Kumulilir is a little-known, under-the-radar luwak coffee plantation. Luwak coffee, better known as cat poop coffee, is Bali’s most famous and eccentric delicacy. Kumulilir is a multi-purpose attraction: they have the renowned coffee, a cafe with a view, picture spots and a jungle swing on site. It’s everything that a tourist to Bali wants!
How to Get to Kumulilir
Kumulilir is a half-hour drive north of Ubud, so you could easily take a Grab or GoJek from that area. However, getting a car to take you back might be more difficult. You might need to wait for a long time while the app searches for nearby drivers and then the driver to reach you. You can also call a Bluebird taxi or ask the staff to call one.
Hiring a driver for a half or full day is always an option. There are plenty of competent drivers in Bali eager for work. You could combine Kumulilir with the nearby Tegallalang Rice Terrace or Bayad Waterfall. A driver based in your area costs around Rp. 350,000 for a half day and Rp. 700,000 for a full day.
Admission Price & Opening Hours of Kumulilir
Kumulilir has free entry. The only cost is Rp. 50,000 if you want to add a cup of luwak coffee during the tasting. Kumulilir is open every day from 8 am to 7 pm.
Plantation Tour at Kumulilir
A guide welcomed us in the parking lot and gave us a small ticket. They asked for it later before we could get our tea and coffee samples.
There is a short ten-minute tour to the cafe where the tasting happens. Our guide pointed out the various herbs and spices on the plantation grounds. A cage next to the path housed two civet cats, both sleeping and hidden in nooks. At Kumulilir, the civet gets a pile of coffee cherries, and picks through the beans instead of having to hunt the jungle for them.
The guide talked about the luwak coffee-making process as we got to a table with samples of the beans in their different states. Not far away, a local Indonesian woman roasted the beans over a small brick oven.
Right before it was time for the tasting, we stopped at a cabana with every flavour of coffee and tea that Kumulilir offers. Each flavour was in powdered form, in jars, that we could smell.
Coffee & Tea Tasting at Kumulilir
The coffee and tea sampling at Kumulilir is free. We got one tasting set for the two of us. Other tables of two or three people around us received the same. The volume in the cups is pretty generous for a sample. We could each take several reasonable sips per cup. The free set does not include the signature luwak coffee. You can add a cup of civet coffee at any time for 50,000 rupiah.
The tasting set had ten cups: five teas, four coffees, and one cocoa. Many of the flavours were quite tasty. My favourites were the mangosteen and lemongrass teas. However, Kumulilir adds what is probably a ton of sugar in all of the coffee and teas to make them as palatable as possible – so that you’ll buy a box from the gift shop. All the powdered teas or coffees don’t contain sugar in the mix. On their own, they would not taste nearly as good.
The gift shop is right behind the cafe. It sells all the coffee and tea flavours from the sample set and local spices like peppercorns. The drinks ranged in price, but they were all above Rp. 100,000. The coffee and teas seemed expensive for their size (in Malaysian currency), so we didn’t buy anything. Also, we can get similar items for much cheaper in Malaysia. If you’re coming from America, they’re less than $10 a box, and some flavours are too exotic to find back home. Although, the luwak coffee is expensive no matter what currency you have in your pocket at Rp. 600,000 (about $40).
What To See at Kumulilir
Kumulilir is more than just a place for luwak coffee and free drinks. The grounds are pretty and worth exploring once you’ve finished your sample set, especially since it’s free. There are a few Instagram spots scattered around that will have far fewer tourists than other similar attractions. Start by heading down the exit on the right side of the cafe’s deck.
It wouldn’t be a Bali attraction without a goddamn swing. Kumulilir has its own jungle swing where you can take the overdone picture of yourself swinging high above Bali’s lush backdrop. The swing has an additional fee. I didn’t inquire about the price since I have zero interest, but expect it to be competitive – around 100K to 200K. The website has a link to their WhatsApp contact for inquiries. The site also advertises a zipline, but I didn’t see this on our visit.
Aside from that, all the photo spots at Kumulilir are free. If you head down from the jungle swing, there is a canopy bridge to Wanara House. There’s a view of the lush jungle and a patch of rice terraces from inside the apple-shaped viewing outpost.
If you follow the paved walkway, there’s a bird’s nest picture spot. A little further along is a pair of giant metal angel wings atop a tall platform. It’s a nice idea, but it takes some manoeuvring to get a photo without the ugly ladder in the way.
Eventually, the path circles back around to the cafe. There’s a bamboo hut with a table, chairs and a panorama window. Going up the stairs leads to the path back to the gift shop. On the way in, you probably saw the hanging teardrop, the last Instagram spot.
Facilities at Kumulilir
There is a small toilet shack opposite the gift shop. Despite how it looked on the outside, it was surprisingly clean and well-stocked. There were two rooms, each with a Western-style toilet and toilet paper. The communal sink outside the stalls had soap.
What to Eat at Kumulilir
The tea and coffee tasting is the main focus at Kumulilir, but the cafe also has a food menu. I believe the menu depends on what’s available, so you’ll have to ask the staff once you’re there. There is a WhatsApp number where you can make inquiries ahead of time. The cuisine on offer is most likely simple Indonesian dishes. I saw the next table over receiving plates of ayam goreng (fried chicken), rice and veggies.
Kumulilir was one of the highlights of our day. I’m still surprised that it was all free. We got more than our share of tea and coffee, not to mention a short tour and some photo opportunities. Although the nearby Alas Harum (Fragrant Grove) offers the same experience and looks much nicer, it has an entrance fee and was swarmed with tourists when we drove by. Apparently, there’s a place called Uma Pakel next door that has the same view but is less touristy.
Kumulilir was a pleasant, quiet visit with not too many people on its small grounds. If you don’t care about the perfect picture and just want to try some luwak coffee in a relaxed place with regular people, not annoying Instagrammers, then Kumulilir is the place.