Caged coffee civetsQuaffee is proud to be associated with the specialty coffee industry and is proud to be ethical. For this reason, we do NOT, and will NOT supply what has essentially become a gimmick of coffee pundits and so-called aficionados. Often referred to as:

  • Kopi luwak
  • Weasel coffee
  • The coffee in the bucket list
  • cat coffee
  • poo coffee
  • civet coffee

To name a few.

So why do we not do it?

Why is it so famous

After the Dutch took coffee to Indonesia and planted it there, they found that a local civet, the palm civet (or Luwak as and the locals called it), was eating the ripe coffee cherries. After initially trying to get rid of the “pests”, they then found that the civet poo contained the pips or the green coffee beans. After cleaning the poo they identified that the coffee bean was fully intact, the rest is history, as the stories spread.

And then…

The fame spread. Since the Luwak was wild, it ate many things besides the ripe coffee cherry. Running around the wild forests near the coffee plantations, they defecated all over the place. Hence, the collection of the poos was labour intensive, and tie consuming. As a result, the price of Kopi Luwak coffee increased.

However, with the higher price more unscrupulous people became interested in making a quick buck. So,  Luwaks where caught breed and essentially. So it is easier to farm their secretion of the coffee pip.

Currently:

  • Only coffee cherries are fed to the captured Luwaks. Hence, their diet is not as diverse as it used to be. Add to that is the fact that ripeness of the cherries is in question. And so too is their quality.
  • The Luwak is kept in elevated cages, to allow the farmers to wash the defecated wasted easily down into drains. From there they are collected cleaned and then sold as the original Kopi Luwak.
  • The other way they are farmed is that the Luwak’s stomach acid is extracted (the civet needs to be dead to do this) and is used in the fermentation of the coffee cherry, which then produces the coffee beans.

So either way these are not ethical, and hence goes against one of our core philosophy of being conscious and environmentally friendly in all aspects that we can.

One other thing worth noting is that Robusta (the lowest quality coffee) is often fed to the civets and hence the coffee of origin, is of poor quality to start off with.

What does it taste like?

Although we have not tasted it, for reasons above, from those that have, we have been told that it is similar to other wet processed Samaritan coffees like Mandheling, which we normally have available. Check our coffees page.

Watch this…

Our World Coffees’ Cruel Secret – Kopi Luwak, by the BBC.

Read more…

Here are some other links about the cruel practice of farming Kopi Luwak: