Posted by: rbbadger | June 30, 2009

Kopi Luwak comes to Seoul

The Shilla Hotel in Seoul has announced that they will be selling Kopi Luwak at The Library, a bar and lounge in the hotel.  Specialty coffees have caught on in Seoul in a huge way.  Starbucks is everywhere now, even in that centre of Korea’s tea culture, Insa-dong.  A number of local coffee shops have joined the competition now, too. 

Kopi Luwak is quite a bit different from your estate grown coffee.  While many of those can be quite pricey, Kopi Luwak is one of the priciest there is.  Unlike regular coffee production which involves picking the coffee cherries, removing the beans, drying the beans, and finally roasting them, Kopi Luwak goes through an- ahem- special process all its own.

The Asian Palm Civet, known in Indonesian as the luwak, likes to eat the coffee cherries.  Eventually, the beans get passed through the digestive tract of the luwak, are cleaned and processed, roasted, and then finally are ready to be brewed.   Apparently, a natural fermentation process occurs while the coffee cherries go through the digestive system of the luwak.  It still sounds pretty disgusting all the same.

Starting Wednesday, the Shilla will be offering Kopi Luwak.  At 42,000 won a cup ($32), you can enjoy a cup of something which was pooped out by a relative of the weasel.  Dave Barry, as is his wont, opined on this matter some time ago.  You may read his comments by clicking here.

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