Meet the luwak (Paradoxus hermaphroditus), the animal responsible for the creation of Luwak Coffee. The luwak is a relative of the mongoose and is slightly larger than the average household cat. There are a number of different types of luwaks, which can be found right throughout the tropics, however the particular species that produces Kopi Luwak Coffee is concentrated in south east Asia. Luwak are nocturnal by nature and steal through the coffee plantations The Luwak or palm civet loves to eat coffee cherries and will only pick the best, plumpest, and ripest ones to eat. Only the outer fruit of the cherry is digested, leaving the beans (which are covered by a membrane) to pass through the civet's digestive system. These beans are then harvested from the forest floor, washed and dried for roasting. Kopi Luwak coffee has a complex, rich flavor. Luwak are quite tolerant of humans and, if allowed to live unmolested, can be found everywhere from deep jungles to villages and even cities. In Bali they are often seen (and even more often heard) climbing around in the roof and along walls of houses and hotels in many popular tourist areas. Luwak are largely arboreal (tree dwelling) and spend much of their time sniffing around in the trees for their favorite foods which includes most tropical fruit. They are very capable climbers, although the individual pictured here (luwak.jpg) has been domesticated for too long and is grossly overweight. They have short but sharp claws that enable them to grip and climb along tree limbs. These same claws are quite useful for scratching and they can become aggressive when provoked. Their teeth are relatively short but again they are quite sharp.