This Luxury List Item is definitely not for the squeamish! Kopi Luwak is an exotic coffee hailing from Indonesia that is processed in a quite peculiar manner. These coffee beans are harvested after passing through the Asian Palm Civet, a cat like mammal indigenous to the area. Yes, the civet must first excrete these coffee beans before they make their way to your cup! I would think people would have to be paid rather than pay to drink these dirty beans, but pay they do, to the tune of $100-$600 USD per pound!
The civet eats the coffee berries, which possess a cherry-like pulp on the exterior of the coffee bean. The coffee berries then spend a day and a half in the digestive tract of the civet, where proteolytic enzymes seep into the beans, which some feel reduce the bitterness of the coffee. The beans maintain their shape upon defecation, and are then gathered, washed thoroughly, sun dried, lightly roasted and brewed to yield an aromatic and sweet brew. Yum.
Kopi Luwak is widely hailed as the most expensive coffee in the world, produced mainly on the islands of Sumatra, Java, Bali and Sulawesi in the Indonesian Archipelago. It is also produced in the Philippines, where it is known as Motit Coffee.
There are several blends of the most expensive coffee, including Arabica, robusta, liberica and excelsa, and the tastes vary according to the bean ingested by the diminutive creature. But what about safety and health concerns?
Drinking this digested brew is often frowned upon by coffee connoisseurs around the globe, but the thorough washing, sun drying and brewing process leave insignificant levels of harmful organisms, according to reports. Well then, beam me up, er…civet!
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