Civet Coffee FAQ II – Kopi Luwak / Kape Alamid
What is the difference between wild-collected Civet coffee and farmed Civet coffee?
Farmed Civet coffee comes from Civets that have been confined within certain boundaries. This may be within fenced coffee tree fields or the Civets may be kept in cages and then fed the coffee cherry.
What are some advantages to wild-collected Civet coffee?
When Civet coffee is gathered from uncaged Civets who have eaten coffee cherry on their own, they Civets were able to choose the coffee cherry that they eat.
The discerning Civets are known to eat only the ripest, red coffee cherry, thus providing a level of quality control that results in overall higher quality coffee beans than if the beans are picked by humans and then fed to the Civets.
Can farmed Civet coffee yield high quality coffee beans?
Some farmed Civet coffee is produced by setting out large numbers of coffee cherry that the Civet may then choose from, thus preserving some of the benefits of the Civet’s coffee cherry choosing ability to ensure high quality beans are chosen.
Other farmed Civet coffee is created by feeding the Civet only a limited number of coffee cherry and thus no choice is allowed.
The coffee cherry may also be mixed with banana mash or other products to encourage the Civet to eat it, though eliminating any free choice that allows the Civets to discern which coffee cherry are of a better quality.
As a general rule, wild-collected Civet coffee is considered superior to Civet coffee from caged Civets. Wild-collected Civet coffee is more likely to reveal the finer tastes and aromatic qualities of a gourmet Civet coffee.
Where are Civet’s found.
Civets are native to southern India as well as Sri Lanka and southern China.
What coffee bean varietals are used to produce Civet coffee?
The most common type of coffee bean varietal used to produce Civet coffee is Arabica (Coffea arabica var. arabica). Also commonly used is Robusta (Coffea canephora var. robusta) and Liberica (Coffea liberica).
One company in the Philippines uses a mix of Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa to produce their Kape Alamid (Civet coffee).
In Sumatra, where most of the world’s Civet coffee comes from, the most common coffee bean varietal used is Arabica. Sumatra’s Trung Nguyen company uses the Arabica Typica varietal.
Is bacterial contamination a concern when consuming Civet coffee?
Bacteria such as the dreaded E. Coli bacteria have often been mentioned as a concern with Civet coffee since the Civet digestive tract may contain this bacteria.
Some research has purported to show that the enzymes in the Civet’s stomach actually assist in eliminating harmful bacteria from the coffee beans.
In general the safety of the product does not seem to be a concern. Since the beans are washed after they are gathered, and then roasted at a high temperature, by the time the consumer receives the beans there seems to be very little chance of the beans containing any harmful bacteria.
The coffee brewing process will also help to eliminate any bacterial contamination concern.
How much does Civet coffee cost?
Civet coffee has sold for more than $1000 per pound and more than $50 per cup. Other sources provide Civet coffee for a much lower price, though Civet coffee may reasonably be referred to as the most expensive coffee in the world.
Where is most Civet coffee sold?
Aside from being served in the coffee houses of Southeast Asia and other areas where it is sold by the cup, and large amounts are sold in the Philippines. Civet coffee is sold primarily in the United States and Japan with Europe and Asia also buying increasing amounts.
Who drinks most Civet coffee?
Large amounts of Civet coffee are consumed in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia coffee houses where it is often sold by the cup. Civet coffee exports are widely consumed in Japan and the U.S. as well as in Asia and Europe.
Also see Civet Coffee FAQ I.
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Civet Coffees from Around the Globe
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