Kopi Luwak, also known as "cat coffee", is an extremely exclusive coffee speciality that originates from Southeast Asia. It owes its unique production process to the creeping cat, a cat-like animal that eats, ferments and then excretes the coffee beans. The resulting coffee is highly prized by connoisseurs for its distinctive flavour, which comes from the natural fermentation process in the creeping cat's digestive tract. However, the high demand for Kopi Luwak has led to unethical practices such as the confinement of creeping cats in cramped cages and feeding them only coffee beans. When buying Kopi Luwak, it is important to look for an ethical source.
Kopi Luwak, which means "coffee" (kopi) and "creeping cat" (luwak) in Indonesian, has a fascinating history. As early as 1883, locals were observed brewing coffee from beans found in the droppings of creeping cats. The coffee gained international recognition in 1991, leading to growing interest and demand. The coffee's unique taste comes from the fermentation process in the creeping cat's digestive system, which is similar to the wet processing of coffee beans and reduces bitter compounds. The taste of Kopi Luwak is often described as mild, full-bodied and earthy.
Despite its exclusivity, Kopi Luwak also has a dark side. Unethical practices have surfaced where creeping cats are kept in cramped cages and fed exclusively on coffee beans. This is contrary to ethical standards of animal welfare. When buying Kopi Luwak, it is important to pay attention to the origin and the conditions under which the animals are kept. It is recommended to buy a smaller quantity first to test the taste of the coffee and decide if the high price is justified. Kopi Luwak can also be a unique gift idea for coffee lovers, but ethical origin and animal welfare should always be considered.