Coffee Magazin

Coffee news from Indonesia and the world

Kopi Luwak – that’s how you identify the original coffee specialty

by | May 11, 2020 | Coffee | 0 comments

Among many animal rights activists and in general Kopi Luwak unfortunately has a dubious reputation. Why is that so? Because the fine coffee is often wrongly sold under the actually protected term, although far too often there is a copy in it. Because only coffee cherries collected from wild, free-living spotted musangs and then excreted may be traded as original Kopi Luwak. Since these natural “gifts” of the animals are an absolute rarity, high prices can be achieved with them, and rightly so. Clever cheaters take advantage of this, catch Musangs, lock them up in cages and give them coffee cherries to eat at random. They then sell the excrement produced in this way as Kopi Luwak, although these coffee beans have as much in common with the original as a “Rollecks” with a chronograph from a Swiss luxury watch brand.

In our opinion, this man-made animal suffering must be punished much harder. In the second instance, we and other fair coffee traders are suffering from the actions of the unscrupulous Kopi Luwak counterfeiters. Because their machinations bring a wonderful and phenomenal coffee speciality into complete disrepute.

But how can you recognize a real Kopi Luwak? There are clear indications whether it is an original product or a bad fake. So that you can be sure to enjoy your desired coffee free of negative thoughts and completely carefree, we have summarized the most important features for you. In this way, you will be able to recognise the true coffee of pleasure in the future and will certainly taste it.

These are the criteria with which you can distinguish original and counterfeit:

1. Price

The rarest and therefore most expensive coffee in the world is like meat: a Wagyu cow from the Kobe region in Japan is reared for up to five years, provided with the most valuable feed (including beer) and massaged by hand to loosen and tenderise the muscles. A cattle in normal factory farming is slaughtered after two years at the latest, gets industrial feed and in addition hormones and other means to accelerate growth. The price for one kilogram of Wagyu beef costs between 400 and 1,000 euros. A kilogram of beef in a German supermarket, on the other hand, is available for around 10 euros. Have you ever tried a steak of supermarket beef and then a tranche of Wagyu beef?

The situation is similar with Kopi Luwak. Freely and happily living spotted musangs collect only the ripest and noblest coffee cherries with an intense red colour. The number of these cherries on a coffee plantation is naturally much smaller than that of the not yet fully ripe green coffee fruits. With these frequently occurring coffee cherries of inferior quality, however, Musangs in cage farming are not only fed but overfed. This leads to malnutrition and disease, which has a noticeable effect on the taste of the excreted coffee beans.

In addition, it is extremely costly for fair coffee farmers to discover and pick up the naturally excreted coffee beans of the free-living Musangs at all. So that they can then process them further. (You can see exactly how this happens in a video on this page. Coffee farmers” acting in pure greed for profit make it much easier for themselves. To put it pointedly: “Put the coffee cherry on top, take it out the back and collect it”.

This difference in expenditure is reflected in the sales price. If you then consider that import costs, fair wages for the workers on the coffee plantations and other factors affect the total price – can you imagine that you can realistically get such a rarity for less than 50 euros per 100 g?

Therefore please always pay attention to reasonable and appreciative prices to support the guaranteed fair production of Kopi Luwak.

2. Wording

As with so many things in life, the devil is in the details in numerous product descriptions of Kopi Luwak. No supplier of this fine coffee will voluntarily admit that he gets his beans from producers who put Musangs into cages. Therefore, they are often very creative to disguise this fact. So they advertise with the word “free-range”. What does this word suggest to you? Let us once again draw a comparison to the cattle that are better known in this country. You would probably now imagine that these cattle are standing on green meadows with plenty of space, eating juicy grass and enjoying the sun – “free range”. So far so good.

But what does the second part of the word “free-range” tell us?
Right, husbandry. The spotted musangs for coffee bean production are kept. How do you keep a free-ranging animal in its natural environment? Clearly a blatant contradiction.

Musangs are shy, nocturnal animals. Outside the mating season even complete loners. They live mainly in the high altitudes of South East Asia in tropical rain forests. Such stubborn, reserved creatures cannot be kept. They need peace and freedom to live happily. And to satisfy their picky instinct to pick the finest coffee cherries in their environment. They get this freedom from the certified coffee farmers from whom we source the beans for our Kopi Luwak. You can see for yourself on our website.

Please pay attention to such details in terminology when you look for the famous “cat coffee” online. When talking about “keeping”, this is a contradiction to the protected term “Kopi Luwak”-

We hope you now feel a little more confident in your search for the best coffee for you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us or comment on this article. We will be happy to provide you with information and look forward to an appreciative exchange among coffee lovers.