Recently, I went back to Indonesia for 5 days. It is quite unusual, as most of the time I went back to Indonesia only once a year, approaching the end of Ramadhan month. It was a vacation, but somehow my agenda was quite packed, as I need to:
- visiting friends in Jombang
- casting my vote in the Legislative General Election (as reported by my brother, Taufan, in Bahasa Indonesia).
- celebrating Zaki’s 9th birthday. To think of it, it is a quite special number.. 9th birthday, at April 9th 2009. I gave him snorkeling gear complete with the swimming outfit (Thanks for my brother, Jufti, for allowing me to hijack his idea :$ )
- visiting friends in Surabaya (sadly, it didn’t happen, sorry guys & girls .. maybe next time )
- Shopping spree :$
- buying a pack of Kopi Luwak for a friend
Anyway, it was my Grandmother who told me about Kopi Luwak for the first time. As far as I remember, I was a very very small kid when she said to me that Luwak can make a very good coffee. It was B.G. (Before Google) and I was a very very small kid, so I totally have no idea at all, how Luwak looks like. But now, thanks to Google Images, a search with Luwak keyword will give you plenty images of Luwaks, their feeces + coffee, the packaging of Kopi Luwak, and surprisingly, Oprah Winfrey .
The problem is, where can I get Kopi Luwak in Jombang? I like coffee, but I never drink Kopi Luwak. Neither do any of my family members. Fortunately, my Father had heard before, that there are Kopi Luwak’s sellers in Kediri or Blitar. He made few calls, but none of them gave us good news. Running out of time, I settled with Bandung Presto. And my friend seems content for receiving Bandeng Presto, instead of Kopi Luwak.
So here I am now in Singapore, I am still curious about Kopi Luwak and decided to google for it. I found David Emery wrote that Kopi Luwak is not a myth. But do beware of the fake Kopi Luwak.
I had my doubts until I learned that University of Guelph food scientist Massimo Marcone actually trekked to Indonesia a few years back to collect samples of kopi luwak beans with his own two hands, supplying independent confirmation that this rare and exceedingly expensive varietal coffee really exists. Marcone figures almost half the beans marketed under the name “kopi luwak” are either adulterated or fake, however, so buyer beware.
CNEIL tasted Kopi Luwak. Although it is not the ‘premium‘ Kopi Luwak, but he thinks Kopi Luwak is over-hyped
Honestly, though, this coffee doesn’t really live up to the hype. There’s not a flavor so unique here that you couldn’t find something just as good in Starbucks. If you look past the preparation process, the coffee tastes like nothing more than a strong blend of hazelnut. It wasn’t a bad cup of coffee, but it wasn’t so good that it was worth seeking out. This is purely a novelty delicacy prepared solely to give someone bragging rights.
Okay, this is not related to Kopi Luwak, but to the Luwak itself. Apparently, Palm Civet can be found in Singapore. Great, we just need to establish a coffee farm at Chek Java. And soon enough, Singapore will have its own brand of Kopi Luwak.
Lebih menarik lagi, PTPN 12 juga menawarkan wisata Agro di perkebunan Kopi Luwaknya. Berlokasikan di lembah gunung Ijen, pengunjung dapat menikmati keindahan kebun strawberry, teh dan kopi, sekaligus mengamati cara “pengolahan” kopi Luwak, langsung pada tempatnya. Dibuat dengan konsep cottage, tentu saja sangat asyik untuk jadi tempat tujuan wisata.
Hmm.. interesting. Now I know that Indonesia’s state company (PTPN 12) has an Agri-Tourism offering. We can book cottages that are located in the valley of Mount Ijen. The cottages are surrounded by strawberry field, tea field and coffee field. Nearby, we could watch the process of producing Kopi Luwak. You might want to check out the reservation page, to see the cottages. Interesting, I think I just found destination for my family’s next retreat. You could see more pictures of the Kopi Luwak farm at http://www.javakopiluwak.com/. It’s quite far from Surabaya.
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Mau yang lebih dekat lagi? Coba saja mampir ke Cafe Rollaas di City of Tommorow. Mereka menyediakan produk-produk yang langsung didatangkan dari perkebunan PTPN 12, termasuk Kopi Luwak. Kalau mau mencicipi Kopi Luwak, harus siap-siap nabung dulu. Secangkir harganya Rp 100.000,-! Tapi dijamin worth it dan kalau sudah mencoba, pasti baru percaya, mengapa kopi ini begitu istimewa. Selain kopi Luwak masih ada kreasi-kreasi minuman lainnya dari kopi, teh, coklat dan strawberry. Tempatnya juga nyaman dan cozy. dan yang terpenting: ada free WiFi!
Alternatively, we could visit Cafe Rollas at the City of Tomorrow. This Cafe offered Kopi Luwak for Rp. 100.000,- ( about SGD$15) per cup. The Cafe also offered other kind of drinks, creatively brewed from coffee, tea, chocolate and strawbery. With free Wireless Internet and cozy place, it could become a very cool place to hang out. Below is the map to City of Tomorrow. It is quite near to Juanda Internation Airport, Surabaya!!!
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And most importantly, I can now taste Kopi Luwak in Singapore. I will definitely visit Suntec City tomorrow
Wiener Kaffeehaus – Suntec Carrerfour
Have you drink Kopi Luwak before? What do you think?