World’s costliest coffee is luwak (or in Indonesian ‘kopi luwak’ for ‘civet coffee’). The Asian palm civet produces the luwak coffee in a very natural way. A very different way to make coffee! The palm civet eats the coffee cherries and defecates the partially digested coffee cherries. The cherries pass through the civet’s intestines and ferment. And after the cats defecate them with other fecal matter, they are collected and processed to be sold.
People on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and in East Timor traditionally gather kopi luwak in the forests. Kopi luwak also comes from the islands of the Philippines and Vietnam. In the Philippinnes people call the product kape motit, in the Cordillera region, kapé alamíd in Tagalog areas, kapé melô or kapé musang in Mindanao, and kahawa kubing in the Sulu Archipelago. Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its Vietnamese name cà phê Chồn.
Non-Organic Luwak Coffee Production
Today, however people in Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam increasingly catch Asian palm civets in the wild and sell them to local intensive farming companies. They also want to get a share in thee proceeds from world’s costliest coffee. However, this has led to animal welfare concerns.
They keep the Asian palm civets in battery cages and force-feed them the cherries. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets and the conditions they are made to live in. This includes isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate.
Organic luwak is world’s most expensive coffee.
Luckily, there are also more and more organic kopi luwak farmers. They use only free-range civets to process the beans. Of course this organic luwak version is more expensive and therfor one of the most expensive drinks in the world, especially in the organic version.
Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the costliest coffees in the world, with retail prices reaching US $1400 per pound for organic kopi luwak.