Apr 24, 2008
The Forbidden Coffee. Kopi Luwak. Don’t Call it Crappuccino. Funnel Mill Rare Coffee & Tea. Santa Monica, CA.
I promise I won’t make any idiotic, ass-inine poo-poo jokes in this article about civet cat crap coffee, better known as kopi luwak. Oopsie-poopsie, I already broke my promise! Poops! I did it again!
You can’t blame me. I mean, c’mon, I recently ingested coffee that was made from beans that came out of a civet cat’s ass. In case you missed that I’ll say it again — I drank coffee made from beans that a civet cat shat. Plus, I’m really immature. Plus, it’s just really fun to crack ca-ca jokes about this coffee all day long. Hey, I have earned this right (if you can call it that). I drank kopi luwak and all I got was this souvenir mug!
Definitely Not Available at Starbucks.
As far as shitty coffee is concerned, I’ve drunk loads of it in my day. I’ve gulped down my fair share of instant coffee with powder creamer and sugar substitute in a Styrofoam cup. Everything about that cup of joe was fake including the drinker — me. I was living in Hollywood at the time and at the height of my shallowness. Those were the daze.
However, some of this shitty coffee I drank out of economic necessity because I was broke. I drank the coffee at my mechanic’s shop because—that’s right—it was free. I wasn’t even there for an oil change. Used 10W40 could’ve been gurgling in that coffee pot for all I knew but I wouldn’t have cared. I had absolutely no standards for my morning mug other than the price tag, that is, no price. And as the old saying goes: Beggars can’t be Venti Caramel Frappuccino drinkers.
But that was then and this is now. Beggars still can’t be fancy coffee drinkers, but if you’re an exotic food writer and don’t mind shitty coffee like me, you might be offered a $65 cup of kopi luwak for free.
What is kopi luwak? It’s the ultimate shitty coffee and the most expensive one to boot. Kopi luwak is a variety of coffee bean that literally is excrement from an Indonesian civet that the locals call a “luwak”. Indonesians call coffee “kopi”. Coffee from this animal is called “kopi luwak”. Simple as shit, right?
Just because I have no standards when it comes to coffee doesn’t mean that the little luwak kitty has none. Quite the opposite, the luwak is a fussy connoisseur of the coffee berry. It only chows down on the sweetest coffee berries it can find, and that sweetness, my friends, is passed on to the end user. I shit you not...but the civet cat will.
What else makes this coffee special beyond the sweet-ass beans is the special “processing” by the “manufacturer” with a unique fermentation process in the animal’s GI tract since the beans can't really be digested, kinda like corn kernals for people sometimes.
Weirdly and nicely, my kopi luwak was paired with a small dish of pan-fried and salted peanuts. Peanuts? Dude, where're the donuts? But, you know, peanuts were surprisingly effective in bringing out the sweet side of the kopi. Salty and sweet. Yin and yang. I'm starting to get how the genius flows up in this coffee hizzy. Still, I was sniffing around for a maple bar donut. How 'bout just a donut hole?
As you can imagine, this sort of coffee is extremely rare and therefore ass-tronomically priced—it will lighten your wallet by about $65 per cup or $600 per pound.
There are soooo many questions that went through my head as I sipped on this caffeinated oddity, like: If coffee is considered a form of laxative, then what is kopi luwak considered? Redundant? Or, who was the first person to decide that this beverage was suitable for human consumption? And, how did this inspired decision come about? Was it a “happy” accident? Did his coffee bean fall into its feces like a foul Reese's Peanut Butter Cup fumble? And, finally, am I really going to drink this crap? Well, of course I am, but how’s it going to taste?
Honestly, it was the best cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Like a mad scientist behind the coffee counter, J.C. Ho, owner and proprietor of Funnel Mill Rare Coffee and Tea, skillfully and precisely brewed this cup of kopi luwak making it rich and dynamic with sweet, bold and earthy tones. No ass aftertaste whatsoever. I even drank this cup of kopi black—like a real man. No cream. No sugar. Black as the hole it came from and I never take my coffee that way. It was extra smooth and quite delicious with a buzz so pure it seemed illicit. Now, I wouldn’t pay $65 a cup for it but I wouldn’t pay $150 a bottle for Dom Pérignon either. And I’d consider both of these beverages very good shit. I’m not a broke ass anymore but I guess I’m still a cheap ass.
Check out the video and the next time you’re at a Starbucks, ask for a tall kopi luwak and watch your barista lose his latté. Word to the turd.
Funnel Mill Rare Coffee and Tea
930 Broadway, Suite A
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Funnel Mill website
Kopi Luwak Coffee from eric alba on Vimeo.