Kopi luwakcoffee that consists of partially digested coffee cherries, which have been eaten and defecated by the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus). It is also called civet coffee. The cherries are fermented as they pass through a civet's intestines, and after being defecated with other fecal matter, they are collected. Asian palm civets are increasingly caught in the wild and traded for this purpose.
Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, Sulawesi, and in East Timor. It is also widely gathered in the forest or produced in farms in the islands of the Philippines, where the product is called kape motit in the Cordillera region, kapé alamíd in Tagalog areas, kapé melô or kapé musang in Mindanao, and kahawa kubing in the Sulu Archipelago. Weasel coffee is a loose English translation of its Vietnamese name cà phê Chồn.
Producers of the coffee beans argue that the process may improve coffee through two mechanisms: selection – civets choosing to eat only certain cherries, and digestion – biological or chemical mechanisms in the animals' digestive tracts altering the composition of the coffee cherries.
The traditional method of collecting feces from wild Asian palm civets has given way to an intensive farming method, in which the palm civets are kept in battery cages and are force-fed the cherries. This method of production has raised ethical concerns about the treatment of civets and the conditions they are made to live in, which include isolation, poor diet, small cages, and a high mortality rate.
Although kopi luwak is a form of processing rather than a variety of coffee, it has been called one of the most expensive coffees in the world, with retail prices reaching US$100 per kilogram for farmed beans and US$1,300 per kilogram for wild-collected beans.