Can an honest bar charge between 5 and 50 euro for a cup of coffee? Sure, if it’s made with the world’s most luxurious blend. Whose origins just may surprise you
One of the most prized coffee blends comes from Indonesia and is called Kopi Luwak, whose beans are “picked” by a Musang (also called a Luwak), which is a nocturnal mammal that vaguely resembles a skunk. The animal, also referred to as a Palm Civet, chooses the ripest, most succulent beans, eats them without chewing, digests, and then, well, they come out, still whole, in the animal’s feces.
Human pickers then pick up the droppings, wash them carefully and the beans are used just like any normal coffee beans would be. Except for the fact that these, having passed through the digestive tract of the animal, take on a special, delicate flavour thanks to the enzymes that help to soften the bitter taste of coffee. Researchers are studying ways to reproduce the digestive effects of the Musang in laboratories, while in Indonesia, the animal is now being bred with the precise aim of collecting its feces and producing this precious coffee.