Kopi Luwak: Captivity in a Cup of Coffee

Is captivity hidden in a cup of coffee?

Now, does that question make sense? It will, in a while.


How would you like to drink a coffee that’s made from the coffee beans that went through the digestive system of a civet cat? That’s a really complex way of asking. So, how about a cup of cat poop coffee? No?

What if I told you that it is the world’s most expensive coffee? Hmm…May be a sip?

Kopi Luwak is an Indonesian coffee product made from the coffee beans that have seen the inside of a civet cat (a raccoon\cat like animal). These cats have a unique ability to pick the good and ripened coffee beans from the unripened or ordinary ones. And their special digestive enzyme make the coffee beans smooth, exquisite and  less caffeinated.

But sometimes the whole process of Kopi Luwak comes with a price that’s not only measured in terms of money but also in terms of compassion. There has been a lot of controversies already, regarding the cruelty imposed on asian palm civet cats as in some farms,  these cats are held captives and force-fed coffee beans all day. Imagine what a train-wreck the nervous system would be if the cat consumes coffee all day? Additionally the farmers are unhappy to have civet cats in coffee farms as they destroy crops.

Little did I know that I will be witnessing the process of Kopi Luwak in the Island of Bali. On one side, there were these poor little creatures scooting inside the cage and on the other side were the workers whose entire livelihood was tied to luwak coffee. I wish these conflicts never existed.

The above photographs depict the process of Kopi Luwak, right from the caged civet cats consuming ripened cherries, laying piles of poop that contains excreted coffee beans, roasting and sun-drying the coffee beans, grinding them to coffee powder and packaging and selling the final product around the world. That’s the story of the world’s most expensive coffee.


Is captivity  hidden in a cup of coffee?

Feel free to comment and share your views on the process.



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