What is Kopi Ruak (muskox coffee)?
The muskox is a 60-centimeter-long animal that lives in the tropical forests of Asia and Africa. Although it is named "cat," it looks like a weasel or raccoon. The reason why muskox coffee was created has to do with Indonesia's history.
Coffee trees in Indonesia are not native, but were brought over from the Netherlands as a colonial measure in the early 17th century. At that time, Indonesian residents were forbidden to pick and drink coffee berries.
Therefore, it is said that green coffee beans were collected from muskoxen feces, cleaned, and roasted, and then used to make coffee. This is how muskox coffee was born.
Kopi Ruak, a super-premium coffee
Kopi Luwak is the undigested green coffee beans collected from muskoxen feces. Kopi means coffee in Indonesian. Ruak is the Indonesian name for muskoxen.
Only about 3 grams of kopi luak can be extracted from one muskox per day. Because of its rarity, Kopi Luwak is a high-end green bean, costing about 10,000 yen per 100 grams. In recent years, cheaper Kopi Luwak beans have been distributed, but they may be fake or artificial.
Taste of Kopi Luwak
Natural Kopi Luwak has a sweet aroma, almost like chocolate. To give you a little more detail, the aroma is a mix of chocolate and vanilla. Many people love Kopi Luwak more for this aroma than for the taste.
The roasted beans have a quite sweet aroma, but the aroma when the beans are ground is exceptional. Especially when the beans are ground and the powder is stored in a canister, the aroma that fills the canister is released when the lid is opened.
The process of making Kopi Ruak
1) A muskrat eats coffee.
Coffee berries are composed of green beans, silverskin, parchment, pulp, and skin. The muskox peels off the skin of the coffee berry, licks only the pulp, and swallows the green coffee bean while it is still covered with silverskin and parchment. The parchment is hard and is not broken down in the stomach or intestines. When it comes out as feces, it is still covered with parchment.
Although the parchment is not broken down, digestive enzymes and intestinal bacteria remove the bitterness, resulting in a green bean with a distinctive aroma. The amount of caffeine is also reduced by half.
(2) Green beans are extracted from muskox feces
Kopi Luwak must be collected within 2 hours after muskoxen droppings. If more than two hours have passed since the muskox took feces, the green beans will change. The most difficult process is to collect parchment-covered green beans from the feces, because it is impossible to know when the muskox will defecate.
(3) Cleaning and drying green beans
While still covered with parchment, the beans are washed until the entire parchment is clean. After washing, the parchment and silverskin are separated using a shelling machine, and only the green beans are removed. After drying in the sun outdoors for a few days, the Kopi Ruak is ready.
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