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Kopi Luwak – Coffee From Cat Poo. World’s Most Expensive Beans!

Kopi Luwak Coffee – isn’t Crap Caffeine!

Kopi Luwak Coffee is internationally famous for where it comes from. And I don’t mean the country of Indonesia either.

Kopi Luwak Coffee appears in my 52 Travel Tips For Weird Food and Drinks – you can even buy this stuff on Amazon!  But I’ve only heard about it and seen documentaries on TV – and never tried it.

That is, until now!

Members of the Surabaya Blogging Community, Tugupahlawan, told me there is a cafe that serves Kopi Luwak Coffee here, and I thought this was a perfect opportunity to try it.  They were kind enough to arrange a meeting with Anton Sukamto, the owner of the Rollaas Cafe (site under construction).

The main reason Kopi Luwak Coffee is famous is because the coffee beans are eaten and digested by the Asian Palm Civet – this is a cat-like animal present in Indonesia.  The Civet isn’t actually a cat – but are referred by locals as ‘cats’ or ‘weasels’.

The coffee beans are then extracted from the Civet poo, washed thoroughly, and then lightly roasted – and made into coffee, or Kopi Luwak (Kopi = Coffee, Luwak = The Civet).

I guess sifting out the beans from the poo probably isn’t the world’s most rewarding job!

There are a couple of theories of why the coffee suppossedly tastes good.  Firstly, the digestive tract of the Civet may remove some of the bitter coffee taste, but leaves the beans intact. This may be due to the interaction of the stomach enzymes with the coffee bean, which increases the body of the coffee.

Or the Civet knows where to find the best coffee beans in the first place, since the Civet is probably like most caffeine addicts – we try to go for the best!

Anyway, Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee – when in peak demand, prices can reach about $USD500 per kilogram!

An example of the Kopi Luwak Coffee beans are shown below.  The light coloured coffee beans are the cleaned product, whilst the dark coloured beans are the result of some light roasting.

Kopi Luwak Coffee - Beans

The Rollaas Cafe in Surabaya serves Kopi Luwak, and this is where I had my chance to try it.  The staff there were very helpful and informative, and I had an in-depth chat with the owner, Anton.

Anton told me that Arabica beans are used at the Kopi Luwak farm where the Rollaas Cafe sources its coffee from. It’s located at Bundowoso, about 260 kilometres south of Surabaya.  The farm produces about 2000 kilograms of Kopi Luwak per year.  Anton is looking to expand the sales of his Kopi Luwak to Bali, so this should be more accessible to more foreigners visiting Indonesia.

Anyway, I’m no coffee afficionado, as I usually drink coffee on a social basis and not as an excuse to keep myself awake at work.

But I know what tastes good for me, and I downed an entire cup of Kopi Luwak Coffee – which cost about $USD10.  The coffee is drunk black, without sugar.

Here are some pictures for the proof!

Kopi Luwak – How it Works

This is how the Kopi Luwak is boiled up.  The water is heated up and then rises to swirl with the coffee.

Staff at Rollaas Cafe Making Kopi Luwak Coffee

Boiled up Kopi Luwak Coffee

You can buy sachets of Kopi Luwak Coffee at the Rollaas Cafe and take them home – these cost about $USD3.50 each, and each sachet makes 1 cup of coffee.  You need to boil up 200 ml of water for each cup.

Sachet of Kopi Luwak Coffee from Rollaas Cafe

So what’s the verdict?

Like every single cup of coffee I have tried in Indonesia, it’s excellent.  However, it does taste different to the other varieties I’ve tried in Indonesia.  Kopi Luwak is very smooth, and it has a long aftertaste.  There is little bitterness, and the cup went down my gullet extremely quickly.

Cup of Kopi Luwak Coffee

Kopi Luwak – The Verdict

Is Kopi Luwak Coffee worth $USD500 per kilo?

Well come to Indonesia and try some out and you make up your mind!

The Rollaas Cafe is located in the City Of Tomorrow mall, which is near the Surabaya airport, or about 15 kilometres south of the city centre.  Their address is Jl Jend A Yani no.299, Lower Ground FL.LB 02, City of Tomorrow, Surabaya, East Java – Indonesia.  If you’re that desperate to try it, you can call them on +62 31 5825 1208.

I’d like to thank Anton and the staff of the Rollaas Cafe for their time and their hospitality – I really appreciate it.  I’ve included a picture of them below:

Rollass Staff for Kopi Luwak Coffee

Air Asia can fly you to Surabaya via Jakarta so you too can sip on some Kopi Luwak CoffeeGo to their website now and book a flight there! It’s only a short ride from the Surabaya airport to the Rollaas Cafe!

About Anthony The Travel Tart

The Travel Tart writes about the funny, offbeat and weird aspects of world travel today. Travel wasn't meant to be taken too seriously! Check out ways to say hi below or sign up for his silly newsletter!

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  1. Vicky Laurentina Vicky Laurentina
    October 21, 2009    

    It’s fascinating to find out that the costliest coffee is made from poo and it’s produced in Indonesia. Have you ever been on my town and tasted Kopi Aroma? It’s delicious, too!

    • September 21, 2010    

      All the coffee in Indonesia is great – and I’m sure Kopi Aroma is fantastic as well!

      • October 4, 2010    

        I’m sure it’s delicious, but still… $USD500 per kilo it’s a little much for me

  2. October 21, 2009    

    i’ve been heaard bout this coffee,,
    u can go to bondowoso(one of city in east java),a place like a farm where this coffee been made..

    • September 25, 2010    

      You can go to sumatra too to get kopi luwak.

  3. October 21, 2009    

    hmmm…the girl is cute, definitly I’ll go there someday hahahaha~

  4. October 27, 2009    

    Glad that u enjoy the coffee mate 😀
    I like Rollaas because the the baristas are so friendly.
    Ow, they have exotic collection of tea also..

  5. alberto alberto
    November 5, 2009    

    Well if you can not fly to Surabaya to taste the Kopi Luwak you can buy it from Bali and directly shipped to your home. Real Kopi Luwak Arabica coffee can be found at Also you can find plenty of info about this rare gourmet coffee. Enjoy it!!!

    • Anton Anton
      November 25, 2009    

      just FYI Rollaas Kopi Luwak is Own By PTPN XII persero ( Goverment agriculture of Indonesia ) so we are the big and the best coffee pruducer in indonesia,90% our product( 3000 ton ) export to the US & Europe and called with JAVA COFFEE .
      For the KOPI LUWAK ,we make cultivation in Java Coffee Plantation ,so the animal eat the red barries Coffee from java Coffee.
      so finlly we are the only one company can garantee the quality ,taste consistency and originality for the Kopi Luwak cause we have the animal ,plantation & factory

      Interest : you can visit to our Java Coffee Arabica Plantation at Ijen ,Bondowoso ,East Java ,Indonesia
      OR futher information call me at 081559908089

  6. Hawaiian Coffee Hawaiian Coffee
    November 7, 2009    

    OK, this was a fascinating article. I always brag about how unique and special our coffee is, but I can’t ever say it has much in common with the Kop Luawak coffee from cat poo! Wow. Who could top that?

  7. Jon Jon
    January 9, 2010    

    I’m a coffee fanatic and I must admmit this article cought my atention emediatelly. I hadent heard of this coffee before but now I’m duying to taste it. The unique brewing procedure make its seem even more tastefull. I cant believe that the price is so high though!!

  8. January 25, 2010    

    Come to Tulungagung, East Java, Indonesia. There is another coffe. It called Green Coffe. But the most people in Tulungagung called it Kopi Cethe, because this coffe often written in cigarette.

  9. December 14, 2010    

    I know what this stuff tastes like… I consumed a cup or two last year by accident. It has a ridiculously strong pungent after taste and a distinctive flavor you will never forget. Not exactly Starbucks!
    I was given the dreaded brew by account staff at a web-design company. They were after my business and they thought they’d impress me with a very expensive cup of this stuff, whilst at the same time failing to let me know exactly what brand of coffee it was and more importantly, how it was made.. Needless to say – I was not impressed when I finally discovered what I had been drinking all along.. but took it on the chin anyway

  10. August 11, 2014    

    Nice post! I can’t believe how expensive it can be for a cup of coffee in Asia purely because it’s passed through an animal…

    When I was backpacking through Vietnam we had local guides who told us that they don’t drink it and its mostly sold to tourists. I’m not sure if that’s true or not, as some people insist its more delicious than regular coffee. As more and more people decide they like it though, more and more of those civet cats are caught and force fed coffee beans in farms to feed that demand. It’s quite sad really, but by no means different to how we farm cattle or produce milk anywhere else in the world….

    I wrote a post about it here:

    Its so interesting how much of a cult following this coffee has gotten! I think you either love the concept or hate it. Unfortunately I think I may fall into the latter category… 🙂

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