Struggling with holiday shopping? No clue what to get that special someone this season?
Let me give you a recommendation from personal experience. You see, I recently received a really crappy gift – quite literally.
If there’s a coffee lover in your life and your pockets are deep, order them some Kopi Luwak Coffee. My sister brought me a savory serving from a work trip she took to Bali (where it is produced), and it was the one of the greatest coffees to ever caffeinate my taste buds.
Hold on…great? Savory? I thought you said it stunk?
Just you wait…
Kopi Luwak Coffee gets its name from a small feline indigenous to Bali which the locals refer to as a luwak. Luwaks live in trees, where their diet mainly consists of coffee cherries. The beans within these cherries undergo fermentation while in these little guys’ stomachs before completing their journey through the digestive system...and back out again through the usual course of nature. The beans are then gathered from the forest floor, ground, and are finally ready to serve.
That’s right – it’s cat crap coffee.
So how much will a cup of this poopy pick-me-up run you? Well, because of its rarity, U.S. coffee drinkers can squeeze out anywhere from $35 to $80 for a single serving; our small two-cup sampler cost around $160 USD. Holy shit indeed! That’s the kind of decadent spending reserved for Saudi royalty, A-list rappers, and drug lords (who probably charge something comparable per kilo).
On the surface, this seems like a giant joke, and it kind of is. Even the locals laugh about it. My sister told me the barista who sold her this stinky souvenir wore a shirt that said “Pooh Brew” alongside the brand logo. Sadly, the t-shirt was not for sale.
As for the experience, it was pristine: it had a lovely brown hue, was dark without being bitter, syrupy without being thick, and had a slight chocolate flavor upfront without excreting an aftertaste. That said, if I didn’t know prior to my first sip that this steaming bowl of joe was the most expensive coffee on the planet (or that it could double as manure), I don’t know that it would have made the same impression. It’s fantastic, but it's not like I needed to change my pants after the first sip – I've had better. On the contrary, my sister found the taste too sharp and acidic, while my girlfriend declared it “unmemorable”… talk about $100 flushed down the can.
In closing, think outside the pumpkin spice this Christmas. Naughty kids cringe at receiving a lump of coal, but the nice may be rewarded with a grande dump of cat-pachino.