Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Exotic Luwak Coffee - Bali, Indonesia

The excretion of the Asian Palm Civet before the cleaning process
Coffee fruits on the tree
On the way to Lake Batur, we stopped over at one of the many Luwak Coffee Plantation to see how the most expensive coffee (USD $100 - $600 per pound)  in the world is being produced.  I've heard of Luwak Coffee but never experience drinking it. The coffee is produced mainly in Sumatra, Bali and Java. Our guide, Eduardo, insisted that we should taste the coffee and he told us that the fatwa from Indonesian Islamic Scholars is that the product is halal for Muslims. I was interested to see the process but not tasting it.  

The coffee beans after cleaning
 This is how the process of producing Luwak Coffee goes.  Acres of coffee plantation are left for the wild civets to consume and it is believed that the civets will select to consume only the best coffee beans. The civets eat berries, pulpy fruits, insects and seeds. After about a day the beans are in their stomach, the civets then defecated the beans in clumps on the plantation ground.  Every morning the plantation workers will walk around the farm collecting the  civets droppings. 

Roasting the coffee beans 
We were then showed the coffee beans before and after cleaning. The process of producing Luwak Coffee is manually done by the workers and they demonstrated the process to the visitors to educate them. After cleaning the beans, they are roasted, ground, sieved and finally the coffee powder is ready for packaging.  The last session of the visit to this plantation is the tasting of several herbs and drinks produced by them. Tasting for all products are free except for a cup of Luwak Coffee  which cost us 100,000 rupiah (USD $10 or MYR 35). 

Grinding the coffee manually
I declined to taste the coffee but my husband was dragged into it. According to him, the taste is very mild and not bitter. Perhaps he is so used to the strong caffeinated coffee that he did not like the Luwak coffee.  I suppose whether you like it or not, is a matter of preference. Just before leaving the plantation, we had a close look of a civet in the cage.

It was a nice experience visiting the coffee plantation and learning about the most expensive coffee in the world. We left the plantation and continued our journey to Lake Batur.

Sieving the grounded coffee
A Cup of Luwak Coffee (MYR 35)
Sampling of the plantation products
Plantation products on sale
The guy who served us
We tasted the herbal drink and cocoa drink


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