No this actually isn’t a joke people are paying $600 a pound for already been digested coffee. The civet cat for years has been eating coffee beans in Indonesia and what locals began eating now trendy Americans are shelling out big bucks for…
Civets are small mammals that look like cats and weigh about 20 pounds. The rumor is that when the Dutch colonial companies ran the Indonesian coffee farms the locals were not allowed to consume any of the beans. What the civet left was not fully digested and became popular among the locals working the coffee plantations.
The civets are now very rare and keeping the animals pooping out the coffee is expensive now. Coffee drinkers always looking for the next rare thing started trying the local delicacy and things are taking off.
The hard coffee beans have a fruity exterior that the civets chew off and the bean passes through the animals digestive system. There the animals stomachs, enzymes in the gastric juices massage the beans, smoothing off the harsh edges that make coffee bitter and produce caffeine jitters. Humans then separate the greenish-brown beans from the rest of the dung, and once a thin outer layer is removed, they are ready for roasting.
The “end result” is called kopi luwak, from the Indonesian words for coffee and civet.
A single cup can sell for $30 at a five-star hotel in Hong Kong, and as much as 600 dollars a pound – if you can find that quantity.
One spot of good news is that some of the caffeine is removed during the digestive process. Before you start running out to get some, beware about half of what is on the market is fake. In fact I just chewed a bag of coffee beans and am working on a batch right now.