Minggu, 16 Mei 2010

Kopi Luwak

Kopi Luwak

Wake Up And SmellThe Coffee®

I, along with our CRITICS, would like to extend my warmest gratitude and sincerest appreciation to Oprah, Lesia and The Oprah Winfrey Show for including The Coffee Critic in their October 15th, 2003 show and featuring the rare Kopi Luwak coffee.

Everyone connected with The Oprah Winfrey Show was extremely professional, from the first conversation with Susan Schmirl to the last contact with Tom Kilty of M.P. Mountanos, Inc.

We have continually promoted Kopi Luwak, a rare and exotic coffee, which was imported for the first time by Mark P. Mountanos of M.P. Mountanos, Inc. Mark first learned about this coffee in the early 1980's. Stephen Kahl, another coffee importer, read about the Kopi Luwak in an edition of the National Geographic and discussed it with Mark, who then pursued to import it.

"Kopi" is the Indonesian word for coffee and the "Luwak" is the indigenous animal who plays an "active" role in the harvesting of the raw coffee cherries. The Luwak feasts on ripe, red coffee cherries seeking out the sweet taste of the cherry itself, wanting little to do with the parchment of the coffee. Once the Luwak eats the cherry, the parchment covered coffee beans are passed out of the Luwak, with the parchment cover still protecting the green coffee beans.

The local natives gather up the limited amount of the Luwak processed parchment coffee, remove the parchment shell, and ultimately ship it to the coffee broker.

Kopi Luwak has a very unique and distinguishable roasting smell and taste... like no other coffee.

We, at The Coffee Critic, roast this rare coffee to order, when available.

We are currently sold out of Kopi Luwak. Please click here to be notified when the new crop is available. Thank you so much.

Here's to excellence in Specialty Coffee and Tea,

Linda Nederman-Mountanos
The Coffee Critic®

Kopi Luwak
An Indonesian Island Treasure
Excerpts taken from a special article in Cafe Olé Magazine
by Chris Rubin

Some coffee varieties have earned a special reputation, often based on a combination of rarity, unusual circumstances and particularly good flavor. These coffees, from Jamaican Blue Mountain to Kona to Tanzanian Peaberry, command a premium price.

But the rarity, unique flavors and interesting background of Kopi Luwak are unlikely to be matched by an other. Its price is unmatched as well: Kopi Luwak wholesales for about $110 per pound, unroasted.

Kopi is the Indonesian word for coffee. Kopi Luwak comes from the islands of Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), which are part of the Indonesian Archipelago's 13,677 islands. (Only 6,000 of these islands are inhabited.)

But it's not strictly the exotic location that makes these beans worth their weight in silver. It's how they're "processed."

On these Indonesian islands, there's a small marsupial called the paradoxurus, a tree-dwelling animal that is a kind of civet. These catlike animals were long regarded as pests because they would climb in the coffee trees and eat only the ripest, reddest coffee cherries.

What these animals eat, they also digest and eventually excrete. Some brazen or desperate locals gathered the beans, which come through the digestion process fairly intact, still wrapped in layers of the coffee cherry mucilage. Apparently the enzymes in the stomach of the animal add something unique to the coffee's flavor through fermentation.

This "harvesting" practice has grown to the point that the beans are now available for sale, and they are now the world's priciest specialty coffee. Japan buys the bulk of Kopi Luwak, but M.P. Mountanos Inc., the first importer in the United States to bring in this rare bean, just imported 70 kilos after a seven-year search for a reliable and stable supplier.

``It's the rarest beverage in the world", according to M.P. Mountanos President Mark Mountanos.

Richard Karno, owner of The Novel Café in Santa Monica, California, got a flyer from Mountanos' about Kopi Luwak and "thought it was a joke." But Richard was intrigued, found it was for real, and ordered a pound for a tasting.

He sent out releases to the local press and invited them to a cupping. When no one responded, he roasted it and held a cupping for himself and his employees.

Richard is a very enthusiastic convert to Kopi Luwak. "It's the best coffee I've ever tasted. It's really good, heavy with a caramel taste, heavy body. It smells musty and junglelike green, but it roasts up real nice. The Los Angeles Times didn't come to our cupping, but they ran a bit in their food section, which hit the AP wire service."

Richard and the folks at M.P. Mountanos have been inundated with calls ever since.

Mark Mountanos calls Kopi Luwak "the most complex coffee I've ever tasted," attributing this complexity to the natural fermentation it undergoes in the paradoxurus' digestive system. The stomach acids and enzymes the beans ferment in have a very different affect than fermenting beans in water.

Mark says, "It has a little of everything pleasurable in all coffees: earthy, musty tone, the heaviest bodied I've ever tasted. It's almost syrupy, and the aroma is very unique." While it won't be turning up in every neighborhood café any day soon, Mark reports that Starbucks bought some for cuppings within the company.

In fact, most of Mountanos' customers have bought it for special cuppings.

Owner of The Coffee Critic, Linda Nederman carries Kopi Luwak in her Ukiah, California, store. Linda says that most of the people who try it are longtime customers of The Critic, and they're "game to try something different and unusual. I've never had anybody complain; they all seem to feel it's worth the price."

Linda also carries Jamaica Blue Mountain, Burundi Superior AA and Brazil FVA Natural Dry, so her customers are used to fine and exotic coffees. Still, she reports, many are afraid to try Kopi Luwak.

Intrigued by the hype, I drove out to the Los Angeles warehouse of M.P. Mountanos to cup some Kopi with company broker Andrew Vournas.

The green beans, which range in size from tiny to elephant, have a faint smell that hints of a zoo or stables. He lightly roasted about 21 grams, enough for three cups, in a jabez Burns two-barrel sample roaster, a rare and beautiful machine dating from the 1930s.

Andrew gave the beans a light roast* — just after the second popping — to accentuate the specific flavors of this rare coffee; a darker roast would obliterate the subtler flavors and replace this coffee, like most Indonesians, has lots of moisture and roasts nicely.

Andrew mixed 7 grams of the coarsely ground beans with 4 ounces of water in each of three cups.

The aroma was rich and strong, and the coffee was incredibly full bodied, almost syrupy. It was thick, with a hint of chocolate, and lingered on the tongue with a long, clean aftertaste.

It was definitely one of the best cups I've every had; but at these prices, I'll invest in precious metals before I start buying by the pound.

Chris Rubin

Visit this link to find out more about Chris.


* NOTE: At The Coffee Critic, our roaster's recommendation and the customers' preference is a medium roast.



Roasted Coffee Variety per lb lbs Grind Buy




Kopi Luwak available in 1/4 lb quantities

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Green Unroasted Coffee Variety per lb lbs Buy



Kopi Luwak

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Prices Subject to Change

Thank you so much for your order.

NOTE: We cannot ship green coffees to Hawaii.
We do not ship internationally.
All specialty coffees subject to availability.

Wake Up And Smell The Coffee®

1-800-4CRITIC
(1-800-427-4842)


476 North State St. Ukiah CA.
(707) 462-6333

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The Coffee Critic®, Inc. received permission to use the registered trademark for Wake Up and Smell The Coffee from Linda Nederman-Mountanos.
The Coffee Critic®), Inc. received permission to use the registered trademark for Lindsay's Teas from Mountanos Brothers Coffee Company.

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