India now grows “Kopi Luwak” coffee

India, Asia’s third-largest producer and exporter of coffee, started producing the world’s most expensive coffee, known as civet coffee or kopi luwak.

In the country’s largest coffee-growing area in the southern state of Karnataka, a start-up firm, Coorg Consolidated Commodities, produces the luxury coffee on a small scale. Narendra Hebbar, one of the founders of the company explained that civet cats eat the flesh of coffee cherries, but not the bean. The animal’s excreta contains the partially digested seeds or beans which are sourced from plantations located close to the forest from where the wild civet cats come to eat the ripest coffee cherries. Natural enzymes in the civet’s stomach enhance the flavor of the bean which makes this coffee unique.

Coffee berries

The Economic Times reports that in India, this specialty coffee sells at $65 per pound  (a cup of kopi luwak can sell for as much as $80); its price includes the cost of sourcing the animal droppings, processing the beans, accounting for the wastage during processing and acquiring quality certifications.

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Posted on by Gunjan Bagla
Gunjan Bagla
California-based management consultant Gunjan Bagla runs Amritt, a consulting firm helping American companies to succeed in India. Amritt is the trusted advisor for India market research, India business development, India market entry, Global Engineering, Global Technology Scouting, India R&D and Open Innovation. Gunjan is author of "Business in 21st Century India: How to Profit Today from Tomorrow’s Most Exciting Market" (Hachette Book Group, 2008), Amazon's top rated title on the subject. He has appeared as the India Expert on BBC Television, Bloomberg TV, Fox Cable Business and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Hollywood Reporter and Business Week for his expertise on India.

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