Sunday, April 18, 2010


I have very few reservations about what I eat and am not terribly squeamish about what I put in my mouth. Give me the fried grubs or eye of sheep, and I’ll chow down. Having never been confronted by civet coffee, I don’t know exactly how I feel about it. I do know, however that I am not at all happy about the poor fucking civet, banged up in a very nasty looking cage to digest coffee beans for rich assholes. The tale comes from the admirable Munz.

“SAGADA, the Philippines — Goad Sibayan went prospecting recently in the remote Philippine highlands here known as the Cordillera. He clambered up and then down a narrow, rocky footpath that snaked around some hills, paying no heed to coffins that, in keeping with a local funeral tradition, hung very conspicuously from the surrounding sheer cliffs. Reaching a valley where coffee trees were growing abundantly, he scanned the undergrowth where he knew the animals would relax after picking the most delicious coffee cherries with their claws and feasting on them with their fangs. His eyes settled on a light, brownish clump atop a rock. He held it in his right palm and, gently slipping it into a little black pouch, whispered: “Gold!” Not quite. But Mr. Sibayan’s prize was the equivalent in the world of rarefied coffees: dung containing the world’s most expensive coffee beans. Costing hundreds of dollars a pound, these beans are found in the droppings of the civet, a nocturnal, furry, long-tailed catlike animal that prowls Southeast Asia’s coffee-growing lands for the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries. The civet eventually excretes the hard, indigestible innards of the fruit — essentially, incipient coffee beans — though only after they have been fermented in the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes to produce a brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste.” (Click here for more.)

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