What you’re looking at is 30 dollars in a cup, believe it or not. This is Kopi Luwak Arabica. Why is it so expensive? Well…
It’s all in the digestion… or production… process. You see, this coffee is made from beans that have been previously digested and crapped out by an Asian palm civet. In the picture above you can see an example of the coffee beans prior to cleaning and roasting, and the finished product on the left. The cost of the animal husbandry and the long process of securing the digested beans is what makes the coffee so expensive.
When I lived in Singapore I’d heard about this coffee. It’s mostly produced in Indonesia. I never did take the time to try it out while I was there, and of course I wasn’t about to spend 30 dollars on a cup of coffee here in the US, so I was happy to see a Groupon pop up for a 20 dollar discount at Jezalin’s, which is where I had my first kopi luwak experience.
Like the rest of the Limelight Market (corner of 6th Avenue and 20th Street in Manhattan), Jezalin’s has a really nice, classy atmosphere. When I got my cup of coffee, the girl behind the counter (also visible in the picture above) came over and showed me the display and explained the process. I was already familiar with where the coffee comes from, but it was fun to listen to her talk about it.
So, was it worth it? It was definitely worth the 10 bucks I wound up paying. The kopi luwak tastes like coffee, but it has a thicker taste to it. It’s not as strong as coffee. It has a more mellow, earthy (poopy?) taste to it. Oddly enough, I felt like taking a nap after finishing it off. At 30 bucks a cup, it’s not going to replace my morning cup of coffee, but it was a pleasant experience overall, and I’ll definitely convince my wife to try some.