From time to time we come across something really special in food. These delicacies are to gastronomy what haute couture is to fashion. Gourmet offerings such as beluga caviar, foie gras, truffles, oysters and wagyu beef are today considered some of the most indulgent ingredients in the world of fine dining. But do we have a luxurious local ingredient that can compete in culinary circles internationally? Yes, we do — kopi luwak.
Kopi luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world, and it comes from Sumatra, Indonesia. You will be surprised by how much it can cost. I recently bought pure robusta and arabica kopi luwak from a reliable supplier for Rp 200,000 ($21) per 100 grams. That’s Rp 2 million per kilogram.
Why is kopi luwak expensive?
Because the process to produce it is quite complicated. Small civet cats, known as luwaks locally, pick out their favorite coffee cherries — they prefer the red, ripe and juicy cherries to the green ones — swallow them whole, and then let the coffee beans simply ... pass through them.
The digested beans are collected from the forest floor and are cleaned, washed, dried and roasted ready to consume.
I found the robusta kopi luwak I bought to have a smooth taste, with no acidity and exotic earthy, caramel and chocolate flavors. A dash of cream made the cup of coffee something special to enjoy. It got me wondering about what else I could make with this luxurious coffee.
For this week’s recipe I prepared the classic Italian dessert tiramisu, using Indonesia’s own kopi luwak. Enjoy!
Tiramisu with kopi luwak, chocolate and orange zest recipe
Read more: Jakarta Globe