Sh*t coffee

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Coffee loving visitors to Indonesia face an unusual dilemma. While there’s sh*t coffee, there’s also fake sh*t coffee.

Indonesian coffee plantations are some of the world's largest

Indonesian coffee plantations are some of the world’s largest

I am, of course, referring to the droppings of civets (think jungle cats) and the collection-cleaning-roasting-packaging of said crap into the ‘world’s most expensive coffee’.

Show me any decent coffee lover who isn’t intrigued by the process and who doesn’t want to taste it. It’s a great story.

When Dutch colonialists planted arabica plantations in Indonesia, they forbade the locals from partaking. They didn’t plan on sneaky wildlife though.

At night, civets helped themselves to the juiciest of coffee cherries. By day, locals helped themselves to civet droppings plump with coffee beans.

After cleaning, roasting and brewing the beans, they discovered a coffee with an unusual taste and aroma. Civets also have anal musk glands.

So while civet coffee, known as Kopi Luwak, was quietly enjoyed for some time, the Dutch eventually caught on, and so did the rest of the world.

Sh*t coffee strung up in the wild

Sh*t coffee strung up in the wild

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for the fake sh*t.

If your definition of fake is inauthentic, then you might consider what is now happening to Kopi Luwak as fake, if not cruel.

The romantic image of civets roaming freely around coffee plantations eating fruit at leisure doesn’t quite paint an accurate picture. The reality is otherwise — freedom happens on a small scale only. Civet farms have emerged where civets are caged and force fed coffee cherries.

It’s a lucrative market.

I pay around $30 dollars for my 50 gram stash. My verdict. Piss weak. My regret for not knowing whether or not civets were harmed to produce it. Full bodied.

Eww - don't touch that nasty sh*t!

Eww – don’t touch that nasty sh*t!

Learn more from World Society for the Protection of Animals.

Rob Dunlop