While in Indonesia I heard about a particular brew of coffee that was told I must try. The coffee is called Luwak Coffee – and it’s shit. Literally, this coffee is made from shit. A Luwak’s shit to be exact – hence the name. A Luwak is a rodent native to Indonesia that has a keen and specific sense of smell for sniffing out the best coffee berries – their food of choice.
Once these rodents ingest the coffee berries, their stomachs contain certain enzymes which help reduce the acidity of the coffee beans on their caffeine content- making it healthier than other coffees. Basically, their stomachs naturally ferment the beans and then they poop them out.
Indonesians then take these pooped out beans and turn them into a hot cup of Joe- just for your liking.
Surprisingly it doesn’t actually taste like shit- I mean this both literally and figuratively. And here is the real kicker- it’s the most expensive coffee in the world!
What makes it so expensive it the uh….unique, fermentation process of the beans. Because of this it is hard to produce a lot of beans – adding to the high cost.
So why would someone want to pay so much for beans that come from animal shit?
Well, that’s why you need to sit down to take a sip for yourself.
There are a few places around Indonesia where you can try this brew. In Bali the coffee is weaker and also more expensive because of the high tourism seen there. The best place to try this coffee is on Java Island, where the Luwak’s live.
While in Yogyakarta I was fortunate to strike up a conversation with a very friendly and informative local man. He told me about the best place to try the coffee- right where they roast it. When I showed my interest and was considering visiting within the next few days he insisted that I go there right away
and he called a motorbike taxi for me right then and there. I guess this was happening.
The reason that he wanted me to head there is because the afternoon is the best time to go since that is when they finish roasting the beans. For just 20, 000 Indonesian rupees I was taken to Kopi Luwak- about a twenty minute drive away. This cheap price included my driver waiting for me and then returning me to my hostel after.
If you do want to try poop coffee (okay that’s not really the name – it’s just so fun to say!) then this is the place. The staff are so friendly and to them it’s more than just the selling of coffee, but the experience.
I was explained the whole process that goes into making the coffee- which is what made me more comfortable drinking this shit. After the animals poop out the beans they are rinsed off and then dried out in the sun. The most comforting part was when she showed me that they peel off the outer layer of the bean. And then one more layer after that. Phew!
This process is all done by hand because otherwise they lose about 20% of the product. Now you are seeing why it is so expensive.
Even though it is the most expensive coffee in the world- this is the cheapest price that you will find it for. Even other destinations charge about 125, 00 rupees or more to taste it. At Kopi Luwak it is only 30, 000. Even Starbucks is more expensive!
As well, you can purchase a bag of fresh coffee beans here to give to your friends as a gift. Who says your a shitty gift giver? I’m sorry- I just can’t help myself!
While drinking my cup of delicious coffee the woman came over to me with her iPad and put on a scene from the movie “The Bucket List,” where Jack Nicholson talks about this coffee bean.
So what do you think – is shit coffee on your bucket list?
If you are in Yogyakarta and want to try this coffee but don’t want to drive out of town then you can visit Heiho Loewak Coffee that is near the Tamansari Water Palace. They have the fattest furry creature that you will ever see there and the staff are also very sweet.
The coffee here costs 125, 000 Indonesian rupees- but includes three different coffees.