Kopi Luwak (Civet Cat Coffee) is claimed to be the most expensive and the rarest coffee in the world. It is a brewed coffee made from beans that passed through the digestive tract of a civet cat.
Civets eat coffee berries and they only eat the fleshy part of the fruit surrounding the beans. Yes, the beans are left intact which they expel through their digestive system. Enzymes in the civet’s stomach remove the bitterness from the coffee beans.
There are many plantations in Bali that you can visit where you can actually see how Kopi Luwak is being made. Not really part of our itinerary, our Bali tour driver suggested us to visit one after we went to Taman Ayun Temple. Being the coffee lover that I am, I was more than excited to get into the place.
Taman Ayu Sari
Taman Ayu Sari is only 5 minutes away from Taman Ayun Temple. We were warmly welcomed by the people in the plantation. The place is surrounded by tall trees and various plants where the use of some was discussed to us. At the entrance, we saw luwak in a cage.
The beans of Kopi Luwak are cleaned first before they are roasted for more than an hour. After roasting, they will grind the beans. At Taman Ayu Sari, they traditionally grind the beans using mortar and pestle. After grinding, the coffee beans are already ready for brewing.
A cup of Kopi Luwak at Taman Ayu Sari costs IDR 50,000 (around PHP190). It has a smoother and has a less bitter taste compared to the regular coffee with a clean aftertaste.
Aside from Kopi Luwak, we were able to try authentic Bali coffee, flavored tea and hot chocolate, all for free. Bali coffee is deliciously strong. Rosella tea made from Rosella flowers taste as sweet as candy.
The hot chocolate from Bali’s fabulous cacao is richly thick and is a sure comfort food for everyone on a cold, rainy night. Indonesia is actually one of the world’s top producers of cacao beans. On our way out, we actually saw a cacao tree.
There is no entrance fee going to Taman Ayu Sari. The people at the plantation will gladly offer you different varieties of coffee and tea, for free as well. Trying Kopi Luwak is the only one that will cost you some rupiahs.
Taman Ayu Sari sells coffee and tea if you want to take some home. Bali coffee and tea (100 grams) can cost from IDR 100,000 to IDR 130,000. Kopi Luwak costs around IDR 300,000 for 100 grams.
La Coffee Maker
After visiting Taman Ayu Sari, we went to Tanah Lot Temple where we found a coffee shop called La Coffee Maker that also sells Kopi Luwak. A small cup of Kopi Luwak here costs IDR 25,000.
What’s fascinating about this place is the presence of civets (luwak) freely roaming around. The owner takes care of the civets as his pets.
If you can’t make it to plantations, visit a coffee shop like La Coffee Maker in Bali for a taste of the most expensive coffee in the world. Actual encounter with the civets is definitely a big bonus!