Have you heard of kopi luwak or civet coffee?
Known as the most expensive coffee in the world, civet coffee is made by collecting, cleaning, and selling the excreted coffee beans of the nocturnal animals civets. The civets digest the flesh of the coffee cherries but excrete the beans inside. The excretion supposedly adds to the coffee’s prized aroma and flavour.
Kopi Luwak refers to the most expensive coffee in the world with just one cup costing anything between £30 to £70 with its prices reflecting demand dwarfing supply. The reason for its ridiculous price is due to the unique process the coffee cherries go through passing via the digestive system of a pal civet cat…..(in the most sarcastic voice)…..tasty!
It could also be called the cruellest coffee in the world, as the civets are forced to live in cramped, dirty, lonely battery cages a mile away from their natural habitats of woodland, savanna, and mountains.
The Indonesian term “kopi” means coffee and “luwak” is the local term for the palm civet cat, which eats the coffee cherries and digests them by excreting the outer fruits of the cherry.
From here the process continues more conventionally with the shit beans washed and cleaned and prepped for roasting. It is said that the digestive enzymes of the civet enhance and restructure the protein within the coffee beans resulting in a smoother cup of coffee, which is more balanced between acidity and bitterness. But of course that should be with machine help, not with cat help.
The cruel truth
The civets are denied their natural diet, are constantly overfed coffee beans, and have no opportunity to know freedom.
They squat in their tight cages and eat the sweet day long nothing but coffee cherries. In the wild, they eat beside coffee also jackfruit or mangos, here in their cages they are only allowed to eat coffee.
Many caged civets express characteristics often seen in imprisoned animals, such as biting and gnawing at their cages and obsessive repeated behaviour. Some civets even begin to gnaw at themselves and, due to the overfeeding, will start having gastrointestinal problems, often leading to blood in their faeces.
As a carnivore with omnivorous tendencies, this naturally equates to malnutrition, which inevitably leads to death.
And though all the conditions for animal cruelty and factory farming such as chickens, pigs or cows are met, the world does not give a shit about it. What are some unknown cats in the distant jungle, that nobody finds on the map anyway?
Even those who label their kopi luwak “wild sourced” are making false claims, as it is impossible to generate profit from exclusively wild-sourced civet coffee.
This is a luxury product that capitalizes on the captivity of individuals for the super rich rather than a true reflection of good quality speciality coffee, which takes into account not just processes but the beans and final taste of coffee.
Cives are a protected species in Indonesia, but due to their high demand and attraction from tourists they’re being farmed commercially and fed coffee cherries purely for economic benefit.
Although standards restrict the use of cages, there is no real certification system for kopi luwak and so it is too hard to establish whether Kopi Luwak is farmed or produced from wild civets and we have little faith in its enforcement with animal cruelty products still running a mock on supermarket shelves such as Foie Gras.
Do not buy this product! We urge everyone to avoid Kopi Luwak coffee. In addition to the questionable quality, this is a coffee that was born out of stupid curiosity and whose production is associated with animal suffering.
You can almost completely be sure that a good conscience will be sold to a problematic product here. Price, aspiration and reality move here in a cosmos of pure money making with a myth.
And this myth is stupid to us all from beginning to end. There is no reason why this coffee exists. There are millions of better offers – also from Indonesia – that not only do not exploit animals senseless, but also pay the coffee farmers decent.
My best regards to all, Venus