"Cat Poo Coffee" Craze: From Feces to Your Cup

BONDOWOSO, EAST JAVA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 11: A civet is eating coffee during the production of Civet coffee, the world's most expensive coffee in Bondowoso on August 11, 2009 in East Java, near Surabaya, Indonesia. The coffee, also known as Kopi Luwak, is produced by the civet (a small squirrel-like arboreal mammal) which eats the coffee berries or red coffee cherries, the beans inside which pass through its digestive tract, expelling them undigested as faeces. The faeces are then cleaned, dried and lightly roasted to make the coffee. Coffee from Indonesian civets is considered to have the best aroma, and it is the unique enzymes in the civet's stomach which give coffee its bitter taste. It retails for USD100 to USD600 per pound but only around 1000 pounds make it to market each year and supply is very limited. A small coffee house (Heritage Tea Rooms) near Townsville sells the coffee for AUD50 per cup, alongside limited international stores such as Selfridges in London. (Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images) Photo by Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

civet

(CBS) Whoever said Americans drink crappy coffee might have been thinking about the latest craze - "Cat Poo Coffee."

It's java juice made from the droppings of a cat-like creature called a civet and its fans are willing to a pay upwards of $30 for a cup of the frothy brew.

"At first I did not want to take it on," Peter Longo, owner of the trendy New York coffee spot Porto Rico told the NY Daily News. "I thought it was kind of dirty because of where it comes from."

And Indonesian almost banned the product because Muslim authorities deemed it unsanitary.

But is it unhealthy?

Oddly enough, it's not. The beans are sanitary by the time they reach your coffee cup, despite having passed through the bowels of the small creature.

In the Philippines, Indonesia and Vietnam, civets eat coffee berries, pass them through their digestive tractsthen expel them as undigested feces. The dung is then cleaned, dried and lightly roasted to make the coffee. Coffee from civets is considered to have the best aroma, and it is the unique enzymes in the civet's stomach which give coffee its bitter taste

The price is bitter too: $100 to $600 per pound and only 1,000 pounds make it market each year, according to Getty.

If you can't afford the steep price, you're just crap out of luck.


  • Neil Katz

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