Posts tagged ‘Mother Nature ‘

Grossest foods in the world….cont’d

#9 Kopi Luwak, or Kopi Alamid

(also known as cat poop coffee)

Nature plays a big hand when developing distinct flavors in coffee—volcanic soils of Hawaii for Kona coffee, or Jamaica’s foggy mountains for Jamaican Blue Reserve, are some examples. In the Philippines, Mother Nature’s #2, gives Kopi Luwak its special taste.

Kopi Luwak is made from coffee beans partially digested by Asian Palm civets, a type of cat/weasel. After civets eat the coffee cherries, a special enzyme exclusive to their stomach ferments the coffee beans which accounts for the subtle caramel flavor and aroma of the brew. Once the civet goes #2, the beans are collected from the droppings, and are then washed, roasted, and ground into the one of the world’s most expensive coffees running anywhere from $100-$600 a pound.

There are different theories for the history of kopi luwak, the most popular being native farmers, denied a taste of the delicious coffee they worked so hard to harvest, resorted to another way of collecting the beans for personal use. I, on the other hand, have a much more Filipino, albeit practical, theory. I like to think a farmer’s grandmother, after seeing the civets eat so much of the coffee fruit, tsked, “sayang naman” (what a waste!) and went about salvaging the coffee beans from the poop.

I am fortunate enough to have my own stash of this caffeinated cat poop. Knowing my love of coffee, my aunt and uncle brought me several jars as a gift from Manila. During a family gathering, I brewed a small pot of kopi luwak, and passed out tiny half espresso servings to everyone. (Hey, it’s expensive). Maybe it was the way I prepared it, drip method as opposed to the recommended French press, but I didn’t savor anything caramel-y about it. It just tasted and smelled, thank goodness, like regular coffee.

However, my cousin Noni did meow after the first sip—does that mean anything?

1 comment March 6, 2011

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