What makes Kopi luwak processing method unique is the involvement of Civet, a local animal. The birds eat fresh coffee berries, which their systems do not digest. Kopi Luwak Coffee Instead, they only obtain the berries’ fresh pulp, defecating the seeds in their original inner form in clumps. The locals collect coffee beans from Civet droppings. These are thoroughly cleaned, dried, roasted and then ground to obtain coffee powder.
Although Kopi luwak coffee is the same coffee that is produced in other parts of the world, it is unique. It lacks bitterness associated with coffee from elsewhere. It is believed that the bitterness is taken up by Civet’s digestion system. It is also available in varied flavors, all sweet. This method of processing coffee and the superiority of the resultant brew have made this kind of coffee to be the most expensive coffee in the world, not only now but from decades ago.
Kopi luwak is not subjected to intense roasting. It is only slightly roasted and produces a flavor that is very different from other coffee processes. Presently, the Sumatra region of Indonesia is the main producer of this type of this type of coffee.
The uniqueness of coffee processed in this way has necessitated the need for research to find out why its brew is of such high quality. Research results have indicated that endogenous secretions of Civet seep into fresh coffee berries eaten by Civet. Such secretions contain enzymes that break down protein in the berries. This in effect leads to more free amino acids and less peptides and reduced bitterness, giving this coffee its unique flavor.
Initially, many researchers doubted the safety of coffee processed in this way. This doubt stemmed from the fact that since the fresh coffee berries swallowed by Civet pass through its digestive system, there was a likelihood of the dropped berries containing harmful organisms. Although this was established to be true, the fact that collected berries are subjected to thorough washing, drying and eventually roasting killed any present harmful organisms. This makes Kopi luwak coffee very safe for human consumption.
Processing this coffee is very involving. This is because one has to go collected dropped clump of coffee berries, a task that is certainly hard and time consuming. These factors make this kind of coffee to be expensive. Coffee processed in this way is widely popular in Japan, USA and in Asia. It is available in coffee outlets. It is also sold ready brewed in selected coffeehouses.
As the population of Civets continues to decrease because of prevalent hunting for its meat, so the reduction in the dropped coffee berries to be processed. The demand for this coffee however continues to rise. It has come to be necessary to imitate Kopi luwak’s taste using coffee beans grown elsewhere. Various researches have made various products available that can be used in flavoring other coffee powder to resemble that of Kopi luwak. Imitated flavored coffee is however sold at the price of ordinary coffee.
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