Kopi Luwak is believed to have originated from the islands of Java and Sumatra during the Cultuurstelsel period (1830 - 1870) under the colonial era of the Dutch East Indies. During this time, the Dutch set up their cash crop coffee plantations in their colonies with their highly treasured coffee beans from Yemen.

As coffee beans were a highly valued commodity, they were tightly guarded and only available to the aristocrats and high society. Despite the prohibition of the coffee beans to the native commoners and farmers, temptations were still high. They soon discovered a way to obtain the beans without stealing them.

As the farmers were working, they came across the Luwak frequenting the field to feed on the coffee cherries. In its feces, they found the coffee beans. They collected the feces as part of their work to clean the field, but secretly took out the coffee beans and used it for their own consumption. This unusual way of collecting the coffee beans lead to the coffee being known as the "Kopi Luwak".

Realizing it to produce a much higher quality coffee beverage than the ones that they were consuming, they soon became the connoisseurs for this coffee. Kopi Luwak has, to this day, continued to be a highly sought after premium product.

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