Coffee Review: Kopi Luwak (the cat poop coffee),


Bean Origin or Blend: Genuine Kopi Luwak

Body: Medium/Full

Roast: Medium

Brew Method: Drip and French Press

Price: $100 per ½ lb (Purchase)

If you haven’t heard, there is a coffee known as the “cat poop” coffee, though it’s officially called Kopi Luwak – and we have a review of it for you today! Here are some details on this rare cup:

Qopi is the Indonesian word for coffee, and luwak is a local name of the Asian Palm Civet, which looks more like a weasel than a cat. Civets consume the red coffee cherries, when available, containing the fruit and seed, and they tend to pick the ripest and sweetest fruit. The inner bean of the berry is not digested, but a unique combination of enzymes in the stomach of the civet add to the coffee’s flavor by breaking down the proteins that give coffee its bitter taste. The beans are defecated, still covered in some inner layers of the berry.

The beans are washed, and given only a light roast so as to not destroy the complex flavors that develop through the process. Light roasting is considered particularly desirable in coffees that do not exhibit bitterness, and the most pronounced characteristic of Kopi Luwak is a marked reduction in bitterness.

Crazy? Yes. Awesome? Yes. It’s crazy awesome! On to the review!

The aroma of the Kopi Luwak bean is very complex, with a pungent berry, thick nuttiness, mild amaretto, and a sweet profile with hints of caramel. I have no idea how all those aromas exist on one bean, but they do. The bean is tiny in size, medium in color and oil, and on the grind the aroma is so pungent that it burns my nostrils.

On the pour, all the aromas are muted and meld into one unified profile, unlike the bean that was all over the map – the dominant profile, if there is one, is most similar to a nutty amaretto.

On consumption, the cup is amazingly smooth with a short and light finish that builds as the cup progresses and eventually becomes quite thick and heavy. There is no pungency or bitterness at all and you can taste the nuttiness as the dominate profile, with bordering sweet notes of caramel and berry. The cup has an earthiness to it as well. It progresses and cools in a way I’ve never experienced – the finish starts light and builds toward heavy, and the cup starts very smooth and builds a medium acidity and bitterness that is only present several minutes later in the finish.

Listen, I know this is a crazy expensive cup of coffee, and obviously this is only a daily cup for kings and queens, athletes and moviestars, but this Kopi Luwak bean is c-r-a-z-y! Now that I’ve had this bean, I’ll never purchase it again – it’s a one-time experience for me. However, it was an exciting opportunity, to try what may well be the rarest coffee on earth. I am very thankful to Lisa for sending the sample.

The profile and progression on this cup was like something I’ve never before tasted, and the complexity, matched with the general smoothness, was unsurpassed. This is a superb coffee, and if we rated coffees at Toasted Foot, and didn’t take into consideration price, this cup would score a perfect 10, without question. This would be a great coffee to do a group buy on just for the opportunity to sample it. If you are a coffee enthusiast, I’d start the hunt for a café that sells it by the cup – it would be worth spending $20 just to check it off the list. Thanks again Lisa!

And by way of cigar pairing, you’re going to want a very non-obtrusive cigar with a straight forward, non-shifting profile. I’d go with an Ecuadorian Connecticut wrapped cigar, maybe the Oliva Connecticut Reserve.