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Friday, January 31, 2014

Luwak Coffee, Kafe Alamid

Coffee luwak is produced mainly in Bali, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. In the Philippines, Tagalog speakers call it kape alamid, the northerners call it kape motit but in Mindanao, it is known as kape musang.

The coffee beans are collected from the excrement of the Asian palm civet scientifically known as the Paradoxurus hermaphroditus.    

Will you try coffee luwak even though you know that there are ethical issues surrounding its production and trade?

The luwak coffee is said to taste better and is more aromatic compare to typical commercial coffee. Apparently, this is due to two possible reasons. In the wild, the civets normally choose the best coffee berries available. This natural process of how civets choose its beans allows that only the highest quality of beans are selected. Second, the digestive enzymes of the civet particularly the proteolytic enzymes seeps into the beans and allow more amino acids to be free during this alimentary process.  As the beans goes into the civet's intestine, fermentation occurs which gives the beans its distinctive flavor and aroma. Upon civet's defecation, the beans and the other fecal materials are separated. Only the beans are collected :)

Civet on display at the farm suffering from force isolation in a relatively small cage.

Civet in nature, do you know if you civet coffee is source from the wild or from the cage system?

There have been criticisms on the trade of civet coffee. The practice of battery cage system forces civet to eat beans that are given to them instead of the civets choosing the beans themselves. Issues such as small cages, civet's force isolation and poor diet have re-surfaced time and time again.

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