Each morning when the alarm rings, we struggle to get up. We stumble over to the kettle pour some water in it and wait for the bubbly sound of the boiling water. In our half somber state we reach up and grab the coffee, most times it doesn’t need to be grounded or freshly roasted, it’s not necessarily high quality coffee either, Nescafe the instant coffee is usually good enough.
After the water has been poured, you take a gulp of the hot, steaming coffee and then instantly the caffeine gives you a pop and your wide a wake. That might be our routine but its the effect of what the coffee has on us. I love coffee I can’t go through a day with at least two or three cups especially now its Winter.
In Bali, Indonesia as we were driving up to see the scenic views of the Kintamani volcano our driver told us that Bas coffee plantation was just up the road. My wife and I looked at one another before saying in unison, “we would like to stop there”.
The coffee plantations lies 900 -1200 metres above sea level,the trees had flush green leaves, tiny round purple beans grew, that are used to make coffee. We were shown around the plantation, saw the coffee beans being roasted and were introduced to a sleeping black asian civet who just happens to be the star of the plantation for without this animal, the most expensive coffee in the world would never have been made.
Rei roasting coffee beans
So what does a Black Asian Civet otherwise known in Indonesian as a Luwak have in common with coffee well put simply the civet eats the beans that are grown on the tree and then when it comes out in its excrement, the beans are undigested, they wash and then roast the beans. In other words your drinking pretty shitty coffee. In London a pound of Luwak coffee goes for around 68 pounds.
Luwak or Asian Civet
It’s hard to imagine how people ever got to drink coffee that came from the droppings of a luwak. I was told when the Dutch settled in Indonesia and set up the plantations that they told the Indonesians, who farmed the land that they must not pick the beans and make coffee for their own consumption. The Indonesians saw the beans in the droppings and were wanting to try coffee. They washed and roasted them forming what is now known as Luwak coffee.
Out on the balcony overlooking a stunning valley of bright green trees laid out on a layered staircase we were served five hot drinks. These weren’t sample sizes but full cups of steaming hot Bali coffee,ginseng coffee which I gulped down in seconds , hot cocoa, ginger tea and lemongrass tea. That was all I could drink and if I wanted to try the famous luwak coffee here it would cost as much as a Starbucks’ Latte, only $3
Now when the alarm goes off and we stumble over to the kettle and fill it up with water and wait for it to boil. I reach up not for Nescafe but for some fine Bali Coffee.
Have you been to Bas Coffee plantation? Have you tried luwak coffee? We would love to hear about it at We All Travel Together.