Civet Coffee

civet-coffee.gifIf you want to add a bit of a fear factor moment to your coffee morning with your friends, ask them to drink some civet droppings with you. It will be quite a test of courage for some of them. Really though, there is nothing to be alarmed at. You are actually serving them coffee, but it is coffee that went through a more exotic process than your regular cup of Joe goes through.

It is called civet coffee. What makes this coffee most unusual is that it literally is the dropping of the palm civet. These furry little creatures love coffee cherries, particularly the reddest ones. They do have excellent taste, don’t they? They swallow them whole. While in their stomach, the cherries are processed by the civet’s stomach acids and ezymes. After a while the beans exit the civet body. The fruit has been removed but the beans are whole.
The resulting bean is has an aroma and flavor distinctly its own. The beans are cleaned and  dried before roasting, if that’s on your mind. When roasted it results in oilier beans. The oilier the better is what the experts say. The result is coffee that tastes rather like dark chocolate with a hint of hazelnut.
Civet coffee has more than one source. The best known is Indonesia where it is called Kope Luwak. This exotic coffee sells for about $600 a pound.

Fortunatley Indonesia is not the only source of this special bean. The Philippines also sells this although it is simply called civet coffee or kape alamid (alamid is the local term for civet). You may also find some in Japan.
Trivia: By the way, civets aren’t monkeys. They are more like the mongoose or racoon. Some mistakenly think they are cats. So if anyone asks you to have cup of catdropping coffee or a “crappucino” as some call it, check right away if this is the source. If it is, you’re in for an interesting drink.

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