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What is kopi luwak? A literature review on production, quality and problems

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Kopi luwak or civet coffee is known as one of the most popular coffee in the world. This coffee produced from the finest and ripest coffee berries that are eaten by luwak (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), a cat like-animal. Kopi luwak is currently recognized as the most special and most expensive coffee in the world. Kopi luwak production is initially done naturally by collecting kopi luwak from nature. However, due to the limited number, farmer began to cultivate kopi luwak with captivity (caged kopi luwak). A number of problems arise in production, consumption and trade. Indonesia as the first country to produce kopi luwak certainly needs to pay special attention to the development of this coffee. Some research results show that wild kopi luwak and caged kopi luwak have different characteristics. Kopi luwak production with captivity needs to be well studied so that it can be accepted by the world market. Counterfeiting kopi luwak is still common. Standardization of kopi luwak quality needs to be developed, certification of kopi luwak as a quality guarantee will increase consumer confidence and maintain the continuity of this coffee.
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What is kopi luwak? A literature review on production, quality and
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ICATES 2019
IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 365 (2019) 012041
IOP Publishing
doi:10.1088/1755-1315/365/1/012041
1
What is kopi luwak? A literature review on production,
quality and problems
M Muzaifa 1*, D Hasni 1, F Rahmi 2, Syarifudin 3
1 Department of Agricultural Product Technology, Faculty of Agriculture Syiah Kuala
University- Banda Aceh, Indonesia
2 Department of Agrotechnolgy, Faculty of Agriculture Gajah Putih University- Blang
Bebangka Aceh, Indonesia
3 Department of Management Economics, Faculty of Economics Gajah Putih
University- Blang Bebangka Aceh, Indonesia
*Email : murnamuzaifa@unsyiah.ac.id
Abstract. Kopi luwak or civet coffee is known as one of the most popular coffee in the world.
This coffee produced from the finest and ripest coffee berries that are eaten by luwak
(Paradoxorus hermaphroditus), a cat like-animal. Kopi luwak is currently recognized as the
most special and most expensive coffee in the world. Kopi luwak production is initially done
naturally by collecting kopi luwak from nature. However, due to the limited number, farmer
began to cultivate kopi luwak with captivity (caged kopi luwak). A number of problems arise
in production, consumption and trade. Indonesia as the first country to produce kopi luwak
certainly needs to pay special attention to the development of this coffee. Some research results
show that wild kopi luwak and caged kopi luwak have different characteristics. Kopi luwak
production with captivity needs to be well studied so that it can be accepted by the world
market. Counterfeiting kopi luwak is still common. Standardization of kopi luwak quality
needs to be developed, certification of kopi luwak as a quality guarantee will increase
consumer confidence and maintain the continuity of this coffee.
1. Introduction
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the world due to its flavor and stimulant
properties [1, 2]. The aroma and flavor of coffee are directly related to the chemical
composition of the green beans and typical coffee aromas are developed during the roasting
process [3-5]. One of Indonesian coffee which is known in the world market and is a superior
commodity is Civet coffee or Civet coffee. Luwak is an Indonesian term for ferrets
(Paradoxorus hermaphroditus) [7,8].
Indonesia is the first country known as the country of origin of civet coffee. Civet coffee is
coffee that has been eaten by civet, then passes through the digestive tract of civet (fermented)
and released in the form of intact horn-skinned seeds along with civet droppings. Civet
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chooses coffee fruit that is ripe as food, coffee beans that are protected by hard and undigested
skin will come out with civet droppings [7-9].
According to coffee connoisseurs, civet coffee has a better taste than ordinary coffee. This
is due to some features that are owned by civet coffee. The specialty obtained from civet
coffee is because the coffee is low in caffeine, low acidity, low fat, low bitter, so this civet
coffee is dubbed as the most delicious coffee in the world, even has broken the record
recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as The 1st Excellent & Most Expensive Coffee in
the World [10].
Indonesian civet coffee began to be internationally popular after the world-class presenter
Oprah Winfrey in 2003 introduced and demonstrated how to brew Arabica Gayo civet coffee
in the reality show The Oprah Winfrey Show which is very famous in the United States.
Furthermore, Indonesian civet coffee products are increasingly known and sought after civet
coffee became a favorite drink in the 2007 film Box Office The Bucket List, starring famous
Hollywood actors Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman [11].
The natural fermentation process in the civet stomach changes the chemical composition of
the coffee beans and can improve the quality of the taste of coffee because, in addition to
being at the optimal fermentation temperature, it is also assisted with enzymes and bacteria
present in the digestion of the civet. In the fermentation process, a chemical reaction occurs
which is very useful in the formation of coffee bean flavor, namely the formation of flavor
precursor compounds such as amino acids and reducing sugars [8,12, 13]. This allegation
causes the aroma of civet coffee to be very special [13-15]. The specialty of the flavor and the
uniqueness of the production process causes the civet coffee to be increasingly in demand
among local and foreign coffee lovers. With its unique production, highly dependent on the
biological system of civet, the presence of civet coffee is certainly very limited. This paper
outlines the knowledge of the existence of civet coffee namely production, quality, and
problems.
2. Civet Coffee Production
Based on the production process, civet coffee consists of natural civet coffee production or
often called wild civet coffee and cultivation of civet coffee production (civet coffee cage/
caged). Civet coffee production was initially carried out naturally by collecting civet feces
from coffee plantations adjacent to the forest. However, due to limited production, farmers
began to cultivate Caged civet coffee. Physically the two types of civet coffee products have
similar characteristics, but there are several sensory properties distinguish these two types of
civet coffee [7,8,16].
a. Wild civet coffee production (natural)
This production occurs in nature, where is usually located in plantations close to the forest.
This is possible because there are still large populations of civet in the forest area. Civet
coffee is collected everyday by searching for places that are usually used by civet to remove
dirt. Some places that are often used as weasel dumps are grass under coffee trees, on dry
wood on dry branches, on hard rock or soil and even on the ceiling of a house. Coffee that has
been collected then soaked and washed with running water until it is clean and dried in the
sun to dry. Civet coffee which still has horn skin is then stored until waiting for the sale [9].
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b. Cultivated civet coffee production (caged)
Producing civet coffee from civet captivity is another method used to obtain civet coffee.
This method is used to overcome difficulties in obtaining and collecting wild civet coffee. In
this type of production, civet healthiness and daiy needs are put in the premium care. Civet
must be caged alone. Placing them in one cage will be harmful since they are likely to be
alone. The feed given to civet must also vary. In the cage in addition to providing fresh coffee
as food, bananas, papayas, chicken, salted fish and rice are also fresh. This is done so that the
civet is not bored so the must be changed every day. The amount of coffee that can be
produced from a civet every day ranges from 300-400 grams of wet-skinned coffee or the
equivalent of 200 grams of dry coffee. Civet coffee production can reach 0.12 kg/head per day
during the harvest which will last for 120 days each year. Thus in one season, a civet can
produce 14 kg of civet coffee. The post processing of caged civet coffee is then processed the
same as wild civet coffee. Soaked and washed clean, dried in the sun to dry, then stripping the
skin of the horn and sorting to get coffee beans with physical quality. Generally, the civet that
is commonly cultivated to produce civet coffee, is kind of the civet moon and civet pandanus
[7,10]
3. Characteristics of Civet coffee
Up to now, civet coffee quality does not have a specific standard. Scientific studies of civet
coffee are still very limited recently, however physicochemical or sensory characteristics of
civet coffee have been studied by several researchers both at local and international [16].
The physicochemical characteristics of civet coffee from Indonesia and Ethiopia have been
analyzed. Civet coffee from Indonesia analyzed was Robusta Luwak coffee. Some parameters
analyzed were the weight and color of the coffee bean, proximate analysis, some mineral
elements and the enumeration of the number of microbes both in the form of green coffee and
roasted coffee. The results indicate that civet coffee contains a lower total protein. This
indicates that during digestion the protein is not only broken down / broken down but also
comes out of the seeds. This is interesting because lower protein levels can reduce the level of
bitterness of coffee. This is due to protein acts as a bitter taste precursor during roasting
[8,12,15].
Characterization of civet coffee collected from nature and civet coffee bred from the types
of Arabica and Robusta have also been carried out. The results showed that wild arabica civet
coffee has a strong fragrance, aroma, flavor and aftertaste, moderate acidity, medium body
and, good balance level. But sometimes it is accompanied by a strong earthy taste [9].
Civet coffee beans mixed with animal civet feces have a high-water content that is 38.89%
so it still needs to be carried out the cleaning process and the perfect drying process.
Standards od moisture content of unprocessed rice seeds range from 10-12%, while the water
content of coffee beans is by following Indonesian National Standard No. 2907-2008 is
12.5%. The results of the analysis of protein, fat, ash and carbohydrates in fruit and coffee
beans and civet coffee beans showed significantly different results. The results of the color
analysis note that the brightness of fresh coffee has a higher value than civet coffee beans.
The process in civet digestion causes a change in the color of coffee beans to be darker [16].
Furthermore, civet coffee has a better and more specific aroma than regular coffee. Volatile
components and organic acid metabolite compounds contained by civet coffee can prove the
authenticity of civet coffee [17-19].
The profile of wild arabica civet coffee and Caged origin from the Gayo Highland shows a
difference in quality. Even though both of them have good taste scores, a Caged civet coffee
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has an excessive aroma of papaya and guava. Both types of fruit are very often given by
farmers to feed civet because is cheaper and hugely available. Interestingly this aroma appears
in the flavor test [20]. In subsequent studies, analysis of six wild civet coffee samples from
the Gayo highlands showed that nutty, fishy, chocolaty, herby, toasty and earthy were the
dominant characteristics that were common. The resulting cupping scores ranged from 83.75
to 85.75 with an average of 84.58 and were categorized as special (very good) based on
SCAA [21,22].
Caged arabica civet coffee has a better flavor and aroma than Caged robusta civet coffee.
With its superior sensory property civet coffee commonly classifies as a specialty coffee,
although some improper handling might cause the downward quality [9,23]. Caged civet
coffee production might be a temporary solution to maintain the continuity of Indonesia's
increasingly wild civet coffee. Besides that, it has added a line of Indonesian specialty coffee
in the world market which certainly has a positive impact on increasing the competitiveness
of Indonesian coffee products in the international market [11].
4. Civet coffee’s Problems
Civet coffee with unique flavors and very limited production would be a very exclusive
product. The high price of civet coffee attracts naughty businessmen to fake it. At the local
trade level, trust is the capital in buying and selling civet coffee. An effort is needed to
guarantee the authenticity of civet coffee for example by implementing a quality assurance
certificate [24,25]. Quality assurance aims to guarantee the fulfillment of product quality
requirements such as safety, reliability, functional properties and so on. In this case, to fulfill
the requirements for the authenticity of civet coffee, a deeper scientific study is required.
Manufacturers who have obtained this certificate will be increasingly trusted and chosen
because of their ability to assure the quality of their products [26].
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has issued a fatwa that Luwak coffee is halal for
consumption [27]. Halal civet coffee is consumed as long as the coffee is still wrapped in horn
skin, washed thoroughly. However, civet coffee production that is uniquely obtained from
civet droppings raises a variety of opinions in its consumption. Some consumers still feel
disgusted to consume civet coffee because the seeds are mixed with civet droppings [21, 20].
For this reason, Luwak coffee production without involving animals needs to be considered
Civet coffee production by cultivation is one of the efforts to increase Luwak coffee
production. But these efforts also have weaknesses including expensive costs and its life-
threatening the sustainability of civet. Civet breeding needs special attention both cage, food
and animal health of civet. Luwak is not only eaten fresh coffee fruit, but also chicken as
sources of protein. The sustainability of civet is also threatened because nowadays cultivated
coffee farmers only think of producing civet coffee without caring for the cultivation of civet.
Civet cultivation on a large scale has received sharp attention by the world community of
animal lovers, namely PETA (People for ethical treatments of animals). Civet breeding to
produce civet coffee is considered to reflect the heinous behavior of animals. International
coverage of bad civet captivity has an impact on the decline in demand for civet coffee in the
world [7,9, 16]. Caged civet coffee production requires the standard procedures as a quality
guidance. This effort should be done in order civet coffee might be accepted in the world
market. In the business of producing civet coffee cultivation there are several main things that
must be considered, namely: (1) the availability of civet animals; (2) the availability of coffee
fruits; (3) food availability and nutrient intake for animals; (4) the availability of healthy
cages [7, 11].
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The complexity of the civet coffee problem led to the intensive efforts of several
researchers. They carried intensive study to possibly to produce this coffee without involving
animals. Several researchers have reported that microorganisms, enzymes or a combination of
both can be used to modify coffee flavor [28-32]. Luwak coffee fermentation may be
replicated by copying the fermentation that occurs in the digestive tract of the civet. However
scientific information about the biochemistry of the civet digestive tract is still very limited
[7, 11, 33]. Exploration of microorganisms from civet origin both lactic acid bacteria and non-
lactic acid bacteria are an effort to obtain superior microorganisms that can be used as a
culture starter in the production of synthetic civet coffee. The production of probiotic civet
coffee is one of the efforts to imitate the characteristics of the original civet coffee [34-36]
5. Conclusions
Luwak coffee production can be done naturally or in captivity. The characteristics of wild
civet coffee are still better than caged civet coffee. But with the increasing difficulty of
finding wild civet coffee, the production of caged civet coffee needs to be increased. The
problems that hit the issue of the caged civet actually can be overcome by doing good
cooperation with various parties. It is necessary to study good breeding methods
(effectiveness and ethics of captivity, feed, etc.) so that civet can be treated well (humanely)
and the resulting civet coffee has a quality that is not inferior to wild civet coffee.
Studies on the development of artificial civet coffee using microbes and enzymes that try
to imitate fermentation in the digestive tract of civet need to be studied intensively. In-depth
studies of fermentation conditions and the types of microorganisms that play a role are
needed. Civet coffee production efforts taste close to or equivalent to civet coffee will
increase the diversity of coffee flavor in the future that could be able to produce coffee with a
better flavor than civet coffee
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... Oprah Winfrey Show and again in the 2007 film, "The Bucket List" starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, kopi luwak is frequently cited as the most expensive coffee in the world due to its rare and unique production (Muzaifa et al., 2019). Yet with its fame came a shift towards caged farming (Shepherd, 2012). ...
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Buku ini kami susun untuk membantu pemahaman masyarakat umum maupun mahasiswa mengenai kopi luwak dan karakteristiknya. Sejauh ini buku yang mengulas kopi luwak sangat langka. Dengan latar belakang sejarah keberadaan kopi luwak yang belum genap seabad dikenal oleh masyarakat dunia, keterbatasan informasi baik teori maupun praktis tentu menjadi kendala dalam menyusunnya menjadi sebuah buku yang sempurna.
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Civet coffee has been known as the most expensive coffee in the world. Its high prices are mainly contributed by its uncommon production method. Civet coffee is produced from the coffee beans which have been digested by Asian palm civet or Luwak (Paradoxorus hermaprodites). Civet coffee production is very limited due to its processing is merely depends on civet biologic system. Unfortunately, reliable information on civet microbial digestive is still limited. The aim of this research is to evaluate cup (sensory) and microbial quality of wild and caged civet coffee. Samples of wild and caged civet coffee obtained from Bener Meriah District, Aceh, Indonesia. Sensory quality parameters consist of fragrance, aroma, flavour, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, uniformity, clean cups, sweetness and overall. Microbial quality was done by enumeration of lactic acid bacteria. The results showed that wild and caged civet coffee relatively had similar profile sensory and microbial characteristics. The score cupping of wild civet coffee is slightly higher than caged civet coffee. Aroma and flavour characteristics of wild and caged civet coffee were herby, nutty, grassy tobacco-like, fishy and sweet but there were over fruity-papaya and guava-like aroma and flavour of caged civet coffee. The lactic acid bacteria count on wild and caged civet were 5.8 × 10⁸ cfu/ml and 3,8 × 10⁸ cfu/ml. Three different colonies from MRS media were isolated and submitted to gram and catalase test. All isolates showed gram-positive and catalase negative. The result confirmed that most colonies are lactic acid bacteria group. Two isolates (ICF 1 and ICF 3) showed proteolytic activity, and isolated ICF 1 showed the largest zone of clearance of 15 mm. Further investigation is required for identification and selection of performance lactic acid bacteria for artificial civet coffee fermentation.
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Indonesia has an advantage in producing exotic coffee that is Luwak coffee. Luwak coffee is produced from the fermentation process in digestion of civet. Luwak coffee production is still limited due to the difficulty level in the use of civet animals as the only medium of Luwak coffee making. The research was conducted by developing technology of luwak coffee production through bioreactor utilization and addition the bacteria isolate from gastric of civet. The process conditions in the bioreactor which include temperature, pH, and bacteria isolate of civet are adjusted to the process that occurs in civet digestion, including peristaltic movement on the stomach and small intestine of the civet will be replaced by the use of propellers that rotate on the bioreactor. The result of research showed that proximat analysis data of artificial/bioreactor luwak coffee did not significant different with original luwak coffee. However, the original luwak coffee has higher content of caffeine compared to bioreactor luwak coffee. Based on the cuping test the bioreactor luwak coffee has a value of 84.375, while the original luwak coffee is 84.875. As the result, bioreactor luwak coffee has excellent taste that similiar with original luwak coffee taste.
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Penelitian bertujuan untuk melakukan identifikasi fisik, kimia dan mikrobiologi biji kopi luwak. Hasil identifikasi ini akan dijadikan acuan untuk teknologi proses kopi luwak artificial. Identifikasi yang dilakukan meliputi analisa proksimat, gula total, mineral Ca, P, K, dan Mg, analisa warna, cemaran mikroba E coli dan Salmonella, jumlah mikroba/TPC, koloni Lactobacillus, aktivitas enzim dan jenis bakteri. Berdasarkan analisa pada biji kopi luwak diperoleh nilai rerata TPC sebesar 1,9 x 109, sedangkan koloni genus Lactobacillus yaitu 1,76 x 109 koloni/ml yang terdiri dari 3 isolat bakteri genus Lactobacillus yang diketahui speciesnya yaitu 1) Lactobacillus plantarum 2) Lactobacillus fermentum, 3) Lactobacillus Jensenii. Rerata aktivitas enzim proteolitik sebesar 6,9831 u/mg protein dan rerata unit aktivitas enzim trypsin yaitu 1,4908 unit activity. Hasil identifikasi ini akan dijadikan sebagai dasar acuan dalam teknologi proses kopi luwak artificial yang dibuat dalam bioreaktor.
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Arabica coffee considers as premium export commodity from Indonesia. Nowadays, Gayo Arabica coffee is known as specialty coffee from single origin-Gayo Highland areas Centre Aceh Indonesia. As niche market, coffee specialty points out different bottom lines where cupping quality plays the main role. Cupping quality counts as total score of ten attributes namely as fragrance, flavor, aftertaste, acidity, body, balance, uniformity, clan cups, sweetness and overall. This study aims to explore the quality of four types of popular Gayo Arabica coffee which are regular Arabica, wild palm civet, cultivated palm civet and natural. Sensory properties and physical appearance was examined by Gayo Cupper Team as Q-grader based on specialty coffee standards. Chemical compounds include moisture, crude protein, fat, ash contents were also analyzed. Results showed wild palm civet and Arabica regular considers as specialty coffee, which have highest cupping test score respectively 85.75 and 83.25, uniformity bean size were 71.5% in size of <16” for wild palm civet, 49.1% in size of >19” for Arabica regular, greenish color; quackery beans lev. 1 for wild palm civet and green yellow; quackery beans lev. 3 for Arabica regular. Chemical compounds demonstrated that wild palm civet (12.55%) and Arabica regular (11.63%) also respectively fulfilled moisture contents of specialty coffee standard (9-13%), whereas Arabica regular showed as coffee with lowest content of fat from others. The study concluded processing techniques majorly affects of bean chemical compounds where also coherently affect the cupping quality of bean itself.
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Metabolomics Application of GC/MS and GC/FID-based metabolomics for authentication of Asian palm civet coffee (Kopi Luwak) Kopi Luwak, world's most expensive coffee firstly originated from Indonesia, is made from coffee berries that have been digested by the animal Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hemaphroditus). Despite its profitable prospect, there is no reliable and standardized method for determining its authenticity. Therefore, research on the development of robust method for authentication of Kopi Luwak is urgently needed, particularly to prevent fraud in market worldwide. Twenty-one coffee samples (Coffea arabica, Coffea canephora) of three cultivation areas were firstly analyzed by GC-Q/MS. Principal Component Analysis (PCA), Orthogonal Projection to Latent Structures-Discriminant Analysis (OPLS-DA) and Significance Analysis of Microarrays/Metabolites (SAM) of Kopi Luwak was employed to select discrimination marker candidates for authentication of Kopi Luwak. Applicability of discriminant marker candidates was verified using commercial samples. We further established a rapid, reliable and cost-effective analysis employing a universal detector, GC coupled with flame ionization detector (FID) for discrimination analysis of 37 commercial and non-commercial coffee beans extracts. Our study demonstrated that GC/FID-based metabolite fingerprinting can be effectively actualized as an alternative method for coffee authenticity screening in industries.
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Pectinase was produced by solid-state fermentation utilizing coffee pulp with Aspergillus niger CFR 305. The exogenous pectinase contained 7539 ±70 U/g of enzyme activity. Further the pectinase enzyme was partially decolorized with activated carbon and 80 % recovery of enzyme activity was obtained. The optimum pH and temperature of the crude decolorized pectinase was 4.5 and 50°C respectively. The intensity of decolorisation and recovery of the enzymes was found to be beneficial. Generally, robusta coffee takes longer fermentation duration due to hemicelluloses, pectic substances and sugars making it difficult to fasten demucilage process. Thus to improve primary processing, the isolated pectinase was treated to robusta coffee, Pectolysis enabled reduction of time in demuclisation which was evident with reduction in pH and sugars released. The organoleptic characters on evaluation were on par with traditional fermentation. This is the first report on treatment of the pectinase produced by coffee pulp and application of the same on demucilage of coffee pulp indicating waste recycle with value addition and is also economical for coffee industry. INTRODUCTION including the amount of coffee beans, water, temperature
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Asian palm civet coffee (Kopi Luwak), an animal-digested coffee with an exotic feature, carries a notorious reputation of being the rarest and most expensive coffee beverage in the world. Considering that illegal mixture of cheap coffee into civet coffee is a growing concern among consumers, we evaluated the use of metabolomics approach and orthogonal projection to latent structures (OPLS) prediction technique to quantify the degree of coffee adulteration. Two prediction sets, consisting of certified and commercial coffee, were made from a blend of civet and regular coffee with eleven mixing percentages. The prediction model exhibited accurate estimation of coffee blend percentage thus, successfully validating the prediction and quantification of the mixing composition of known-unknown samples. This work highlighted proof of concept of metabolomics application to predict degree of coffee adulteration by determining the civet coffee fraction in blends.
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For the consumer, flavor is arguably the most important aspect of a good coffee. Coffee flavor is extremely complex and arises from numerous chemical, biological and physical influences of cultivar, coffee cherry maturity, geographical growing location, production, processing, roasting and cup preparation. Not surprisingly there is a large volume of research published detailing the volatile and non-volatile compounds in coffee and that are likely to be playing a role in coffee flavor. Further, there is much published on the sensory properties of coffee. Nevertheless, the link between flavor components and the sensory properties expressed in the complex matrix of coffee is yet to be fully understood. This paper provides an overview of the chemical components that are thought to be involved in the flavor and sensory quality of Arabica coffee.