Hot Cuppa' Crap
Kopi Luwak is the world's most expensive coffee so common sense dictates that you and I will probably never have the opportunity to taste it. Surprisingly, that could be to our advantage, even though aficionados world-round proclaim its goodness.
Praised by coffee tasters (known in the profession as "Cuppers") and gourmets alike, Kopi Luwak is made from beans that take an unusual side trip on the journey from bush to cup: Through a drunken monkey's ass.
In the strict sense, Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus (commonly known as Indonesian civet cats or palm civets) may resemble monkeys, but they aren't, and they're not really cats either. They're marsupials. Even so, the creatures shit out gourmet coffee beans that sell on the world market for about $300 per pound.
Until recently, the nocturnal creatures lived above ground, and their diet consisted primarily of fresh coffee cherries and fermented tree sap. Indonesians too lazy to climb the trees and pick their own coffee, used to wander around the jungle and gather the beans to make their morning blends. Ever since the outside world caught a taste of palm civets' fecal bounty, however, the animals have been rounded up and are now "ranched" to regulate the expulsion of the much sought after Kopi Luwak coffee bean. It is supposed to be the best tasting shit in the world.
Apparently, the Sumatra cherries pass through the palm civets' digestive tract, and emerge virtually intact and partially, digestively fermented, creating what coffee "crapicureans" are annoyingly calling, "crappuccino." The palm civets enjoy eating the beans so much that professional "bean pickers" must stand behind the animals to prevent the critters from re-eating them as they are anally extruded.
Cuppers say the coffee's aromatic properties range from "hints of zoo" to the fragrance of "stables," and claim the anal brew tastes "earthy, musty, heavy bodied, and almost syrupy." Especially, I suppose, if the palm civet in question has the Hershey Squirts as a result of the flu, or frequent fermented tree-sap bingeing.
Word has spread about Kopi Luwak. Evidently, Starbucks executives have already acquired cautionary test samples, and the primary US importer of Kopi Luwak, Mark Mountanos of M.P. Mountanos Coffee, says one of his regular customers is John Cleese of Monty Python fame. Guess that finally explains his funny walk.
What's next? Cat-litter coffeecake?