Bali Culture – Luwak Coffee
Luwak coffee is considered one of the finest coffees available in the world and is certainly one of the most expensive.
The Asian Palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) is responsible for the effects of this unique coffee. Related to the cat but belonging to the viverridae family, the same as the mongoose, it has a weasel-like face, cat-like body and long tail with fur.
The omnivorous, tree-climbing civet prowls the coffee plantations at night picking and consuming the finest and best ripe coffee cherries. The civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, enzymes seep into the beans, breaking down some of the proteins allowing them to leach out, resulting in a less bitter coffee. Passing through a civet’s intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. Beans emerge without their fleshy coating, but entire and appear undigested.
After gathering, thorough washing and sun drying, the raw and cleaned beans are placed in a large stone mortar (lesung), pounded with a large wooden pole to loosen beans from their covering shells and then winnowed by hand in a flat basket like tray to separate the beans. Beans are then carefully hand-picked to remove any that are damaged.
After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting in special local ovens and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee made from Robusta beans, named Kopi Luwak.
Lewak coffee has become very popular in the coffee houses of Bali, some even advertising Catpooccino!
We visit the Lewak coffee plantations as part of Diving Indo’s Kintamani tour where you can try Lewak Coffee, see the civets and watch the coffee roasting process. Set in a backdrop of lush forest the plantation also grows cinnamon, cardamom, saffron and other exotic spices.
Click here for more details of our Bali land tours.