When I started Thirsty Thursdays last week, I was thinking of alcohol related stories, but a friend got me thinking…being thirsty as a traveller can involve water, fruit juice, coffee, tea or any drink really! And I must admit I like them all in equal measures. Yes, sure I’m a travelling Northern Irishman who likes a good pint of Guinness but earlier this year I had the chance to sample the world’s rarest coffee! So today’s post is on coffee!
So where does the world’s rarest coffee come from? Well as a traveller you quickly learn that everywhere advertises and promotes themselves as “the world’s best”, “the world’s highest”, “the world’s cheapest” etc. so to be honest I normally take no notice of such things. Singapore is a city renowned for exaggerating stuff and quite frankly on my few trips there it has made me cringe the amount of things they claim to be the world’s best or the world’s first.
So earlier this year I was on a tour round North Bali in Indonesia with my Brazilian friend Rodrigo and we came across a coffee plantation in amongst the many rice fields of Bali. After a quick visit to the actual plantation, we were shown a bizarre creature living in a cage. This creature in the Luwak Fox! (The what? – it seemed to me to be a strange mix between a wolf, cat, dog and fox). Why am I telling you this? Because the Luwak Fox is a rare breed and it relies on red coffee beans to survive. There’s some details on this link: Munduk Plantation.
The oddest and most disturbing fact of this is that the Luwak Fox digests the coffee bean and it comes back out in its excretion (yes, it’s shit!) and this is how they made the world’s rarest coffee. It’s coffee which has been digested and excreted by the Luwak Fox. When our guide told us this, I really didn’t believe it, but reports later on confirmed it. So we had to try it. The name, obviously is Luwak Coffee.
We tried an alcoholic version of it, as if you’re paying a lot for a cup of coffee, you might as well take the bonus of it coming with alcohol.
The cafe was called Kubu Kopi, but to be honest I’d imagine that in this part of Bali, the rare Luwak Coffee can be obtained. If you want to find it, I suggest you get your driver to take you to a coffee plantation in Munduk, and tell him the name of the cafe Kubu Kopi and mention the Luwak Coffee. It’s not that easy to find if you’ve hired a car. It’s hardly a tourist spot so the only other option for getting there would probably be to stay in Munduk itself, in which case you’d be guaranteed to find it and could probably walk it.
A menu arrives complete with a picture of the Luwak Fox in behind, just to tempt you even more. The special Luwak Coffee costs 85,000 Indonesian Rupiah (which today is about $8.2 US Dollars) so actually not as bad as you’d think considering it’s the world’s rarest. So after all that fuss, was the world’s rarest coffee any good? Yes! We both loved the Luwak Coffee and would recommend it, plus it comes in an exquisite wooden cup and saucer and you can sip away with an amazing view into the fields of Bali. With not a care in the world…
Right, I’m off to get myself a coffee (a ‘normal’ granulated one). Don’t Stop Living!
Where to buy the world’s rarest coffee? – Munduk, Bali, INDONESIA
What is the world’s rarest coffee? – Luwak Coffee
How much is it? – About 8 US Dollars a cup
What’s it made from? – Coffee bean which has been excreted from the Luwak Fox
Is it worth it? – Come on now, you only live once. And believe me I’ve wasted 8 US Dollars on plenty of worse things in my time…
Some good information on this website: Munduk Moding Plantation.
Here’s a video I made when the woman was telling us about the Luwak animal: