Date
8 December 2016
The annual production of certified premium-grade wild kopi luwak beans is only about 500 kilograms after processing. Photo: HKEJ
The annual production of certified premium-grade wild kopi luwak beans is only about 500 kilograms after processing. Photo: HKEJ

New toys and an expensive gift for a coffee lover

In recent years I have abstained from acquiring expensive “toys” for my own pleasure.

But this year is an obvious exception. I took full advantage of my birthday by treating myself to a pump-driven espresso maker by Gaggia.

But while walking to the cashier to pay for the machine, my attention was caught by a professional bean grinder of the same brand.

The enthusiastic saleslady standing by told me it had free shipping as well.

That’s how I ended up acquiring two machines and leveling up my kitchen’s coffee-making capability.

It was Illycaffè that first seduced me. To satisfy my craving for coffee, which is anytime, I bought myself an Illy capsule coffee machine.

But soon capsule-brewed coffee could no longer sate my desire. And so during my overseas trips, I bought a copper vintage-style bean grinder in Japan and a traditional coffee pot in Italy.

But those two implements soon gathered dust at home because I didn’t have good coffee beans.

Besides, I couldn’t find the time to grind coffee beans. That’s why I went back to my Illy.

With all my new toys, the only thing that’s missing was coffee beans.

A good friend of mine knew I was short on beans and so she bought me 100g kopi luwak to celebrate my birthday.

I had kopi luwak just once. Someone treated me to a cup that cost more than HK$300 at a five-star hotel. I drank it to the last drop.

My friend knew a coffee distributor who sells premium-grade certified wild kopi luwak beans. The price tag was HK$980 per 100 grams.

I guess even if my friend was able to get a discount, the price couldn’t go down by much.

In short, I was deeply grateful for her generosity.

Wild beans command such a high price because annual production is only about 500 kilograms after processing.

Comparatively speaking, kopi luwak coffee is less acidic with a weaker texture, but its aftertaste is long-lasting, which makes it perfect for immediate grinding and brewing.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Nov. 9.

Translation by Darlie Yiu

[Chinese version 中文版]

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DY/JP/CG

a veteran journalist and food critic

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