Luwak Coffee

Posted on 27/11/2023

Luwak coffee or civet coffee is also known as kapé alamíd in the Philippines, cà phê Chồn or weasel coffee in Vietnam. This coffee comes from coffee beans which are eaten and partially digested by the civet cat (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus).




Luwak is a civet-like animal that lives in Indonesia, especially on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Kalimantan. The geographical distribution of Luwak is from South Asia to Southeast Asia which includes India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Brunei Darussalam.


Luwak are arboreal animals that spend most of their time solitary in the trees. Apart from that, this animal is also a nocturnal creature which is more active at night. As an omnivorous animal, Luwak can eat fruit or meat. More precisely, the Luwak is a frugivore because this animal prefers to eat fruit and will only eat meat or insects if fruit is not available.


History of Coffee and Luwak


The history of Luwak coffee cannot be separated from the Dutch colonialists in the early 18th century who introduced the coffee plant to Indonesia. At that time coffee was one of the most sought-after commodities in Europe. To increase the supply of coffee, the Dutch imported coffee beans from Yemen and tried to breed them in Indonesia.


On a coffee plantation in Central Java in the 19th century, workers on the coffee plantation noticed that civet cats often roamed where they were working. Civets often eat coffee cherries that are ripe and their droppings still contain partially digested coffee beans. Plantation workers at that time were prohibited from trying the coffee they had picked because all the coffee harvest would be sent to Europe.


Seeing this, the garden workers then cleaned the seeds from the luwak droppings and roasted the seeds. The coffee produced from brewing luwak coffee beans is then drunk by plantation workers. The taste of Luwak coffee, which is not too sour, and its fragrant aroma, spread the reputation of this coffee and was eventually heard by the Dutch colonialists. Kopi Luwak was then brought to Europe and turned out to be very popular with the nobility. Since then, the name Luwak coffee has become increasingly popular and popular to this day.


Luwak Coffee Process


Luwak likes the sweet taste. When eating coffee berries, luwak will choose good coffee berries that are perfectly ripe. It will then eat the flesh of the coffee fruit and swallow the seeds. These coffee beans will pass through the luwak's digestive tract and undergo a natural fermentation process. Luwak's digestive enzymes will break down the proteins in coffee beans, resulting in a rich, smoother, and less sour flavor profile.


Luwak droppings that still contain intact coffee beans are then collected and cleaned. After cleaning, the coffee beans are removed from the shell one by one and then sorted. The sorted coffee beans are then dried in the sun until the water content is 11%. After that, the coffee beans can be stored as green beans for further use.


Ethical Issues in Luwak Keeping


Initially, the process of getting Luwak coffee beans was done by collecting wild luwak droppings in the forest. This is quite a time-consuming job because the luwak droppings are scattered throughout the forest floor.


With the increasing popularity of Luwak coffee, the need for coffee beans increases while coffee beans from wild luwaks are unpredictable in quantity. This led to the emergence of a breeding system for luwak where the luwaks were kept in cages fed coffee berries and then collected their feces.


Concerns about the welfare of the leaks kept to produce Luwak coffee have become a concern for a number of parties. In some Luwak coffee-producing locations, the luwaks are kept in cages that are too small and only fed coffee cherries. Apart from being unnatural, this method can also cause stress to the luwak's


To overcome this, regulations and certifications were created for Luwak coffee producers. This certification aims to ensure that the coffee that will be made into Luwak coffee comes from sources that comply with the regulations and that the Luwak is kept healthy and maintained in good condition.


Sulotco Luwak Coffee


As part of Sulotco's high-quality Toraja coffee products, Luwak coffee is also one of them. The leaks on the Sulotco plantation are very well looked after. Each luwak was placed in a cage measuring 2 x 2 m with a height of 2 m to facilitate the luwak's mobility. Luwaks are fed meat and fruit such as African catfish, eels, chicken, eggs, bananas, and papaya. Coffee cherries are given only once a week during the harvest period. These efforts are made to ensure that the Luwak remains healthy and the quality of the Luwak coffee produced is maintained.