This extremely rare coffee was until recently little known outside of the Far East except by the Dutch, who established the first coffee plantings on the island of Java in 1696 and subsequently introduced Europe to the coffee from their colony in the Far East – thereby making the name ‘Java’ synonymous with coffee internationally.
Luwak isn’t a household word, but this extraordinary coffee has long been cherished as a delicacy. Uniquely, the only coffee berries which are harvested are those which have ripened to absolute perfection. This is because – again uniquely – the harvester is an Indonesian native called the luwak (in Latin, “Paradoxurus”) – a civet that emerges at night to engage in praedial larceny. The luwak indulges itself on the finest coffee berries the plantation has to offer. You might say that the luwak also processes the berries. But once ‘processed’ they are gathered, carefully washed, parched, hulled and ultimately roasted at temperatures in excess of 400 degrees fahrenheit.
J. Martinez & Company was a pioneer in offering this very special coffee to its customers (and in 1995 John Martinez was awarded the "Ig Nobel" for Nutrition for promoting it ), but due to its increased fame it has become increasingly difficult to source the wild luwak coffee. We are hoping that our next trip to Indonesia will be a fruitful one with regards to this coffee. If you are interested in purchasing Kopi Luwak please send us a note so that we can let you know when we have been able to obtain some of these precious beans.
John Martinez' acceptance of the Ignoble included this bit of literature, which deserves to be preserved for posterity:
Ode to the Luak
the cry is heard.
Is it a plane? Is it a bird?
Alas, my friends, it's not like that.
My star's a first cousin to a pole cat.
We ask, "What is it?"
Britannica says it's a palm civet,
Genus Paradoxurus, species hermaphraditus,
--Scientific information to excite us.
Where do you dwell?
On the isle of Sumatra, where it's hot as hell.
Who under the cover of the darkest night
Hunts for ripe coffee cherries red and bright.
After you've gorged,
A new taste sensation is forged.
For all gathered here, this is the scoop--
We're drinking coffee made from your poop.
John A. Martinez, 1995