My grandmother has a wine cellar with probably 50 or 60 bottles of Bordeaux from the late 1940s. I know what a $1000 bottle of wine tastes like. I always look forward to visiting because we always open one or two with dinner - she isn't going to live forever and neither is the wine.
Can I taste the difference in a $1000 bottle of wine? Oh yeah.
But would I open my wallet to pay for one of those bottles? Not freakin' likely.
Kopi luwak, same thing. Except my grandmother doesn't have a coffee plantation, a covey of civits and cheap labor to paw through piles of poop looking for coffee beans.
My 2 cents on kopi luwak as a coffee - it is complex.
My 2 cents on the value of civet poop coffee - once a philosopher, twice a fool - unless you have a grandmother with a plantation, civets and a lot of hand soap.
. Just kidding! Actually have just rolled in from taking two guys from San Fran up into the hills. We ran into this older lady (one of the village seniors) who displayed her kopi luwak that she herself collected. Sometimes I really wonder just why is it so expensive in the USA? Tell you what Javahill, I will swap your grandmother for this Javanese one...would love to try a drop of 1940's Bordeux! :grin:
Doesn't affect the taste? But all those eynzymes breaking down those proteins... passing through the digestive system of a tube rat masquerading as a feline chemically alters the coffee.
But yeah, I know. I had it at Starbucks and they roasted the crap out of it, so it tastes like everything else they make. (kidding - it still tasted like crap was in it)
There is some intersting research at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston where they hooked people up to brain imaging gear and did blind and branded taste tests of coke and pepsi. (you can google it) and they found out that the anticipation of a brand changes what happens in the brain. In other words, expectation changes the neurochemical response in the brain.
If you are telling me that the expectation of drinking excreted coffee did not change your experience, that's as full of poop as the coffee.
Yes, my expectations did not affect the taste. There are too many things I have drank and or eaten in my life that I wanted to like but did not, just as things I thought I would hate I liked, such as the Durian which smells like a sewer but tastes like custard.
The first time my wife had the coffee, she had no idea what it was as it was served to her at a home in Indonesia and she thought it was the best coffee she had ever had (by the way, she also had coffee in Jamaica, in Hawaii, in Kenya, in Selewesi, in ... well, you get the picture). When she found out what it was, it didn't affect he opinion on the taste, she still said it was the best coffee she had ever tasted. When she suggested it for us, I was ready to try it, and while I had my expectations, it did not alter whether I liked it or didn't like it. So, studies or no studies I go by my taste buds, not what other people say.
Actually this is a difficult one- as coffee served in homes in Indonesia and called "Kopi Luwak", is actually nearly all the time (but not always) coffee picked super ripe from the tree. Its called Kopi Luwak because it is the coffee (kopi) that would have been eaten by the Luwak if it had got the chance to get there first :grin: Also one of the biggest brands in Indonesia is "Kopi Luwak" (complete with a picture of a rather stretched looking luwak) on the outside of the packet. Again this is not kopi luwak "asli" (original) but rather hopefully as above. The packet does say "with luwak flavouring added", or something along those lines.
If your wife did infact have real kopi luwak (ie from the animal, rather than the packet) then she was probably very fortunate. As mentioned it is not a favourite in the city or larger towns, but is drunk in the kampung. I would imagine she was also fortunat that the coffee was most likely consumed by a luwak living in a fruit rich environment, as the luwak (an ominivore) often eats mice, eggs etc which give KL a rather gamey and not too pleasant cupping character.
Either way, good to always see posts from those who live (or have lived) in Indonesia. I would also give you "2 thumbs up" for your Durian comments. I am a huge Durian fan and have an excellent Durian and coffee recipe which I was given by a roaster in the Philippines. Excellent fruit alone or also consumed with a sprite chaser :shock: