I am not usually one to get caught up in charts and graphs of this coffee or that coffee from this or that part of the world but I do have strong opinions on one particular coffee. As I'm sure you may have guessed already what that opinion is.
I was first introduced to Kopi Luwak coffee by Jack Nicholson's character in the "Bucket List" movie of 2007. In the movie, two terminally ill men ( Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman ) escape from a cancer ward and head off on a road trip with a wish list of to-dos before they die. On their trip, Jack Nicholson's character introduces Freeman to the the coffee and they have an exchange about the price.
Side note: I thought it was a great movie, you should definitely watch if you haven't already.
“...Anyone who thinks that $600 a pound coffee is $586 better tasting than my excellent Sumatra Mandheling (is) either: 1. Stupid 2. Lying 3. Both“
You can read Jack's complete re-telling of the challenge in his own words.
Here's the short version:
“It’s a very good coffee, but not worth $600 a pound. If you bought it in a coffee shop, it would cost you $50 a cup,” says cupping judge Andy Timko, coffee roaster with Anodyne Coffee Roasters in Milwaukee.
Cupping judge Johni Medeiros, a coffee taster and quality control manager for Magnum Coffee Roasters in Nunica, Mich., wasn’t as kind in his assessment. “At $600 a pound, this is fool’s gold. You are paying for the novelty of the coffee not the flavors,” Medeiros says.
The top Kopi Luwak sample “Kopi Gayo” came in with a taste test rating of 78.2 out of 100 points, a good score but below an Excellent rating of 90 or an Outstanding rating of 100. One of the less pricey, non-cat poop coffees came in within 6/10ths of a point of Kopi Luwak and others were 3 to 7 points below the top score. The Kopi Gayo also got the highest individual sampling score of 85 points.
“We estimate that our test could have a plus or minus 3 to 5 percent accuracy, so the Kopi Luwak could be in the Excellent rating. So would a few of the $16 a pound coffees,“ Groot says.
A long time ago I was told "always trust your gut instincts". And when I first heard about Kopi Luwak my gut was saying "there's something wrong with that." And now, as far as this writer is concerned, I have been proven correct. I say to you, money wasters... if you spend the money on coffee made from poop, you have too much money.