Civet coffee, also known as kopi luwak, is a type of coffee that is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and partially digested by civets, small mammals native to Southeast Asia.
Civets eat the coffee cherries, and the beans pass through their digestive system. They are then collected from the animal’s feces, cleaned, roasted, and brewed to make coffee.
Because the beans are fermented in the civet’s stomach, the coffee is said to have a unique and complex flavor. It is considered a delicacy and can be very expensive.
But the production of civet coffee has been criticized due to the horrible treatment of civets. In some cases, civets are kept in small, crowded cages and fed a diet of only coffee berries to produce a larger quantity of the coffee beans.
Even though many producers claim to collect the poop from the wild, animal welfare organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia revealed footage of civets kept in small wired cages in Indonesia for their poop.
“The industry deliberately mislabels captive luwak coffee as ‘from the wild’ in order to fool consumers and retailers,” PETA Asia said. “One producer dismissed claims as ‘marketing’, while another admitted that it was difficult to find free-living luwak feces containing coffee cherries.”
PETA Asia said that researchers talked to a civet coffee worker who explained that farmers could collect max 20 kilograms of faeces a year from the jungle but over 400 kilograms a year from captive, force-fed civets.
“Our shocking new footage from a kopi luwak coffee farm in Indonesia reveals the toll that constant confinement to a tiny wire cage has taken on a sensitive Asian palm civet cat,” PETA Asia said.
The organization said that the stressed, terrified animal paces and circles, desperate to escape the cage in which he’s forced to eat unnatural amounts of coffee berries so that his poop can be sold as kopi luwak.
“Each cup of kopi luwak represents the suffering of sensitive animals condemned to hell in captivity,” said Mimi Bekhechi, PETA’s campaign adviser.