There are some types of coffee that have a special history. And those stories seem to open your eyes - only after hearing them do you start to appreciate coffee differently. I want to share some of them today. We will travel to where exotic, rare, and gourmet coffee beans are made - Kopi Luwak.
Early morning on the island of Sumatra. The sun has not yet risen, and the chirping of the birds is almost deafening. A local Polynesian has a hard time making his way through the jungle, there is no trail here yet. The man sees a musango tail high up in the tree and smiles. His search is over today.
Kopi Luwak is brought into the world in Indonesia. The inception of the name of the espresso is deciphered as follows: Kopi in Indonesia implies espresso, and locally Luwak local people call palm musanga, a creature that is the first and fundamental maker of this espresso.
The historical backdrop of this espresso started some time in the past, in the XVlll century, when the Indonesian islands were a Dutch province.
Local people worked for the homesteaders, gathering espresso beans. What's more, when local people saw something fascinating. Incidentally, one types of palm musanga eats mangoes and bananas, yet additionally loves to eat the products of espresso trees. The mash of the espresso natural product is processed by the musangs, and the seeds - the espresso beans - are taken out with the dung.
Local people have understood that musango dung (when they are altogether cleaned, washed, and go through the typical espresso bean-production systems) become staggeringly great espresso. This uncommon espresso was before long cherished by Dutch pilgrims. Because of its extraordinariness and extraordinary properties, this espresso was very costly even in the XVlll century.
As I mentioned, the raw material for Kopi Luwak is the coffee beans found in the excrement of palm musango. What is that palm musang? It is a timid, small animal, somewhat reminiscent of a cat, with a tail longer than itself. If you ever visit the forests of Indonesia and look for musango, you will recognize it by the following characteristics:
- Gray coat
- Three black stripes running along the back
- Lives in trees
- Active at night
Coffee Kopi Luwak is of extremely good quality for several reasons. First of all, the palm musanga, it can be said, is a gourmet himself - his smell is very good and the animal tastes only the best coffee fruits, which are fully ripe. Even professional, the most experienced coffee pickers would have a hard time competing with this animal, which picks the coffee beans so carefully. Another reason is that when beans are processed in the digestive tract of musangs, natural fermentation enhances the natural properties of coffee beans, their aroma becomes more pronounced, which is complemented by a new range of flavors and aromas.
Today, the largest quantities of Kopi Luwak beans are harvested and processed in Indonesia, Java, Sumatra, and Sulawesi. Also in the Philippines and Vietnam, only these places produce less Kopi Luwak. Coffee making and processing are quite common. The coffee beans collected at the coffee-growing sites are thoroughly washed, dried, and roasted at the required temperature. Coffee beans are further processed in the usual way and supplied to foreign markets. Most Kopi Luwak beans go to the US and Japan.
Kopi Luwak is made with a unique, rich taste and thick consistency. Natural fermentation in the digestive tract of musango results in the beans losing bitterness and acquiring a distinctive spice. The aroma of Kopi Luwak is special: it is strong and at the same time fresh, with notes of earth, wild jungle, nuts, and chocolate. Enjoying Kopi Luwak, it remains a pleasant aftertaste for a long time. The taste, of course, can vary depending on the type, origin, processing, and roasting of the coffee beans. Interestingly, the taste of coffee is greatly influenced not only by the musango's diet but also by its psychological state - say, whether it experiences stressful situations.
This coffee is now considered the most expensive in the world and is highly valued by gourmets. The price per kilogram of Kopi Luwak beans can range from 500 to 1,300 euros in both directions. In Europe, a cup of Kopi Luwak can cost about 10 - 15 euros, and in Western Europe, you can pay two to five times more for a cup of the same coffee. Price in the USA also varies, it can be 15 - 25 USD for one cup. The price is high - but why? The main reason is that the amount of coffee beans that small coffee producers are able to eat is, of course, limited. The gourmet properties of coffee and, admittedly, the name of coffee itself play a significant role. The price also depends on what beans ate musings - arabica or robusta.