The coffee industry worldwide is upset about coffee Luwak. Real coffee Luwak is a natural product. Animals used to produce real Luwak coffee are not caged. Rarely, if ever, will you read the true story about coffee from beans taken from the excrement of an animal, which is what some call coffee Luwak.
I agree about the commercialization of coffee Luwak having led to abuse of Civet Cats. However, most who write on this topic are not even close to the true story. This is the original back story of what coffee Luwak is and where it comes from. After three decades of living in Indonesia, I feel that I have more knowledge on this matter than some “bule” who has never been to Indonesia and enjoyed real, natural coffee Luwak.
Indonesia was once a Dutch colony. The Indonesians were pretty much treated as slaves. In fact, until they threw off the yoke of Dutch oppression there were not so many native Indonesians on the islands of the country. That is because the Dutch sent many of them as workers (read slaves) to Dutch colonies around the world.
On the Dutch coffee plantations (such as the still operating coffee plantation & resort called Losari in Central Java), the local Indonesian workers picked the coffee beans. They, the Indonesians, were not allowed to use any of the beans for their own personal beverage. Somewhere back in time the Dutch plantation masters found out that the workers were still finding ways to drink coffee. The workers had discovered they could clean up the beans from the excrement of the local Luwak animal. The Dutch were disgusted about the workers drinking what the workers called coffee Luwak. The Dutch were disgusted about coffee from poop because it might be a marketing disaster if word got out. However, when they discovered how much better coffee Luwak tastes than regular coffee, the plantation masters changed their minds. Most coffee drinkers care not for the coffee industry claims about testing methods and terms like cupping. What they know is that true coffee Luwak tastes better. MUCH BETTER. coffee made from the poop of caged animals does not taste better that normal commercial coffee, as coffee marketing testers, has been screaming about.
A civet cat is NOT the same animal as a Luwak. The Luwak is one separate species of Asian mammal which looks like a cat. True coffee Luwak is MUCH better than Civet Cat coffee. The reason true coffee Luwak tastes better is the point at which the LUWAK eats the beans. In nature, the Luwak chooses the coffee cherries carefully, eating only those at the perfect moment of ripeness. This is is slightly later than the timing of the Civet Cat. When the harvesting is left to nature and the Luwak is uncaged, the resulting product is exquisite. Left alone in nature the beans are eaten at exactly the correct time. Caged animals, both Luwak and Civet Cat eat too early because they are starving. True coffee Luwak is natural and not abusive to animals. These days I am not even sure that REAL coffee Luwak is sold outside of Indonesia. To call such a product cat poop coffee does a disservice to the product
The Civet Cat is larger, and therefore, consumes more beans in a day. That is why the animal abusers choose the Civet Cat for their production line. Another thing you do not know is that Civet Cats in Asia are not exactly wild animals. They are certainly mean little buggers, but they like living as much in urban areas as they do like living in the rural and jungle areas. In fact, they are big enough and strong enough to move roof tiles with their paws. Then they move in to make a nest inside a normal home and have their babies.
Javaman is a world traveler who has traveled to many countries, living, loving and enjoying the cultures of the world. My passions are my family, my children and sharing the amazing experiences enjoyed while traveling, working and living all over the world. Writing on DTC allows me to share my experiences and experience with others.