Anyone who thinks Starbucks' caffeine is overpriced should get a grip on their cups because the world's priciest java costs as much as $227 a pound -- and is the product of animal droppings.
Civet coffee is enjoying growing popularity among connoisseurs around the world. This gold-card beverage is "brewed" in the stomach of civets, a cat-like animal in Southeast Asia that loves to feast on the fruit from coffee trees.
So how does poo become brew? Civets eat the pulp of coffee cherries. The pits of the fruit are fermented in the civet's stomach and excreted with the animal's stomach enzymes, changing the fruit into beans. The beans are then washed and dried. Civet coffee has been described as having a smooth flavor with a hint of chocolate.
The squeamish need not worry because civet coffee reportedly has no unpleasant aftertaste, according to a New York Times story.
Civet coffee has emerged as a new business in the Philippines. In Indonesia, where the coffee has a long history, some people are capturing civets and setting up small farms. The coffee is also produced in Sulawesi, Sumatra, Bali, Java and East Timor.
Vie Reyes' Manila-based company Bote Central sells 2.2-pound bags for $500, or about $227, according to New York Times. Bote Central also exports to overseas distributors.
In the United States, a single cup can cost $99 .
Interest in this rare brew has also bred businesses that deal in low-grade and simulated civet coffee. Examples of an inferior product include beans that other animals chewed on or beans a civet had spat out.
Simulated civet coffee is produced in Vietnam by the Trung
Nguyen company, which uses a method that duplicates the enzyme soak
process found in civets.
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