Kopi Luwak is a category of coffee produced from….(ahem)….the excrement of Asian jungle cats called Civets. It’s also known as Weasel Coffee and Cat Shit Coffee.
Who was the first person to think…..’hmm, I bet that might taste good?’ And who were the idiots that believed his lies and tried it next?
I’m in Buon Ma Thuot, the coffee-producing epicenter of Vietnam. And failing being marooned in the jungles of Sumatra, if I’m ever going to try this stuff, today is the day. So here I am, one of those idiots…way down the cultural path of lies that gave rise to this celebrity of coffees and actually drinking it. Jim Jones would be so proud.
These little buggers, with highly developed palates (if you believe the lore), select only the best beans and eat them for the fleshy outside. What is not digested is….you guessed it, the coffee bean. The stuff from which we humans make our morning Cup o’ Joe.
The Civets, which to me, look like a combination of rat and house cat, also have some kind of magical stomach enzyme which is perfectly suited to altering the amino acids (or some such thing) of the coffee bean, producing an enhanced flavor and aroma.
Apologies (and a promise) this will be the only picture of poo ever posted to this website.
Kopi Luwak reached pop culture status in the 2007 movie “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It was the punchline of the movie and today remains a punchline for anyone selling it.
What’s it taste like? Well….It’s a very bad cup of coffee. It tastes like shit. Not actual shit (no point of reference here), but metaphorical shit. It tastes like a tin can of coffee that was opened in 1954 and left on a basement shelf absorbing mildew and paint thinner for decades before someone, in a very desperate moment, decided to brew a pot.
And anyone that praises this stuff had to have developed a taste for it. And that, my friends, is not a regimen I am willing to undertake. I tried it. Check that one off my ‘bucket list’.
If there was ever a call for genetically modified food products, this is the one. If people insist on having this taste, why isn’t Monsanto on the job?? I’d certainly rather have whatever their chemists come up with than drink another cup of cat shit.
Kopi Luwak can sell for as high as $3000US per kilo. Many say it’s the highest priced coffee in the world (these people have never had a Starbucks at Heathrow). By the way, real Kopi Luwak is produced almost entirely from farms that would generously be characterized as cruel to animals. It’s also one of the world’s most counterfeited products.
People who drink this stuff regularly would also probably pay $24.95 for a Thigh Master , $30 for a Mood Ring, or $1000 to go on a Snipe Hunting Safari.
I’m off to cleanse my palate with a refreshing shot of Cobra Whiskey.