AT €85 a shot, it’s the world’s most expensive coffee, but only four cups of coffee made from civet dropping in Indonesia have been sold in the first Limerick coffee house to offer it for sale.
Known for its fine coffee, customers in Jack Monday’s on Thomond Bridge can now sample a more exotic - and controversial - brew than the average mocha or hazelnut frappucino.
The former Treaty Bar is offering its customers a sample of a unique blend - made from beans picked from the droppings of the cat-like civet in Indonesia.
Kopi Luwak is green coffee made from coffee beans that have gone through the digestive system of the wild civet cat.
After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, connoisseurs say.
However, manager Mohammad Kaswani, who is originally from Iran, said that this coffee is more of a talking point, than their unique selling point.
“It hasn’t been selling like hotcakes, and it’s not going to be a large seller for us, and it certainly won’t be a money making offer. It’s actually costing us more to keep it on the menu at the moment,” he told the Limerick Leader.
The popular cafe, which will celebrate two years in business this February, was issued with calls for the premises to be boycotted over its sale of this controversial brew.
However, Mr Kaswani emphasised that their brand of kopi luwak is so expensive because it comes from the most ethical sources.
“A lot of people have opinions about it, but they are making these without having the full facts and having a full knowledge of how it’s produced,” he said.
This type of coffee arrived in Ireland last year and is only sold in a handful of coffee shops, although it is available to buy online for €92 for 125 grams.
Produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali, and Sulawesi, it has attracted controversy from some groups who believe the trade is unethical due to intensive farming methods.
The Indonesian delicacy came to prominence after it was highlighted in the 2007 film, The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.