I was watching a show on The History Channel called “All About Dung,” (aka the type of program I watch when my husband takes control of the remote) when my ears perked up at the mention of “cat poo coffee.”
As it turns out, the world’s most expensive brew is made from the droppings of the civet, an Indonesian cat-like mammal. The beverage made waves in the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” with Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.
“Cat poo coffee” is a misnomer, however, because the civet actually is not a part of the cat family. A pound of the coffee, often called Kopi Luwak or Civet Coffee, can fetch up to $575, according to the program.
The coffee doesn’t make its way straight from the civet’s bum to your cup, of course. What happens is that the civet eats coffee berries, which pass through its digestive tract. The berries get a stimulating enzyme treatment that digests most of the fruit, but leaves the inner beans relatively intact.
Workers then harvest the beans from the civet droppings, wash the dung away and lightly roast the beans. If your feeling adventurous, you even can buy the unprocessed droppings to “clean and roast yourself” as one online retailer suggested.
The silly thing about the TV program, though, is that the host basically tricked people into trying the coffee. “Would you like to try the world’s most expensive coffee?” he asked, slyly neglecting to tell them how it was made. Most participants enjoyed the coffee, although one woman was noticeably upset.
Drinking civet poo coffee is a choice you only should have to make with all the facts spelled out for you. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying a cup of this strange brew. It simply is a testament to the wonders of the animal kingdom and a delightful result of human curiosity.