Among various types of coffee from Indonesia that people enjoy, luwak coffee Indonesia is probably one of the most exciting, intriguing, and even controversial. The price, exclusivity, and even controversy surrounding the ethics of luwak (civet) farming have made this coffee a popular beverage. Learn the interesting history of luwak coffee Indonesia, and understand the conception story of this unique coffee.
The History of Luwak Coffee Indonesia
“Accidental” Coffee from Colonial Era
While luwak coffee enjoys immense popularity in the world, the conception story of this coffee type is not pleasant. Coffee was originally not available anywhere except in Ethiopia, but when the Arabian traders brought coffee to Europe, it became instant hit. Hot coffee became popular beverage in various European countries, including Netherland. When Netherland invaded and colonized Indonesia in the 17th century, they brought coffee with them to Batavia. This was the predecessor of luwak coffee Indonesia.
In order to break coffee monopoly by the Arab nations, the Dutch colonials decided to enforce coffee planting in Indonesia. From Batavia, the coffee spread to other areas, such as other areas in Java, as well as Sumatra and Sulawesi. While the work condition was harsh for the local farmers, they did not have good work condition. Luwak coffee Indonesia came from the fact that local coffee farmers were not allowed to enjoy the beans that they planted themselves.
When luwak (civets) ate the coffee beans, the farmers first had tried to shoo them away, since civets had commonly been known as pests. However, some farmers noticed that these civets ate coffee cherries, but got rid of the beans in their feces. Since they were not allowed to try the coffee, some of these farmers tried cleaning the coffee beans from the civet’s feces. The result was luwak coffee Indonesia, coffee beans that have been gone through chemical process in the civet’s digestion system.
Luwak Coffee’s Popularity outside Indonesia
While luwak coffee Indonesia found some popularity among the Dutch, it was not until the 20th century until this coffee actually got international popularity. A British journalist from The Guardian exported small amount of this coffee to some people, and before he knew it, orders kept coming. People in Britain (and other European countries that caught of with the trend) were mesmerized with the coffee’s unique flavor and aroma.
Luwak coffee is also a symbol of exclusivity. A cup of high-quality luwak coffee Indonesia can be sold as high as $100, a price that many people do not mind to pay for a cup of flavor and privilege. While the issues about non-ethical civet farms are still prevalent, there are more and more coffee plantations in Indonesia that offer various coffee and tea, including luwak coffee from ethical farms. Many of these plantations are located in Bali.
Should you try luwak coffee? If you are a fan of high-quality coffee, and do not mind paying extra for something that you think is fulfilling, you should try the original coffee luwak. You can find them at specialty coffee shops or order online, although it is best to learn about roasting and grinding methods first. Luwak coffee Indonesia is one of the best caffeinated drinks you can get for its exclusivity.