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I have read quite a few reviews of kopi luwak, the legendary "civet poo coffee" from Southeast Asia.

From what I've found all the reputable coffee experts say it's pretty much a scam and the coffee tastes horrible.

There are also travellers who give it OK reviews but you can tell they're not experts and could just as well be giving it an OK review because they've been told it's the best / most expensive coffee in the world.

But hype or not there are surely varying quality kopi luwaks from sources of varying local reputation, and there are surely many fake kopi luwaks.

But have there been any reviews by trusted coffee experts who made sure they were getting a "good" luwak or who compared many and gave at least one of them a good review?

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I like my coffee, have tried a lot of different varieties and roast my own, but I won't claim to be a coffee expert.

I have had the opportunity to taste several (about 6) variations of kopi luwak from various sources in Indonesia and Bali. The quality differences in these are as big as with any other type of coffee.

The factors that affect kopi luwak quality are the same as those that affect any other coffee. Namely, the quality of the coffee bean being grown, the processing of the beans, the roast and the storage conditions. Preparation is also important.

The samples of kopi luwak I tried ranged from OK to horrid, but none of them would have been in the "excellent" category. All kopi luwak would perform very badly on the $/kg test - there's just no way that those coffees are so good that they can justify the cost based purely on flavour.

So, to answer your question, this probably lines up with your research. Kopi luwak is special because of the story behind it, not because it is a fantastic beverage.

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