Did you know that the coffee berry for Kopi Luwak (aka cat poop coffee) is eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet (called the Luwak) a small, ferret-like animal? The droppings – perhaps the most expensive feces in existence – are gathered, processed, and turned into the most unique coffee in the world.
The asian palm civet producing the most expensive coffee
What role do the civet cats play?
The unique taste of kopi luwak is due to the fact that it passes through the civet cat. The enzymes inside of the animals’ stomachs create a chemical reaction which manipulates the proteins of the beans, reducing bitterness and bringing out unusual flavors.
“The secret of this delicious blend,” enthuses the Indonesia Tourism Promotion Board, “lies in the bean selection, which is performed by a luwak, a species of civet cat endemic to Java. The luwak will eat only the choicest, most perfectly matured beans which it then excretes, partially digested, a few hours later. Plantation workers then retrieve the beans from the ground, ready for immediate roasting.”
More about the luwak (cat) in kopi luwak
According to wikipedia, the Asian palm civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), also called toddy cat, is a small member of the Viverridae family native to South and Southeast Asia.
Palm civets lead solitary lives, except during mating. They are both terrestrial and arboreal (living on trees) and known as nocturnal animals. They are omnivores and prefer berries and pulpy fruits but will also eat chiku, mango and coffee seeds as well as small mammals and insects.