Yesterday, during our weekly public cupping, we had the very exciting opportunity to experience coffee from a farm in Northern Thailand, San Lahu with one of the farm’s producers. She brought with her, the same coffee processed three ways. While we, on occasion, have the opportunity to try washed and naturals from the same area side by side, up until yesterday at Victrola we have never tried a washed, a natural and a Kopi Luwak back to back. Kopi Luwak, or civet coffee is produced when the Asian Palm Civet (a cat or weasel like creature) consumes and digests ripe coffee cherries and expels parchment covered coffee beans. Once the beans are washed and hulled they are handled just as any other coffee bean would.
Admittedly, we were all excited (and I at least was a little nervous) to try something as exotic (and pricey) as the Kopi Luwak. After the trial, aside from the inevitable, “gross factor”, the coffee was not unpleasant, just exceedingly mild with little sign of regionally distinctive flavors. While I doubt any of us will rush out to purchase the, in some instances $100 or $200/ pound coffee, we were all happy to have had the experience, and I am sure most of us would jump on the opportunity to try Kopi Luwak’s from other regions.