Brew from the Bowels

I consider Kopi Luwak, civet poop coffee, one of the marvels of marketing. You’re basically feeding people a shit by-product packaged in luxury, smothered in elitism and studded with gold nuggets.

At Kopi Luwak, a coffee shop at Plaza Indonesia, the product is unabashedly promoted as “The Most Expensive Coffee in the World.” How could we resist?

Plus, drink up this rather compelling blurb from the promotional materials at the cafe (verbatim):

The Luwak (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) denizen of the coffee (kopi) plantations of Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi, eats only the ripest coffee cherries.

Unable to digest the coffee beans, the Luwak graciously deposits them on the jungle floor where they are eagerly collected by locals.

The stomach acids and enzymatic action involved in this unique fermentation process produces the beans for the world’s rarest coffee beverage.

To me it sounds like this: After a round of polo and a sip of champagne, the Luwak is carried by its servants over to the coffee cherry patch where the serfs proceed to feed it with the ripest fruits. After massaging its body with caviar and washing it off with wine, the civet then perches on a golden toilet and graciously takes a shit.

Kopi Luwak coffee shop serves Rp 82.000 ($9) cups of authentic java, as well as packets of coffee powder tied up in gold sachets and cans of powdered Kopi Luwak in exquisitely carved wooden boxes, each with a certificate in it that says it’s the real deal. These poopy powders are pretty expensive.

I tried the stuff with my boyfriend a few months back and it was not a pleasant experience. I distinctly remember a fecal aftertaste.

Indonesian Kopi Luwak, however, had a deeper and richer flavor, a bitter and earthy aftertaste.You could hardly detect the feces.

The sediment left behind in the cup was quite attractive, too, like civet diarrhea. Say authenticity!

Toilet, coffee cup… who’s keeping track?

Our waitress, a sweet girl, earlier tried to sell those coffee grounds like her life depended on it, even telling my friend that he couldn’t get Kopi Luwak anywhere else (of course he can).

The funny thing was, though, that when we asked her if Kopi Luwak was good, she shook her head and said, “No. I don’t like coffee.”


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