August 15, 2012

Coffee made from cat poop, anyone?

I was watching this program on Fox Traveler where the anchor went on a night trail to catch a sighting of civets in Coorg. While they did not sight the elusive civet, what they found were its droppings. And what's more, the droppings comprised of a bunch of coffee beans. 

The jungle civet apparently picks the choicest of the coffee cherries and feeds on them during the night. But the animal can only digest the pulp. What remains behind is your coffee bean. The bean travels through its digestive system, gets mixed with all the enzymes and juices and is pooped in clusters. And these people who could not spot the civet, spotted the coffee bean cluster, picked it up (yuick!) and were amazed by it! 
The coffee bean clumps are then cleaned, dried and roasted and processed, as if nothing happened! 
I frantically googled this after watching the program and was shocked to see that coffee thus produced, is the most expensive coffee in the world. It is widely produced in Indonesia and sold on Amazon, at a price that is astounding- $44 for 100 gms! So much for cat poop! And why would someone pay so much for coffee? Because it is custom roasted in most places, is produced in very small quantities and is less bitter due to the magic juices secreted from the palm civet. I have one more thing to add to the list of its qualities that it is made from an animal's poop. Ew! 
Bizarre people with tonnes of money to spend would not mind the indulgence. But i hope they do tell their guests what's in the coffee before it is served :) And me, I am happy with my cuppa chai :)