into this strange Indonesian trade, all isn’t as it seems. It seems that some people are taking this too far and imprisoning luwak cats, force-feeding them coffee beans all in the name of making this coffee. Really? Can we support something like this? No way.
I’m all for trying something new, and the place we visited in Bali, Teba Sari, which offered luwak coffee seems to be on the right path. Further investigation reassured me that the cats at the plant were allowed to roam free, but who really knows behind closed doors. What I can tell you, the place we visited grew a lot of fruits, spices and herbs, so didn’t purely rely on the tourism coming from luwak coffee. We did taste the ‘cat-poo’ coffee but we were also invited to try a number of teas, plus some tasty flavoured chocolate.
If you are travelling to Indonesia and fancy trying luwak coffee, make sure you do your research first to ensure that you are tasting and buying this coffee from a place that looks after its animals in the proper fashion. And if you are buying a cup of cat poo coffee in the UK, make sure you ask them about the plantation that the coffee came from. After all, no cats were harmed in the making of a normal coffee were they?