It’s probably the only time when poop and expensive come in the same sentence! Coffee Luwak aka Civet Coffee is the most expensive and exotic coffee in the world! I had heard about it, but I wasn’t sure if I could muster the courage to drink it. Then I went to Bali and I thought I might as well add another ‘first’ to my travel experiences! I drank this exotic coffee and here is my experience.
Coffee plantations are not something I would highly recommend during a Bali trip, but to taste the exotic coffee luwak – a visit would be worth it!
We had a brief stopover at a coffee plantation, on our way to Ulan Danu temple in Bedugul and that’s where I tasted Coffee Luwak!
How is it exotic?
This is not just another cup of coffee; it’s exotic because it’s made from poop! People spend several dollars for a cup in the West! Spend a pretty penny for coffee made from poop? Well, the coffee beans are of a different kind as compared to your regular ones.
When the coffee berries are ripe, an animal called Asian Palm Civet eats them – thus it’s also popularly known as civet coffee. The civet eats the coffee berries and poops out the beans – which are then collected, cleaned, roasted, and grinded into coffee powder. The berries are fermented in civet’s digestive system, which gives this coffee its unique flavor and aroma.
So, it is literally poop coffee!
Sounds yucky right? I also thought the same, but nevertheless wanted to taste this exotic coffee that people rave about. There is a guide that takes you around the coffee plantation, where we saw the coffee berries, the excreted coffee beans which were being cleaned, manually roasted and grinded.
After a short tour of the coffee plantation, we arrived at the tasting area where we had our cup of Civet Coffee!
Well it looks like any other cup of coffee. But it does taste different. It has a distinct aftertaste. Although I didn’t like it so much, I would recommend it for the sheer experience of it.
Civet coffee is very affordable in Indonesia
Coffee luwak is a specialty of Indonesia and it has a huge market in the west. But a cup of coffee luwak in Indonesia is super-duper cheap. We paid a meagre IDR 50,000 for one 1 cup – which is about USD 6! But in the west, it’s available for as high as USD 80!
Also, it’s more authentic because it’s produced in Indonesia itself. When you drink it outside Indonesia, you never know whether it’s really luwak or something else, especially if it’s your first time.
There are other types of tea and coffee that we tasted – like ginseng, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut, etc. – which are complimentary.
Luwak Coffee is also sold in restaurants and cafes in other part of Bali at the same price. So if you do not have time to visit the plantation, you can have it in any of the cafes. Though you will miss out on experiencing the coffee plantation and how luwak coffee is processed.
You can purchase luwak coffee as well as other types of coffee and tea at the small store outside the coffee plantation.