Also native to the area is a small civet like animal called a Paradoxus hermaphroditus. The locals call them luwak. These little mammals live in the trees and one of their favourite foods is the red, ripe coffee cherry. They eat the cherries, bean and all. While the bean is in the little guy's stomach it undergoes chemical treatment and fermentations. The bean finishes its journey through the digestive system and exits.
The still intact beans are collected from the forest floor and are cleaned, then roasted and ground just like any other coffee. The resulting coffee is said to be like no other. It has a rich, heavy flavour with hints of caramel or chocolate. Other terms used to describe it are earthy, must and exotic. The body is almost syrupy and it's very smooth.
What does Bali Kopi Luwak taste like? The best way obviously is to sample it yourself. Alternatively, read on:
Bali Kopi Luwak is very delicate. It is believed that the enzymes in the Luwak's stomach affect the coffee bean's acidity ever so slightly - what remains is a slightly sweet, but never sour, roast.
While difficult to discern aroma from flavour, a comment often heard to describe Bali Kopi Luwak is 'earthy'. No, one can't smell the remnants from the natural biological process which give the beans their uniqueness: the beans have been delicately scrubbed and lightly roasted. A rich, somewhat nutty true bean smell remains.
Bali Kopi Luwak is slightly heavy in body and holds taste very well. Allow time for your taste buds to discern the unique oils in the brew.
Described as rich, with a hint of chocolate and caramel. Along with coffee berries, the Luwak's diet consists of various fruits and plants, and these may contribute to the fruit and plant tones noticeable in the beans, including vanilla.
The coffee is only lightly roasted, which eliminates bitterness and never masks the unique flavors achieved from Kopi Luwak's strange but true biological chemical process.