Cat Poop Coffee: The Grossest Beverage on the Planet or a Delicacy to be Savored?
What is the grossest thing you’ve ever eaten?
This question seems to be a common topic around my food-focused, diverse office. As my coworkers and I shot the breeze one Friday afternoon, a gross food discussion popped up once again.It started with bugs, moved on to chicken fetus, rolled into rotten eggs and finally ended with coffee from the GI track of a lemur or some sort of cat like animal. Of course, this got me thinking - what a great topic for my next blog! After a bit of research I landed on Kopi Luwak coffee or also known as Civet Cat Coffee.
I @#%* you not!
It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (A cat like animal) then passed through its GI tract.It is then cleaned, roasted and brewed into one of the most expensive cups on the planet.
Why in the world would anyone want to do this?
Can you imagine finding a pile of… well you know… and thinking "Hey! I’d like to make a cup of coffee out of that!"
Whoever was the first to discover this unique approach to the perfect cup of coffee must have really been desperate for a caffeine buzz! But as it turns out, that is exactly what this forbidden berry has a lot of.
Apparently, the enzymes in the civet's stomach react with the peptides of the bean and create a coffee with high levels of caffeine. It's coveted for it’s nutty flavor, amazing aroma, syrupy like texture and lack of bitterness.
So coveted, in fact, that it can fetch anywhere from $50-$120 per cup! At those rates it must be good, right?
Well, MAYBE, but like wine, high price could have less to due with it’s superior in taste than it's rarity or exclusivity. There are many people willing to pay a lot for something that is limited in supply and call me crazy, but while curiosity may have killed the cat, I decided I was willing to pay for a cup, if only just to say I did it and to know whether it is really all that good.
Unfortunately, I could not find a roaster in Michigan that carries Civet Coffee so I relied on the internet at a cost of $63 with shipping. (With the price being so high, I can imagine counterfeiting is prolific so I used a roaster that was certified and I would suggest anyone likewise interested should do the same!)
Civet Cat Coffee: The Taste Test
The coffee beans arrived in 3 days looking just like any old coffee beans I’ve seen.
Now, I have to admit I’m no coffee connoisseur and have stooped as low as gas station coffee when on the road, however, I know a good cup when I taste it. But to get a second opinion, I invited (or dared) my husband to pull up a stool and join the tasting. After a toast and a bottoms up we came to a unified conclusion :
This coffee really IS the cat’s meow! ;)
If you would like to try it for yourself here are a few sites that are reputable for selling Kopi Luwak: