THE MOST EXPENSIVE COFFEE IN THE WORLD - BUT AT WHAT COST?
On a recent trip to Bali, my family and I got to explore and discover just what goes into making the most expensive coffee in the world, the famous Luwak Coffee.
The Luwak coffee experience was quite amazing... it blew my mind to see how organic and fresh it was. Being able to see first hand, the full process of roasting coffee the traditional way without technology and machinery was a complete eye opener for myself and my family.
We were taught how they traditionally farm both robusta beans and arabica beans. They actually go through a process of being harvested, air dried and then hand washed, only to be air dried again. The next stage requires the farmers to remove the shell of each individual bean by hand! Can you believe this is how it is still done to this day!
Once the coffee beans have been shelled, they are then roasted over an open flame, with continuous stirring an essential part of the process. The constant stirring ensures that the roasting process is even and consistent.
The final stage is where I really start to question the value of Luwak Coffee. While I respect the organic and labour intensive process of farming, harvesting, preparing and roasting the coffee it is such a shame that the value comes from the final coffee bean being ingested and digested by an Indonesian cat-like animal called the Civet Cat.
These poor animals are caged for their entire lives, in the smallest cages possible and made to ingest the coffee beans and then digest them, it is once they have been digested they are then ready for final collection and sale. It is this process that increases the value and makes the coffee the most expensive coffee in the world.
I can appreciate the brains behind the process and the complexity of it all, but I cannot help but feel sad for the poor creatures that are kept captive for their entire lives just for the sake of a cup of coffee.