Civet coffee, or ‘Kopi Luwak’, as it's known in Indonesia, is one of the world’s most expensive drinks, selling for up to $100 per cup. It’s made from coffee beans, which have been partially digested and then excreted by small cat-like mammals known as civets. According to coffee connoisseurs, this unusual production method is what gives the coffee its uniquely smooth taste.
The BBC have carried out a special investigation into the animal welfare concerns associated with civet coffee, featuring our wildlife expert Neil D'Cruze. You can find their report online here. Alternatively you can tune into BBC Our World throughout the weekend. Find a time that suits you here.
Trapped for trade
In parts of South East Asia, civets are cruelly captured from the wild, using methods that include box traps and snares. Many are sold directly to commercial civet farm owners, whilst others await their fate in noisy, bustling, wildlife markets.
Despite a long history of ‘cage-free’ civet coffee – a method believed to produce the most superior tasting civet coffee – evidence suggests that the number of civet farms has increased to meet the growing global demand.
A variety of different civet species are used to produce civet coffee, including the Binturong, which is classified as ‘vulnerable’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list (IUCN) and other species such as the Asian palm civet, which are more widespread. It’s likely that farmed civet coffee production is contributing to the extinction of local populations.
What are we doing?
- Urging retailers to source ‘cage free’ civet coffee and remove inhumane products from their shelves
- Calling for the introduction of an accredited certification scheme as a standard for humane ‘cage-free’ coffee
- Calling on governments of civet-coffee-producing countries to take steps towards ending caged production
What can you do?
- Don’t buy civet coffee unless you can guarantee it is from a 100% ‘cage-free’ source
- Find out more about the issue by reading our report
Learn more about Civets
Civet fact file One minute to get up to speed on Civets
Read our report Learn what we're doing to protect these animals