Minggu, 10 Oktober 2010

In a recent post I mentioned kopi luwak

KopipwtIn a recent post I mentioned kopi luwak, the coffee that is "processed" in the digestive tract of a civet cat (usually Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). These animals (found in southeast Asia and related to mongooses, although they look and behave a bit like raccoons) eat ripe coffee berries. Stomach enzymes have a subtle but apparently genuine chemical impact on the coffee beans, which are gathered as soon as possible after being passed by the civet, e.g., in the scat.

I mentioned Animal Coffee in my post, a company which specializes in kopi luwak. I soon received a 4-oz sample of luwak beans, as well as a hunk of civet crap in lucite (left), and a brochure, all enclosed in a very attractive gift box, a really nice presentation.

Is this sustainable coffee?
I'll get to a review of the coffee itself, but first let's try to determine if this is sustainable coffee.

Civets eat mostly ripe fruit and seeds, but also small vertebrates and insects. Since the civets do not eat coffee berries exclusively, luwak-processed beans are not common. They also must be harvested from fresh scat, before rain breaks up the clustered beans/poop. This is because 1) the elements might further change the taste of the beans, 2) the beans would be very hard to find on the forest floor individually, and 3) Animal Coffee, at least, requires the beans to come to them in scat form to be assured they are genuinely luwak-passed. So, the availability of luwak beans is limited; I've read that annual production is between 200 to 500 pounds (100 to 250 kilos).

Civetmap Asian palm civets have a wide range throughout southeast Asia (see map). Because civets do not produce enough volume from any single location, the beans are from a variety of places -- even (and probably) different countries. Some beans will be robusta, some arabica, some lots mixed. Distributors like Animal Coffee and Indonesian Grocery must be able to narrow down bean type at least some of the time, because both are types are available for order. There is no way, however, to determine if the beans came from a rustic small plot, or a large sun coffee plantation dosed with chemicals.

Rabu, 06 Oktober 2010

Indo Civet Coffee

indonesia harvesting kopi luwak
We are a family run business with a passion for premium - SPECIALTY ARABICA - Coffee Luwak (or also known in Java as Kopi Luwak) and are very fortunate to have direct access to the farmers who collect this very rare and exotic coffee beans from the wild. Our goal is to provide the finest quality of Coffee Luwak that you can find anywhere. We are also UNIQUE to many others as we are serving you mostly with SPECIALTY GRADE ARABICA COFFEE LUWAK while many others are serving mostly with the commonly available Robusta Coffee Luwak.

Our activity In Indonesia
We are regularly staying with, educating not to hurt the luwak, and supporting our long time families - Sumatra and Java farmers in the remotely villages - while collecting this very limited Coffee Luwak from them.

Long term Friendship and Integrity is our philosophy
We avoid to carry and deliver any non luwak bean. It is common to know that some kopi luwak bean out there are fake, so be careful about this.

Our activity in the U.S.
From both Newark and Milwaukee, we deliver this most expensive coffee bean in the U.S market to indulge your precious moment…
We decide not to set up our physical permanent coffee house but to offer this Coffee Luwak online so that you can conveniently reach us without geographical limitation at any time you wish to do so.

Our activity in Europe
Similar to the U.S., we are willing to hear from you and can deliver this Coffee Luwak beans to your premium satisfaction. Contact Us!
Indo Civet Coffee pays a fair price to the farmers for its coffee beans while also supporting the protection of wild civets and their forest habitat.
Five percent of Indo Civet's profits are donated to the society and churches in Indonesia.

Corporate Gifts

We offer a bespoke Corporate Gift Service for companies looking to offer their valuable clients a memorable moment.

Customer Quotes:

Minggu, 16 Mei 2010

Kopi Luwak (Civet Coffee) Shop

Beautiful kopi luwak beans
Perfect Kopi Luwak beans

Philippines kopi luwak coffee Alamid
The shy civet selecting his dinner

As seen in the New York Times! Read the article here (opens a new window).

The rare and exotic Kopi Luwak (often translated as civet coffee) is renowned all around the world for its incredibly delicious, subtle, lingering flavor and exceptional smoothness.

Kopi Luwak, or Civet Coffee, is "processed" by the Indonesian Civet, who populates the coffee-growing areas and comes out nightly to feast on only the ripest of the coffee cherries. The beans do not digest and are collected daily by farmers, who thoroughly sanitize the beans, and then dry them in the sun. Then the beans are roasted and vacuum packed for shipping.

Genuine Kopi Luwak coffee beans release hidden flavor compounds from the beans that are never accessed by regular roasting and brewing. These wonderful, locked-away flavors are released because of the natural enzymes of the civet.

Although the coffee is expensive per pound, a cup of home-brewed civet coffee actually costs less than an average cup of brewed coffee bought at a café like Starbucks. Our direct personal relationship with the producers allow us to offer one of the world's greatest culinary treasures at an exceptional value! We are the only website in the world, that we can verify, selling multiple bean species of Kopi Luwak from several different producers.

As with all our products, we stand behind our Kopi Luwak and absolutely guarantee its quality and authenticity. We have been dealing in Southeast Asian coffee for years and we take great pride in our spotless reputation. Our Kopi Luwak is guaranteed 100% genuine and delicious civet coffee. We ship all civet coffee with suggested brewing instructions and information about the source.

Brewing Civet Coffee: Kopi Luwak can be prepared in any regular coffee machine, or in a Vietnamese-style Phin filter, which brews a single cup of intense coffee at a time (more about Phins here). We include guidelines on using your home coffeemaker to brew delicious Kopi Luwak, as well as a free Phin filter with instructions, so you can try that method, too. In essence, civet coffee can be brewed like an ordinary coffee - but the result is extraordinary!

Philippines Kopi Luwak
(Coffee Alamid by Bote Central)

Exclusive USA distributor! Bote Central recently appeared in the New York Times. Read the article here (opens a new window).
We brought some of this wonderful coffee home from a trip to the Philippines, and we immediately fell in love with the fragrant Classic Blend of Arabica, Excelsa and Liberica kopi luwak beans. Bote Central's Coffee Alamid is one of the most respected civet coffees in the world. It is harvested weekly from twenty independent gatherers who roam the high-alititude forests. The coffee is packed in a vacuum-sealed 100 gram (3.5 oz) bottle that makes an excellent gift.

With every order, we include an attractive scroll explaining the heritage of the coffee and providing brewing tips. Also, although the coffee is delicious brewed in a regular coffee machine, we also include a free Vietnamese-style Phin filter for an ultimate gourmet experience.

Philippines Kopi Luwak (Coffee Alamid)- Authentic Civet Coffee
Classic Blend

  • 100g (3.5oz) Whole Bean bottle: $42.50
Philippines kopi luwak coffee Alamid

Sumatran Kopi Luwak

On our Sumatran civet farm, located in the Lampung province, civets dine on a fine strain of Arabica Typica, producing a bright and light-bodied brew, absolutely free of any bitterness, with a truly incredible and persistent aftertaste. We have never experienced a coffee with such a delightful aftertaste, drifting back into your awareness like a pleasant daydream and taking you once again to coffee nirvana.

Sumatran Kopi Luwak - Authentic Civet Coffee

  • 3.5oz Whole Bean: $47.50
  • 7oz Whole Bean: $92.00
kopi luwaks on a farm treated like pets and given coconut milk
Civet lapping coconut milk
from a saucer during
his daily playtime

Philippine and Sumatran Kopi Luwak Combo

Try two favorite civet coffees and save $20 off the list price!

Comparing two fabulous coffees is one of life's great pleasures: Tasting one against another helps you to notice flavors and aromas particular to each bean or blend.

Kopi Luwak Combo

  • 100g Each of Philippines and Sumatran Kopi Luwak: $69.95 - Save $20!
try both sumatran and philippines civet coffee and save

Organic Bantai Civet Coffee
- Shade-Grown Robusta

This environmentally and ethically sound coffee comes from the Julia Campbell Agro-Forest Memorial Park in the Philippines. The park shelters the rare Philippines civet and is also home to the native people who live in communion with the civets and their forest. The Robusta trees grow in shade at an unusually high altitude, a unique growing method for Robusta that produces extremely smooth and luxurious coffee with hints of almond, spice and fruit.

Each bag of Bantai Civet Coffee comes with a free gift bag, as pictured, and a laminated information sheet describing the coffee and its origins.

Bantai Kopi Luwak - Authentic Civet Coffee

  • 4 oz Whole Bean in Gift Bag: $49.50
bantai kopi luwak comes in a gift bag

New Kopi Luwak - Liberica Gold!
(Coffee Alamid by Bote Central)

Exclusive USA distributor! Bote Central recently appeared in the New York Times. Read the article here (opens a new window).
Liberica is a vanishing species of coffee that is only now being brought back from the brink of extinction. Its almond-shaped beans have an exceptional aroma, almost floral and fruity, while its flavor is full and slightly earthy. Kopi Luwak Liberica is a great way to enjoy Liberica because the civet brings out even more of the rich, full body of the Liberica. Comes with a scroll telling the story of the coffee and the company that produced it.

Philippines Kopi Luwak
- Liberica Gold

  • 50 grams Whole Bean: $24.00
Philippines kopi luwak coffee Alamid

100% Liberica Coffee

Curious about Liberica? While supplies last, you can now order authentic 100% Liberica coffee (non-Kopi Luwak)! Its almond-shaped beans have an exceptional aroma, almost floral and fruity, while its flavor is full and slightly earthy. Have a taste of history, an exotic cup of an endangered coffee that we guarantee you have never tasted anything like before. Liberica is a vanishing species of coffee that is only now being brought back from the brink of extinction. 500 grams = 1.17 lb.

100% Liberica Coffee

  • 500g Whole Bean: $18.95
Quantity: Due to the rarity of this coffee, our stock is extremely limited. Please only 1 bag per order
Rare Liberica Beans

Liberica Blend Coffee

Curious about Liberica? While supplies last, you can now order authentic Liberica coffee (non-Kopi Luwak) blended with premium, high-altitude Philippines Excelsa. Liberica’s almond-shaped beans have an exceptional aroma, almost floral and fruity, while its flavor is full and slightly earthy. Liberica is a vanishing species of coffee that is only now being brought back from the brink of extinction. The Excelsa used in this blend is the perfect complement - it creates a balanced cup with an accessible, rich and earthy profile. 500 grams = 1.17 lb. 250 grams = 8.8 oz.

Kopi Luwak ~ Indonesia’s gift to the World’s Coffee Connoisseurs

The exquisite (and very expensive) Kopi Luwak ~ Indonesia’s gift to the World’s Coffee Connoisseurs

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Attention all Starbucks-chugging coffee consumers and coffee connoisseurs of the world! ~ your most expensive cup of Java awaits! It’s from Indonesia, and the roasting facility is nothing you’d ever imagined. It’s as exotic (read: unusual, rather stomach-churning, and not for the faint-hearted) and organic as it gets. Let’s get some facts on the table first: the name is Kopi Luwak (Luwak Coffee), and it’s produced when a Indonesia’s fox-like cousin that has a penchant for coffee, dines on delicious raw coffee fruit, and extracts (yes journeying through its digestive system) the coffee pits (yes, the prized coffee beans, already nicely roasted!). Gaining attention from everyone from Oprah, the Wildboyz of MTV’s Jackass fame, to Andrew Zimmern of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods. Here’s a look at this exquisite coffee, as reported by Alun Evans of Kabar Indonesia.

Kopi Luwak-luwak-on-robusta-west-javaweb
Not a week goes by when I do not get an email from someone, somewhere in the world, asking me a question relating to Kopi Luwak. Kopi Luwak, or “KL” as we call it, is one of the rarest and most expensive coffees in the world. At around $800/kg it dwarves the moderately expensive Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona Arabica Coffees.

For those of you who do not know what Kopi Luwak is, take a deep breath, put your cappuccino down and read on. Luwak is the Indonesian name for the Masked Palm Civet. This animal has close relatives throughout most of Asia, as well as in Ethiopia and Kenya. Its poor cousin in China got blamed for being a link in the SARS epidemic in 2004 and got pretty much wiped out in a government cull. Before that it had been a culinary delicacy in Mainland Chinese cuisine. In Indonesia, the range of the Luwak is quite widespread. Their habitat includes higher altitude, less densely populated areas of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi and the islands of Nusa Tenggara. The Luwak is nocturnal by nature and is quite wary of human contact. It nearly always comes out at dusk to hunt for food and to forage, by morning it is tucked up sleeping.

Luwak droppings. Exotic food par excellence!!

Luwak droppings. Exotic food par excellence!!

The Luwak is an omnivore, eating mainly fruits, but not averse to raiding a hen house for eggs, or scavenging for mice, rats and small chickens. Often the Luwak is demonised in small villages for its ability to damage poultry production, perhaps in a similar vein that weasels are not on any farmer’s Christmas Card list in western countries.

So this brings us around to the part the Luwak plays in one of the stranger chapters of global coffee consumption. Not unlike the way in which coffee was first discovered (thanks to a herd of dancing goats back in Abyssinia over 1000 years ago), Kopi Luwak somehow accidentally made its way from animal to human; albeit in a more direct and slightly revolting way.

Luwak generally forage ripe coffee cherries from the trees during the night, gorging themselves on the fruit. The gastrointestinal tract of the animal removes the pulp and skin from the cherry, but is unable to digest the stone or bean inside. Finally the beans are deposited in a star-fish shaped pile from the rear end of the Luwak. The excrement, which looks a bit like peanut brittle candy, is then collected, cleaned, dried and roasted by the villagers, who savour it for its unique taste profile. Of course in the village Kopi Luwak actually has two meanings. The first and most common does not actually refer to coffee consumed and subsequently passed by the Luwak, but rather to ripe coffee that was picked by human hand, the Luwak reference being to the fact that if the Luwak had seen the cherry first he would have eaten it, as it was that ripe.

As the Luwak is an omnivore it must be said that the taste of the final cup does depend somewhat on what else the Luwak has been eating along with the coffee cherries. Cupping reports from experts include comparisons to fruit such as Papaya, Pineapple, Mango and Blackberry. On the other hand there are also frequent comparisons to “game” (meaning the dead mouse consumed before the coffee cherry I suspect).

As the Luwak is found all over the coffee producing regions of Indonesia, the regional cupping characters of the coffee will still be apparent in the coffee. Because over 80% of coffee from Indonesia is the less interesting Robusta, then the Luwak’s intervention in the traditional coffee chain does not dramatically change the cupping character of this type of coffee. The cupping characters of the Arabicas however are altered by the inner workings of the Luwak.

Prof. Marcone and Alun sampling Kopi Luwak in a West Java Village.

Prof. Marcone and Alun sampling Kopi Luwak in a West Java Village.

I had the pleasure to accompany Professor Massimo Marcone, from the University of Guelph, on a TV documentary shoot back in 2004. Professor Marcone is the world’s premier Civetologist. His study on Civets has taken him from the Horn of Africa, through the Philippines and Malaysia to Indonesia. His passion for Civets is contagious. During the filming he described to me in great detail just how the Luwak’s intestinal system affects the coffee. Apparently the combination of scenting glands on the rear end of the animal, along with the secretions in its digestive system, contributes to a unique finished product. He has also devised a method to detect whether Kopi Luwak is the real deal, or fake. He estimates that around 48% of all Kopi Luwak on the market is fake, or at the very best very small quantities of real stuff mixed in with normal coffee filler. When paying such a premium, it is wise to make sure the coffee you are buying is certified as being authentic.
Steve-o and Chris from MTV's Wildboyz testing their stomach strength, enjoying a Cuppa Luwak

Steve-o and Chris from MTV's Wildboyz testing their stomach strength, enjoying a Cuppa Luwak

Kopi Luwak indeed attracts its fair share of both true sceptics and coffee crazed fans. American TV talk shows, such as Oprah, have regularly featured Kopi Luwak. One of the more interesting groups of Luwak hunters to turn up at Merdeka Coffee’s door was the cast of MTV’s Wildboyz (including Steve-O, Chris Pontiak and Johnny Knoxville from “Jackass” fame). Steve-O had a great tussle with the Luwak, which left him (Steve-O) scarred and battered. In the final shot of filming Steve-O scooped up some raw Luwak pooh containing coffee, consumed it and claimed with great satisfaction: “Good to the last dropping!”.

Whether it deserves a serious place in the mainstream of specialty coffee is debatable. However it can not be doubted that Kopi Luwak is absolutely unique and it comes from right here in Indonesia.

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