Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. Civet coffee as it is also known was discovered by plantation workers in colonised Indonesia. The workers were forbidden from consuming coffee beans picked from the plants so they picked up, cleaned and then roasted the beans excreted by wild Asian palm civets that entered the plantations to eat the ripest coffee cherries. The civets’ digestive system reportedly gives the Kopi Luwak a uniquely rich aroma and smooth, rounded flavour.
The traditional method of collecting faeces from wild civets has given way to intensive farming methods in which civets in battery cage systems are force fed the coffee beans. The civets endure appalling living conditions and an unhealthy diet, leaving them suffering mental distress-incessantly pacing and gnawing on their own limbs. Civets are mongoose-like creatures that are mostly nocturnal and are native to tropical Asia and Africa.