Kopi Luwak Ultimate Guide: Taste, Price, Health Benefits

Kopi Luwak is a type of coffee that became popular due to the specific way of processing coffee beans and the high cost. Kopi Luwak is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, and its price varies from $ 250 to $ 1200 per kilogram. Kopi Luwak is produced in the Philippines, Indonesia, South India, and Vietnam.

But what is so special about Kopi Luwak? Why is it so expensive? What health benefits does it have? See our ultimate guide on Kopi Luwak!

Kopi Luwak is special due to its original production method as civets’ digestive system has unique microflora, which gives the coffee beans health benefits like cancer and heart disease prevention, mood improvement, and energy boost. Digestive enzymes give Kopi Luwak a caramel-like flavor.

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Kopi Luwak Ultimate Guide: Taste, Price, Health Benefits

Kopi Luwak coffee is a rare type of coffee, distinguished by a specific method of production. Luwak evokes the interest of gourmets and the fierce dislike of animal advocates. Luwak is produced in a very original way. Coffee beans are fermented in the stomach of a civet, which prefers these berries for dessert. Once eaten, the coffee berries remain undigested along with the droppings. They are collected, processed, then roasted.

Kopi Luwak appeared in the 18th century. In 1830, the Dutch colonialists in Indonesia prohibited coffee farmworkers from collecting coffee for personal use. And then, they came up with the idea of ​​collecting coffee from the calla lilies of wild animals that came to feast on coffee plantations at night. The harvested berries were washed well and thoroughly roasted for safety reasons. Coffee beans that have been fermented in the stomach of the civet acquire a sweet caramel chocolate flavor.

Kopi Luwak Price

Why is Kopi Luwak coffee so expensive? Kopi Luwak is so expensive because of its unique making technology. Civets eat fresh finest coffee berries, which are processed in the stomach and intestine. Kopi Luwak coffee is expensive due to the laborious and lengthy process of extracting, washing, drying and roasting coffee beans.

See also: Black Ivory Coffee Guide: Price, Taste, Nutrition

Each civet is given about 1 kg of coffee berries per day, which produces only about 50 g of beans. It explains why Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee. During the day, the Luwaks are sleepy and lethargic and sleep most of the day, and their peak of activity occurs at night, so the main feeding with coffee berries is at night.

The high cost of Kopi Luwak is also explained by the fact that civets do not breed in captivity. Therefore, it is possible to increase production only at the expense of wild animals. In addition, a special enzyme that affects coffee beans is produced in their bodies only 6 months a year, and the rest of the time, they do not produce beans. Many farmers even release civets free and catch them again later. It is more profitable than feeding them for six months for nothing.

How much does a cup of Kopi Luwak cost? As of 2021, a cup of Kopi Luwak costs $50-$90. Expect to pay $150 per kg of farmed Kopi Luwak beans and $1000 per kg of wild-collected Kopi Luwak beans. The unique making process makes Kopi Luwak one of the most expensive coffee in the world. 

The cost of Kopi Luwak coffee on plantations in Indonesia is about 150 thousand rupees ($15) per 100 g, with a wholesale purchase of about $100 per kilogram. In Europe, the price reaches $ 400 per 1 kilogram, and in retail, the price for packaged coffee can reach $100 per 100 g.

The high price of Kopi Luwak is due to hard manual human labor on the plantations of Sumatra, who have to look for raw materials in coffee bushes all day long, then sort and wash, dry and roast. The price also depends on the distance from Indonesia. Most of the Kopi Luwak is transported to Japan, Europe, and the United States. A cup of Kopi Luwak coffee in expensive cities like Tokyo, Singapore, London, and New York can cost $ 100.

See also: Why Is Matcha So Popular? The Real Truth

Is Kopi Luwak worth the price? Kopi Luwak is worth the price as the enzymes in the civet’s stomach and intestine give the beans unique chocolate and caramel-like taste and many health benefits like an energy boost, prevention of cancer, kidney stones, anxiety and depression, headaches, antibacterial properties, and mood improvement.  

Scientists have concluded that it is possible to obtain kopi-luwak artificially without the participation of civets. The process of enzymatic processing of coffee beans in the gastrointestinal tract of an animal is very similar to the usual method of fermenting coffee. The substance that is responsible for both processes is lactic acid bacteria. Scientists hypothesized that improvements to the conventional fermentation method would move Kopi Luwak from a rare drink to a widespread one.

Kopi Luwak Taste

What does Kopi Luwak taste like? Kopi Luwak has a sweet, chocolate and caramel-like flavor with a strong nutty aroma. Kopi Luwak has a very soft, delicate taste and is not bitter or acidic. Digestive enzymes decompose oils in the bean and give a unique, smooth, mild flavor to Kopi Luwak.   

Kopi Luwak beans are darker than Italian roasted arabica and smell like chocolate and caramel. Kopi Luwak has a smooth and balanced flavor with no bitterness.

Is Kopi Luwak tasty? Kopi Luwak is tasty as it has a sweet, smooth flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. Kopi Luwak is often described as “smooth,” “rich,” and with a “complex aroma.” However, those who like strong and bitter coffee probably won’t like soft and not acidic Kopi Luwak. 

Unfortunately, the practice of keeping civets in captivity significantly reduces the quality of Kopi Luwak. The coffee aroma of a drink made from beans from farm animals is less bright because stress has a very detrimental effect on the digestion process.
Rather than letting the animals choose the best coffee cherries on their own, farmers often force-feed Luwaks with unripe coffee cherries and thus cause disease in the animals.

Why is Kopi Luwak so good? Kopi Luwak is so good as the digestive enzymes of civets give it a smooth, caramel-like flavor and strong nutty aroma. Civets are given only the finest and ripest coffee fruit, making the quality of coffee very high. Many consider Kopi Luwak so good because of its mild, sweet flavor and delicate aroma.

Opinions differ regarding the taste of popular coffee. Some call the sky-high price unjustified, and the drink itself is tart and impossibly bitter. Others rejoice at every opportunity to taste a cup of Kopi luwak and claim that such rich, creamy, nutty hints have never been found elsewhere. Kopi Luwak’s taste is affected by the age of the civet, the way of its life and diet, the method of subsequent processing of beans, storage of raw materials, the quality of the liquid, and the method of preparation of the drink.

Kopi Luwak Health Benefits

Kopi Luwak Energy Value (100 g)

Calorie Content 331 kcal
Protein 13.9 g
Fat 15 g
Carbohydrates 29 g
Dietary Fiber 22 g
Ash  6.3 g
Organic Acid 9.5 g
Saturated Fatty Acids 5.7 g
Water  5 g

Kopi Luwak Vitamin and Nutrient Elements (100g)

Nicotinic Acid (PP) 17 mg
Thiamine (B1) 0.07 mg
Riboflavin (B2) 0.2 mg
Tocopherol (E) 2.7 mg
Potassium (K) 201 mg
Calcium (Ca) 147 mg
Sodium (Na) 40 mg
Magnesium (Mg) 200 mg
Phosphorus (P) 198 mg
Iron (Fe) 5.3 mg

Kopi Luwak has many health benefits: it prevents cancer, heart diseases, headaches, and migraines, stops depression, and anxiety, has good antibacterial properties, gives a boost of energy, and improves mood. Kopi Luwak prevents liver cirrhosis, strengthens teeth, and stimulates the central nervous system and the brain.

Kopi Luwak helps to concentrate, memorize better and increase the volume of brain activity. Caffeine is classified as a natural stimulant, but it does not make a person smarter, it just “revives” the intellect and helps get the most out of the body. Coffee stimulates not only the brain but also the muscles.

Caffeine regulates insulin levels in the blood, which can help reduce junk food cravings. A cup of Kopi Luwak is an excellent substitute for a chocolate bar if you have special dietary restrictions. If there are no problems with weight, combine coffee with chocolate and enjoy your meal. Caffeine helps fat cells break down faster.

Is Kopi Luwak coffee safe to drink? Kopi Luwak is completely safe to drink as the beans collected from the civets’ excrement are thoroughly processed: washed, dried, washed again, and then fried. Kopi Luwak is not contaminated with E.coli, Lactobacillus, and others. 

A coffee berry consists of a thick, bitter peel, a small sweet layer, and 1-2 grains inside. Civets eat only the sweet layer and oily grains, bite through the skin and discard it. They are not capable of chewing beans. Coffee beans, getting into the digestive system of an animal, are consistently exposed to:

  • Gastric acid, which makes the solid structure of the bean softer;
  • Alkaline bile and pancreatic secretions, which break down fats;
  • Fermentation by bacteria that live in the digestive system of this tropical animal.


Coffee beans remain in civets’ bodies for 2 weeks. Under the influence of gastric juice and enzymes in the beans, protein compounds are broken down, so the coffee is soft in taste and does not taste bitter. In addition, civet anal glands contain сivetone that gives Kopi Luwak a unique taste.

Kopi Luwak can be made in a drip coffee maker and French press. In Vietnam, they take metal cups with a sieve and a press and add boiling water. After that, the drink is infused for a while and is dripped in small portions through a sieve. You can add ice cubes and sugar to Kopi Luwak.

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