You all know we like our coffee. And just to be clear, we're not talking about the syrupy-flavoured stuff that Starbucks so cheekily calls coffee. But rather real beans, a decent barista, a top-notch machine, and a spot of decent latte art doesn't go a miss.
Yes, we have become a bit snobby about our cup of joe – ever since R got to know a thing or two about beans and became our inhouse barista. Oooh, how I'm looking forward to a Kaffee Rolando sometime in the not-too-distant future!
However, as much as we crave a decent coffee, we do have limits. Especially when it's comes to beans that have supposedly passed through the digestive system of a "cat".
You might have heard of Indonesia's “most expensive coffee in the world,” otherwise known as Coffee Luwak or Kopi Luwak. This pricey cuppa is supposedly made from beans collected from the droppings of a civet, after acquiring some unique flavours on their journey through the civet's digestive system. Sounds appetizing, doesn't it? The beans are somehow cleaned and roasted before landing in your cappuccino.
If that's not enough to put you off, what is truly disturbing are the horrific conditions these wild animals are kept in, and the form of battery cage industry that has reportedly developed. Cooped up in cramped cages, it is believed that farm civets are force fed a diet of coffee berries to mass produce the much sought-after Kopi Luwak, when in actual fact coffee berries form only a small part of their diet in the wild. In addition, these nocturnal animals are being kept awake as “tourist attractions” - namely on display at the ubiquitous coffee farms that we saw lining Bali's countryside streets.
Walking around Bali's markets, there are so many packs of luwak beans for sale that you'd be a fool to believe the packaging and traders claiming the beans are ethically sourced from free-roaming civets in the wild. As if drinking a coffee brewed from excreted beans wasn't enough to put us off, the animal cruelty left more than a sour taste in our mouths.
Drinking Kopi Luwak wouldn't have been for us. We're looking forward to a trip to Coffee Nerd when we get back.
If you fancy reading a bit more on the subject, check out these articles: