Photo credit by antwerpenR
Coffee is the wakeup call for many throughout the word. This aromatic stimulant enriched beverage is consumed by over 100 million people in the Unites States alone. Specialty coffee retailer stores have been springing up like weeds on nearly every street corner to satisfy this market. However, for the diehard coffee enthusiast a latte just won’t cut it. These individuals search adamantly for the world’s finest cup. This is what you may not know about the world's most expensive coffee.
While Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee prices range between $30 and $40 per pound, the world’s most expensive coffee is much more. Kupi Luwak prices range upwards of $100 to $600 per pound. However, it is not typical factors such as region and crop availability that impact the price of this expensive coffee. What you may not know about the world’s most expensive coffee is how it is obtained.
With most types of coffee, the coffee cherries are picked either by hand or by machine. Finer varieties tend to be hand selected, leading the arduous nature to be reflected in its cost. This would lead one to believe that Kupi Luwak must certainly be handpicked. However, this is not the case. In fact the beans are not selected by humans at all. Kupi Luwak is selected by the Asian Palm civet. Yes, the world’s most expensive coffee is selected by an animal that resembles a weasel.
The coffee’s name roughly translated from the Indonesian is “coffee weasel”. Kupi being the Indonesian word for coffee and Luwak meaning weasel. How does a weasel select coffee beans you ask? The civet selects only the ripest coffee cherries and then consumes them. Once the coffee cherries have been consumed by the civet the process begins. The world’s most expensive coffee is then digested and defecated by the civet. Once the coffee has been defecated by the civet it is “harvested”. After harvesting the coffee laden excrement of the civet, the coffee is then processed.
Processing of Kupi Luwak involves washing the beans, followed by allowing them to dry in the sun. Once these steps have taken place roasting begins. Typically roasted on the lighter scale, Kupi Luwak is renowned for its lack of bitter attributes. It is believed that the enzymes found in the civet’s digestive track contribute to the cup’s superior taste. These enzymes are thought to remove the naturally occurring components that make coffee bitter. The complex flavor of the world’s most expensive coffee is also thought to be accredited to the civet.
The world’s most expensive coffee market crop remains minimal at a mere 1000 pounds per calendar year. Kupi Luwak is typically sold within Japan and the United States in pounds, but can also be found sold by the cup. Cafes in Sumatra, Indonesia, and even Australia serve this rare cup. More recently Kupi Luwak has been imported by retailers in both London and Toronto. Sales for the world’s most expensive coffee are low. I wonder if it has more to do with the $40 per cup price tag, or the way the world’s most expensive coffee is sourced?