Digestive mechanisms may improve the flavor profile of the coffee beans that have been eaten. The civet eats the cherries for the fleshy pulp, then in the digestive tract, fermentation occurs. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets due to «horrific conditions» including isolation, poor diet, small cages and a high mortality rate. Intensive farming is also criticised by traditional farmers because the civets do not select what they eat, so the cherries which are fed to them in order to flavor the coffee are of poor quality compared to those beans collected from the wild. Java and Sumatra, including Arabica coffee introduced from Yemen. Still, the native farmers wanted to have a taste of the famed coffee beverage. The natives collected these luwaks’ coffee seed droppings, then cleaned, roasted and ground them to make their own coffee beverage.
The fame of aromatic civet coffee spread from locals to Dutch plantation owners and soon became their favourite, yet because of its rarity and unusual process, the civet coffee was expensive even during the colonial era. A cup of Kopi Luwak from Gayo, Takengon, Aceh. Few objective assessments of taste are available. Kopi luwak is a name for any beans collected from the excrement of civets, hence the taste may vary with the type and origin of beans ingested, processing subsequent to collection, roasting, aging and brewing. In the coffee industry, kopi luwak is widely regarded as a gimmick or novelty item. It would appear that the Luwak processing diminishes good acidity and flavor and adds smoothness to the body, which is what many people seem to note as a positive to the coffee. Petrified dinosaur droppings steeped in bathtub water.
Some critics claim more generally that kopi luwak is simply bad coffee, purchased for novelty rather than taste. Massimo Marcone, who performed extensive chemical tests on the beans, was unable to conclude if anything about their properties made them superior for purposes of making coffee. While the cuppers were able to distinguish the kopi luwak as distinct from the other samples, they had nothing remarkable to appraise about it other than it was less acidic and had less body, tasting «thin». Marcone remarked «It’s not that people are after that distinct flavor. They are after the rarity of the coffee». The luak, that’s a small catlike animal, gorges after dark on the most ripe, the best of our crop.
It digests the fruit and expels the beans, which our farm people collect, wash, and roast, a real delicacy. Something about the natural fermentation that occurs in the luak’s stomach seems to make the difference. For Javanese, this is the best of all coffees—our Kopi luak. Civets also eat small vertebrates, insects, ripe fruits and seeds. On farms, civets are either caged or allowed to roam within defined boundaries. Coffee berries are eaten by a civet for their fruit pulp. Moreover, the «cherry» or endocarp surrounding the bean is not completely digested by the luwak, and after being collected, the farmer performs thorough washing and removes the endocarp.
The final roasting of the beans would, additionally, eliminate any remaining bacteria. Indonesian archipelago since the 17th century. Several studies have examined the process in which the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes digest the beans’ covering and ferment the beans. Marcone also conducted an analysis on the volatile compounds which are responsible for the coffee’s flavour and aroma, showing that there are significant differences from regular coffee. Protein structure had been altered, reducing bitterness and potentially impacting flavour. Volatile compounds had significant differences compared to regular coffee, indicating there are changes in flavour.
Davila Cortes, the altered protein structure degrades the effectiveness of the coffee as a diuretic. Several commercial processes attempt to replicate the digestive process of the civets without animal involvement. Brooklyn-based food startup Afineur has also developed a patented fermentation technology that reproduces some of the taste aspects of Kopi Luwak while improving coffee bean taste and nutritional profile. The high price of kopi luwak drives the search for a way to produce kopi luwak in large quantities. Kopi luwak production involves a great deal of labour, whether farmed or wild-gathered. The small production quantity and the labor involved in production contribute to the coffee’s high cost. Imitation may be a response to the decrease in the civet population.
Initially, civet coffee beans were picked from wild civet excrement found around coffee plantations. This unusual process contributed to its rarity and subsequently, its high price. Concerns were raised over the safety of civet coffee after evidence suggested that the SARS virus originated from palm civets. The civets are taken from the wild and have to endure horrific conditions. They fight to stay together but they are separated and have to bear a very poor diet in very small cages. There is a high mortality rate and for some species of civet, there’s a real conservation risk. It’s spiralling out of control. But there’s not much public awareness of how it’s actually made. People need to be aware that tens of thousands of civets are being kept in these conditions. It would put people off their coffee if they knew»‘.