Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Civet Coffee anyone?

In a recent Blog “Junket, Rennet and You”. I briefly mentioned coffee made from Coffee beans that have passed literally through the digestive system of Civets, and is greatly prized for its flavour.
According to Wikipedia, “Kopi luwak (Malay pronunciation: [ˈkopi ˈlu.aʔ]), or civet coffee, is one of the world's most expensive and low-production varieties of coffee. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) and other related civets, then passed through its digestive tract.[1] A civet eats the berries for their fleshy pulp. In its stomach, proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, making shorter peptides and more free amino acids. Passing through a civet's intestines the beans are then defecated, keeping their shape. After gathering, thorough washing, sun drying, light roasting and brewing, these beans yield an aromatic coffee with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world.
Kopi luwak is produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago, and also in the Philippines (where the product is called motit coffee in the Cordillera and kape alamid in Tagalog areas) and also in East Timor
Its history of discovery is also very interesting.”
Again according to Wikipedia, “The origin of Kopi Luwak is closely connected with the history of Coffee production in Indonesia. In early 18th century The Dutch established the cash-crop plantations in their colony in Dutch East Indies islands of Java and Sumatra, including Arabica coffee introduced from Yemen. During the era of Cultuurstelsel (1830—1870), the Dutch prohibited the native farmers and plantation workers to pick coffee fruits for their own use. Yet the native farmers desired to have a taste of the famed coffee beverage. Soon the natives learned that certain species of musang or luwak (Asian Palm Civet) consumed these coffee fruits, yet they left the coffee seeds undigested in their droppings. The natives collect these Luwak's dropping coffee seeds; clean, roast and grind it to make coffee beverage.[2] The fame of aromatic civet coffee spread from locals to Dutch plantation owners and soon become their favorites, yet because of its rarity and unusual process, the civet coffee was expensive even in colonial times.”
Well now you know about Civit coffee, how would you like to try it? If you do, I know of one place in Australia where you can! (There are probably more, but I do know where this one is.)
In a rural café on the Hills outside of Townsville, there is a café there that boasts that it sells Civit coffee. No I haven’t tried it! I would, just to be able to say I have, but at $50 a cup, I decided I can do without that boasting point! (After all the name is Willy not silly!) Actually it is neither but it does start with a “W”!) What about you and Ciet Coffee? Would you pay $50* for a cup of Coffee? Really?
*That was last year’s price probably dearer now!

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