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Jan 5, 2007 03:32 PM

Is the world's best coffee made from animal excrement?

When one of my friends told me this, I was sure it was a hoax. But I went to the Forbes website and did a search and apparently it's true. It's called kopi luwak and it is made from coffee beans eaten by an animal related to the civet, then collected from the jungle floor after passing through its digestive tract. Perhaps not the best coffee, but the most expensive. The article also lists other pricy coffees. Has anyone here tried it? I think it made a cameo appearance on an "obscure foods" thread a while back. (And what about those other expensive coffees? Anyone tried them? I once bought one bean of Blue Mountain and chewed it, just to say I'd tried it.)

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  1. I've not tried this, but we were discussing this very subject over the holidays - my mother had heard of it. I'll try to find the name of what she found as "the" most expensive coffee - she loves Blue Mountain but has rarely had it. I think the most expensive may have been Hawaiian.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MMRuth

      Beware of Blue Mountain claims. I've heard that four times as much "Blue Mountain" is sold in North American than is grown in Jamaica. And 80% of the Jamaican crop is under contract to Japan. Know your supplier for that kind of thing.

    2. It was also featured on a CSI episode (not in a bad way; the cast was drinking it and giving props), but I've not tried it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: thegolferbitch

        That episode is the only reason I know about this stuff.

      2. ...and it's harvested HOW??????

        1. Hand-harvested from the feces of palm civets. Most comes from Indonesia. Have never tired it but people I know who have were underwhelmed.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carswell

            Never tried it either, but I've heard it tastes like crap. ;-)

          2. Yes, I've had the Kopi Luwack. is it worth $200/pound? No, not really. I found it a bit on the grassy side (no direct pun intended). The price, I believe, is pretty much completely dictated by the fact that it can only be harvested by intense manual labor, and in fairly small amount. But, if you get a bunch of coffee-loving friends together and all chip in on the cost of a half pound (more or less, depending on how many people you have, and how many pots of it you wish to brew), it makes for a fun and memorable evening.

            Jamaica Blue Mountain is ok, but I think it has been riding on its laurels for a long time now so probably is no longer worth the $40/pound that it commands (and probably hasn't for about the last 10 years).