Kopi Luwak is often regarded as the gourmet coffee delight of Southeast Asia. It is also known as “Civet Coffee” or “Weasel Coffee” because it is made from beans that have passed through the digestive tract of the civet–a cat-like or weasel-like animal that munches on coffee berries but cannot digest the bean at the berry’s core. Kopi Luwak beans have their unique, “secret” flavors released by the process of passing through the stomach and digestive tract of the civet and being exposed to its digestive enzymes. There is no amount or technique of roasting that can bring out the subtly nuanced flavors of the beans better than the civet’s enzymes, meaning that without this animal this great gourmet coffee delight simply could not exist. Civet farms, where the animals are treated as beloved pets, as well as wild civet preservations in the mountains of Southeast Asia have been created in order to produce as many enzymatically-treated beans for Kopi Luwak as there possibly can be.
However, since Kopi Luwak is rare and exotic among gourmet coffees, it is pricey. There are those who feel that they can’t afford it, at least not much of it. So to that end Vietnam’s most famous coffee house and coffee producer, Trung Nguyen, produces a brand of gourmet coffee called Legendee.Which was created with the help and reserch of German scientists to reproduce the natural process. Legendee is one of the world’s most famous gourmet coffees, as it is a unique, enzymatically-treated coffee just as Kopi Luwak is, the different of course being that Legendee is artificially treated with enzymes whereas the civet is needed to make Kopi Luwak. Legendee is considered to be the closest artificially-treated coffee in flavor to Kopi Luwak. Arabica and Excelsa beans are blended together to create this one of a kind formula.
In recent time Trung Nguyen has developed its Legendee Gold to have a brighter flavor and more of the traditionally Arabica aroma and acidity that so many gourmet coffee drinkers love. On the front of the package they’ve placed a mountain symbol to stand for the high-altitude range where Legendee is produced and which gives it its unique and exotic flavor. Gourmet coffee drinkers who visit Vietnam cannot have a complete, fulfilling trip unless they sit in a Trung Nguyen coffeehouse and taste of the Legendee as it gets brewed in the the single-cup metallic Phin filters. Perhaps best of all to many visitors and gourmet coffee drinkers, Legendee is less expensive than Kopi Luwak, as the artificial enzymatic treatment enables much greater quantities of the former to be produced.