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The truth about Kopi Luwak coffee

FNND finds the truth about the worlds most expensive coffee…

The civet cat poo coffee (kopi Luwak) – It tastes bad, it’s a stupid idea, it’s a waste of money, and its completely unethical – stop this madness and invest in coffee that is properly produced by a farmer and an agronomist…

Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! is a social media campaign designed to create sufficient weight of public opinion to lead to the ban on the sale of kopi luwak throughout the world. The campaign targets everyone one involved with the coffee trade, from those who buy a cappuccino on the way to work all the way back to the coffee estate or plantation.

Above all, Kopi Luwak: Cut the Crap! is promoting awareness: It believes that if consumers know the truth about the trade, they will probably never buy kopi luwak / boast about it / joke about it or drink it… And certainly no-one would pay the super-premium prices that are demanded for it. Prices that reflect the supposed ‘scarcity’ of the coffee and the ‘difficulty’ collecting it…

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Why is this campaign being run from the Facebook page of the coffee expert who accidently first ‘invented’ the kopi luwak trade? and why does he feel responsible for what has subsequently happened?  This is what he says…

“I first read a description of kopi luwak buried in a short paragraph in a 1981 copy of National Geographic Magazine. Ten years later, in 1991, as Coffee Director of Taylors of Harrogate, I was the first person to import kopi luwak into the West – a measly kilo. I didn’t sell it through the company, but thought, perhaps naively, that its quirky, faintly off-putting origins from a wild animal roaming Indonesian coffee estates might be of interest to the local newspaper and radio in Yorkshire where the company was based. It proved to be so much bigger than that – national news, TV and radio fell over themselves to cover it.

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Over the years, the story has gone from strength to strength: kopi luwak has gone global. As well as being stocked by every aspiring speciality retailer, it has appeared on CNN News, Oprah, and The Bucket List (a Hollywood film with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, no less). But although it’s still reported exactly as if it was the same quirky story involving a wild animal’s digestive habits, it’s now in fact a multi-million dollar operation involving caged luwaks in cramped and often distressing ‘battery’ farm conditions being force-fed coffee cherries to produce the ‘precious’ poop.

The Bucket List movie image Jack Nicholson

I feel very troubled at the thought of the animal suffering that I created with this craze, and also indignant that the public are being fooled into thinking they are buying genuine wild kopi luwak. I inadvertently created this sordid and unscrupulous industry: now I want to curb it.”

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The coffee industry has come on leaps and bounds in the past 10 years interms of rising quality and more direct trade between farmer and roaster and a vast improvement in the industrys ethics, so it is important to avoid coffee shops that stock Kopi Luwak because it is important that your coffee isn’t tainted with the stench of animal cruelty.

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