What’s the deal with Kopi Luwak Civet coffee?  

Why is cat poop coffee so expensive?

The deal with Lopi Luwak coffee is pretty strange when you really examine it... or if you don’t examine it at all and just take the fact that it’s poop coffee at face value!

The idea is that the digestion of coffee cherries by a civet cat leads to a better cup of coffee. Kopi Luwak is ridiculously expensive, simply because people are willing to pay the big bucks for it!

The supposedly high quality taste, the luxurious price tag, and the strangeness factor are likely the reasons that people want to drink cat poop coffee.

Overall, people want to drink Kopi Luwak so that they can say that they have tried it. Let’s dive into the details a little bit.

What is Kopi Luwak Civet Coffee? 

Kopi Luwak Civet Coffee is actually a redundant phrase. In Indonesian, Kopi means coffee and Luwak means civet. It’s as simple as that. The terms, Kopi Luwak, Civet Coffee, Cat Poop coffee, etc. can be used interchangeably.

Kopi Luwak is coffee that is brewed from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by a civet cat. 

The Asian palm civet is the cat that everyone is so eager to consume the excrement of. This little fella is native to the several Asian countries, the most notable being Indonesian.

Kopi Luwak Civet Coffee

Please don't consume my excrement, it makes me uncomfortable!

Where does Kopi Luwak Civet Coffee come from? 

The infamous cat poop coffee process is meant to go something like this;

  • 1
    Palm civet living in the wild gets hungry for coffee cherries.
  • 2
    Palm civet is a clever little critter and chooses the best, most ripe coffee cherries to consume.
  • 3
    Palm civet requires waste removal just as every other animal does.
  • 4
    Humans find this bean filled excrement, and brew up some of the most expensive coffee in the world!

All makes perfect sense, right? Yeah, maybe not.

Cat Poop Coffee

Mouth watering cat poop coffee... In case you wanted another look.

The claim is that the coffee beans are fermented by the digestive tract of the civet in a way that alters the taste in a desirable way. Is this true? Who’s to say? Taste is subjective.

Ripe Coffee Cherries

I think I prefer to look at them pre-consumption...

If this were the end of the story, then fine, by all means continue the practice. Different strokes and all that.

But in reality, the process outlined above is NOT how things occur. In reality, civets are kept in cages and are being force fed coffee cherries. Obviously, this is a horrible and cruel act.

It is a sad reality that many people jump at the opportunity to fetch a high price, even by means of such awful practices.

Why is Kopi Luwak coffee so expensive?

The plain and simple reason that Kopi Luwak coffee is so expensive is that people are or where willing to pay for it. 

Okay, so then why are people willing to pay for it? People seem willing to cough up the big bucks for civet coffee because;

It is supposedly fantastic tasting.

This is a largely unsubstantiated claim. Even if this were true in the past, specialty coffee has come a long way. What’s amusing is that Indonesia already produces some of the best coffee in the world, they don’t need this title!

It has the luxurious title of most expensive coffee in the world. 

In the past, Kopi Luwak was indisputably the most expensive coffee in the world. Now? Not so much.

It is a bizarre novelty.

People like weird stuff. People like bizarre. Fair enough, but I think it’s more about…

Bragging Rights

Plain and simple, people like to tell other people about it. 

"I drank the most expensive coffee in the world, cat poop coffee!"



Why you shouldn't purchase Kopi Luwak coffee.

What can we do about the cruelty that is being inflicted upon Indonesian palm civets?

Stop buying civet coffee!

If the demand for Kopi Luwak goes down, the prices will go down. If the prices go down, subjecting civets to such conditions will no longer be profitable.

It is in this way that we can help to stop the civet cat cruelty.

Another reason… as if it were needed, is that…

You’re probably being ripped off!

​Due to the high asking price, there are plenty of vendors eager to sell you their Kopi Luwak coffee. In reality, many of these products have never been anywhere near a civet cat, let alone eaten by one! Many other companies claim only to use the excreted beans of wild civets. This claim cannot be proven, and is frankly pretty hard to believe.

And lastly...

Indonesian coffee has so much more to offer! 

The fact of the matter is that Indonesia is responsible for some of the best coffees in the world. There are so many other great options out there!

Indonesian Coffee Recommendations

All of these Indonesian coffees are great tasting as well as cruelty and poop-free!

1. Sumatra Gayo Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, earthy & spicy notes

Here's another option from the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Gayo coffee has a heavy & syrupy body. This coffee is rich, and contains the signature earthy character that Indonesian beans are known for. Exotic spicy notes make this profile distinct. This one may be enjoyed more by the experienced coffee drinker. If you fancy yourself a coffee connoisseur, do yourself a favor and check out Sumatra Gayo!

2. Bali Blue Moon Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, earth & spice

If you're not a huge fan of earthy character, this just might be the one for you. In place of the typical Indonesian earthiness is extra spiciness! A vast array of flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla & spice are seamlessly interwoven into a creamy, rich mouthful. The spice portion of the profile sticks around and compliments a nice smooth finish. These beans show that Bali has more than just beautiful beaches to offer!

3. Sumatra Mandheling Coffee

Roasted By: Koffee Kult

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex & rich, notes of earth & Baker's chocolate

Sumatra Mandheling coffee carries a very high reputation and is probably the most well known Indonesian coffee. This coffee offers a balanced of earthy & chocolate notes. A mild acidity and a sweetness that tastes like brown sugar add to this rich and complex profile. If you're in the market for Indonesian coffee, look no further!

For more great Indonesian coffees, check out this article!

What are your thoughts on the Kopi Luwak situation? Let us know!

Have a coffee question? We may have the answer. Ask away!

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