LA Times article on Luwak Coffee

Luwak Coffee, the rare beverage made from beans found in the droppings of the palm civet, has become a perennial topic in popular media these days, but Paul Watson of the Los Angeles Times has written an outstanding article on the coffee.

A hungry luwakWatson highlights many of the concerns around Luwak coffee, which can fetch prices of up to $600 per pound.

Human hands don’t harvest the beans that make this rare brew. They’re plucked by the sharp claws and fangs of wild civets, catlike beasts with bug eyes and weaselly noses that love their coffee fresh.

They move at night, creeping along the limbs of robusta and hybrid arabusta trees, sniffing out sweet red coffee cherries and selecting only the tastiest. After chewing off the fruity exterior, they swallow the hard innards.

Beyond the unusual process it takes to create the coffee, Watson also mentions the love/hate relationship coffee farmers have with this animal, which can do serious damage to many crops, not just coffee. He also mentions that civets, which can grow to over 100 pounds and are themselves fairly tasty are often killed for food.

Watson quotes Canadian food scientist Massimo Marcone about the authenticity of the luwak coffee on the market and offers a description of authentic luwak coffee which echoes my review of the kopi luwak from

“About 42% of all the kopi luwaks that are presently on sale are either adulterated or complete fakes, unfortunately,” he said.

Real kopi luwak has a top note of rich, dark chocolate, with secondary notes that are musty and earthy, the scientist said. An Indonesian coffee lover described the scent as the smell of moist earth after a rainfall, with hints of vanilla, that teases the palate for hours after the cup is empty.

Check out Watson’s full article on the LA times website. I have never seen a more complete article about luwak coffee.

Via Don Burleson

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Kopi Luwak – Review 2

Armeno Kopi LuwakAfter trying the excellent luwak coffee from I decided I had to try Armeno Coffee Roasters offering of this rarest of coffees.

Armeno is my preferred coffee roaster from which I drink several pounds of coffee each month. Their Kopi Luwak has gone through the same unusual process as the Luwak Coffee from, and while their coffee left nothing to be desired it will still be nice to have something to compare it to.

The packaging (shown in the image above) is a stark contrast to’s gift box however is sufficient to protect its contents. One of the things Armeno offers over other roasters is freshness. They ship only coffee roasted the day of shipping, and since Armeno is located in western Massachusetts their coffee reaches me overnight. If you’re not convinced freshness makes a difference, give Armeno a try. I think you’ll be surprised.

Now for the tasting… Cup one is with cream and sugar. The coffee is medium bodied with excellent flavor and a pleasant bouquet. There is a slight nuttiness to the coffee and no hint of bitterness. The finish is clean, with no acid or bitterness. There is a bit of fruit to the aftertaste and perhaps a little smoke.

Even black the coffee holds its balance extraordinarily well. Those who feel they need cream or sugar to combat the bitterness of coffee will likely find they don’t need it in this coffee.

Final Thoughts

Overall the coffee is very well balanced, a little mild for my taste, but I like strong coffees. In comparison to the Luwak from I have to say the flavor of the Armeno offering is a bit more refined, however, this smoothness comes at the price of some of its uniqueness and complexity.

This definitely ranks in the best coffees I’ve ever had. Armeno fetches $120/lb for this treat, but thankfully they offer a 4 ounces portion for a mere $30. Not a bad price for bragging rites on trying the rarest coffee in the world, but if you’re looking for a nice presentation and the full experience, I’d recommend a gift box from

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Kopi Luwak Coffee – Try It Again for the Second Time

AnimalCoffee LuwakAnother cup of poop please…

Well, the coffee has been ground and is just about done brewing. Soon it will be ready to be consumed… again.

Yup, that’s right. This coffee’s already been eaten by a cute little critter called the luwak. For more detail on that, check out my article The Straight Poop on Kopi Luwak specializes in this rarest of all coffee and was nice enough to send me a sample since I’d never tried it.

The out-of-the-box experience on this coffee is unbelievable. It shipped from Indonesia packed in bubble wrap, cardboard, then paper. The entire package (as pictured here, click on the thumb for a larger image) comes in a sharp looking wooden box with a Luwak Coffee plaque, a lucite paperweight, a card describing the Luwak Coffee process, and a package of the coffee. The whole experience tells me I’m about to try something very exclusive.

The smell of the bean was earthier than other coffees. There’s a complexity to it which I hope is an indication of how it will taste in the cup.

Well, the coffee is brewed and it’s tasting time. I’m trying it with half-and-half and sugar. The flavor is strong and complex, but without the bitterness usually associated with coffees that are this rich. There is a pleasant earthy flavor I cannot quite place. I can honestly say it stands apart from every other coffee I’ve ever had.

The bouquet has a lot to do with the flavor of this coffee. While I’m at a loss to describe it, it is very plesant and quite unusual. I’m trying it black now, and even in the absence of sugar there is not even a hint of bitterness.

The aftertaste dissipates quickly much like a pure Hawaiian Kona. It’s a smooth finish with a slight nuttiness to it. The perfect finish to the perfect cup. Both with cream and sugar, as well as black this is an outstanding cup of coffee.

Final Thoughts

This is one of the best, most unique coffees I’ve ever had. If you or someone you know are the type of person who seeks out the best coffee in town, have tried dozens of mail-order coffees and are always on the lookout for something unique, has just the treat for you.

With the steep price this will no doubt remain a rare treat, but with gift boxes starting at $20 this is the ultimate coffee gift. With a great presentation, outstanding flavor, and bragging rights for trying the rarest and most expensive coffee in the world it’s the perfect gift for the coffee connoisseur.

If you don’t want to spend the $100+ per pound for coffee for your office you should get a quote on coffee service from! Get your office coffee delivered right to your office!

Kopi Luwak, Paperweights and URLs

paperweightAfter writing about Kopi Luwak Coffee and specifically and their sweet paperweights and Luwak Coffee gift boxes I got an email from Troy Davis of thanking me for the exposure and graciously offering to send me a sample of Luwak Coffee.

I naturally accepted and offered the suggestion that he should put his site name on the paperweight somewhere.

Troy responded:

I did consider having the URL of my site put inside the paperweights and key rings however both are made in a tiny hut in a fairly remote village in west Sumatra.

I kid you not.

If you had any idea of the time and trouble I have been through just in getting those items as they are now, of a standard that is acceptable to me; I am loathe to further complicate things. It is difficult for me to explain to the people in the village why I want to collect cat poo, have it encased in resin, and insisting it be done neatly. They think I’m insane but I pay well.

I am very amused. I suppose these are the challenges you face in the cat poo business.

Yesterday I received a small package from Indonesia. Inside a layer of tape, paper, cardboard and bubble wrap I found a wooden box with a metal plaq on top. Within that was a card with the story of Luwak coffee, a luwak coffee paperweight and a quarter pound of Luwak Coffee. What a great presentation.

I’m holding off until tomorrow (Saturday) to try this so I can enjoy it while I’m not driving, but the coffee smells fantastic. Thanks for sending me the coffee Troy!

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Coffee Bean from Animal Droppings

paperweightThis seems to be a popular topic lately, and while I have written about this in greater detail in my story The Straight Poop on Kopi Luwak Coffee a couple new sites have come to my attention since then to warrant a re-visit.

Most notable is which hosts some of the only images I’ve seen of the Luwak, the Indonesian animal which eats raw coffee cherries and excretes undigested coffee beans in its droppings.

They also have the only pictures I’ve ever seen of the droppings before processing. They sell attractively packaged Kopi Luwak coffee gift boxed with your very own luwak dropping. Check out their souvenir page for a very attractive paperweight.

Also of interest is this article from which validates much of what I have written in the past.

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