Luwak coffee, what we like to call poop coffee (it’s literally pooped out semi-digested coffee beans), is like the diamond of the coffee world. Over the years, the production of it has turned from fair and safe to cruel and abusive. Please, there’s no space for blood diamonds here.
In the lively forum that is the Ubud Community Facebook group, someone recently posted about a man “who does not imprison his cats in order to force feed them in cages!”
The post got over 400 likes and dozens of shares, but in the discussion, people questioned the civet cats’ health and the genuineness of this man’s practices. However, other people who visited his Tanah Lot based cafe confirmed that this guy, apparently called Agus, treats them well.
They say don’t always believe what you read, especially on the book of face. So Coconuts Bali adventured to Tanah Lot, following the directions, “right opposite of Tanah Lot Temple, up the hill, passed the gift shops, on the right!”
There were three free range civets lounging around the cafe, and one (very horny) bat that was pleasuring itself. We knew we found the place when a man brewing a cup of Luwak said, “I make poo coffee.” Poop never tasted so good.
An American couple added their opinion, “your coffee tastes like shit.”
“Yes, that’s because it’s made from shit,” the man working at the cafe responded. Which is amazing that some of the most expensive coffee in the world is made from poopy.
Although we went to the right cafe (confirmed by the woman who made the post), the man we met, does not resemble the guy in the Facebook photo. She told us it must have been Agus’ day off.
The man we met, called Putu, did not have any tattoos or piercings. He was clean as a cat. Quite fitting as he told us that he has ten civet cats, three dogs, two bats, and one cat. To us, it’s like he has a petting zoo, but “I just like animals,” Putu said.
The three civet cats in the store, called Morgan, Jack, and Komang, were rather chubby but seemed properly cared for. Putu bathed them, played with them and fed them. There’s really no way to tell if he did that just for show or if he truly treats them like domesticated animals.
Based on intuition, Putu and Agus alike seem to be giving the Luwak industry in Bali a good name. But at this rate it’s too hard to tell who is full of crap these days.