When I passed this beer on the shelf at one of our favorite beer stores/bars yesterday, I recognized the name and thought that someone had recommended this beer. I couldn’t remember why I recognized the name or who had suggested it, but I picked up the bottle and had them chill it anyway. I asked Steve if he had heard of the beer and/or who recommended it to us, but he looked at me like I was nuts. An hour or so later, another friend showed up and reminded me that Kopi Luwak was the name of the coffee that Jack Nicholson drank in the movie Bucket List. So apparently, Jack Nicholson recommended this beer to me. The conversation continued on and we seemed to remember that this coffee came from animal poop, which of course we immediately googled for verification.
And now to my favorite part…magical poop berries.
In the Indonesian region of Asia, there lives a cat-like animal called the civit. Civits mostly eat fruits and berries. One of these berries is the coffee berry. After the coffee berries digest and are pooped out, (because they keep their shape and are still covered with some berry flesh), they are collected, washed, sun-dried, and roasted into coffee. The civit’s digestion of the berries keep the coffee bitterness at a low level. This coffee is the most expensive in the world and is sold for around $160 a pound.
There is some controversy with this process. Farmers are catching and caging civits. Some are treating their caged civits inhumanely. Others are feeding their civits a mixture of coffee berries and other fruit that makes them produce more magical poop but also is lessening the quality. There are no regulations on kopi luwac which means there is potential for someone to sell “fake” beans under the same name.
In Vietnam, there are versions of this coffee called Weasel coffee. Often this coffee is not produced with civit poop, but is chemically produced to simulate the taste of Kopi Luwac. However, there are 2 farms in Vietnam that have 300 wild civits on their property. Kind of like a civit and magical poop berry paradise.
I have some questions, as probably do you.
1. Who was the first person to dig through civit doody and pull out the digested coffee berries, and then roast them? That person is a genius, but also probably a little off.
2. Where can I get a civit? I would treat him kindly. He could run around my house and yard and I would litter box train him like any other cat. I can see it now…my friends offering to clean the litter box and smuggling magic poop out of the house. Ha!
3. Does it taste good? It tastes amazing!
I love coffee beer. There are some really tasty ones on the market. Kopi Loewak is definitely one of the top coffee beers in my opinion. You must love coffee to drink this beer. It is overpoweringly coffee…in a great way. I could definitely envision drinking an iced coffee while sipping on this beer. And sipping is not a bad idea. At 11.2% ABV, this is a heavy hitter, deceivingly so. Since it tastes like coffee, you forget that you are drinking alcohol. There is no booziness, just a smooth, creamy, coffee flavor.
If you are a coffee fan and you see this beer on a shelf, do not hesitate, buy it immediately. I don’t care that the coffee was made from civit poop. The magical poop berries in the Kopi Luwac coffee are the reason this beer is so flavorful.