With prices that vary from $35-$100 per cup, or around $100-$600 per pound, Kopi Luwak is generally considered to be the worlds most expensive coffee. A highly prized Indonesian means of producing luxury coffee, Kopi Luwak references the processes that bring beans into this pricey realm. Produced in Indonesia, Kona from Hawaii is made by feeding coffee cherries to Asiatic palm tree civets; who are small, predatory mammals, then waiting for them to pick up coffee beans from the feces of these civets.
Coffee beans are fed to Indonesian palm civets, partially digested, then excreted to be used in making Kopi Luwak. The wild Asian Palm Civet finds the ripest, freshest coffee cherries, and with the magic of their digestive enzymes, break the beans apart.
The Civets are particularly fond of the coffee cherries, which undergo a natural fermentation process in their digestive tracts, producing the coffee beans. Civets are a species of cat native to parts of Indonesia, and have a particular liking for the sweetest coffee cherries. Sometimes called the coffee civet or coffee cat, Asian palm civets are omnivorous, cat-like creatures whose diet includes insects, small animals, and fruits, including one of the favorites of Asian palm civets, coffee cherries.
At night, they visit coffee plantations and feast on the ripe cherries, often leaving large coffee-bean-laden dung piles around the plantation. In addition to the chemical adjustments a cats stomach makes to a coffee cherry (something that high-level coffee roasters wax poetic about frequently), the belief is that a civet has an eye for the beans selection, eating only the best from a group. One of the steps of the process that makes Kopi Luwak such a unique, fantastic coffee is that civets pick out specific coffee cherries, choices taken from them while captive.
While Black Ivory Coffee is known for using elephants in Thailand for their completely digested coffee cherries, Kopi Luwak is made using a similar process using different animals on a few particular Indonesian islands. Kopi Luwak coffee prices start at $160 a pound, rising up to $600 for the more expensive variety, in which civets roam free and pick out the best beans for themselves. Although Kopi luwak is a processing method, not a type of coffee, Kopi luwak has been called one of the worlds most expensive coffees, with retail prices reaching $100 a kg for farm-grown beans and $1,300 per kg for wild-harvested beans.
Similar to coffee from the civet, coffee from Finca Los Planes is prepared by elephants, which consume arabica beans and are processed through their digestive processes. Oh, and just so happens, Finca El Injerto coffee is harvested from the arabica beans that are excreted from the dung of elephants. Right up there with the Thai black ivory coffee is the Guatemalan Finca El Injerto, which retails for about $500 per pound.
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