The Curious Case of the Most Expensive Coffee
Shivangana Vasudeva , NDTV | Updated: November 19, 2014 12:57 IST
Friends, enthusiasts and coffee lovers, lend me your attention!
Does the thought of slurping the most expensive coffee in the world get you frothing with excitement? Someone narrated a rather strange tale of animal dung and its association with one of the world's most rarefied coffees.
A tiny rare cat seems to have become a star overnight. How it has managed to come under the spotlight is a tale you just cannot miss!
Once upon a time there was an Asian Palm Civet native to the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra. It wandered aimlessly until one day it found a mission to attach itself to. While innocently chomping on the fruits of the coffee plant, it had no clue it would be responsible for the invention of the most expensive coffee in the world.
TheAsian Palm Civetwhich feeds on coffee cherries
Kopi Luwak, that's what the world's most expensive coffee is popularly known as. 'Kopi' is the Indonesian word for coffee and 'luwak' is the local name of this animal which eats the raw red coffee beans. The civet feeds on coffee cherries for its pulp. It digests the soft outer covering of cherries but is unable to digest the hard beans and excretes them. Believe it or not, it is these animal feces that are used to process coffee beans.
Now before you let out a shriek, here's something more you'd like to feed on. The beans go through the process of internal digestion in the civet's stomach. The stomach acids and enzymes help to ferment the beans, lending it its unique taste. Surprisingly, the beans are excreted in their original shape. Back in the days, the local farmers of the islands are known to have discovered this unique creature and its quintessential coffee bean excreta.
The civet's droppings which are processed to make coffee beans
What might fascinate you is also that these civets feed only on the ripest of coffee cherries. The natural fermentation of the choicest of beans is what makes them worth their weight in silver.
The excreted droppings with beans are collected, cleaned, dried and given a light roast carefully keeping its complex flavors intact.
...And that's how one of the world's finest blends, Kopi Luwak was born.
This strange brew is said to be smooth, pleasant, earthy with hints of caramel and chocolate. Sip it and then let out a satisfied purr...
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