A 30 Dollar Cup of Pre-Digested Coffee

Kopi Luwak Arabica

What you’re looking at is 30 dollars in a cup, believe it or not.  This is Kopi Luwak Arabica.  Why is it so expensive? Well…

Pure Kopi Luwak Java Arabica Coffee

It’s all in the digestion… or production… process.  You see, this coffee is made from beans that have been previously digested and crapped out by an Asian palm civet.  In the picture above you can see an example of the coffee beans prior to cleaning and roasting, and the finished product on the left.  The cost of the animal husbandry and the long process of securing the digested beans is what makes the coffee so expensive.

Jezalin's New York in Limelight Market

When I lived in Singapore I’d heard about this coffee.  It’s mostly produced in Indonesia.  I never did take the time to try it out while I was there, and of course I wasn’t about to spend 30 dollars on a cup of coffee here in the US, so I was happy to see a Groupon pop up for a 20 dollar discount at Jezalin’s, which is where I had my first kopi luwak experience.

Jezalin's New York in Limelight Market

Jezalin's New York in Limelight Market

Like the rest of the Limelight Market (corner of 6th Avenue and 20th Street in Manhattan), Jezalin’s has a really nice, classy atmosphere.  When I got my cup of coffee, the girl behind the counter (also visible in the picture above) came over and showed me the display and explained the process.  I was already familiar with where the coffee comes from, but it was fun to listen to her talk about it.

So, was it worth it?  It was definitely worth the 10 bucks I wound up paying.  The kopi luwak tastes like coffee, but it has a thicker taste to it.  It’s not as strong as coffee.  It has a more mellow, earthy (poopy?) taste to it.  Oddly enough, I felt like taking a nap after finishing it off.  At 30 bucks a cup, it’s not going to replace my morning cup of coffee, but it was a pleasant experience overall, and I’ll definitely convince my wife to try some.

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Have to agree withe 'fried pig brain', etc. But these aren't a waste product. As for 'supply and demand', it's not that the suppliers are being fined for not producing enough to the point that prices have to rocket right;). Yup, i can guess that stuff must be expensive in NYC, and especially 'exotic' waste products. Well, you definitely chose the appropriate term. Quite hilarious in itself.

Brad Farless

Ed: Well, 'Pre-Digested Coffee' is the term I used, to grab interest with the blog title, though it does seem like a politically correct title that they would use on packaging. I actually heard that this is a pretty popular drink, especially in Asia. I agree with you on the price being high, but I think it's a matter of supply vs demand, plus the general price hike on everything in NYC. The space that's being used for this coffee shop is in an expensive area of town. In Asia I think it's a lot cheaper, but I don't know… Read more »


I couldn't believe it as i read it Brad. 'Pre-digested coffee'? Is that what they call it? I suppose that does help in 'masking' the flavour. 'Kopi Luwak'? I think the Malays might call it 'Kopi Tai (pronounced, 'ta-eee')' (coffee shit), but naming it as such wouldn't bring in customers i suppose. That is one expensive 'filtration' process! I wonder if they insured the intestinal tract of the cat. The cost of 'labour' in Indonesia wouldn't be much, so a 30$ price is definitely a super-hiked up 'fair trade' price. I don't think it would cost much to hire an… Read more »


LOL, not your average cup of jo.


Balance, Exactly.

Under posterous as well as Twitter, I had a lot of satirical rants, some specifically tailored to provoke irk.

2011, blog-balance is needed.

(sipping free office coffee)

Brad Farless

Armand: As far as I know, there are embed links in Picasa for individual photos. Do you mean for albums, to present a sort of gallery? Either way, the photo embed codes were always kind of retarded. I usually used the direct link to the photo instead. I've done quite a few… cleanings… of this blog, going through and removing old posts that I just can't understand why I posted, which is probably one reason (other than being more burdened with work now) that I'm not posting as frequently. With this blog having my real name as the blog address,… Read more »


I was using Live Writer when I recently (earlier this year) started up a personal blog. I deleted all posts as I didn't like the direction it was taking and have to decide what if any theme there will be. Considering that like yours, the domain name is my full name also.Live writer was very convenient, and I liked that I got a real preview as well. That is the thing I noticed also with G+, there is only one media allowed. Pretty lame say if I wanted to post an image, followed by a link to the rest of… Read more »

Brad Farless

Armand: Ya, it's not too hard to set up if you keep it simple. I can't imagine that given how much work they're putting into redesigning their products that Blogger will get left behind. I mean, there's only so much they can do to improve it, but the commenting system for sure. If you do use Blogger, post stuff to it with Windows Live Writer. It offers more options for formatting posts, plus it can automatically resize photos, etc. I don't know how important that is anymore, given the supposed unlimited space, but it'll let you watermark photos too if… Read more »


I've wanted to re-start what I started on Posterous a while back, and I hate that I am leaving so much there, but perhaps it's time to start new. I like wordpress and its swiss-army like versatility, but as Google will eventually be issuing food to citizens, I will probably home in on Blogger. I see that you have done well for customizing it. I just need to dive in.

As for the coffee, maybe I will give it a shot, should I have a coupon or meetup with someone that has domesticated a Asian palm civet.

Brad Farless

dashaman: Hi! You could make a bundle selling these beans I think, but it would probably cost quite a bit to get quality civets in the first place. I dumped Disqus b/c I got tired of the messages I was seeing on Twitter about constant downtime, and people telling me they'd typed a long comment only to have it disappear. There were constant problems with the comments syncing back to Blogger. I guess I just wanted to make sure people could comment and that their comments would stay on the blog. A lot of comments made on Disqus were lost.… Read more »


“Thicker & Earthy” …for obvious reasons. 😉I don't know man, I know they clean the beans and all, but I can't imagine why regular coffee won't do.How the hell did they figure this out? BTW, I've been reading several articles lately that discuss the near future of how blogs will fade in lieu of micro-blogging like G+. While the bloggers have had their merits, and made valid points as to why the speed of micro-blogging will prevail, this post, simple as it is, reminds me that they may be wrong. The photos look great, presented as the story unfolds. I… Read more »


hi brad,
i like this post. there are arabica coffee farms in batangas areas here in PI. make you wish you have a parcel of land with wild “alamids” (civet cats) who loves eating this ripe coffee beans.

*you ditched disquss?

best regards

Brad Farless

Now that you mention it, it does seem a little like Marche. Split a cup! That'll cut out some of the cost. =)


i loved this post plus the pictures turned out to be awesome. kinda reminds me of Marche for some reason though. Id like to try it out for experience but the truth is, Im too FRUGAL to splurge that much money on coffee.But yeah I will try it indeed so I can understand what the fuss is all about. =)