Now what in the world is monkey poop coffee?

Does monkey poop coffee really exist?

Monkey parchment coffee

Monkey Parchment Coffee is produced by the beans spit out by the Rhesus monkeysAfter cat poop coffee, elephant dung coffee now another animal processed coffee on the list. This time it is the monkeys’ turn to produce some monkey poop coffee? The new gourmet coffee in town is called monkey parchment coffee.Turns out monkey coffee is not a ‘poop coffee’. Though many coffee drinkers often get this coffee mixed up with cat poop coffee (aka kopi luwak), but let me assure you: the monkey parchment coffee does not come out a monkey’s ass.The monkey producing the monkey spit coffee

Rhesus monkeys producing the monkey poop coffee

Monkey Parchment Coffee is produced by the beans spit out by the Rhesus monkeysDharani Prakash, CC BY SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is indeed one of the unique ways of producing coffee. The monkey involved is ‘Rhesus monkey’ found in Chickmagalur in India. These monkeys are very picky eaters and eat only the ripest and sweetest coffee berries from the coffee plantations. But unlike the asian palm civet cat used to produce kopi luwak, these monkeys are smart enough to know not to eat the seeds. The monkeys chew the coffee berries for some time and after they are done eating the berries, they spit out the coffee seeds. The seeds are surrounded by the “parchment” layer surrounding the seed and hence the name monkey parchment coffee. Amazing isn’t it?

Now comes the labor work. The plantation workers go around looking for chewed coffee seeds that were spit out by these monkeys. These seeds are then collected, washed repeatedly. They are naturally dried on the ground for about 2-3 weeks. The dried beans are then roasted to produce what is now people refer to as monkey poop coffee (though there is no poop involved, thank god!). This coffee is now being known everywhere as monkey parchment coffee.

Why is monkey parchment coffee different than regular coffee?

Green coffee beans at coffee plantations in chickmagalur

Coffee plantations in Chickmagaluru that produce monkey poop coffee

Karthik Inbasekar (karthik_ik), (CC BY-SA 2.0, via Flickr The key difference is that when the monkeys chew on the coffee seeds, the enzymes in the monkey’s saliva called Amylase, which converts starches into sugars. This results in a unique flavor profile of the coffee. The monkeys eat the fruit of the coffee bean leaving the parchment, a thin layer of mucilage, on the bean. This is different from the Kopi Luwak where the parchment is digested by the palm civet. The un-roasted coffee has a grayish tint with visible teeth marks on a fair number of beans.

Where is monkey spit coffee produced?

The Rhesus monkeys habitate in Chickmagalur which is in the Karnataka state of India. Located in the foothills of Mullayanagiri range, Chikmagalur is famous for coffee and is known as the ‘coffee land’ of Karnataka. It is know for its bustling beaches, dense forests, fertile soils, high mountains, lush plains, rushing streams and beautiful temples with amazing architecture.

Coffee plantations in Chickmagalur, India

Coffee plantations in Chickmagaluru that produce monkey poop coffee

How much does monkey poop coffee cost?
Just like kopi luwak and black ivory coffee, monkey parchment coffee is not cheap. It costs about 300$ a pound. The Paradise roasters in the US occasionally carries this unique monkey spit brew.

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