A Michigan-based company is bringing Kopi Luwak, the world's most rare and expensive coffee, to the United States.

The coffee uses beans which have been partially digested by a tropical cat.


Kopi Luwak can reach prices up to $1,000 per pound. The coffee is sourced from the Asian Palm Civet, a cousin to the Mongoose, in Indonesia. The Civet seeks out and ingests coffee cherries as part of its diet. During digestion the properties of the beans are altered, removing its bitterness. Kopi Luwak is then collected from the jungle and processed.

Wild Kopi Luwak is now being made available in the U.S. by Gayo Kopi, a Detroit startup.

Some producers trap, cage, and force-feed the animals a coffee exclusive diet. Animal rights groups are trying to ban the sale of cage-sourced Kopi Luwak, and many retailers have taken the product off their shelves.

Gayo Kopi works with coffee farms who are certified by the Indonesian government to only source from free-roaming wild Civets.

The company describes their coffee as complex and full-bodied, with an aroma of spices and chocolaty notes. The tastes combines dark chocolates, toffee, caramel and molasses without bitterness. The texture is creamy with a long silky finish.

Sounds good, but you've got to wonder, who was the first person to think that using the partially digested beans was a good idea? And what are some of the drinks that they tried that failed along the way?

Is it really as good as they say? You can find out, but it won't be cheap. 3.53 ounces costs $115.