Kopi Luwak and Other Animal Poop Coffee?!?
Okay, I have to ask. Has anyone tried animal coffee? I just saw a special on the making of coffee and they spoke about these extravagant and expensive coffees made from coffee beans eaten by different animals, like weasels, then when they are pooped out they wash them and roast them. Seriously! Is there really a market for this? I don't know if I could get over the thought of where the beans once used to be. Anyone out there tried it?
I have roasted, brewed and served the infamous “Kopi Luwak” on several occasions. It is brewed from beans that have passed through the entire digestive system of the Luwak – the common palm civet – a semi-domesticated member of the mongoose family. Indonesian folklore has it that the Luwaks select only the choicest fully ripe beans. They digest the fruity pulp of the coffee cherry and pass the beans intact. Their scat is collected and the beans are washed and dried for sale. The flavor is smooth and complex, without any trace of fetid or fecal notes. Good to the last dropping!
The Luwak coffee that I obtained years ago had a fascinating flavor, but cupping reports of recent samples frequently complain of poor cup quality. Due to the high price and scarcity, counterfeiting and adulteration of the product is often alleged. There is no way to confirm the authenticity of Kopi Luwak once it is exported. This unusual “organically processed” coffee is available from a few domestic roasters, but it is ridiculously expensive.
I have also savored a few cups of “Jacu” coffee from the Camocim Farm in Espirito Santo, Brazil. These “avian selected” beans have passed through the alimentary canal of the beautiful Jacu (a.k.a. Guan) bird, native to the region. Rich and mild; it gives new meaning to the concept of “bird-friendly coffee.”