|Sweets Magic Pudding made from Kopi Luwak|
The fame of Kopi Luwak attracted Takuro Naruse a young entrepreneur from Nagoya to visit Kepahiang District in Bengkulu a few months ago and see first hand th Kopi Luwak production.
Kopi Luwak, well known since more than 200 years ago, is expensive due to its unique process. In 2010, Norimitsu Onishi wrote for the New York Times: “Costing hundreds of dollars a pound, these beans are found in the droppings of the civet, a nocturnal, furry, long-tailed catlike animal that prowls Southeast Asia’s coffee-growing lands for the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries. The civet eventually excretes the hard, indigestible innards of the fruit — essentially, incipient coffee beans — though only after they have been fermented in the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes to produce a brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste.”
Takuro Naruse said Kopi Luwak is a good ingredient for sweets pudding currently very popular in Japan.
The Regency of Kepahiang, located in the Province of Bengkulu, at the southern part of Sumatera Island is rich in mineral and natural resources. The topography makes it ideal to grow rice, coconut, coffee, tea, corn, wood, natural rubber, pepper as well as various types of fruits.
Kepahiang boasts a number of tourism destinations, including conservation and education sites concerning the giant flower, Rafflesia arnoldii. This parasitic stinking plant that has no roots, leaves and stalk could reach 1 meter in diameter and 10 kg in weight.
The plant was first sighted in Bengkulu in 1818. Scientific record listed the discoverers as Dr. Joseph Arnold, a botanist and Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, a British who was then the Governor of Bengkulu and eventually founded Singapore.
Kepahiang District developed a program called SELUNA, to manage and optimize the cultivation of sengon trees for industrial wood products, dragon fruits and the production of Kopi Luwak.
Sweets Magic Takuro
Naruse who represented Sweets Magic, a sweets business company in Nagoya explained that he will be working with the regional government and Kepahiang community, including Satmakura, a cooperative that assist farmers in the area.
Kepahiang’s Kopi Luwak has a distinctive taste and aroma and Sweets Pudding with Kepahiang brand name will be launched by Sweets Magic in Nagoya.
Sweets are like jewelries is the concept marketed by Sweets Magic. The company believes that the sweets and puddings are as exquisite as jewelries that bring happiness to the customers.
With this concept, Sweets Magic has a manufacturing philosophy termed absolutely uncompromising, meaning that that they will not compromise production cost for the best materials but will have reasonable price for consumers.
The Encyclopedia of Puddings
Presently, Sweets Magic has a seasonal line of products such as Premium Vanilla Pudding, Tropical Fruit Pudding, Roll Cake Black, Premium Vanilla Roll and Almond Caramel Roll.
The Premium Vanilla Pudding use quality ingredients including vanilla from Madagascar, eggs from Nasu organic farm in Kumamoto, and milk from the mountainous area of Hida.
The Tropical Fruit Pudding is a 3 layers delicacy with coconut milk, mascarpone cheese and fruit puree consisting of banana, mango, passion fruit and orange as the main ingredients.
Sweets Magic has seasonal products and claimed to have produced more than 500 recipes of sweets, pudding and cakes.
Reviewing their discontinued products is like looking at an encyclopedia of sweets and puddings. Among the past products were Matcha Uji, Tiramisu Le Zodiac, Quattro fromage, Royal Milk Tea Pudding, White Coffee Pudding, and Pumpkin Pudding.
Sweets Magic puddings have to be served cold and can be identified by their elegant black and red ceramic cup that won the Good Design Award in 2008.
We at Omar Niode Foundation had a good opportunity to taste Kepahiang Coffee Pudding at the Autonomy Expo and Forum held last May in Jakarta.
Kepahiang Regency had a booth showcasing their flag products, including Sweets Magic Pudding made from Kopi Luwak. Holding the shiny chilled cup was like holding an exquisite China. A long slick spoon came with the 15 cm tall and 5cm wide ceramic cup.
The pudding color was light green and the texture of the coffee pudding was not as smooth as custard pudding. One can taste a very fine coffee chip that melts right away.
The regent of Kepahiang is ecstatic with the product that made Kepahiang known and featured in TV Japan.
Hopefully Kepahiang’s collaboration with Sweets Magic will endure, as it is a small business that increases the economic welfare of the area. Given Kepahiang community support and judging from Sweets Magic ‘s experience in consulting companies and communities there will be ways to sustain the magic. –
Photos from the collection of Dian Anggraini, Sweets Magic and Kepahiang Regency.
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