Thursday, January 24, 2008

cat poop for coffee, anyone?

Life has a lot of ironies. One of that being the fact that the world's most expensive gourmet coffee is actually the poop of a wild nocturnal jungle cat called the civet. Known worldwide for its rich taste and expensive price, Kopi Luwak or Coffee Alamid in the Philippines is priced at around $100 per 225g and I'm referring to the 1999 price. The price may have doubled now. That price, by the way, is 50 times more than the price of Folgers and about 10 times more than the price of Illy, the famous Italian gourmet coffee.

I looked up Kopi Luwak after watching The Bucket List since the eccentric-rich character being played by Jack Nicholson was so fond of this gourmet coffee called Kopi Luwak. His room mate and fellow cancer patient played by Morgan Freeman however informed him later in the movie that the gourmet coffee he was referring to as the most expensive coffee in the world is actually the poop of a jungle cat.

The Paradoxorus Philippinensis otherwise known as Civet or musang (we had one when I was still a kid!) is mostly found in Southeast Asia. This mammal is gifted with a nose that can smell the best coffee beans--only the perfect coffee cherry for this one! What is amazing here is that the musang actually acts as a depulping machine because it eats the outer cover of the coffee beans, processes the beans in its digestive system and perhaps adding flavor to it, and thene excretes the beans whole.

This allows easy collection for Filipino forest dwellers who wake up very early in the morning to collect the musang droppings on the mountain's forest floors. No yucky dung here because they do not even have to distinguish poop from the coffee beans.
Now, do I love coffee enough to try this? Your guess is as good as mine. Frankly, I'm wondering what really happened to that musang my father brought home years ago. Didn't know I can make a fortune just waiting for its poop.

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